The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) has elected a woman to lead the organization for the first time in its 78-year history. Barbara Fossum was officially sworn in last November at the Society's Awards and Installation Banquet in Dearborn, MI. Fossum brings a diverse academic and industrial background to SME. She's an independent consultant and coach in the areas of strategic planning, process engineering and business planning. Fossum is also a senior research fellow of the IC2 Institute of the University of Texas at Austin. She holds a doctorate in operations management, a master's in business administration, a master's in mathematics/computer science and a bachelor's in physics.
Fossum has been a member of the SME since 1989 and has served on the Society's Executive Committee and Board of Directors, Ad Hoc Lifelong Learning Committee and the CASA/SME Board of Advisors. She was also an editor of CASA's Blue Book series.
In her new position, Fossum would like to work with 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.
"I believe SME can be a catalyst among professional organizations to make progress towards a national manufacturing strategy," Fossum says. "Working together, government, industry and academia can rebuild U.S. manufacturing capability in key industries."