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Press Release

SME Education Foundation Awards Nearly $900k in Scholarships to Students Pursuing Manufacturing Careers

(SOUTHFIELD, Mich., June 12, 2024) – The SME Education Foundation will award over 130 scholarships to students pursuing a post-secondary education in manufacturing, engineering, or related fields in 2024. Select recipients were recognized at the SME International Awards Gala hosted by the organization on June 3.

The SME Education Foundation Scholarship recipients are selected through a rigorous review process and evaluated by a team of over 200 academic and industry professionals.This year, nearly $900,000 was awarded to graduating high school seniors, undergraduates, and graduate students as part of the Foundation’s mission to inspire, prepare, and support the next generation of manufacturing and engineering talent. This year, more students than ever applied with a record of 1,446 applications reviewed. Since 2005, the Foundation has awarded over $18 million to over 5,000 deserving students.

The SME Education Foundation Scholarship recipients are selected through a rigorous review process and evaluated by a team of over 200 academic and industry professionals.

Last year, many of the Foundation’s scholarship programs have been modified to improve impact. . In 2023, under the direction of the Foundation Board of Directors, the award amounts were increased, the need-based criterion was incorporated, and multiyear renewing awards were introduced.

“We believe that scholarships are vital in empowering the next generation of manufacturing leaders. By alleviating financial barriers, these scholarships enable students to fully immerse themselves in their studies, ensuring they are well-prepared to meet the challenges of tomorrow,” said Rob Luce, Vice President of the SME Education Foundation. “By the Foundation investing in students’ education today we are supporting the future talent of technology, engineering, and manufacturing.”

Program participation among women and students of color increased in 2024, pursuing manufacturing and engineering education. This is a result of the Foundation’s target impact efforts including collaborating with colleges and universities, HBCUs, SME member schools, and other scholarships partners.

"This scholarship is a tremendous vote of confidence that motivates me to work even harder and live up to its legacy,” said E. Wayne Kay Endowed Scholarship recipient Emilio T. Vizcaino. “As a prospective industrial engineer, I look forward to playing a role in developing these efficient systems and processes to enhance productivity and quality. I am committed to making the most of this opportunity, through dedication in the classroom and hands on learning experiences."

Learn more about the Foundation scholarship recipients and their achievements here.

The SME Education Foundation will begin accepting scholarship applications for the 2025-26 school year on Nov. 1. For additional information or to register and receive application reminders, please visit

About SME Education Foundation

As the philanthropic arm of SME, the SME Education Foundation inspires, prepares, and supports the next generation of manufacturing and engineering talent. Established in 1979, the Foundation works to expose youth to modern manufacturing technologies, train students on relevant manufacturing processes, and award millions of dollars in scholarships annually. All Foundation programming seeks to empower youth to consider and pursue careers in manufacturing and engineering and increase engagement with historically underrepresented populations to help diversify the manufacturing industry. We continue to inspire, prepare and support the next generation of manufacturing and engineering talent – now as many as 10,000 students every year.

About SME Education Foundation Scholarships

The SME Education Foundation scholarship program awards millions of dollars to hundreds of graduating high school seniors and current college students across the country. With more than 60 distinct programs, the Foundation provides merit and need-based scholarships, issues renewing and one-time awards, and seeks applications from all eligible students, including but not limited to young women and other underrepresented communities. Since 2005, the Foundation has awarded $18 million to over 5,000 future industry leaders.

About SME

Established in 1932 as a nonprofit organization, SME represents the entire North American manufacturing industry, including manufacturers, academia, professionals, students, and the communities in which they operate. We believe manufacturing holds the key to economic growth and prosperity, and champion the industry's potential as a diverse, thriving, and valued ecosystem. SME accelerates new technology adoption and builds North America’s talent and capabilities to advance manufacturing and drive competitiveness, resiliency, and national security. SME designs new ways to understand and solve problems, and our solutions advance the next wave of growth in manufacturing. Learn more at