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April 2014
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Society of Manufacturing Engineers elects first woman president

For the first time in its 78-year history, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers elected a woman to lead the organization. Barbara M. Fossum, PhD, FSME will serve as 2010 president and was officially sworn in – along with the rest of the 2010 SME Executive Committee – at the Society’s Awards and Installation Banquet, held November 14, in Dearborn, Mich.

As president, Fossum wants to coordinate efforts among professional societies and other organizations to achieve key objectives for the manufacturing community. 

“I believe SME can be a catalyst among professional organizations to make progress toward a national manufacturing strategy,” she said. “Working together, government, industry and academia can rebuild U.S. manufacturing capability in key industries.”

 Fossum also wants to work with other organizations to refine the image of manufacturing as a good career option and develop educational paths that prepare the future generation for jobs in manufacturing.

Fossum brings a diverse academic and industrial background to SME. She has held a number of positions in industry and academia. Currently, she is an independent consultant and coach in the areas of strategic planning, process engineering and business planning for entrepreneurial startups. Fossum also is a Senior Research Fellow of the IC2 Institute of the University of Texas at Austin, where she works in worldwide economic development projects involving technology commercialization. She holds a PhD in operations management, an MBA, an MS in mathematics/computer science, and a BA in Physics.

A member of SME since 1989, Fossum served on the Society’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors, Ad Hoc Lifelong Learning Committee and the CASA/SME Board of Advisors and was an editor of CASA’s Blue Book series. She was elected an SME Fellow in 1996.
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