Jennifer Rumsey to become President and COO of Cummins
Rumsey grew up in Columbus, Indiana, headquarters to Cummins, and followed in the footsteps of her engineer father. Each summer throughout her college years she worked a different internship at Cummins. The straight shot up Interstate 65 to Purdue for college was an obvious choice. “I think the biggest shock for me as a student was that I actually learned how to study,” Rumsey says. “The classes and the work didn’t come as easily as they did in high school, but I made that adjustment. I made some great friends here, and I found the professors to be really supportive.”
Before pursuing her master’s degree, Rumsey worked for Nuvera Fuel Cells, a research startup, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. While there, she conducted research in partnership with the Department of Energy. Yet the call to return home grew loud, and she returned to Columbus and Cummins in 2000. She has blazed a fast track through several technical leadership positions at Cummins, including roles in advanced engineering, product development, and quality. In 2015, she was named its chief technical officer (CTO), the first female to serve in that position for the company, founded in 1919.
“I love solving tough technical problems, especially complex problems, which is one of the reasons I did system controls early in my career,” Rumsey says. “But I also really enjoy understanding the customer and addressing business needs to solve those technical problems.”
Once involved as a student in the Purdue Society of Women Engineers, Rumsey is now a spokesperson for the field. “I would encourage everyone — certainly women — to look beyond the stereotypical things you think engineers might do,” she says. “There are a variety of opportunities that can have a positive impact. That’s the thing I find so motivating about my job. I’m working on technologies that help the environment, and I’m impacting people’s lives.”
She is a member of the Society of Women Engineers, the Society of Automotive Engineers, and Women in Trucking. She is a Six Sigma Green Belt, and winner of Cummins’ Six Sigma Chairman’s Award. She also received an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, and the AEM Outstanding Young Engineer Award. She serves on Purdue's Engineering Advisory Council; has has been named by Purdue as an Outstanding Mechanical Engineer; and received a Distinguished Engineering Award from Purdue's College of Engineering. She has two daughters, one of whom is currently an engineering student at Purdue.