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All SME Speaks Articles

SME Speaks: Making an Impact in 2014

Michael F. Molnar, FSME, CMfgE, PE, 2014 SME President


How do you think about SME? My January column shared the results when that question was posed to the SME Board of Directors. The key finding was “SME is a collaborative organization uniquely dedicated to advancing manufacturing by addressing both knowledge and skill needs for industry.” While manufacturing is exceptionally broad with many organizations and entities, we asserted SME is unique in the focus on both knowledge (technology) and skills (workforce talent).  Full Article

SME Elects Nine to Its College of Fellows

Press Release - SME


During its 2014 Fall Awards & Installation Banquet in Atlanta on Sunday, Nov. 9, SME recognized seven of the nine individuals who were elected to its 2014 Class of SME Fellows. These nine, from industry, government and academia, join the more than 360 members who have been elected an SME fellow since the programs’ inception in 1986. Full Article

SME Speaks: SME is a Choice, Not a Financial Rationalization

Matthew Hilgendorf, CMfgT, Chair, SME Member Council


As the current chair of the SME Member Council, former (and future) international director and an SME member since 2002, I have questioned the value of SME membership many times. I encourage everyone reading this to question the value of their membership, and I ask you to consider a couple thoughts as you do so.  Full Article

Walmart, Google Headline FABTECH 2014 Keynote Presentations

Press Release - SME


FABTECH, North America’s largest metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing event, features an all-star lineup of speakers and panels this November. Keynote presentations by executives from Google Enterprise and Walmart, a special Veterans Day panel on how veterans can help bridge the skills gap, predictions for the coming year from top manufacturing executives, and a motivational speech by a U.S. veteran and football star are just a few of the special events at FABTECH 2014.  Full Article

SME Speaks: Supporting the T&E in STEM

Brian A. Ruestow, President, SME Education Foundation


In the last 10 years, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) has garnered a lot of attention without debate on the application of that knowledge; lately, even the White House has thrown itself into the mix with its plan to invest $2.9 billion in 2015 to better equip students to excel in STEM. Full Article

FABTECH Expo to Raise Funds for Workshops for Warriors

Press Release - SME


FABTECH today launched a charitable fundraising campaign in connection with the FABTECH 2014 Expo in Atlanta to benefit U.S. military veterans and assist them in obtaining jobs in the manufacturing sector. The 2014 FABTECH Expo Cares campaign seeks to raise funds in support of Workshops for Warriors, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to training, certifying, and placing veterans in manufacturing careers. Full Article

New Study from Tooling U-SME Reveals Serious Execution Gaps Related to Key Manufacturing Initiatives

Press Release - SME


New research supports there is a direct connection between a skilled, highly trained manufacturing workforce and organizational improvements that boost the bottom line. According to Tooling U-SME’s Manufacturing Insights Report: Winning Practices of World-Class Companies, conducted by the MPI Group, world-class companies are outperforming others in large part because they manage and train differently. Full Article

SME Speaks: Brilliant Factories

Bryan G. Dods, Chief Engineer – Manufacturing, GE Power & Water


The light is shining brightly on manufacturing, and the “brilliant factory” is emerging. The increased awareness of manufacturing’s importance to the success of companies, such as GE, and to a nation like the US, has brought a positive light to a career in manufacturing. The US public, private and academic communities are coming together to develop a holistic manufacturing strategy under the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership 2.0 and the creation of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI). Full Article

SME and 3D Systems Announce Formation of Advisory Board for M.Lab21 Education Initiative

Press Release - SME


SME and 3D Systems announced the formation of an advisory board for the collaborative M.Lab21 Initiative, composed of founding members SME, 3D Systems and key collaborator, America Makes (the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute), as well as representatives and support from Intel, GE, Johnson Controls, Lockheed Martin, Deloitte and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Full Article

SME Speaks: Lack of Skilled Workers Challenges Manufacturers

Jeannine Kunz, Managing Director of Workforce and Education, SME


A common complaint from 21st century manufacturers is having access to a skilled workforce. SME research indicates US manufacturers are challenged to find the talented workforce needed to fill jobs. Addressing this issue is critical because keeping the manufacturing engine going and growing is important to a company and country’s strength and competitiveness. Full Article

