Astronauts Buzz Aldrin And Sally Ride To Headline SME's "The Total Manufacturing Experience"

DEARBORN, Mich., Feb. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Buzz Aldrin, PhD -- world famous Apollo 11 astronaut and a member of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) -- will headline The Total Manufacturing Experience at the Los Angeles Convention Center on March 27. An avid supporter of youth education, Aldrin will present an award to the winning team of the WESTEC Manufacturing Challenge. At the subsequent "Sky's the Limit" reception, Aldrin will talk about his passion for space and NASA's new technologies.

Astronaut Sally Ride, PhD, the first American woman in space will appear at the Educator Summit VIP Dinner on Wednesday, March 29. Her company, Sally Ride Science, is dedicated to supporting girls' interests in math, science and technology. The appearance is sponsored by Northrop Grumman Corporation. The Educator Summit offers information about programs that point students toward careers in manufacturing and technology.

A must-attend "showcase event" for the world's manufacturers, suppliers, and educators, The Total Manufacturing Experience takes place March 27-30 in Los Angeles. Attendees will be immersed in a 360-degree learning experience -- highlighting NEW technology applications, continuous improvement, automation & assembly and more. Participants will move from classroom, to exhibit floor, to networking, professional development, and industry recognition activities.

This world-class event includes:

* "Sky's the Limit" Opening Reception (Monday, March 27, 5:00 - 6:30 p.m.) unites exhibitors, attendees and speakers for a unique event, featuring astronaut and educator Buzz Aldrin, and interactive exhibits of NASA's latest technologies.

* Educator Summit VIP Dinner (Wednesday, March 29, 6:30 - 8 p.m.) will feature astronaut, physicist, educator and author Sally Ride giving her title presentation "Reach for the Stars" in an appearance sponsored by Northrop Grumman Corporation.

    *  The Total Manufacturing Experience - Keynote Presentations
       Tuesday, March 28 * 11:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
       Steven L. Rasner, DMD, MAGD, "Realizing the Dream: Abundant Success in
       Spite of it All!"
       Wednesday, March 29 * 11:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
       K. Eric Drexler, PhD, "Engineering from the Bottom Up: Productive
       Nanosystems and the Future of Technology"

* SME International Awards Gala (Tuesday, March 28, 7:00 - 11:00 p.m.) pays tribute to those who have contributed significantly to the manufacturing industries through technology, process, design, research and more. Dr. Ronald Sugar, chairman, CEO and president, Northrop Grumman Corporation, will be recognized as the 2006 SME Honorary Member.

* WESTEC 2006 Advanced Productivity Exposition, North America's largest annual manufacturing and metalworking event, featuring the latest manufacturing equipment reflecting emerging technologies. Exhibitors include leading equipment and tooling manufacturers, regional distributors, technology products and supplier services from 150 categories representing 2,500 international product lines. WESTEC also includes a Technology Theater, and a Product and Process Design & Management Pavilion -- featuring free "Hot Topics" presentations on lean manufacturing and other process management issues. A Student Summit will introduce young people to the exciting possibilities of a career in manufacturing.

    *  Optional Tours (space limited)
       Wednesday, March 29 * 10:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
       Northrop Grumman Composite Facility & Assembly Line
       Wednesday, March 29 * Noon - 4:30 p.m.
       NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory

    About Buzz Aldrin:

In October 1963, Buzz Aldrin, PhD, was selected by NASA as one of the early astronauts. In November 1966, he established a new record for Extra- Vehicular Activity in space on the Gemini 12 orbital flight mission. Aldrin has logged 4,500 hours of flying time, 290 of which were in space, including 8 hours of EVA. As Backup Command Module Pilot for Apollo 8, man's first flight around the moon, he significantly improved operational techniques for astronautical navigation star display. Then, on July 20, 1969, Aldrin and Neil Armstrong made their historic Apollo 11 moon walk, thus becoming the first two humans to set foot on another world. This unprecedented heroic endeavor was witnessed by the largest worldwide television audience in history.

About Sally Ride:

The first American woman in space -- NASA astronaut Sally Ride, PhD, is the President and CEO of Sally Ride Science -- and Professor of Physics at the University of California, San Diego (currently on leave). Sally Ride Science is a company dedicated to supporting girls' interests in math, science and technology. Her first space flight was aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1983; her second was also aboard Challenger, in 1984. During those flights, she deployed communications satellites, operated the robot arm, and conducted experiments in materials, pharmaceuticals, and Earth remote-sensing.

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 engineers and executives annually. The Society has members in 70 countries and is supported by a network of hundreds of chapters worldwide.

CONTACT: Alex Yovanovich of SME Public Relations, +1-313-425-3155,
Email Contact

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