Campus: Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo -- December 03, 2001

SME Grants $294,000 To California Polytechnic For High-Tech Labs And Student Outreach Program

A $294,000 grant from the SME Education Foundation has been awarded to California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo to help the university strengthen its manufacturing curriculum. The $294,000 grant will help the university enhance its electronics education by creating leading-edge laboratories and updating coursework, as well as offering hands-on work experiences to better prepare students meet the needs of California manufacturers.

As part of the SME grant, Cal Poly will also offer a work experience program with participating SME members in 2003. Students will become active paid participants as employees at partner companies - allowing them to "earn as they learn," gaining work experience while securing industry contacts while at the same time earning competitive wages to help offset their educational costs, explained Cal Poly President Warren Baker.

"Learn by doing has long been the hallmark of a Cal Poly education," Baker said. "This grant from SME will help ensure that students in our College of Engineering will gain added opportunities and be better prepared to lead a vital segment of our State's and nation's economies."

The program is supported by the State of California and contributions from a newly-formed manufacturing consortium. The consortium includes Flextronics, Solar Turbines, Solectron, Raytheon, Mustang Manufacturing, Orthodyne Electronics and Melfred Borzall.

SME has awarded more than $1 million such grants to California schools since 1998, all aimed at preparing students for the California manufacturing workforce. "We are listening and responding to the needs of industry for a more skilled workforce and we're funding advancements in manufacturing, engineering, science and technology that are critical to creating economic growth," said Ray Adams, president of the SME Education Foundation.

For 2001, SME Education Foundation grant funding of nearly $1 million also included Nicholls State University, Thibodaux, La.; $99,000, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Ore., $185,000; University of Missouri-Rolla, Rolla, Mo., $182,000; and the University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, Texas, $191,000.
The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) Education Foundation serves members of the manufacturing community by providing support for the advancement of manufacturing related education. Since 1980, the Foundation has provided more than $95 million in cash grants, scholarships, fellowship awards, in-kind equipment, and software gifts, more than any other professional engineering society in America.

For further information on the SME Education Foundation grant funding program, please contact the SME Education Foundation at (313) 271-1500. The application deadline for grants in the 2002 funding cycle is December 7, 2001.

Now approaching its 70th year, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers is the world's leading professional society supporting manufacturing education. Through its publications, expositions, professional development resources and member programs, SME promotes an increased awareness of manufacturing engineering and helps keep manufacturing professionals up to date on leading trends and technologies. Headquartered in Dearborn, Mich., SME influences more than a half a million manufacturing engineers and executives annually. The Society has members in 70 countries and is supported by a network of hundreds of chapters worldwide. Visit us at

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