Asee peer logo

Educating the Manufacturing Engineer of the Future

Download Paper |


2022 ASEE - North Central Section Conference


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

March 18, 2022

Start Date

March 18, 2022

End Date

April 4, 2022

Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Arif Sirinterlikci Robert Morris University Orcid 16x16

visit author page

Arif Sirinterlikci is a University Professor of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering and the Department Head of Engineering at Robert Morris University. He holds BS and MS degrees, both in Mechanical Engineering from Istanbul Technical University in Turkey and his Ph.D. is in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the Ohio State University. He has been actively involved in ASEE and SME organizations and conducted research in Rapid Prototyping and Reverse Engineering, Biomedical Device Design and Manufacturing, Automation and Robotics, and CAE in Manufacturing Processes fields.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Currently very limited number of colleges offer accredited undergraduate degrees in manufacturing engineering in the US and the rest of the world even though there has been a great need and demand of manufacturing engineers. It is an extremely hands-on and cross-disciplinary field that is almost unlimited in its applications, varying from heavy manufacturing to food processing or electronics, from medical devices to toys or textiles.

According to the fairly recent wisdom of “Four Pillars of Manufacturing Engineering of a Product Producing Enterprise” developed by Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), manufacturing engineers need to be prepared and competent in four thrust areas: (i) materials and manufacturing processes, (ii) product, tooling, and assembly engineering, (iii) manufacturing systems and operations, and (iv) manufacturing competitiveness. In addition, a good manufacturing engineering curriculum has to have to a strong foundation in mathematical and science preparation, and personal effectiveness and development content towards valuable soft skills. This paper studies the recent evolution of manufacturing engineering curriculum and state of these programs in the U.S. along with employment statistics. Advantages and disadvantages of offering such a degree is also included in this paper, explaining the facts of why colleges avoid offering such a degree, and why these programs are not popular with students entering engineering study. The paper is concluded with the future of the manufacturing engineering field, how its future pillars may look alike, impacted by the uncertainties of the future and the new industrial revolutions – Industry 4.0 and 5.0 as the educators try to incorporate areas like data analytics in manufacturing including machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and cyber physical systems, digital twins and thread along with other digital manufacturing subjects such as virtual prototyping, 3D scanning, 3D printing and additive manufacturing.

Sirinterlikci, A. (2022, March), Educating the Manufacturing Engineer of the Future Paper presented at 2022 ASEE - North Central Section Conference, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--39241

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2022 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015