DEARBORN, Mich., Aug. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- The Education Foundation of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) is working with industry, business and education to make a difference in the skill level of manufacturing engineers and has awarded $411,971 in grant funding to three colleges and universities: * Alexandria Technical College, Alexandria, Minn. * Arizona State University, Tempe, Ariz. * Farmingdale State University of New York, Farmingdale, N.Y. The grant awards are an acknowledgement of each school's effective collaborative efforts in working with their industry partners and designing manufacturing programs to effectively resolve the issue of competency gaps previously identified by industry partners. The SME Education Foundation (SME-EF) grants are part of a major effort to equip the manufacturing workforce with the knowledge and skills to be an effective and innovative force in global manufacturing. Since 1998, SME-EF has funded more than $7 million to 37 colleges and universities. The 2004 grants include: * A grant of $207,536 to Alexandria Technical College supports the Minnesota Center for Advanced Manufacturing Automation. The two-year course will teach basic manufacturing automation principles to 160 high school students; and advanced automation and remote management principles to 120 post-secondary students and 180 incumbent industry technicians. The Center will serve as a benchmark center for distributed, regional, advanced manufacturing automation education, leverage the Internet to achieve inter- institutional cooperation, support current workforce and economic development, and serve as a core model for the NSF-ATE funded regional Center for Advanced Packaging Automation. * $47,435 to Arizona State University to prepare students to enter industry as immediately productive engineers and technical leaders. The curriculum links subject matter in multiple courses, over four semesters, to a single large manufacturing project carried to completion. Students will learn how knowledge is linked to achieve the goals of the manufacturer -- and how decisions affect later stages of manufacturing. * A grant of $157,000 to Farmingdale State University of New York will support their "Long Island Manufacturing Project" to help meet the competency requirements of 1,200 to 1,500 small to medium size manufacturing companies in Long Island, N.Y. The curriculum will include bio and nano manufacturing, be industry-driven, multidisciplinary and inter-institutional in nature. Bio engineering research and nano engineering research are two critical areas where the manufacturing industry is suffering due to the lack of technical personnel to enable the transfer of technology. About the SME Education Foundation: The SME Education Foundation was founded in 1979 and has awarded more than $17 million in cash grants, scholarships, and special awards -. more than any other professional engineering society. In addition to college and university grants, the Foundation builds the future workforce by increasing interest in manufacturing-related careers among K-12 students and providing financial assistance to college students pursuing manufacturing, engineering, science and technology degrees. About SME: The Society of Manufacturing Engineers is the world's leading professional society supporting manufacturing education. Visit http://www.sme.org .
SOURCE Society of Manufacturing Engineers