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Press Release

SME Statement on the Passing of Past President Fran Sehn

(DEARBORN, Mich) — SME offers its sincere condolences on the passing of the organization’s Past President Fran Sehn, a pioneer in Michigan manufacturing.

Sehn’s career in manufacturing began with an apprenticeship as a tool and die maker with the Fisher Body Division of General Motors. He rose to chief die engineer at the Fisher Tank Division during World War II, and went on to join the E.W. Bliss Co. where he was a general master mechanic. Sehn was the founder of several companies including Press Automation Systems Inc. and Coilfeed Systems Inc. (which were merged and became U.S. Industries, P.A.S. ARTCO Stamping and Body Assembly Group), The Fran Sehn Co. and Full Mold Process Inc., Di-Dro Systems and Robogate Systems Inc. 

Sehn was a registered professional engineer in Michigan and served as an associate professor in Wayne State University’s School of Business Administration. He was elected to the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts and Letters in 1972 and received a Doctor of Humane Letters Honoris Causa by Ave Maria University in 2009.

“We share our deepest sympathies with Fran Sehn's family, friends and associates during this time of mourning,” said Jeff Krause, executive director and CEO of SME. “Fran Sehn was a very active member of SME, and we are truly grateful for his commitment, contribution and dedication to the organization throughout his life.”

Sehn served as SME’s president from 1965-66, and was presented with the Joseph A. Siegel Service Award in 1975 for the development of the organization’s “Die Design Handbook.” He was elected a Charter Fellow of SME in 1986. As president, he advocated for good ethics in business: “Whatever we can do to inspire trust and ethical conduct will surely brighten our corner of the business world, and will contribute to the moral and spiritual health of the society we live in.”

Sehn died peacefully at his home on Oct. 29, 2017, at age 99.

About SME
SME connects manufacturing professionals, academia and communities, sharing knowledge and resources to build inspired, educated and prosperous manufacturers and enterprises. With more than 85 years of experience and expertise in events, media, membership, training and development, and through an education foundation, SME is committed to promoting manufacturing technology, developing a skilled workforce and attracting future generations to advance manufacturing. Learn more at, follow @SME_MFG on Twitter or


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