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Who We Are

As the philanthropic arm of SME, an internationally recognized nonprofit organization serving the manufacturing industry, the SME Education Foundation inspires, prepares and supports the next generation of manufacturing and engineering talent. 

The Foundation leverages the 90-year history and thought leadership of SME in the manufacturing and engineering industry to provide curated experiences for thousands of high school students at SME conferences and tradeshows and builds hands-on manufacturing programs in high schools across the country.

The Foundation also awards millions of dollars in scholarships every year to graduating high school seniors and both undergraduate and graduate students.  Through its 
SME PRIME program, the Foundation has reached over 100,000 students in more than 60 schools across 22 states. 

All Foundation activities are designed to empower young people to pursue careers in manufacturing and engineering.




Showcasing student-centric programming at SME events 




Introducing a tailored curriculum in high schools across the country




Providing annual scholarship opportunities to students in high school and college


Impact On The Future: 2022 Annual Report

The future of the Foundation is increasingly bright. We are singularly focused on the impact of what we do and the efficiency with which we do it. The Foundation welcomes your participation and trusts that you will enjoy reading about the impressive results from last year.
Our Work in Action History Leadership

We are Leaders in Manufacturing Education

The SME Education Foundation is the leading voice in manufacturing education. As the philanthropic arm of SME, we continue to significantly impact students, educators and companies nationwide.

Help us shape the future of the manufacturing workforce. There are many opportunities to get involved. Join us at a Student Summit, get involved with the PRIME Program, or learn about our many scholarship opportunities. 


Student Summits

We help inspire the next generation of manufacturing and engineering talent is through our Student Summit Series at SME events across the country featuring student-centric programming, hands-on challenges and competitions, technology demonstrations, and more.

Learn About Summits

SME Prime

PRIME Program

We help prepare the next generation of manufacturing and engineering talent by partnering with companies from all kinds of manufacturing industries to inform and provide modern equipment, tailored curriculum, and hands-on training to high schools across the country.

Learn About PRIME



We support the next generation of manufacturing and engineering talent by awarding scholarships to high school seniors, undergraduates and graduate students with degrees in manufacturing or engineering every year.


Learn About Scholarships



Connect with the SME Education Foundation

Stay up-to-date on what's happening with the foundation, the PRIME Program, upcoming student summits, scholarship opportunities and more.

past-presidents-cta-full-width.jpgFounded in 1979, the SME Education Foundation has provided more than $33 million in grants, scholarships and awards and has supported student outreach and education programs through its partnerships with corporations, foundations, organizations as well as individual donors.

The SME Education Foundation draws upon SME's almost 90-year history and thought leadership in manufacturing-focused conference and events, media production, and training and workforce development - as well as its international membership - to attract and develop a skilled manufacturing workforce. 

Learn More about our History


Foundation Staff Board of Directors Past Presidents


John Miller

John Miller
Siemens Digital Industries Software

Frank Ervin

Frank W. Ervin III
Piston Group LLC
Vice President

Andrew Jones

Andrew M. "Andy" Jones
Seizert Capital Partners
Secretary/ Treasurer

Erica Powell Bell

Erica Powell Bell
Harman International
Vice President, Regulatory Compliance and Sustainability


Adam Claytor

Adam Claytor
Coltrane Logistics

Valerie Freeman

Valerie I. Freeman
Washington Park High School


Matthew L. Hilgendorf
Vice President of Operations
Atkore International

Joe Kann

Joseph A. “Joe” Kann
Cobble Creek Solutions


Robby Komljenovic

Robby Komljenovic


Kate Kreamer
Advance CTE

Arthur McClellan Jr.

Arthur F. McClellan Jr.
Lear Corporation

Mark Michalski

Mark L. Michalski


Chris Rake

Chris Rake

Kyle Riegel

Kyle Riegel
Schunk Carbon Technology


JoAnne Williams
Albertus Magnus College

The SME Education Foundation has benefited from direction and oversight from experienced, committed leadership. The advocacy, direction and ability of our Presidents has built awareness and enhanced academic opportunities for students at every level; we are grateful for their service.



iriving mcphail

Irving P. McPhail, EdD*

kathy burnham

Kathy Burnham
2016 - 2019

Brain Ruestow

Brian A. Ruestow
2013 - 2016

khalil taraman

Khalil S. Taraman*
2009 - 2011


glen pearson

Glen H. Pearson
2007 - 2008 & 2012 - 2013

sherril west

Sherril K. West
2004 - 2006

Saul Fenster

Saul K. Fenster

Raymond Adams

Raymond G. Adams
2000 - 2002


Eugene Nelson

Eugene M. Nelson
1998 - 1999

earl walker

Earl E. Walker*
1994 - 1997

frank riley

Frank J. Riley
1992 - 1993

reginald barrett

Reginald W. Barrett*
1988 - 1991


philip marsilius

Philip R. Marsilius
1984 - 1988

ralph cross

Ralph E. Cross
1980 - 1984

New Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Initiative

The SME Education Foundation announced a renewed and focused commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion with the creation of a new scholarship fund for underrepresented young people and enhanced focus on offering opportunities to underrepresented and disadvantaged communities throughout the SME PRIME network.

SME Education Foundation Donors & Partners

The SME Education Foundation is the leading voice in manufacturing education. As the philanthropic arm of SME, we continue to significantly impact students, educators and companies nationwide. Help us inspire, prepare and support the next generation of manufacturing and engineering talent.


Donate Now


Still Have Questions?

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