John R. Horne

For his leadership in the design and manufacture of engines and his accomplishments in technology and business, the Schools of Engineering are proud to present the Distinguished Engineering Alumnus Award to John R. Horne.

President and Chief Operating Officer
Navistar International Corporation
BSME '60

Horne bust

After receiving a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Purdue in 1960, Mr. Horne went on to obtain a master's degree from Bradley University in 1964. He is also a graduate of Harvard's Program for Management Development.

Mr. Horne started his career as an engineer at Caterpillar Tractor Company. He joined Navistar's (then International Harvester) engine engineering department in 1966. From 1970 to 1983 he was promoted through that division, holding positions such as Chief Engineer for Advanced Engine Design, Divisional Chief Engineer for Engine Research and Development, and Vice President for Engine Engineering.

In 1983, Mr. Horne was appointed Corporate Vice President and General Manager of Navistar's Engine and Foundry Group. He was elected to his current position, President and Chief Operating Officer of Navistar, in 1990. He also serves on the company's board of directors.


  • "The last two years at Purdue I really got excited about the whole learning experience-before that school was just school, and I really didn't know what else to do. After that, I really enjoyed the experience of learning."


  • "I'd like to see the combination of industry, students, and universities working harder to change the way U.S. industry competes in the world. Many engineers become pure technical experts. Our nation needs technical experts, but it also needs engineers who apply their technical skills and education to the broad business aspects of being competitive on a world-class basis."


Young Horne bust

Advice to students:

"Define problems, define facts, define the environment and boundary conditions before jumping to conclusions. That applies to all life, particularly to business. Too many people in business have the solution before they define the problem."