Podcast: Deep Technical Experts at Cummins

FY17 SWE President Jessica Rannow talks with Kendra Eads, Dir. of Technical Quality & Functional Excellence at Cummins, about the need for deep technical experts.
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Our Diverse podcast is brought to you by SWE Advance, supporting the recruitment, retention and advancement of women in engineering through career resources, professional development and one-to-one networking opportunities.

Hi, I’m Jessica Rannow, FY17 President of the Society of Women Engineers and this is SWE’s Diverse podcast series. Please remember to add this podcast to your iTunes and like or follow us on social media. Visit swe.org for more details.

Joining me now is Kendra Eads. She is the Director of Technical Quality and Functional Excellence at Cummins Inc. Kendra joined Cummins in XX and has worked in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Thanks for joining us Kendra.

(Questions/Talking Points)

Cummins has nearly 10,000 engineers working around the globe at your many technical centers and in several business units and subfunctions, how do engineers grow their careers at Cummins? A mixture of lateral and vertical moves?

How are you helping newer engineers see the optionality of career paths available to them? How do mentors play a role?

One perception that some engineers have is that you have to manage a lot of people to have a lot of influence in any company. Is this accurate? Why or why not?

How did Cummins identify that there were gaps in the pipeline for deep technical experts?

With all those engineers working around the world, how do you ensure your talent pipeline is reflective of your future global needs? Said differently, how might an engineer in a location like China or India grow their deep technical skills in a discipline that is not practiced at their location?

Why are deep technical experts important to business success? Why don’t employees know all this already?

Cummins considers itself a “hire to develop” company. What does this mean? And how does this philosophy inform your thinking on the development of deep technical experts?


Kendra, thank you so much for joining us.

Kendra Eads is the Director of Technical Quality and Functional Excellence at Cummins Inc.

Kendra, thanks for participating in SWE’s Diverse podcast series.

This content has been contributed by Cummins as as part of a promotional digital content program.

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