This college began in 1919 as a night school for employees of Flint area industries who wished to advance through increasing their skills and knowledge. In 1926, General Motors Corporation agreed to underwrite the school. By 1945, the requirement of a fifth-year thesis was added, and the Regents approved awarding degrees. GMI Engineering and Management Institute was a pioneer in cooperative education, unique for 56 years in its relationship with a single corporation. Now as an independent institution, it's fully accredited, offering cooperative study and work experiences to students from more than 1,100 secondary schools in the United States, Canada, and 15 other countries.
Every student must have a company sponsor and must spend half of the time working for the sponsor in a paid job. Graduates earn bachelor degrees in electrical engineering, industrial engineering, mechanical engineering, and industrial administration.
High-technology laboratories with lasers, robotics, CAD/CAM equipment, and computers offer GMI's 2600 students opportunities for study and research. Such courses as Automatic Manufacturing, Computer Monitoring and Control Systems, Numerically Controlled Systems, and Robotics give students choosing the manufacturing engineering specialty basic theory, while work experience with sponsors allows students the opportunity to apply their knowledge in a hands-on situation.
Admissions requirements are high, and final decisions are made by participating organizations which sponsor students. Leadership potential, vocational interest and desire for a career in business and industry play important roles in the selection process.
Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL
Emphasis here is not on operating CAD/CAM equipment, but on understanding its use in improved design and manufacturing processes. IIT has integrated computers throughout its curricula. Computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing techniques are incorporated wherever appropriate.
IIT does not offer a separate degree program in CAD/CAM. However, the departments of computer science, civil engineering, engineering graphics, architecture, and the Institute of Design have courses in computer graphics or computer-aided design. The mechanical and aerospace engineering department, the computer science department, and the electrical and computer engineering department have courses in robotics, and in control of manufacturing systems.
To help students who are planning management careers in high technology business and industry, the School of Business Administration offers both an industrial management specialization and a technology emphasis option. Courses in these programs help students to learn to design and effectively use computer-based factory and office automation systems.
Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
At Purdue, undergraduates can study a variety of engineering courses.
An Application-donated $1 million Series 4000 CAD system with BRAVO! Software is linked to nine work-stations, used primarily by undergraduates for hands-on experience. Programs let students practice editing geometry, solid modeling, and stress analysis.
A computer Laboratory for Interactive Decision Systems, donated by Tektronix Corp., lets students use computer graphics and artificial intelligence with their own decision-making skills to find the "best" solution in manufacturing problems.
In a new partnership with industry, Purdue and five sponsors have joined forces to set up CIDMAC-Computer Integrated Design, Manufacturing, and Automation Center: Cincinnati Milacron, Control Data Corporation, Cummins Engine Company, Ransburg Corporation, and TRW. Companies have one or more staff members in residence at Purdue who encourage and work closely with University faculty and graduate students. CIDMAC's mission is to explore, develop, and evaluate the use of CAD, CAM, and automation technology to improve the design-through-assembly process for discrete mechanical parts. Advance planning for the factory of the future, says Purdue, helps to ensure a smooth blending of appropriate new and traditional technologies for batch manufacturing of mechanical parts to achieve high productivity without sacrificing human values.
Polytechnic Institute of New York, Brooklyn and Farmingdale, NY
Mechanical and aerospace engineering are offered at the undergraduate level at both campuses. Graduate degrees at the master's and doctoral levels in four fields deal with applied mechanics, aeronautics and astronautics, and two mechanical engineering options: mechanical analysis and design, and thermal/fluids/energy. A recent $2 million donation in computer-aided design and manufacturing equipment from IBM gives students and faculty the chance to work with equipment comparable to industries in automobile technology, aerospace, and electronics.
Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA
Pennsylvania's North East Tier, Ben Franklin Advanced Technology Center, (NET/ATC), a part of Lehigh University, includes a consortium of more than 280 businesses and industries, SO schools and 40 foundations, government and community organizations, and other members.
Established in 1983 to help meet Pennsylvania's goals of creating and maintaining jobs, improving the productivity of businesses, and diversifying the state's economy by creating and attracting firms in advanced technology fields, the Center has concentrated strongly on CAD/CAM. Industrial partners such as IBM (which donated $2 million in cash and $2 million in equipment), Hershey Foods, and Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. provided financial support. A robotics laboratory and a new manufacturing technology lab have been installed.
Continuing Education: A "MUST"
Technology and job responsibilities are changing so quickly that engineers and managers already working in CAD/CAM may not possess the broad-based experience many experts feel they need.
"For instance," says Dr. Gene Minton, who heads the Society of Manufacturing Engineers' Center for Professional Development, "decision-making for an engineering manager must be based on sound predictions of results. He or she must understand the use of statistics and simulation techniques, and how data can be obtained and translated into a form that provides accurate answers. The use of spread sheets, computer/office communications systems, and the ability to pull together large masses of data are essential."
Dr. Minton believes that manufacturing technology has moved ahead faster than human capabilities to apply it. "Education is the key to closing the gap," he says.
A number of graduate programs, continuing education offerings, seminars, workshops, and professional development programs are offered. Notable are those sponsored by SME Foundation.
Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA
A new multi disciplinary certificate program at the graduate level draws on faculty with strengths in mechanical, electrical, industrial, aerospace, chemical, and civil engineering, management, and computer science.
"Students graduate with a master's degree in one of those eight academic disciplines," says Dr. Wayne Book, who directs the Computer-Integrated Manufacturing Systems (CIMS) program. "They also receive a multidisciplinary certificate acknowledging their expertise in CIM."
University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, CA
For over 30 years, the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has offered a one-week Engineering and Management Program covering management skills and technology updates. The intensive program consists of 48 executive-level management courses that cover a diversity of subjects-from strategic thinking and the legal aspects of management to CAD/CAM and technology forecasting.
There are no formal educational requirements for the one-week program, held each September on the UCLA campus. "An inquiring open mind, coupled with a genuine desire to participate, is the only realistic prerequisite," say UCLA officials.
Classes are taught by management specialists from the UCLA Graduate School of Management, other universities, and the business community, combining research and theory with current practice and application. The program attracts engineers from across the country and abroad.