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Cummins Inc. Design Engineering Leader Shares Secret to Success with SAE International Course

Posted: July 1, 2024

With over 35 years of global, technical, and design-driven expertise, David Genter, Director of Design Engineering at Cummins Inc., knows a thing or two about systems engineering.

Using his skill and know-how, Genter has developed and continuously refined Optimizing Systems Design Engineering, a full-day course through SAE International dedicated to teaching engineers how to maximize the quality of the products they create.

“The root of Systems Design Engineering is to give people the innate capability to develop a concept and to configure a product around a vast array of requirements and design considerations,” Genter said.

The course provides a valuable foundation and context around systems engineering principles useful for engineers beginning to develop a competency around systems design.

It’s something Genter wishes he would have had earlier in his career.

“I'm proud of the work I did—from production to end-result—but at times it was a pretty tortuous path to get there…There were times that I didn't know what I needed to know, and so I didn’t even know what to ask,” he said.

Through Optimizing Systems Design Engineering, participants gain an understanding of System-Level Assessments (SLA) and System Design Assessments (SDA) informed by a total of nine categories needed to assess a product’s quality. These include Garvin’s Eight Dimensions of Quality (performance, features, reliability, conformance, durability, serviceability, aesthetics, perceived quality) as well as sustainability.

In Genter’s experience, these concepts are crucial to quality work—and it’s what OEMs and other employers are looking for.

“All organizations make or lose money based on the success of the products that they release. They’re dependent on how well they perform holistically around these nine different categories, but if you don't know what those nine categories are and how to assess them, then products are going to be unreliable,” Genter said.

The work Genter has done plays a pivotal role in moving industry forward. Knowing the value of working with other mobility professionals to advance technology, working with SAE felt only natural as he sought to share his knowledge with others.

“It’s been so important to me to get to work with SAE and to have them advocate for these principles. They understand the soundness of what I’m promoting—and have put me in touch with so many different people,” Genter said. “I'm really just looking forward to helping others be successful.”

Optimizing Systems Design Engineering will next be offered in-person following SAE’s COMVEC in Schaumburg, Illinois.