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SME Speaks: Making the future. Together.

 Dennis S. Bray







By Dennis S. Bray, PhD, FSME
2013 SME President
Member Since 1985


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. Those same engineers would marvel at today’s achievements in motorized vehicles, aerospace and defense, energy and medical technologies, and the quality of the workforce associated with each of these industries. And they would surely recognize that SME has grown beyond anything they could have imagined and would be very proud of what has been accomplished.

Because, as we all know, time does not stand still, the SME Board of Directors, staff, members and various consultants have been working diligently since 2011 to review SME’s role and its brand identity. In addition, the board was simultaneously retooling SME's strategic direction, as well as our vision, mission and purpose. Much of this work has culminated in the SME 2017 Strategic Plan and ultimately the evolution of the SME brand, which was an integral part of the 2012 SME Strategic Plan—to “Change SME’s brand image.” Although SME’s purpose remains steadfast—to advance manufacturing and attract future generations—its scope, reach and scale have grown exponentially in that pursuit. We know that “manufacturing engineers” now comprise only a small fraction of the audience that benefit from SME and what we do. And, although membership remains a vital core component of SME, today’s audiences interact with SME on a meaningful basis, in a number of ways depending on their needs.

As indicated in my January 2013 SME Speaks, SME and all of its activities are making it possible for manufacturing to move forward and be a strong foundation for our country and the world to prosper. Changing our brand and associated messaging will allow SME to connect to an even wider group of people in manufacturing as well as to continue to address critical needs, such as the shortage of engineers, technologists and technicians already impacting most manufacturing industries.

As a credible, nonprofit authority, SME is the “solutions engine” that serves the manufacturing industry. Through professional development, we solve the industry’s need for knowledge, training and education that propel careers and companies forward. Through our events and media business units, we showcase innovation, enable knowledge transfer and foster vibrant marketplace interaction. Through membership, we promote the need for community, collaboration and camaraderie. Through our Education Foundation, we address one of our industry’s greatest challenges—filling the gap with future generations of manufacturing practitioners whose passion exceeds our own. SME is a sum greater than its parts—we are the manufacturing industry’s official sponsor of solutions that advance manufacturing.

Because of the impact we are having, SME can no longer be defined as narrowly as the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. It has a greater mission, and a broader role. Freed from the limitations of the words they represent, the SME initials will now represent the brand name. The SME name and new logo retains its full familiarity, yet the brand will be repositioned within new context that reflects a vibrant, multifaceted organization that is shaping the future.

In addition, SME’s new tagline—Making the future. Together.—is our way of stressing how vital “making things” is to the economy and way of living, and “together” emphasizing the importance of how we work with individuals, companies, communities, government and other organizations to meet the needs of those impacted by manufacturing.

It’s an exciting time for SME. While change is never easy, it is necessary to keep moving forward. I hope all of you will join me in celebrating SME’s historic 80+ years, its unlimited future and evolving new image in the world of manufacturing. ME


2013 Award Recipients Honored for Innovation and Excellence in
Composites Manufacturing

Celebrating innovation and outstanding advances in the industry, the Composites Manufacturing Tech Group, which is part of SME’s Plastics, Composites & Coatings Community, awarded its 2013 Composites Manufacturing Awards at SME’s Composites Manufacturing Conference and Exhibits event held March 19-21 in Long Beach, CA.

The J.H. “Jud” Hall Composites Manufacturing Award celebrates innovation in solving issues related to production and applications development, and acknowledges significant contributions that reduce costs and waste streams, and improves quality and efficiency. This year’s recipient, Douglas A. McCarville, PhD, PE, is a technical fellow in Boeing’s Research & Technology division. With 25 years of aircraft industry composites experience, McCarville has developed a multitude of innovative methods and composite processing equipment for the production of advanced composites.2013 awardees (left to right): Brian Holmes. Janicki Industries; Douglas McCarville, PhD, PE, Boeings's Research & Technology; and Todd Szallay, Northrop Grumman.

Also presented was the 2013 Excellence in Composites Manufacturing Awards. Each award showcases companies that have excelled in manufacturing products made from advanced composite materials. The 2013 recipients are:

Large Company—Northrop Grumman, Redondo Beach, CA, in recognition of its leading innovation for the incorporation of composite materials for parts and components on aerospace, ship, missiles and launch vehicles.

Small Company—Janicki Industries, Sedro-Woolley, WA, in recognition of its innovative developments with composite fabrication materials and techniques in high-precision tooling.


In the May 2013 SME Speaks guest editorial, Rebecca Blank, PhD, deputy secretary of commerce, US Department of Commerce, was incorrectly identified as "Sarah Blank, PhD, acting secretary, US Department of Commerce." SME regrets and apologizes for this error.


This article was first published in the June 2013 edition of Manufacturing Engineering magazine.  Click here for PDF

Published Date : 6/1/2013

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