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Cummins promotes Columbus native to engineering executive

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Joe Harpring | The Republic Jennifer Rumsey, executive director, Cummins Heavy-Duty Engineering, stands with a Signature 600 engine Wednesday June 13, 2012.
Joe Harpring | The Republic Jennifer Rumsey, executive director, Cummins Heavy-Duty Engineering, stands with a Signature 600 engine Wednesday June 13, 2012.

Cummins Inc. has named Jennifer Rumsey, one of the most senior employees in its technical organization, to vice president of engineering for heavy-, medium- and light-duty products.

The move, announced Friday, takes effect Feb. 1.

Cummins’ structure had included two engineering leaders: one for light duty and midrange, and one for heavy duty. Now they are combined into one job.

Rumsey, a 1992 Columbus East High School graduate, has led heavy duty engineering since 2010 — a position three management levels removed from the Fortune 500 company’s chief executive officer.

As executive director of heavy duty engineering, Rumsey has been in charge of design, development and technical support of 10- through 15-liter engines.

Jeff Weikert had been in charge of the light-duty and midrange engineering. He is now vice president engineering, Components Business.

Rumsey will oversee Cummins’ 2.8-liter up to 15-liter products worldwide. She will be part of the business team tasked with increasing the growth and sales of the heavy-, medium- and light-duty products, and delivering the products to customers.

Cummins spokesman Jon Mills said consolidation of the two jobs is part of the company’s plan to align its operations better to meet customers’ needs.

“It’s an exciting opportunity for me,” the 39-year-old Rumsey said.

She is busy learning the light-duty business and its customers, and the midrange to some degree, because she doesn’t have the same level of experience with those as she does with heavy duty.

Her new job makes her an officer in the company, Mills said.

Mills added that Rumsey had been part of an executive leadership development group in the past few years, which helps groom employees for future opportunities.

“Clearly, they (company leaders) spotted her as a star and as someone who could assume a broader leadership role in Cummins,” Mills said.

“This was the natural next step,” Rumsey said.

From 2007 to 2009, she worked in midrange engineering, where she was a technical project leader and also held an assignment addressing turbo quality. Between her midrange and heavy duty roles, Rumsey was a member of the Cummins Turbo Technologies business team.

“Jennifer brings a broad base of engineering experience and success to her new role,” Dave Crompton, vice president and general manager of the Midrange Engine Business, said in the company announcement.

Crompton said Rumsey was instrumental in driving improvements to current product reliability, and has been integral to strengthening the relationship between the heavy duty group and key internal and external partners.

“Jennifer will no doubt continue to play a key role in the future success of Cummins,” Crompton said.

Earlier in her Cummins career, Rumsey held multiple roles in the advanced engineering organization. Prior to joining Cummins full time in 2000, she worked for Nuvera Fuel Cells in Cambridge, Mass., where she led controls engineering.

Rumsey received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering with highest honors from Purdue University in 1996, and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1998.

She is a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers and Society of Women Engineers.

Rumsey’s mother, Suellen Gillespie, first noticed her daughter’s proclivity for math in the sixth grade, Gillespie told The Republic for a story published last June. Gillepsie was a sixth-grade teacher who taught academically gifted students.

“From then on she excelled in mathematics. She was a natural student in it. She has always been a problem solver,” Gillespie said.

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