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Women Driving Innovation in Manufacturing

Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day celebrate the contributions of female leaders and innovators both past and present who have had a positive impact on society and across industries. SME celebrates the achievements of women who have chosen a career in manufacturing and continue to drive our industry forward. We will continue to support initiatives to recognize not only the creative thinkers who have advanced manufacturing over the years, but the women who continue to advance manufacturing today.

A Career in Engineering is Worth it

Stephanie Locks-Hartle is an SME member and manufacturing engineer with Northrop Grumman. A trip to the Kennedy Space Center is where her career in engineering all began. Learn how she took something amazing and turned it into her normal. Her work in manufacturing serves a purpose for both manufacturing as a whole and the advancement of women within the industry.

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Spotlighting Women in Manufacturing

In honor of Women’s History Month, SME’s former CEO and executive director Sandra Bouckley and Women in Manufacturing President Allison Grealis teamed up to spotlight the many ongoing contributions of women to manufacturing, and the importance of sharing stories of women working at all levels of manufacturing to show that this industry is for everyone.

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digital divas

Promoting STEM Careers for Women

In the United States, females earn 61.3 percent of the four-year college degrees and make up over 50.3 percent of the population, but still lag in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) careers. Learn how programs like ‘Digital Divas’ is changing the way women look at manufacturing.

20 Women Making Their Mark in Robotics and Automation

Smart Manufacturing profiled 20 women around the world who are making their mark in robotics and automation. These women come from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines working to advance and change manufacturing for the better.
Lindsey Prestholdt

On Her Way: Scholarship Recipient Lindsey Prestholdt Joins 3M

Lindsey Prestholdt received SME Education Foundation scholarships while majoring in mechanical engineering at North Dakota State University. Lindsey joined 3M in 2021 as an optimize operations engineer, assigned to process improvement projects while gaining extensive training in areas such as lean manufacturing.

Women in Manufacturing Hall of Fame

Women in Manufacturing (WiM) Hall of Fame seeks to recognize women who have made exceptional contributions to support, promote, and inspire women in the manufacturing industry.

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mfg hall of fame

Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineers

These three SME members are helping shape the future of manufacturing. The 2020 Ronald P. Harrelson Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineers award is intended to recognize the exceptional contributions and accomplishments of young manufacturers. Gabriela, Grace and Mihaela, are the standout women to win this award in a class full of exceptional award-winning engineers.


Gabriela Darras

Gabriela Darras
Manufacturing Engineering Manager
Caterpillar Inc.
Island Lake, Illinois

Grace Gu

Grace X. Gu, PhD
Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, California

Mihaela Vlasea

Mihaela Vlasea, PhD
Assistant Professor Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering
Associate Research Director Multi-Scale Additive Manufacturing Laboratory
University of Waterloo
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

View full list of award winners

130 Women in Manufacturing STEP Ahead

The Manufacturing Institute recognized 130 women as part of its Women in Manufacturing STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Ahead Awards. This year was held as a virtual awards ceremony honoring the past, present and future of women manufacturers.

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What are SME Members Saying about Manufacturing?

Edye Buchanan

Electrical Heating in Vacuum Applications

Edye S. Buchanan, CMfgT
Sales Strategist, BriskHeat Corp.
SME Member Since 1987

vesna coda

From The Desk Of...Vesna Cota

Vesna Cota
Founder, VMMI
SME Member Since 1995

Jennifer C. Fielding, PHD

From The Desk Of...Jennifer Fielding

Jennifer C. Fielding, PhD
Section Chief, Composite Performance and Application
Air Force Research Laboratory
SME Member Since 2013

Jenny Ono Suttaby

Jenny Ono Suttaby's 30-Year Manufacturing Journey

Jenny Ono Suttaby
SME Member Since 1984
Toronto Chapter 26

Edye Buchanan

From The Desk Of...Edye Buchanan

Edye S. Buchanan, CMfgT
Sales Strategist, BriskHeat Corp.
SME Member Since 1987


From The Desk Of...Teresa Rinker

Teresa Rinker, PhD
Senior Researcher
Manufacturing Systems Research Lab
GM Research & Development
SME Member Since 2016

New Strategy Targets Scholarships and SME PRIME

The SME Education Foundation's renewed and focused commitment to a diversity, equity and inclusion strategy is designed to fully integrate diversity and equity opportunities in every program, effort and initiative undertaken by the Foundation.