FABTECH 2014 Has Georgia on Its Mind

Press Release - SME


FABTECH is flying south for November! North America’s largest metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing event is expected to attract over 27,000 attendees and 1,400 exhibiting companies to the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta on Nov. 11-13. Full Article

NAMRC 2014 Part of Record Research Conference Attendance

Senior Editor Ellen Kehoe


The recent International Manufacturing Research Conference 2014, held in June 9-13 in Detroit, brought together research innovators at NAMRC (sponsored by the North American Manufacturing Research Institution of SME), MSEC (Manufacturing Science and Engineering Conference), sponsored by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ Manufacturing Engineering Div. and ICM&P (International Conference on Materials and Processes), which is cosponsored by the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers and ASME. Full Article

SME Education Foundation Awards Scholarships to Students Pursuing Degrees in Advanced Manufacturing

Press Release from SME


The SME Education Foundation, which is committed to supporting the next generation of manufacturing engineers and technologists, recently awarded scholarships to 250 students in the U.S. and Canada. These awards included $105,000 for the annual SME Education Foundation Family and Director’s Scholarships and $556,000 in other scholarships. Full Article

SME Speaks: My Freshman Year: Learning by Doing

Morgan Montalvo


Last year, I remember driving through campus on unpacking day, watching students riding bikes down the pathways, carrying dorm supplies twice their size and talking on the lawns. It was exactly how I imagined it feeling: hectic, exciting and new. The campus was alive with a unified energy, a unique mixture of anticipation for the opportunities and anxiety about all the change. This combination precisely describes my college experience thus far. Full Article

SME Congratulates Dean L. Bartles for Receiving 2014 Martin K. Starr Award

Press Release from SME


SME, an organization that connects people with manufacturing solutions, congratulates SME’s Vice President and Fellow Dean L. Bartles, PhD, FSME, on receiving one of two 2014 Martin K. Starr Excellence in Production and Operations Management Practice Awards from the Production and Operations Management Society, an international professional organization representing the interests of production and operations management professionals. Full Article

Mi-Light Photonics Industry Scholarships

Press Release from Mi-Light


Mi-Light, the Michigan photonics industry cluster, announced the funding and award of $5,000 in scholarships to four in-state academic institutions. Baker College (Flint, MI), Grand Valley State University (Grand Rapids, MI), Michigan Technological University (Houghton, MI) and Northwestern Michigan College (Traverse City, MI). Each college or university was allocated $1,250 in funds to be awarded to students enrolled in a photonics programs.   Full Article

SME and 3D Systems Announce M.Lab21 to Transform Career and Technical Education

Press Release from SME and 3D Systems


SME and 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) announced a collaborative initiative to enhance high school industrial arts and vocational education classes through the new M.Lab21 initiative. This program will offer starter kits to transform shop classes and incorporate additive manufacturing into curriculums. Full Article

SME Speaks: From a Miracle to Just Another Tool

Kevin L. Ayers, Industry Manager--Additive Manufacturing/3D Printing, SME


I remember the day I saw my first stereolithography machine in action in 1987. We all gathered around to witness this new technology, and I was overwhelmed to see the part rise up out of the machine, almost as if it had been transported in the Star Trek “replicator.” I knew then that this was a going to be a huge and revolutionary part of the future of manufacturing. All around the world, there were many who felt the same. Full Article

SME's THE BIG M Event to Address the Skills Gap in Manufacturing

Press Release from SME


American manufacturers are facing a serious problem: finding workers who have the skill sets required to perform necessary job functions. THE BIG M, produced by SME, is coming June 9-12 to Detroit's Cobo Center, and will discuss closing the skills gap in order for American manufacturers to stay competitive. Thursday, June 12 at THE BIG M, several panels and breakout sessions will focus on obtaining and training a skilled and capable workforce, talent retention and coping with the skills gap.  Full Article

SME Partners with CAM Logic to Create 3D Image of the Spirit of Detroit Statue for THE BIG M Event

