SME Education Foundation Announces Two New Board Members

DEARBORN, Mich., October 31, 2012 —The SME Education Foundation announces the election of two new members to its Board of Directors, Elizabeth Kautzmann, laser project manager, Laser and Fabrication Initiatives, FANUC FA America, Hoffman Estates, Ill., and Dr. Lazaro J. Lopez, principal, Wheeling High School, Wheeling, Ill. They were approved at the SME-EF fall meeting of its Board of Directors held in Torrance, California and will serve two-year terms effective January 1, 2013.                    

Elizabeth Kautzmann, laser project manager for Laser and Fabrication Strategic Initiatives, FANUC Factory Automation (FANUC FA America), Hoffman Estates, Ill., leads the identification and evaluation of strategic applications for FANUC’s complete range of CNC drives and motors navigating FANUC CO² laser and comprehensive emerging non-CO² laser performance systems. Prior, as product manager for FANUC FA laser team including strategic trending markets, she led the North American team in the successful engagement and delivery of the first production-worthy, fully automated laser as laser fabrication applications continued to expand. Her credentials also include positions at Laser Lab International, Edison Welding Institute, and Armco Research.

 In 1977, at the age of nine, Ms. Kautzmann was first introduced to laser technology via a HeNe unit being used to develop a new electro/optic curriculum at Cincinnati Technical College. She graduated from the program twelve years later. Her unique perspectives on the laser-cutting process are shared in laser presentations to both K-6 and high school students. In 2011, Ms. Kautzmann was named Chairman of the FMA’s (Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, Int.) Industrial Laser Council for a two-year term of 2012-2013. 

 Lazaro J. Lopez, PhD, principal of award-winning Wheeling High School, Wheeling, Ill.; leads a culturally diverse community of 2,000 students and staff. Dr. Lopez led the transition to STEM for ALL school to create academic career pathways at the occupational, technical, and professional level through dual credit, expanded certifications and business partnerships. He serves as Chair: Congressman Dold’s 10th District Education Advisory Board (2010-present) and previously served as Chair: Illinois ACT State Organization Executive Council (2004-2009) and served on the State of Illinois Assessment Advisory Committee for Secondary Schools (2004-2007). In 2010, Dr. Lopez received the Dr. Elizabeth Ennis Innovative Educator Award. 

A successful innovator and change agent, Dr. Lopez held academic positions and assumed leadership roles at John Hershey High School, Harry D. Jacobs High School, American Airlines, and United States Army. His conference presentations have covered education standards, systems, remediation, support, instructional strategies and testing. Dr. Lopez holds a Bachelor of Science, Speech Communication & English Education from Illinois State University, Master of Arts, Educational Leadership & Organizational Change from Roosevelt University and a PhD in Education: Leadership in Curriculum Instruction from Aurora University.

About the SME Education Foundation:                                 
The SME Education Foundation is committed to inspiring, supporting and preparing the next generation of manufacturing engineers and technologists for the advancement of manufacturing education. Created by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers in 1979, the SME Education Foundation has provided more than $31 million since 1980 in grants, scholarships and awards through its partnerships with corporations, organizations, foundations and individual donors. Visit Also visit for information on advanced manufacturing careers,, our award-winning website for young people and PRIME, our comprehensive, community-based approach to manufacturing education.

Media Contact:
Bart A. Aslin, CEO, SME Education Foundation, (313) 425-3300

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