Steve E. Ferdon

Director – Global Engineering Technology, Fuel Systems Business
Cummins Inc.


For his commitment to environmentally responsible engineering through pioneering innovations in fuel systems supply chain that push for the highest purity standards in the global market and demonstrating technical leadership in pursuing material selection and process design for sustainable global manufacturing.

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Director – Global Engineering Technology, Fuel Systems Business
Cummins Inc.


For his commitment to environmentally responsible engineering through pioneering innovations in fuel systems supply chain that push for the highest purity standards in the global market and demonstrating technical leadership in pursuing material selection and process design for sustainable global manufacturing.


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Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.
— Theodore Roosevelt

Career Highlights

2012-present Director, Global Engineering Technology, Cummins Fuel Systems Business
2007-2012 Chief Engineer, Engineering Services, Cummins Fuel Systems
2004-2007 Chief Engineer, Materials Science Engineering, Cummins Fuel Systems
2002-2004 Assistant Chief Engineer, Materials Science Engineering, Cummins Fuel Systems
1997-2002 Technical Advisor, Materials Science Engineering, Cummins Fuel Systems
1992-1997 Technical Specialist, Materials Science Engineering, Cummins Fuel Systems
1988-1992 Manager, Materials and Process Engineering, Williams International, Walled Lake, MI
1985-1988 Failure Analyst, Materials and Process Engineering, Williams International
1982-1985 Metallurgist, Mechanical Nuclear Engineering, Duke Energy
1982 BS Materials Engineering, Purdue University

Biography

Steve E. Ferdon

Steve leads a global organization providing engineering analytical services and research, in the fields of materials science, chemical technology, structural mechanics, fluid mechanics, tribology, advanced manufacturing and configuration management for the Cummins Electronics and Fuel Systems Business Unit.  His team supports the business across the entire product lifecycle, with over 90 engineers and technicians working in seven labs located in five countries:  US, Mexico, China, India, and Sweden.

Ferdon argues that failing ‘P-Chem’ as a Purdue student was a key step toward learning how to succeed. In the real world, there is no answer book and to win in the market through innovation, you must challenge known boundaries and confront problems with indeterminant solutions. Thus, the reality is that on the way to success, you will also fail.

Ferdon and his team have a long list of successes putting emerging materials, manufacturing processes and analytical tools into practice before their much larger competitors.  A few notable credits include putting ultra-high strength aerospace alloy steel into commercial transportation applications, applying plasma deposition coatings on fuel system components, co-development of a universal multi-fuel elastomer and a novel hybrid steel, usage of advanced fluid mechanics analysis to find and fix a design flaw in a gas nitriding furnace, utilitizing monolithic ceramic materials in diesel injectors, and novel material property and structural analysis tools.

Ferdon says that being a key part of the CFS globalization is a source of great professional pride. He recalls starting with Cummins when it was a local, Columbus, Indiana, business with 40 people on staff. “Today, 28 years later, I am blessed to lead a fully integrated global organization of over 65 engineers and 45 technicians,” he says. “I have had the privilege to visit all five of our global sites while they were under construction and witness firsthand how the vision of that small start-up team back in 1992 has provided employment, financial security and realization of dreams for our global associates.”

His industry successes, as well as Ferdon’s service on the School of Materials Engineering (MSE) Advisory Committee and support of the MSE Senior Design Project program through the Cummins Fuel Systems Business, contributed to his Outstanding Materials Engineer Award in 1998.

His over-achieving professional pursuits notwithstanding, Ferdon offers Purdue’s current undergraduates some down-to-Earth advice: “Make the time to play more basketball with your buddies. All too soon, the legs wear out, your speed slows down, and injury recovery time takes longer and longer.”

Ferdon also might suggest that students maintain ties with Purdue all their lives, just as he has done. He makes sure that there is a Purdue coffee mug in each of his global labs so the “sun never sets on the impact of Purdue University.”