By Paul D. Bradley
Society of Manufacturing Engineers
Every New Year ushers in new opportunities, and in SME’s case, a different president. As with every SME president before me, we all share one common goal: to make SME as successful as it can possibly be; 2011 will be no exception.
When I joined SME more than 20 years ago, I had no idea that I would one day become its president. My only thought at the time was that I wanted to learn and educate myself. I saw the Society as my lifelong learning partner and a great knowledge source. The accolades I’ve received along the way have been rewarding, but they have never been my main motivation—my quest for knowledge is what drives me.
From the moment I was first introduced to SME, its name and endeavors were always, in my mind, synonymous with knowledge and learning. Over the years, however, with the Society’s products and services expanding and diversifying, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers has obviously taken on different connotations for everyone. To provide you insight on one of my focuses this year, it’s all about the brand. Brand is gold, sell the brand, you sell your products and services, and people will want to belong and be engaged. If SME’s brand is muddied or inconsistent, then we will not reach our audience as effectively as we need to. I would like to be satisfied at the end of 2011 to know that when someone thinks of SME their thoughts immediately go to manufacturing knowledge, education, and networking, with a clear understanding that SME is:
- Everyone you need to MEET;
- Everything you need to KNOW; and
- Everything you need to GROW.
To help solidify SME’s brand in the knowledge-delivery area, Tooling University (Tooling U.com) was acquired by the Society in October 2010. The substantial resources of SME’s certification products, in-person training, and webinar offerings are now combined with Tooling U’s online training platform and more than 400 courses designed to provide the global manufacturing community with a comprehensive source of manufacturing knowledge.
While knowledge delivery is critically important to SME, our members and their membership experience are even more prevalent. Growing our membership base, and retaining and engaging members, is of the utmost importance. To help enhance the member experience, included in the 2011 budget approved by the SME Board of Directors during its fall meeting was the purchase/investment of association management software (AMS). Today, SME is handicapped by antiquated technology for business systems, and the lack of technology for knowledge delivery. To thrive, the Society must transform—rapidly and holistically.
With the addition of the AMS, volunteer leaders will be able to use true business intelligence for member engagement activity and membership information. In addition to the AMS investment is the possibility to transform our books and videos into digital content. With Kindles, iPads, and iPhones flooding the marketplace, having digital content at our customers’ fingertips is vital; we need to be at the forefront of knowledge delivery, not behind it.
SME is obviously not immune to the many issues other nonprofit organizations are experiencing; however, the SME Board of Directors, volunteer leaders, and staff are doing everything we can to continue moving the Society forward. As your 2011 SME president, I will provide leadership and direction, but I am not the cure. We, the members, are the solution to the many issues facing the Society today. We are SME. Help me make a difference in 2011.
Congratulations, SME’s 2010 Class of Fellows
Five manufacturing leaders were elected to the 2010 SME College of Fellows. An SME Fellow is a member recognized by the manufacturing community as a contributor to the social, technological, and educational aspects of the profession. This prestigious honor can only be earned through at least 20 years of dedication and service to manufacturing engineering by SME members in good standing. Since 1986, the Society has recognized nearly 300 individuals. The 2010 Class of Fellows includes:
Jian Cao, PhD, FSME, is a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and chair, ME Graduate Studies at Northwestern University. Cao is an accomplished researcher and educator whose work has focused on such fields as material characterization of metals and machine/process design. Currently, her research focuses on microforming, dieless forming, and laser processing, which have had a direct impact on energy-efficient manufacturing. Cao is also the co-director of the National Science Foundation Summer Institute on Nanomechanics, Nanomaterials, and Micro/Nanomanufacturing. She currently serves as the 2010–11 president-elect for the North American Manufacturing Research Institution of SME (NAMRI/SME) and is active in other professional societies as well.
Narendra B. Dahotre, PhD, FSME, is chairman and professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of North Texas. Dahotre’s work in the areas of laser material processing and surface engineering has attracted $6.5 million in funding. He holds 15 US patents, and has one US patent pending. Dahotre is also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, ASM International, and the Indian Institute of Metals. In addition, he is an associate editor of the Journal of Materials Performance & Engineering, and serves on the editorial board of five additional journals devoted to materials and materials processing.
Herbert Dobbs, PhD, FSME, PE, is the former chairman and a current board member of Torvec Inc. He began his career in manufacturing, and then worked in aircraft and missile design. In the late 1950s, Dobbs began his 28-year career as a US Army officer, and had assignments as an engineer, research scientist, project manager, and laboratory director. In particular, Dobbs guided the development of the family of tactical vehicles, including the Hummer, fielded at the beginning of the 1980s. He has been decorated with, among others, the Legion of Merit and Bronze Star. Dobbs has nearly 30 publications and three patents to his credit.
I.S. Jawahir, PhD, FSME, is the James F. Hardymon chair in manufacturing systems and a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Kentucky. Jawahir’s work has significantly advanced the knowledge and application of machining principles through modeling and optimization of metal-machining processes. He is currently very active in researching sustainable manufacturing. As an educator, Jawahir has built MS and PhD programs in manufacturing systems engineering and opened large teaching and research laboratories. His commitment to the next generation of manufacturing engineers also includes advising 24 PhD and 58 MS graduates, and serving as a member of about 60 PhD committees around the world.
Günter Warnecke, Dr-Ing, FSME, is professor emeritus at the Technische Universität Kaiserslautern. Now retired, Warnecke has devoted his career to both manufacturing and academia. After studying mechanical and manufacturing engineering at the Technische Hochschule Hannover, Warnecke joined General Electric Super Materials Department, where he served as manager of European Technical Services. Following his time at GE, Warnecke spent several years at automotive parts manufacturer Fitchel & Sachs as manager of manufacturing development. He later began a career in academia and joined the Universität Kaiserslautern. During Warnecke’s years as a professor, he supervised 600 master’s theses and 58 doctoral dissertations, while also serving as the university’s president and vice president.
This article was first published in the January 2011 edition of Manufacturing Engineering magazine. Click here for PDF.