Aldrin, Ride to take SME event into orbit

Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin and Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, will headline the Society of Manufacturing Engineers' Total Manufacturing Experience at the Los Angeles Convention Center starting on March 27. An avid supporter of youth education and an SME member, Aldrin will present an award to the winning team of the WESTEC Manufacturing Challenge.


Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin and Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, will headline the Society of Manufacturing Engineers' Total Manufacturing Experience at the Los Angeles Convention Center starting on March 27. An avid supporter of youth education and an SME member, Aldrin will present an award to the winning team of the WESTEC Manufacturing Challenge. At the subsequent "Sky's the Limit" reception, Aldrin will talk about his passion for space and NASA's new technologies.

Ride will appear at the Educator Summit VIP Dinner on Wednesday, March 29. Her company Sally Ride Science is dedicated to supporting girls' interests in math, science and technology. The Educator Summit offers information about programs that point students toward careers in manufacturing and technology.

Attendees at The Total Manufacturing Experience will be immersed in a 360-degree learning experience. The show highlights new technology applications, continuous improvement, automation and assembly and more. Participants will move from classroom, to exhibit floor, to networking, professional development and industry recognition activities.

The keynote presentations include:

  • Tuesday, March 28 to 11:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. — Steven L. Rasner, "Realizing the Dream: Abundant Success in Spite of it All!"

  • Wednesday, March 29 at 11:45 a.m. -12:15 p.m. K. Eric Drexler, "Engineering from the Bottom Up: Productive Nanosystems and the Future of Technology."

    • The SME International Awards Gala will be Tuesday, March 28 at 7 p.m. It pays tribute to those who have contributed significantly to the manufacturing industries through technology, process, design, research and more. Dr. Ronald Sugar, chairman, CEO and president, Northrop Grumman Corporation, will be recognized as the 2006 SME Honorary Member.

      The WESTEC 2006 Advanced Productivity Exposition includes a Technology Theater and a Product and Process Design & Management Pavilion featuring free presentations on lean manufacturing and other process management issues. A student summit will introduce young people to the exciting possibilities of a career in manufacturing.

      The SME Summit Conference & Annual Meeting brings together manufacturers, technologies and innovations in a dynamic forum for information exchange. The SME Summit Conference focuses on technical and professional development topics that relate to the Society's network of technical communities and local chapters. This conference features learning through workshops, simulations, demonstrations, case studies, group activities and comparative analysis. Tracks cover:

      • Automation and assembly

      • Engineering materials applications

      • Forming and fabricating

      • Machining and material removal

      • Manufacturing education and research

      • Product & process design and management

      • Professional development, diversity and management

      • Rapid technologies

        • A Lean Bronze Certification Review Program will help manufacturing professionals take SME's brand new Bronze-level lean certification exam with confidence. An optional exam will be offered.

          The Total Manufacturing Experience

          Show Sponsor: Society of Manufacturing Engineers

          Dates: March 27 to March 30

          Location: Los Angeles Convention Center


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Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

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