Press Release from SME


Today, CAM Logic is scanning the Spirit of Detroit Statue in front of the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center to create a miniature-size statue using 3D printing. These one-of-a-kind statues will be given out to a select group of people at SME’s THE BIG M event, June 9-12 at Cobo Center.“There is so much buzz about 3D printing in the manufacturing world today,” said Debbie Holton, director of events, industry strategy at SME. “ Full Article

Advanced Manufacturing Partnership 2.0 National Meeting Planned at SME’s THE BIG M

SME Press Release


Aligning with SME’s key advanced manufacturing event, THE BIG M, the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership 2.0 National Meeting is scheduled from 1 to 5 p.m. on June 9 at Cobo Center in Detroit. AMP 2.0 is a national effort initiated by the White House to secure U.S. leadership in emerging technologies, which will create high-quality manufacturing jobs and enhance America’s global competitiveness. This meeting will be co-hosted by SME, the University of Michigan and Northrop Grumman. Full Article

SME Speaks: Manufacturing Continues Its Resurgence in Michigan and Beyond

Nigel J. Francis, Senior Vice President, Automotive Office, Michigan Economic Development Corporation


It’s an exciting time to be in manufacturing, particularly in the state of Michigan. What many may not know is that Michigan’s leadership in automotive design, engineering and manufacturing is unparalleled—it has 61 of the top 100 North American auto suppliers and 70% of auto R&D spending right in its own backyard. There’s also a greater concentration of workers in auto-related engineering occupations than any of the other top vehicle-producing states. Full Article

SME Recognizes Industry Leaders with Two Composites Manufacturing Awards



In an effort to recognize the valuable contributions made within the composites manufacturing industry, SME‘s Composites Manufacturing Tech Group annually presents the Composites Manufacturing Awards. Fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) composites are lightweight and do not corrode, finding their way into the design of many new products as the material of choice across many industries, from aerospace to automotive to wind energy and more. Full Article

SME’s BIG M Event to Show Off Latest Advanced Manufacturing Technologies



Automation Alley’s MSV Innovation Factory will feature an interactive display highlighting the latest technologies from cutting-edge companies during SME’s THE BIG M Event, coming June 9 to 12 at Detroit's Cobo Center. MSV, which stands for modeling, simulation and visualization, are tools and techniques revolutionizing virtually every industry by changing the way people do business. Full Article

SME Speaks: Technology Transition: Key Ingredient to Ensuring Manufacturing Innovation Through NNMI Institutes

Debbie Holton, SME Interim Managing Director of Industry and Technology


Technology is cool, especially technology that’s currently being developed by manufacturing researchers. These cutting-edge applications, materials and processes are all looking for a way to be integrated into existing manufacturing operations, or possibly spun off into a new company or product.   In February, SME hosted a Technology Interchange event in Detroit featuring NASA technologies.  Full Article

SME Speaks: Planning for the Future of Manufacturing

Paul K. Oldroyd, Technical Fellow, Bell Helicopter Textron Inc., Member Since 2012


In Texas, a “brand” usually means “this livestock belongs to so-and-so…” You might be smiling right now, but this is not a bad analogy. A brand is distinct. A brand is recognizable. A brand is a mark of influence or ownership—in some ways it is an identity. “Making the future…,” if applied to industry seems ethereal, almost too broad and too philosophical to have a reasonable chance to define, to anticipate and to reduce to actionable steps. However, applied to an organization, it has a more definite meaning. It becomes a charter or a challenge.   Full Article

SME Speaks: Making an Impact with Words

Dennis S. Bray, PhD, FSME, SME International Director and Interim CEO


Every year, the leaders of SME, which includes volunteers and staff, sit down to discuss the coming year, and one of the many things discussed is the editorial content for SME Speaks. Throughout the years, as SME evolves, so do the topics in SME Speaks—2014 will be no exception. Full Article

SME Board Members to be Recognized During 2014 STEP Awards Dinner

ME Media Staff


Two SME Board of Directors—Sandra Bouckley and Edye Buchanan, CMfgT— are slated to be recognized for their achievements at the 2014 STEP Awards Dinner Program held on February 6 at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, DC. Full Article

