Educational initiative to introduce students to manufacturing

Source: Society of Manufacturing Engineers

Oct 05, 2010

The Illinois Motorsports Institute (IMI) plans on changing the face of manufacturing one student, one turn of the wrench and one valuable connection at a time.

Knowing that manufacturing represents a true wealth creator and employment option for millions of future students, Patrick “Pat” Dessert, PhD, CMfgT, assistant professor at Oakland University and an SME membership consultant, has developed a proven curriculum for educating students in a “hands-on” environment through the Illinois Motorsports Institute. The Illinois Motorsports Institute is a not-for-profit enterprise that helps children and commerce through educational outreach, business development and research. The IMI's work is aimed at racing, vehicle restoration and modification; using all to bring the community together to benefit children.

"The IMI programs will target both traditional students as well as adult learners interested in a possible career change or in transition from one career to the next,” explains Dessert. “Our intent is to use the same systems approach in successful manufacturing operations to create a positive learning environment focused on the motorsports industry requirements of quick design and implementation.”

The IMI programming is receiving support from SME Chicago Chapter No. 5 which currently has more than 500 members and a long history of supporting youth programs in the area. “We are looking forward to helping recreate a positive image of the manufacturing industry in the Chicago area, which is such a vital part of our economy. We believe this learning initiative will support this long-awaited image change,” explains Bob Iossi, business development manager at Glenmount Global Solutions and chair of Chicago No. 5.

Currently, there are some exciting plans under way, including the “electrification” of a 1968 Dodge Dart. With the help of Chrysler and Exxon Mobile, the IMI and students from Naperville North High School, Naperville, Ill., are putting an advanced electrical Powertrain in a 1968 Dodge Dart. The vehicle will be on display during the NIMS Student Summit at IMTS 2010 in Chicago, Sept. 13-18.

“This is a great opportunity to get students involved in manufacturing in an exciting way,” said Dessert. “Participating in this show is just one of many opportunities that students can benefit from.”