March 18, 2022
March 18, 2022
April 4, 2022
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
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