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SME Speaks: Change Leads the Way in 2011

Paul D. Bradley

By Paul D. Bradley, PE
Society of Manufacturing Engineers
Member Since 1989

As I end my term as the 2011 SME president, I do so with a great deal of pride and wonder. Pride because we’ve accomplished so much within such a short period of time, and wonder at all the activities that took place in just one year. It has been a year which, for me, has been both thought provoking and demanding all at once. What SME set out to do in 2011 is virtually unheard of—implementing a new association management software (AMS) system, launching a new website, transforming its books and videos in a digital knowledge delivery system, introducing several new events, and having our brand examined in the marketplace—all within one year. So how’d we do?

The new AMS system will be implemented in January 2012 after months of data conversion and testing. The new system is a more member-centric platform, which caters to each individual’s needs. When a member logs into now, they should experience a more welcoming platform, which anticipates their specific information needs—something we’ve not been able to do before.

In conjunction with the AMS, SME had to address its Web site, SME’s original website was built many years ago, and while improvements have been made to it throughout the years, having a new AMS system made it imperative that SME had a state-of-the-art Web site to go along with it. What you’ll see now are completely new Web pages with 21st century designs and capabilities. Many of the pages have interactive "hero stories," which give prominence to various Society activities and products. A new search capability has also been implemented, which ensures people can easily find the information they’re looking for.

A large component of is our new knowledge delivery system (KDS). A key element of this content is the highly regarded manufacturing source, the Tool and Manufacturing Engineers Handbook (TMEH). The first phase of this ongoing KDS project is converting TMEH from hardcover books into a digital (wiki) platform. The SME TMEH Wiki project will engage members and subject-matter experts to contribute, review, edit, and add new content for continual updating and expansion of this highly regarded, living manufacturing resource.

While the infrastructure of SME is changing and we’ve joined the digital revolution, manufacturing continues to change from low-value repetitive assembly to high-value, technology-rich products and processes. Because SME needs to evolve to meet the needs of manufacturers, it was essential that we make modifications to some of our longstanding events as well. SME therefore made the decision to alternate WESTEC with AeroDef Manufacturing in 2011 and EASTEC with Mfg4 Conference & Exposition in 2012. AeroDef is the one event solely devoted to aerospace and defense manufacturing. It’s unique in that it has unprecedented support from OEMs to find solutions to the industry’s complex challenges. Mfg4 places four strategic industries—aerospace, defense, medical, and energy—under one roof, with an emphasis on complete industry-specific solutions. WESTEC and EASTEC remain part of SME’s event lineup, but are moving to a biennial cycle. WESTEC returns March 27–29, 2012, to the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, while EASTEC returns to the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, MA, May 14–16, 2013.

As all of these extraordinary activities were taking place, behind the scenes our brand consultant, RiechesBaird, was working closely with the SME Brand Task Force to complete its examination of the SME brand and its impact on the marketplace. RiechesBaird gave its final update to the SME Board of Directors at our September board meeting. These recommendations are now being incorporated into the charges for the Strategic Planning Committee, which is currently working on the SME Strategic Plan 2015. Their work will carry over into 2012, so please stay tuned for updates on this committees’ progress in the months to come.

What was accomplished in 2011 could not have been done without the members and staff working together to accomplish the Society’s goals. I’m proud to have been part of such an exciting year, and I’ve enjoyed representing SME as its president—it has been a privilege and an honor to do so. As a longtime member and an engineer in manufacturing, I firmly believe in SME and consider it and all its members my family. I own SME—we all own SME as members. Thank you to everyone who helped make 2011 such an extraordinary year. I look forward to working with all of you again in the future. ME




2012 SME Board of Directors
and Member Council Installed


In September, SME members elected six new members to the SME Board of Directors and four new members to the Member Council for the 2012–13 term. The 2012–13 board and council members were installed on November 12, 2011, at the 2011 Awards & Installation Banquet in Chicago. Their terms officially begin on January 1, 2012.




2012–13 International Directors


Dean L. Bartles, PhD, is vice president and general manager of General Dynamics—Ordnance & Tactical Systems. He has more than 30 years of management experience, which has included positions with Fairchild Republic Co., General Defense Corp., Olin Ordnance and Primex Technologies Inc. Bartles has served in both domestic and international capacities, with emphasis on manufacturing facility startups, plant management, research and development, and program execution. His expertise is in metal and composites machining. Bartles graduated from Shepherd College with a BS in business administration. In addition, he holds a master’s degree in international business from Tampa College, an MBA from Shippensburg University, and a doctorate in business administration from Nova Southeastern University.


