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Jeffrey A. Abell, PhD, FSME, PE Chair


SME Education and Accreditation Committee SME Member Since 2006


SME SPEAKS GUEST EDITORIAL W


ithin the next 10 years, it is predicted that 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will become available. However, without the right skilled workers for those jobs, estimates show that two million of them could go unfi lled. If you are familiar with SME’s overall purpose— advance manufacturing and attract future generations—the organization is addressing this skills gap through its various products and services. Where will that workforce come from? Obviously, it


Accreditation and Its Impact on the Manufacturing Profession SME activities supporting the global accreditation of


manufacturing education programs include: t Providing manufacturing subject-matter experts (team chairs, commissions, ABET board, board councils, program evaluators),


t Coordinating representation and input on accreditation visits, processes and policies,


t Defi ning appropriate requirements for manufacturing programs (criteria),


comes from the ability to effectively attract talented people to manufacturing, and through the effective development of skills, knowledge and ability. Across the nation, thousands of schools, colleges and universities promise to provide that education. But are they consistently successful, equipping students with the relevant and applicable tools valued and needed by research and industry? One of the ways SME addresses this question is one of its best-kept secrets: Accreditation. Since 1974, SME has partnered with ABET (formerly Accreditation Board for Engi- neering and Technology, Inc.) to evaluate technical programs that lead to degrees in engineering, engineering technology, computing, and natural and applied sciences.


Leadership and Impact The extensive accreditation process for this expanse of


programs provides a great opportunity for SME members to be directly involved in a very meaningful way. SME members can be part of the accreditation process at every level, pro- viding leadership and infl uence through visits to institutions, discussions with administrators, and meeting and building relationships with faculty and students. That interaction is key to building effective, current and relevant programs, curricula and instruction, ensuring the nation’s workforce is fully pre- pared for the challenges and opportunities of manufacturing.


t Advocating for and promoting the quality of manufac- turing programs through accreditation.


Through its partnership with ABET, SME is the lead organization for manufacturing engineering and manufactur- ing engineering technology, and cooperating organization for engineering management, industrial management, mechani- cal drafting and design, quality management and welding.


A Foundation of Four Pillars Degree programs are evaluated against both general and


program-specifi c criteria. Again, SME is the lead organiza- tion for both manufacturing engineering and manufacturing engineering technology programs, where the program-spe- cifi c criteria are based on SME’s Four Pillars of Manufactur-


ing Knowledge: t Materials and manufacturing processes, t Product, tooling and assembly engineering, t Manufacturing systems and operations, t Manufacturing competitiveness.


The program-specifi c criteria are the basis by which manu- facturing engineering and manufacturing engineering technol- ogy programs are developed and delivered by the program faculty and then evaluated for accreditation by ABET. SME’s Education and Accreditation Committee is the liaison between SME, the degree programs and ABET. The


June 2017 | AdvancedManufacturing.org 13


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