GLEAM targets increasing availability, skills of manufacturing engineers

Impact, Winter 2002

An alliance of three metropolitan learning centers—one each from the eastside, westside and urban Detroit communities—is addressing the shortage of well trained manufacturing engineers. GLEAM (Great Lakes Education Alliance for Manufacturing), a unique program leading to a Bachelor of Manufacturing Engineering degree from UDM, provides an opportunity for students to enter the high-demand career field through a quality program that is both accessible and affordable.

Photo Gleam experimentInterested students may choose from three paths to earn their degree. They can enter the program at Macomb Community College in Macomb County or Schoolcraft College, based in Livonia, and complete an associate’s degree program before transferring to UDM to complete the Bachelor of Manufacturing Engineering program. Or, they can enter UDM at the onset of their studies.

Regardless of the student’s selected pathway, they become involved in a comprehensive manufacturing engineering program that addresses current and emerging technologies. Robotics, rapid prototyping, design for production, lean manufacturing, and advanced quality systems are among the technologies to which students will be exposed.

Opportunities to apply their knowledge in internships and a co-op program, which is an integral part of the UDM engineering curriculum, provide the students with true work experience while offsetting much of the cost of their education.

The GLEAM program was created with a major grant from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers Education Foundation. The intent was to expand the curriculum in the field, as well as to increase the number of manufacturing engineers in the Midwest.

David Lee, director of the Manufacturing Engineering Program at UDM, emphasizes that the GLEAM program is designed to provide its graduates with both a strong foundation in math, science and engineering principles and the communications skills, focus on teamwork, global perspectives and interpersonal skills needed to work and become a leader in the manufacturing industry. He notes that the strong communications and humanities components of the program directly address common engineering graduate competency gaps that were identified by industry in Society of Manufacturing Engineers surveys.

Visit the GLEAM website for more information on the program.