Sandra L. Bouckley joined Eaton Corp. in January 2011 as vice president of advanced manufacturing for the industrial sector. Most recently, Bouckley was global director of operations for electrical and metal products at Tyco. Previously, she served as director of advanced manufacturing engineering for the front-wheel drive platform and as a multisite plant manager for Chrysler. Bouckley holds an MBA from Michigan State University, a master’s in manufacturing management from Kettering, and a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from Kettering University (formerly General Motors Institute).


Edward G. "Ed" Halloran, LSME, CMfgE, PE, is president of HALCO Management Systems. Halloran has more than 40 years of professional experience, including numerous leadership responsibilities as a senior aerospace manufacturing engineer, production manager, and program manager. He has also held additional senior management careers in both the recreational sailboat building and automotive aftermarket products industries. An SME member since 1975, Halloran is a member of Seattle No. 39 where he served as the 2006 chapter chair and now leads the chapter’s Scholarship Committee.


Matt Hilgendorf, chief metrologist at Caterpillar Inc., manages a team of 10 quality engineers, manufacturing engineers, and supervisors, and an indirect team of nearly 75 people. Hilgendorf is also responsible for metrology strategy and capital execution for Caterpillar’s Advanced Components and Systems Division. In 2008, he was promoted to a lead operations position, where he took on several special assignments in manufacturing engineering before being promoted to his current position. Hilgendorf has been appointed to the SME Member Council three times—in 2007, 2009, and 2010. Currently, he has an active role in the SME Leadership Series as a key presenter/speaker.


Robert R. Nesbitt, CMfgE, is director of advanced development and research at Eli Lilly and Co.’s delivery device research and development group where he leads the creation and proof of concept for new pharmaceutical delivery devices. In 2001, Nesbitt received a Lilly award for breakthrough device designs for the delivery of pharmaceutical agents. In 2006, he received the Lilly Research Laboratories’ President’s Award recognizing his work in establishing a collaborative network of development partners in the device design and development.


Susan Smyth is the chief scientist for global manufacturing at General Motors and the director of the GM R&D Manufacturing Systems Research Lab. In this capacity, Smyth directs the creation of GM’s global advanced manufacturing strategies and oversees innovation and implementation of GM’s advanced manufacturing portfolio. In her current role, she has aggressively grown GM’s global collaboration footprint in the US, Europe, Israel, Korea, and China. Smyth began her career with General Motors as a senior project engineer with the advanced engineering staff. Since then she has held a variety of leadership positions in manufacturing, quality, strategic business planning, and R&D.



2012–13 Member Council

Jeff Arnold, CMfgE, is a manufacturing engineer with The Boeing Company, with 23 years experience in aerospace manufacturing. He began his career as a process planner and hardware manager for machined and sheetmetal parts. With experience and demonstrated capability, Arnold has accepted increasingly complex technical and leadership assignments on a variety of military aircraft. He is currently a senior engineer on the 737 Airborne Warning and Control Program, working closely with manufacturing suppliers in Australia, Turkey, and Korea to modify and flight test command-and-control aircraft.


Garret Hendrix, PE, has a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from the University of Tennessee and an MBA from the University of Florida with a specialization in entrepreneurship. He is also a registered professional engineer, 6-sigma black belt, fluid power specialist, and a machinery lubricant analyst. After working for several years in different capacities, mainly in manufacturing, in 2000 Hendrix founded Hendrix Engineering Inc., which provides machine building services, reliability engineering services, and other mechanical engineering services.


Vincent. W. Howell, CMfgE, is an engineering projects portfolio manager for Corning Inc., Display Technologies Division. Howell has 36 years of varied experiences including program manager, new products; manager, industrial engineering; project manager; manager, production operations; quality manager; and manufacturing project engineer. His current experience is in the LCD glass manufacturing industry, and he has also worked in electronics manufacturing. An SME member since 1981, Howell has served in various officer roles in both the Lexington No. 154 and Elmira No. 24 chapters.


Bonnie Knopf is president of Intrepid Plastics Manufacturing. Knopf started her career as a program manager in extrusion then moved into injection-mold tooling and later into injection molding. She worked in many facets of the engineering world, including being a local representative for Nypro to large Tier 1 automotive suppliers. Intrepid Plastics Manufacturing was recognized in March 2009 as Women Owned Business of the Year. Knopf has a bachelor’s in plastics engineering technology from Ferris State University.


This article was first published in the December 2011 edition of Manufacturing Engineering magazine.  Click here for PDF

Published Date : 12/1/2011

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