SME Speaks: Plotting SME'S Purpose: Skills and Knowledge for Innovation

Michael F. Molnar, FSME, CMfgE, PE, 2014 SME President


We all have favorite teachers from our past, and perhaps why they remain so memorable from many years ago is their role in some notable “ah-ha” moment. It might be an insight of value or clever approach useful throughout our lives. A favorite engineering professor of mine was famous for framing everything in a two-dimensional chart. Full Article

SME Speaks: Moving SME & Manufacturing Forward

Dennis S. Bray, PhD, FSME, 2013 SME President


When I first wrote to you as the incoming SME president in early January, a common theme throughout my editorial was “making it possible”—making it possible to continue to move manufacturing forward and to continue to grow SME. A year later, I can now say, we’ve made it possible. This year was about laying the foundation for success in the coming years. Full Article

SME Speaks: Members Helping Other Members

Bonnie Knopf, 2013 Chair, SME Member Council


It’s been an exciting year for SME, its members, volunteer leaders and staff. As the world continues to change, so does SME. By now, all of you have been introduced to the 2017 SME Strategic Direction and new branding initiative from the SME Board of Directors. Full Article

SME Speaks: Who Moved My SME, and Why?

Michael F. Molnar, FSME, CMfgE, PE, President-Elect, SME


By now I’m sure many of you are aware that our society has a new name and brand, as unveiled at the Annual Conference and discussed in the June column by SME President Dennis Bray. We’ve received a lot of comments, most highly supportive, but a good number concerned that change from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers signaled a move away from valuing the individual manufacturing engineer.  Full Article

SME Speaks: Performance Benchmarking Service

Kevin McCormick, Member and Industry Relations Manager (Canada), SME


In the last five years, I have been very fortunate to work with many manufacturing, processing and producing organizations in every sector imaginable. During this time, I have watched the majority struggle with where to focus their continuous improvement activities. Full Article

SME Speaks: Revolutionary Knowledge Edge

Jeannine Kunz, Director, Tooling U--SME


From high school technology classes and engineering professors to manufacturing professionals trying to solve a production problem or plant managers wanting to train their workers, reliable information is a vital necessity in this age of content overload. Full Article

SME Speaks: Real-Life Experiences Shape First Year

Chris Webb, 2012 SME Education Foundation Family Scholarship Winner


My first year of college at the University of Arkansas was amazing! Whenever I see my family or high school friends, they always ask how college is going. After a lot of thought, I finally figured out my perfect response. “Attending the University of Arkansas has been the best decision I have ever made.” It’s simple and precise. Full Article

SME President: We are Expanding Our Horizon

Editor in Chief Sarah A. Webster


It’s an exciting, changing time in manufacturing, and SME will broaden its agenda to make sure it remains a leader, SME President Dennis Bray, PhD, FSME, told a crowd Sunday at the SME State of the Society Luncheon.The 2013 SME Annual Convention runs through Tuesday in Baltimore at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel. Full Article

SME Speaks: Making the future. Together.

2013 SME President Dennis S. Bray


For more than 80 years, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) has been a steadfast source of manufacturing knowledge and resource for manufacturing stakeholders. Much has changed since that first meeting when a handful of engineers met to discuss more efficient ways of making automobiles. Full Article

SME Speaks: Supporting Manufacturing Innovation

Debbie Holton, Director of Events and Industry Strategy, SME


Shifting the innovation model to create new partnerships, connect with the market and prioritize workforce development is not easy. Our industry has spent many years building an enormous, but marginally effective, structure around manufacturing research and technology development. We are emotionally invested in what we’ve built, and therefore psychologically blocked from seeing what needs to change for the future. Full Article

SME Speaks: Manufacturing Forecast: Upbeat

Tim Fausch, Director/Group Publisher, Manufacturing Engineering Media, SME


It’s an old bit, but still funny. One guy stands bloodied and beaten to a pulp, but confidently says, “You should see the other guy.” Having spent many years in media supporting the construction market, that’s how I felt entering the manufacturing sector in late 2011. Yes, manufacturing took a beating during the Great Recession, but it has rebounded far faster and is much healthier than construction, which continues to lag. Full Article

