Industry Executives to Lead Manufacturing Groups

DEARBORN, Mich., February 28, 2007 - The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) recently announced its Technical Community Network (TCN) steering committee chairs for 2007. Eight influential manufacturing industry experts have volunteered their technical expertise to lead the SME's Technical Community Network as Steering Committee Chairs for 2007. Each chair leads a technical community in its strategic planning and development with an emphasis on engaging members, sharing information and guiding the technical groups within their community.

The TCN chairs connect/work with more than 25,000 community members within the Society. As a community chair and volunteer member, these individuals not only share their knowledge and expertise with others, they also help to advance the manufacturing engineering profession and build the future of SME.

The 2007 TCN chairs are as follows:

Automated Manufacturing & Assembly Community Chair

Raul Fernandez, PhD, is program manager for the Automation & Robotics Research Institute at the University of Texas at Arlington. His primary interests are industrial automation, robotics and fluid power control.

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Forming & Fabricating Community Chair

Zeev Zimerman, PhD, PE, is retired from Bethlehem Steel where he worked as a research engineer for 33 years.
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Industrial Laser Community Chair

Tony Arquisch is national sales and support manager for LASAG Industrial Lasers, a manufacturer of pulsed Nd:YAG laser sources. He is currently responsible for all of LASAG industrial lasers operations in the Americas.

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Machining & Material Removal Community Chair
James L. Stephens, PE, CMfgT, is a senior engineer at CNH America LLC.Stephens has more than 25 years of manufacturing experience. In addition to CNH, his metalworking background includes working with Parker Hannifin and Ohmeda.
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Manufacturing Education & Research Community Chair

Gary K. Conkol is president of Conkol Computing Services, consulting in advanced technology implementation and specializing in computer graphics and CAD/CAM/CAE. He is known for aerospace, heavy truck and off-road vehicle engineering with special emphasis on computer-aided techniques.

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Product & Process Design and Management Community Chair

Michael C. Burstein, PhD, CEI, is president of T.I.P.E. Inc. Through his company T.I.P.E. Inc. and other professional activities, Burstein has interacted on a continuing basis with major players in concurrent product development (CPC).
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Plastics, Composites & Coatings Community Co-Chairs

Barbara Arnold-Feret is manager - business development of Enviro Plastics Inc. Arnold-Feret most recently was president of PARTS in Roanoke, Texas.Her experience includes sales, marketing and product management for plastic firms such as Moll Industries, Fast Heat, Mobay and others.

Steven L. Kiefer is a business development manager for Rohm & Haas Co. He leads product development and marketing efforts in the Americas. Kiefer has over 30 years experience in the powder coating industry in a variety of roles, including formulating chemist, technical service, product management and sales and marketing management.
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Rapid Technologies & Additive Manufacturing Community Chair

Douglas B. Mitchell is a development engineer at Ford Motor Co. specializing in rapid prototyping (RP). Mitchell has been a champion of RP in corporate design since 1990 and has been working in rapid technologies since 1987.

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About the TCN

SME's Technical Community Network connects people in the world of manufacturing to problem solvers and knowledge sources. It is an expansive and flexible live and online network where SME members team with other members to solve their technical and business challenges. If you're interested in becoming involved or want more information about SME's Technical Communities, e-mail or 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, which celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2007, has members in more than 70 countries and is supported by a network of hundreds of technical communities and chapters worldwide.


Alex Yovanovich,

SME Public Relations,

(313) 717-2091,


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