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SME Speaks: Let SME Accelerate You!

Renee Parsons 

By Renee Parsons
Chapter Chair
Seattle No. 39

I am very fortunate to be the 2011 chair of SME’s Seattle No. 39, which is the host chapter for the 2011 SME Annual Conference, the theme of which is "Manufacturing Velocity." We have a lot of fun and informative events planned, including go-cart racing, plant tours of Nintendo and Boeing, educational workshops, and well-known speakers sharing their personal experiences on leadership. As you know, attending the SME Annual Conference is unmatched in the knowledge gained, in the connections made from meeting other members/manufacturing professionals, in reviving the excitement and passion of your career in manufacturing, and in viewing demonstrations of the latest manufacturing innovations that you can bring back and implement in your workplace.

Seattle No. 39 is very proud to support student chapters at Western Washington University, Olympic College, and Edmonds Community College. During the conference, you will meet many of our Seattle-area members along with many of our student chapter members, several of whom will be speaking at the event on topics that include mentoring future leaders, developing and supporting student chapters, and chapter best practices. Our chapter’s mission is to serve its members, the manufacturing industry, and manufacturing education. Seattle No. 39 aspires to be a valuable source of communication, networking, and dissemination of manufacturing technology for the Pacific Northwest manufacturing community. We hope you enjoy attending the conference as much we did helping to plan it.

Not only is the 2011 SME Annual Conference an outstanding event to MEET | KNOW | GROW, there is the added bonus of the opportunity to visit the many attractions in the Seattle area. This conference is being held in Bellevue, WA, a scenic 15-min drive from Seattle. If you decide to stay longer than the three-day conference series, the Seattle area has an overabundance of attractions to visit. There are several close-by national parks to hike, such as Snoqualmie Falls, which is one of my favorite places. The Pikes Place Farmers Market in downtown Seattle is a great place to buy fresh fish, fruit, vegetables, and crafts from many Seattle-area artists. Another favorite is the Seattle Center, which includes the Space Needle’s observation deck, an outdoor park, the people’s fountain, and the Pacific Science Center. Seattle also has some great museums, among them the Seattle Art Museum and the Experience Music Project. Other must-visit attractions are the Seattle waterfront, the Seattle Aquarium, the Ballard Locks and Fish Ladder, the Washington Park Arboretum, and the Woodinville Wineries. As your host chapter, we will be happy to provide a more comprehensive list of Seattle-area attractions along with maps and suggestions on what to see and do during your visit. You can contact us through our Web site at

SME’s Seattle No. 39 chapter extends its warmest welcome to you; we look forward to meeting you in June. Visit to learn more.


About the Author

Renee Parsons has worked in manufacturing for more than 20 years, the last 14 of which have been spent with The Boeing Co. Her work experience at Boeing includes NC programming, manufacturing engineering, and quality engineering. Parsons’ educational accomplishments include a bachelor’s degree in computer systems from City University; an ABET-accredited manufacturing engineering technology degree from Oregon Institute of Technology; a master’s certificate in project management from Stevens Institute of Technology; a leadership certificate from The Boeing Co.; and a manufacturing technologist certification from SME. She is currently working on her quality engineering certification. Parsons, an SME member since 2004, is the 2011 chair for SME’s Seattle No. 39 chapter.


2011 Honor Award Winners Announced

These six awards recognize significant contributions to the field of manufacturing engineering in the areas of manufacturing technologies, processes, technical writing, education, research, management, and service to SME.

Howard A. Kuhn

Howard A. Kuhn, PhD, PE, is a research consultant and adjunct professor for The Ex One Co. LLC and the University of Pittsburgh, respectively. He is recognized with the Eli Whitney Productivity Award for his distinguished accomplishments in improving capability within the broad concept of orderly production. Kuhn teaches courses in design, manufacturing, product realization, and entrepreneurship, and conducts research on manufacturing for tissue-engineering applications. He also served as director of Prometal Technology for The Ex One Co. LLC (previously Extrude Hone Corp.). Kuhn was co-founder of Concurrent Technologies Corp., serving as vice president and chief technical officer as it grew to more than 1300 employees (1988–2000). He was also cofounder of Deformation Control Technology, a consulting firm serving the metalworking industry. Kuhn is a registered professional engineer in Pennsylvania and a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University.

David L. Wells

David L. Wells, PhD, is a professor of industrial and manufacturing engineering at North Dakota State University. He is recognized with the Joseph A. Siegel Service Award for his significant and unique contributions to the Society. An SME member since 1979, Wells has been active in a number of pioneering ventures in manufacturing education. Beginning in 1983, he has chaired or cochaired six SME national and international conferences and workshops, edited or coedited seven SME proceedings, authored or coauthored eight SME papers or technical reports, and was an invited presenter at 18 clinics and workshops. In addition, he has served on national SME committees continuously for the past 26 years, often holding more than one post. Over the last 12 years, Wells has served on the Accreditation Committee and, more recently, as an advisor for the Manufacturing Education & Research Community. In addition, he is the faculty advisor for North Dakota State University S291. Wells began his professional career by earning his BS and MS degrees in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, and his PhD in engineering management from the University of Missouri-Rolla.


