Dean L. Bartles, Ph. D. – Implementing multi-million dollar programs domestically and internationally

From smartphones to electric vehicles, the world we live in today is inundated with technology. The dependency on these technological gadgets has been injected into the world over the past decades. Every technology around us is produced by manufacturers. It goes without saying that manufacturing is a crucial building block of society. Manufacturing has evolved from human-centered methods to machine-reliant assembly lines to highly automated factories. Along with digitalization combined with developing technologies, the evolution of manufacturing is on a constant rise. It does not seem to be slowing down for years to come. 

Most factories today have become centers of advanced machinery, churning out goods more efficiently than in the past. Although advancements will undoubtedly bring new business to cutting-edge companies, this progress will bring challenges too. On the brighter side, advanced manufacturing technologies are making a considerable impact on the industry in gaining higher profits, increased productivity, and better results for customers. 

At the helm of this transition, some proficient leaders have played a key role in advancing the manufacturing space. The founder of the Manufacturing Technology Deployment Group, Dr. Dean Bartles is a prime example of driving innovation and accelerating growth. Growing up as a kid, Bartles got exposure to his father’s welding machine shop, which was in the backyard of their house. Out of his interest in machines, he began working in his father’s shop, swiftly learning the basics of operating a lathe, milling machine, drill press, and welder. Today, he is considered a manufacturing veteran with a career spanning more than four decades. In his illustrious career, Bartles has worked with notable and leading companies. He has established himself as a critical person in the technology space of advanced manufacturing. Bartles has also played a pivotal role in advancing “Industry 4.0” and “Smart Manufacturing” by establishing an extensive collaboration ecosystem. 

Like his extensive experience working with manufacturing giants, his academic background reflects a huge part of his journey to achieve success. Bartles attended Hagerstown Junior College and completed his early education with an associate degree in Business Administration in 1976. Two years later, he earned his bachelor’s degree from Shephard University. Three years later, in 1981, he earned his master’s in business administration degree from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania. Then in 1991, he received his master’s degree in International Business and embarked on a journey to earn a doctorate in business administration at Nova Southeastern University, which he completed in 2000. Lastly, from 2003 to 2013, while working full time, Bartles eanred his Ph. D. in Technology Management with a concentration in Manufacturing Systems from Indiana State University.

Launching himself into the industry

Upon finishing his early education at Shepherd University, it was time for Bartles to finally launch himself into the industry. In 1978, Bartles set off for his professional journey and began working at Fairchild Republic Company as an industrial engineer, where he worked for five years. 

In 1983 Bartles was hired by a small defense contractor in York, PA, as a Program Manager overseeing a facility installation project in Egypt. The project involved an entire machining line to produce tank ammunition. General Dynamics then acquired the once-small defense contractor resulting in Bartles’s promotion to vice president in charge of three manufacturing plants comprised of more than 800 workers. It was the desire to challenge his plant managers which drove him to earn a Ph.D. At General Dynamics, Bartles gave the company three decades of his life. 

After spending 30 years, he parted ways with General Dynamics. He went on to work for a new non-profit startup in Chicago where he designed and stood up a state of the art Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute. Leaving the company he worked for three decades was indeed a big decision of his life. He compromised on a very advantageous VP position with a $32 billion corporation to pursue his lifelong dream of helping small and medium-scale manufacturers improve. It was a desire that sparked during his early years operating manufacturing machines at his father’s shop. 

Fueled by a desire to support small and medium-sized enterprises

Most of his professional pursuits have revolved around helping small and medium manufacturers for the past ten-plus years. He has served in several volunteer Board positions, including the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, the North American Manufacturing Research Institute, the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition, and the National Tooling and Machining Association. 

In a nutshell, Dean Bartles has spent most of his career around manufacturing. As technology continues to advance, there are lots of advancements to come in the manufacturing sector. The life and career of Dean Bartles sets a prime example of emerging entrepreneurs demonstrating how important it is to pursue academic pursuits on the side that can help them attain the highest positions in their professional journey.