SME Speaks: 'Kicking the Can' is Not an Option

Mark C. Tomlinson, CMfgE, EMCP, Executive Director/CEO, SME


Since 1996 In the past few months, we have seen US governmental officials continue to delay making the hard decisions that need to be made. They cannot come to a consensus on what the best path forward is for our great country. These officials also do not have answers to the great dilemma we face regarding gun control. If these so-called leaders were in the business of making things, they would be either out of a job or out of business! Full Article

SME Speaks: Inspire, Prepare and Support

Brian A. Ruestow, President, SME Education Foundation


In 1980, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) established the SME Manufacturing Engineering Education Foundation, now known as the SME Education Foundation (SME-EF). The $1 million fund established by the Society financed the Foundation during its first five years.  Full Article

SME Speaks SME: Making It Possible

Dennis S. Bray, PhD, FSME SME President


As we recover from our New Year’s celebrations, it is a good time for us to start thinking about the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead in 2013. The world is still trying to recover from its political and economic hangover. Full Article

Focus on the Workforce: Falling Off the Cliff Isn't an Option

Mark C. Tomlinson, CMfgE, EMCP, Executive Director/CEO Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME)


We are hearing in the daily news about the impending fiscal cliff. All of us know this problem needs to be solved quickly if we are going to stay on the path of economic growth. If not resolved, all the good work that has been accomplished around workforce development in 2012 will take a backseat to real economic and financial worries, which will ultimately affect our manufacturing vitality. Full Article

SME Honors Outgoing President

Senior Editor Michael C. Anderson


The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) recognized one of its own today by honoring manufacturing authority LaRoux K. Gillespie, Dr. Eng., FSME, CMfgE, PE for his service as SME president for the year 2012. Full Article

SME Speaks: 2012: The Year of Excellence

SME President LaRoux K. Gillespie, Dr. Eng., FSME, CMfgE, PE


This has been an exceptional year for SME. Using proven commercial modules in a cloud-computing environment, we changed 25 years of computing practice and coding, which took monumental effort on behalf of our staff.  Full Article

SME Speaks: Thank You, SME Members!

Brock Strunk, Chair, Member Council, SME


As 2012 comes to a close, all of us can look back at the many great experiences we had as SME members and volunteer leaders. I would like to take this opportunity to say a special thank you to all of my fellow volunteer leaders and SME staff that provided their guidance and personal time to help this year’s Member Council lead the member engagement activities of the Society.  Full Article

SME Speaks: Manufacturing Innovation is Transformative

Dennis S. Bray, SME President-Elect


Dennis S. Bray, PhD, FSME, President-Elect, SME, explains the concept of the Technical Community Network, SME's growing role in the development of additive manufacturing and SME's dedication to lifelong learning and innovation. Full Article

SME Speaks: A Strategy for Manufacturing Education

Ronald J. Bennett, PhD, Leader, Center for Education, SME


Distracted by the economic downturn of the past few years and widespread reports of the "demise" of US manufacturing, we in the United States lost track of the emerging crisis. Unfilled jobs, worker shortages, and the impending loss of experienced manufacturing workers who postponed retirement because of the downturn have gone virtually unnoticed. Full Article

SME To Play Key Role in Additive Institute

Manufacturing Engineering Media Staff


The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) will be playing an integral role in the new National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute. The news was announced this morning by the U.S. Department of Commerce and Department of Defense in Youngstown, Ohio. Full Article

SME Speaks: The Manufacturing Dialog and SME

SME Executive Director/CEO Mark C. Tomlinson


Manufacturing is still at the forefront of discussions across North America. Politicians, our current government, the press, and people having conversations by the water cooler are talking about the importance of this sector to the recovery of the economy. The dialog is as broad as how manufacturing helps in the development of a viable economy to as narrow as how an individual develops the right skills to be employable in this important sector. Full Article

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