Ekkard Brinksmeier
Ekkard Brinksmeier
, Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil., FSME, is a professor for manufacturing technologies at the University of Bremen (Germany). He is recognized with the SME Frederick W. Taylor Research Medal for his significant and leading-edge published research, which has led to a better understanding of materials, principles, operations, and their application to improve manufacturing processes. Brinksmeier studied mechanical engineering at the University of Hannover, Germany. After receiving his Dr.-Ing. in mechanical engineering in 1982, he worked as chief engineer at the Institute for Production Engineering and Machine Tools, Hannover. In 1992, Brinksmeier became a full professor at the University of Bremen. Furthermore, he is director of the Foundation Institute for Materials Science IWT and the Laboratory for Precision Machining. Brinksmeier’s scientific interests and research areas lie in the field of advanced manufacturing processes with special focus in the areas of ultraprecision machining processes down to nanometer tolerances, process integration, development of sensor-integrated tools, development of advanced coolants in metalcutting, and the generation of functional surfaces by machining. He is a fellow of both SME and CIRP.


W. Tyler Estler

W. Tyler Estler
, PhD, is a physicist (retired) in the Precision Engineering Division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. He is recognized with the SME Albert M. Sargent Progress Award for his significant accomplishments in the field of manufacturing processes, methods, or systems. Estler’s major technical projects include field-validation metrology of the large-optics diamond-turning machine at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, error budget and accuracy analysis for the Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Motor, metrology instrumentation, high-accuracy rail-straightness metrology at the US Navy David Taylor Ship Research and Development Center, and development of the NIST Advanced Angle Metrology facility. He has published more than 40 peer-reviewed publications in precision engineering and metrology. Estler has a BS in physics from Florida Atlantic University and a PhD in physics from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.


K. Scott Smith
K. Scott Smith
, PhD, FSME, is a professor and chair of mechanical engineering and engineering science at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He is recognized with the SME Education Award for developing manufacturing-related curricula, fostering sound training methods, and inspiring students to enter the profession of manufacturing. His teaching and research areas include high-speed machining, process optimization, and machine dynamics. He is a fellow of SME, CIRP, and ASME International. Smith has served as president of the North American Manufacturing Research Institution of SME, and as chair of the Manufacturing Engineering Division of ASME. Smith is coauthor of the book Machining Dynamics: Frequency Response to Improved Productivity. He has received numerous awards, including the ASME Blackall Award, the AMT Charles F. Carter Advancing Manufacturing Award, the American Helicopter Society Pinckney Award, the SME Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award, and the SAE Ralph R. Teetor Award. Smith holds five patents and is the recipient of a 2010 R&D 100 Award. He received his BS in mechanical engineering from Tennessee Technological University, and his master’s and PhD from the University of Florida.


Wilbert E. WilhelmWilbert E. Wilhelm, PhD, PE, is the Mike and Sugar Barnes professor at Texas A&M University. He is recognized with the SME Gold Medal for his outstanding service to the manufacturing engineering profession through published literature, technical writings, and lectures. Wilhelm received his BS in mechanical engineering from West Virginia University, and an MS and PhD in industrial engineering and operations research from Virginia Tech. His research has contributed to the theory and application of integer programming, resulting in new knowledge bases for cutting-plane and column-generation methods, including solution methods to prescribe process plans for circuit-card assembly and the design of assembly systems, high-technology products for assembly, international assembly systems, and surveillance systems for homeland security. A registered professional engineer and fellow of the Institute of Industrial Engineers, his work has been recognized by the David Baker Distinguished Research Award of IIE and several awards conferred by the Texas Engineering Experiment Station, including Brockett Professor and TEES senior fellow.

The 2011 award winners will be honored at SME's International Awards Gala, Monday, June 6, in Bellevue, WA, during the 2011 SME Annual Conference.



Loyal SME Member Receives Top Honor

Robert V. Petrach, Jr.

Robert V. Petrach, Jr
., CMfgE, is recognized with the SME Award of Merit for making valued, balanced contributions to the Society’s professional activities and growth as a chapter member. Since joining SME in 1994, Petrach has been active in the Oakland-Macomb No. 69 chapter, serving twice as chapter chair. He has also held various officer positions within the chapter and taught many certification review classes. Petrach is also the former chair of SME's Plastics, Composites & Coatings Community, a current advisor for the PCC Community and the Plastics Tooling & Mold Design Tech Group, and co-chair of the Finishing Processes Technical Group. Professionally, he is an injection molding manager at Safety Technology International. Previously, Petrach held a variety of manufacturing and engineering positions at General Motors Corp. and Delphi Corp. over a 38-year career. ME

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

Published Date : 4/1/2011

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