In June 2011, a group of manufacturing educators in cooperation with the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) developed Curriculum 2015, a four-year strategic plan to reverse negative trends in manufacturing education and improve manufacturing competitiveness. Within this effort, the Four Pillars of Manufacturing Engineering were formally introduced and supported by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), the Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering, (ATMAE), and the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). The Four Pillars consist of foundational areas that represent the SME Certified Manufacturing Engineer Body of Knowledge. It embodies the fundamental knowledge practiced by manufacturing professionals and is the recommended content for academic programs related to manufacturing. One of its foundational areas is manufacturing management.

Management curriculum is what distinguishes four-year manufacturing programs from two-year programs across ATMAE accredited programs. It also distinguishes the discipline from traditional engineering programs. The required knowledge and competencies for an entry-level manufacturing manager are important. Hence, these competencies and knowledge sets should be well understood and agreed-upon by ATMAE accredited manufacturing program faculty and students.

Manufacturing education should provide excellent training and prepare students for entry-level positions in industry. The interests of students and faculty in manufacturing education strongly affect how well they are prepared to meet the challenges in industry. This research sought to capture the perceptions of an ATMAE accredited manufacturing program. Alumni, students and faculty of the program were surveyed regarding the Four Pillars manufacturing foundational areas and the knowledge required for entry level manufacturing managers. Specifically, the research addressed the following:

  • What fundamental knowledge is most important for an entry-level manufacturing manager?
  • What fundamental knowledge is comprehensively covered in manufacturing education programs?
  • Is the manufacturing management knowledge specified by the Four Pillars model congruent with what is being taught and what is perceived as important for an entry-level manufacturing manager?


Engineering | Other Engineering


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