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SME announces winners of scholarships.

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July 7, 2008 - SME Education Foundation announced winners of Directors and Family Student Scholarships. Top award, SME Education Foundation Family Scholarship, will provide 4-year scholarship to Kyle Riegel of Newton, IA to help fund his undergraduate degree in engineering. Christopher Bird, a senior at Robert Morris University in PA, and Benjamin Ferron, a sophomore at University of Wisconsin-Stout, each received SME Directors Scholarship, a 1-year award that will help fund completion of their degrees.

Exemplary Students are Engineering's Future

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1 SME Dr., P.O. Box 930
Dearborn, MI, 48121

Press release date: June 24, 2008

Dearborn, Mich., June 24, 2008 - The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) Education Foundation announced the winners of its annual Directors and Family Student Scholarships. The top award, the SME Education Foundation Family Scholarship, will provide a scholarship for four years to Kyle Riegel of Newton, Iowa to help fund his undergraduate degree in engineering. Christopher Bird, a senior at Robert Morris University in Pennsylvania, and Benjamin Ferron, a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, each received the SME Directors Scholarship, a one-year award that will help fund the completion of their degrees.

The winners were honored at the SME Annual Meeting and International Awards Gala, held at the Detroit Marriott Renaissance on June 2.

"The SME Education Foundation is pleased to be able to support these outstanding students," said Glen Pearson, president of the Foundation. "Our donors recognize the importance to inspire, support and prepare a new generation of engineers and technologists who will keep our manufacturing capabilities strong and vital. We believe that the contributions they will make to engineering will ensure a vibrant, healthy future for our industry and create the workforce development needed for it to thrive."

SME Family Scholarship
Kyle Riegel was a young boy playing with his LEGOs®, when he became aware of his fascination with how things work. With a family of engineers surrounding him, this came as no surprise.

"The men of the Riegel family have always had a certain skill to see something, understand how it works, and then have several ideas on how to improve it," said Kyle.

Kyle's father, Chris, has been an active member of SME since 1991. He has previously served as Chapter 80 Chairman and is currently on the SME Certification Oversight & Appeals Committee.

Now about to enter his first year at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, Kyle plans to continue his love of how things work and major in electrical and mechanical engineering. With the support of the SME Education Foundation Family Scholarship, Kyle will begin his path to becoming an engineer.

He graduated from Newton High School in Newton, Iowa, where he was a multi-sport athlete, worked on the stage crew for drama productions, and was a member of Student Council.

Kyle received a $50,000 scholarship to be used over the next four years.

Children or grandchildren of SME members are eligible for the Family Scholarship. The recipient must be a graduating high school senior or undergraduate student with no more than 30 credit hours, maintain a G.P.A of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, have a minimum SAT score of 1,000 or ACT of 21 and be pursuing a degree in manufacturing engineering, technology or a closely related engineering field of study at an accredited college or university in the United States or Canada.

SME Directors Scholarship
Christopher Bird of Bridgeville, Penn., will graduate in 2009 with a degree in manufacturing engineering from Robert Morris University. As a member of RMU's Cooperative Education Honors Program, Chris has gained a "great desire to work in the manufacturing engineering field." After RMU, he will go on to graduate school to further develop his engineering skills. He plans to use his abilities and knowledge to develop new technology and ideas to benefit the industry.

In addition to his studies, Chris also is president of his school's SME chapter. Over the years he has participated in many SME events, has been involved in Project Lead the Way®, and he has spent two summers working as an engineering intern with Bayer Material Science. He also is a Peer Tutor at RMU, has been on the Deans List each semester and is a member of Alpha Chi Honor Society.

Benjamin Ferron of White Bear Lake, Minn., will graduate in 2011 with a degree in manufacturing engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Stout.

"With a degree in manufacturing engineering, I hope to apply my knowledge with a career in the recreational products or automotive component industry," said Ben.

Along with attending U of W-Stout, Ben also spends his summers working for Manufacturing Partners, Inc. Here he has experience assembling electrical and mechanical systems, electrical cables, and complete machines. Ben calls his work "practical experience for the future."

He also attends events and conferences to gain as much manufacturing knowledge as possible. Ben realized just why manufacturing is so interesting while at Mid Pak 2007, a manufacturing and packaging expo held in Minneapolis.

Directors Scholarship applicants must be full-time undergraduate students currently enrolled in a manufacturing degree program at a U.S. or Canadian college. The recipient must have an overall minimum G.P.A. of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale, have complete at least 30 college credit hours and demonstrate leadership skills in a community, academic or profession environment.

About the Society of Manufacturing Engineers Education Foundation
The Society of Manufacturing Engineers Education Foundation is one of the nation's leading non-profit organizations dedicated to advancing manufacturing education. Its approach is three-fold: to inspire youth to pursue careers in manufacturing; to support students studying for a career in an engineering-related field and prepare these students through its Manufacturing Education Plan grant program in colleges and technical schools. Since 1980, the Foundation has provided more than $19 million in grants, scholarships and awards. The Education Foundation was created by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers in 1979 as a means of transforming manufacturing education in North American colleges and universities. For more information, visit

About SME
The Society of Manufacturing Engineers is the world's leading professional society supporting manufacturing education. Through its member programs, publications, expositions and professional development resources, SME promotes an increased awareness of manufacturing engineering and helps keep manufacturing professionals up to date on leading trends and technologies. Headquartered in Michigan, SME influences more than half a million manufacturing practitioners and executives annually. The Society has members in more than 70 countries and is supported by a network of hundreds of technical communities and chapters worldwide.
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