Manufacturing industries worldwide have undergone dramatic changes in recent years and now demand more from graduating manufacturing engineers. The effects of globalization have forever changed the parameters for success in manufacturing. Our educational institutions must respond to these changes with innovation. That agenda formed the basis for a special SME/CIRP international conference on manufacturing engineering education called “Looking Forward: Innovations in Manufacturing Engineering Education,” held in San Luis Obispo, California, June 22-25, 2005. At the meeting, manufacturing education professionals from around the world came together to share their own innovative ideas and to brainstorm ways to shape the future of manufacturing education so that it best meets the needs of industry. Conference sessions covered educational methods, course and program issues, collaborations, sustainability, and globalization.

The brainstorming took place during a unique, dedicated conference session that occurred near the end of the conference, ensuring that participants had opportunities to meet, exchange ideas, and become comfortable with other attendees prior to brainstorming. The session was formally chaired and hosted by a manufacturing industry representative who motivated the thirty-one session participants to come up with hundreds of ideas for improvement. Ideas were generated to address the future of manufacturing education as it relates to:
• what new technologies or systems need to be covered in the curriculum,
• what changes should be incorporated at both the course and program levels,
• how programs should interact with industrial and professional organizations, and
• what can be done to improve recruiting of new students into the field.
The brainstorming was essentially an open-ended survey that functioned with the advantages of a focus group. The ideas were recorded by the participants and collected from the session. This paper discusses the data collection (i.e., brainstorming) method used and then summarizes and categorizes the ideas generated from the session. In an attempt to capture the collective wisdom shared at the session, the results are compiled to suggest a broad roadmap to guide future change in manufacturing education.


Industrial Engineering | Manufacturing

ASEEPresent.ppt (991 kB)

Publisher statement

Publisher website: http://www.asee.org/conferences/index.cfm.



URL: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/ime_fac/4