SME (society)

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Society of Manufacturing Engineers logo.png
Predecessor Society of Manufacturing Engineers, Society of Tool Engineers
Formation 1932
Type Professional association
Purpose To advance manufacturing and attract future generations.
Headquarters Flag of the United States.svg Dearborn, Michigan, United States
  • One SME Drive, Dearborn, MI 48128
Region served
Official language
Secretary General
Michael D. Packer
Sandra L. Bouckley
Chief Executive Officer
Jeffrey M. Krause
Subsidiaries Advanced Manufacturing Media, Tooling U-SME, SME Education Foundation
Formerly called
Society of Manufacturing Engineers

SME (previously the Society of Manufacturing Engineers) is a non-profit student and professional association for educating and advancing the manufacturing industry in North America.[1][2][3]


SME was founded in January 1932 at the height of the Great Depression. Originally named the Society of Tool Engineers, and renamed the American Society of Tool Engineers one year later, it was formed by a group of 33 engineers and mechanics gathered at the Detroit College of Applied Science.[4] By April of that year, just four months after its beginning, membership increased from the original 33 members to 200 members and continued to grow rapidly with new chapters popping up across the country.[5] As the economic troubles of the 1930s pushed the world ever-closer to war, Society members responded by helping to convert America's industries into the primary military supplier for the Allied war effort, or what President Roosevelt referred to as the "arsenal of democracy." The organization also tailored their educational materials to meet the needs of the defense program and established the Emergency Defense Training Committee.[5] Between 1941 and the end of the war in 1945, Society membership more than doubled, rising from 8,700 to nearly 18,000 members.

Following the end of the war, the Society helped convert America's wartime industry into a producer of consumer goods. Switching focus from defense to research, appointing a planning committee and setting aside $25,000 for establishing a Research Fund in 1950, the society proceeded to establish a $50,000 educational fund and awarded its first scholarships in 1951. In 1960, the Society changed its name to The American Society of Tool and Manufacturing Engineers and in 1970 it became the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. However, since 2012 only the abbreviation SME has been used as the official name.[6]

The Society launched the SME Manufacturing Engineering Education Foundation in May 1979. By 2007 SME had successfully expanded into more than 72 countries, establishing itself as the world's leading provider of knowledge, networking and skills development for the manufacturing industry.[5] In September 2010, SME acquired Tooling University LLC, an educational technology and blended learning company that provides learning management system software and online manufacturing training content.[7][8]

Four Pillars of Manufacturing Engineering[edit]

The Four Pillars of Manufacturing Engineering

The four pillars of manufacturing engineering provides a model of fundamental knowledge required for manufacturing practitioners. The model was formally introduced at the Society of Manufacturing Engineers Annual Meeting June 4–7, 2011 in Bellevue, WA. The concept is supported by the Curricula 2015 Report.[9] Since then the model has been the subject of numerous scholarly papers and strategic reports.[10]

There are four fundamental pillars:

  1. Materials and Manufacturing Processes
  2. Product, Tooling and Assembly Engineering
  3. Manufacturing Systems and Operations
  4. Manufacturing Competitiveness.

Supporting the pillars are the foundation skills in mathematics and physical science, engineering science and a broad set of personal effectiveness skills.


  1. ^ "SME - Society of Manufacturing Engineers". California Polytechnic State University. Archived from the original on 12 June 2010. Retrieved 16 September 2015. 
  2. ^ "Society of Manufacturing Engineers". Retrieved 16 September 2015. 
  3. ^ "Society of Manufacturing Engineers". Retrieved 16 September 2015. 
  4. ^ "Society of Manufacturing Engineers". NNDB. Retrieved 16 September 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c Krar, Steve. "Society of Manufacturing Engineers (Manufacturing, the largest contributor to the Wealth of a Country)" (PDF). Automation Magazine. Retrieved 16 September 2015. 
  6. ^ "SME History". SME. Retrieved April 6, 2014. 
  7. ^ Del Ciancio, Mary (24 September 2010). "SME to acquire Tooling U for online training". Manufacturing Automation. Retrieved 16 September 2015. 
  8. ^ "Training". Manufacturer's Edge. Retrieved 7 September 2015. 
  9. ^ Jack, H., Mott., R, Raju, V., Conkol, G., Stratton, M., Waldrop, P., Wosczyna-Birch, K., Bates, S. “Curricula 2015; A Four Year Strategic Plan Manufacturing Education”, June 2011. Available at
  10. ^ Society of Manufacturing Engineers, "", September 2012, available from

External links[edit]