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Engineering Manager

Greenville, Ohio, 45331, United States
February 04, 2018

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Roland Penkwitz


Chief Engineer, Engineering Manager, Engineering Consultant and Mechanical Design Engineer in R&D and product development with over 25 years of experience in vehicle and related component design and analysis.


Saved Volvo NA 220 million dollars in estimated warranty claims by redesigning an engine crossmember;

Led the development of the:

AdTranz/Bombardier “New Generation People Mover” chassis w/electric drive motor;

FCCC “Low Floor Shuttle Bus” chassis w/CNG combustion engine;

Orion 7 Hybrid Bus (w/BAE serial diesel drive train) hydraulic steering system;

A54 NGCC chassis line for WCC (class 3 & 4, Gas & Diesel, plus narrow track), led the migration of front & rear axles from Westport, resp. DANA to Meritor; led integration and chose the rear axle ratio to achieve best in class fuel economy of the W22 RV chassis with Maxxforce7 diesel engine, led the mechanical integration of the EATON hydraulic-hybrid drive, and standardized the hydraulic steering system for increased reliability and service friendliness;

Led the development of the MY 2014 Dynasty RV steering system to meet customer expectations at Navistar RV.

Led the integration of main components of the GE high altitude diesel-electric locomotive for Western China Railways (Tibet) to meet track and shipping envelop;

Led chassis systems & components development, evaluation and scheduling testing of chassis systems to comply w/ regulatory requirements and recommended practices (FMVSS, SAE etc) of the fully electric (NEV) GreenTech MyCar and the VL Destino luxury sports sedan.

I’m possessing a specific emphasis on vehicle chassis & powertrain engineering including engine compartment, transmission, frame, suspension, steering, and brake packages. Special emphasis on cost savings and product reliability while enhancing safety by structural analysis and thermal evaluation. An experienced project leader and engineering manager with experience leading teams of designers/engineers up to 10 people in both technical aspects and project scheduling as well as estimates of engineering project hours and work distribution for heavy vehicle design projects. Tools applied included FEA, DFMEA, DFA and DFM.

Unrestricted “ITAR” clearance.


February 2014 – May 2017

GreenTech Automotive – Robinsonville, MS

Lead Engineer - Chassis

Providing directional guidance for chassis components design and design sequence incl. suspension, steering and brake systems. static and dynamic evaluation of chassis design on component, sub system and system/vehicle level. Assessment of vehicle chassis functionality, durability, manufacturability. Calculation of required spring- and shock absorber-characteristics to improve ride & handling of the fully electric (NEV) MyCar and the Destino luxury sports sedan. Evaluation and scheduling testing of chassis design systems to comply w/ regulatory requirements and recommended practices (FMVSS, SAE etc).

Leading the daily engineering department activities according to project requirements in BIW engineering, electrical/control engineering and CAD as well. Reporting to the Director of Engineering.

August 2013 – December 2013

Cummins Inc. - Columbus, IN

Vehicle Integration Engineer – contract position

Developing simulation models for diesel engine integration of Light Duty Vehicles with regard to vehicle duty cycle, fluid economy and emissions targets per customer requirements.

December 2012 – June 2013

North American Bus Industries – Anniston, AL

Product Engineer – contract position

Responsible for achieving bus heating design requirements, fire detection and suppression system requirements as well as cost, reliability and service improvements in these areas.

May 2006 – November 2012

Workhorse Custom Chassis (a division of Navistar) – Union City, IN

Navistar RV (a division of Navistar) - Wakarusa, IN

Engineering Manager

Transferred within Navistar International from WCC to Navistar RV to improve vehicle steering and handling, resolve structural issues and improve cost of Class A RVs.

Duties include the definition, static analysis, fatigue analysis, dynamic and kinematic studies and validation of the front axle steering and suspension system, the rear axle ratio and suspension system, power steering system and prop shaft layout, supervision of prototype chassis component assemblies and their validation through the test department by setting test requirements, maintenance of the bill of material and verification against CAD-layouts. Also, communication of chassis design components/assemblies to suppliers and their release into the data base, gaining supplier application approval, suggesting solutions to and working with purchasing on cost reduction projects and releasing these into the data base. Lead the integration of ArvinMeritor front and rear axles into the WCC product line.

Axle ratio definition in regard of fuel economy based on interpretation of engine simulation test reports and proposal to TCM gear switch point re-programming by the transmission manufacturer leading to an industry best at 13.2mpg for a 22,000lbs RV with MaxxForce 7 diesel engine.

Propeller shaft layout executed for NVH control in regard of torsional vibration, critical rotational speed and joint angularity to prolong bearing life.

Conceptual definition of the NGCC (A54) vehicles class 3 – 6 and detail suspension, steering and axle/hub design.

Additional duties include work load estimates and scheduling priorities with CAD-Manager as well as development of vehicle and vehicle component test plans.

November 9th 2004 – November 18th 2005

GE Transportation – Erie, PA

Mechanical Systems Integration Engineer

Duties included integration of all locomotive components into General Layout (Location Of Apparatus), ensuring that locomotive design is (statistically) staying within the clearance diagram, defining system and subsystem interfaces and communicating these to and between system groups and communicating and documenting platform design issues between (foreign) consulting firm and GE.

December 2003 – October 1st, 2004

Orion Bus Industries (a division of DaimlerChrysler) – Oriskany, NY

Project Engineer

Duties included design of hydraulic system for the hybrid bus and power train components for the Orion VII, V, and II. Conducted engineering analysis of existing and legacy designs including examination of field failures and field service data, and made design modifications which eliminated problems, vastly enhanced product reliability and reduced warranty claims. Integrated belt driven alternators including new brackets, mountings etc, as well as hydraulic pumps, engine cooling system components & hydraulic fan drive, hydraulic steering, hose routings modifications, hose material specification changes, hose assembly modifications including hose fittings, clamps, filters. Additional duties included hands-on prototyping, and production support for new design installations.

February 2001 – February 2003

SKM-AG – Munich, Germany

Mechancial Design Engineer, Project Leader

An international automotive engineering and consulting company providing design engineering for DaimlerChrysler on the design of a new Sport Utility Vehicle model W164. Duties included design of engine compartment for engine envelope including the configuration of re-inforcing sheet metal angles to improve structural rigidity and strength. Additional responsibilities included fender frame/support design and integration into vehicle structure.

SKM-USA, LLC - Greer, SC

Project Engineer

An international automotive engineering and consulting company providing design engineering services for BMW Motor Car and Volvo Trucks NA.

Volvo Trucks NA - Greensboro, NC

A manufacturer of heavy trucks.

Projects included Frame Strength Validation (Stress/Deflection), Chassis- & Suspension design including connections, joints, cross-members, and mechanical integration of parts.

Tasked to cost improvement Volvo P2287 VNL and VHD type to develop cost savings to prototype models.

Worked with purchasing to identify cost-improving parts selections and with an emphasis on parts commonality with other models.

BMW MC - Spartanburg, SC

An automobile manufacturer of luxury cars

Interiors/ Exteriors on X5 Sport Utility Vehicle problem resolution in injection and blow molded trim/panels/channels with parts manufacturer and assembly.

Primarily responsible for form, fit, function of interior furnishings.

As a liaison to German manufacturing and design release authorities I evaluated and approved design changes, specifications, BOM and drawing releases.

July 2000 – November 2000

Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. (a division of DaimlerChrysler) - Gaffney, SC

Project Lead Design Engineer (contract)

A manufacturer of heavy vehicle and bus chassis

FCCC X-line and MT-line chassis optimization (design, manufacturing and cost improvement).

November 1997 – June 2000

p.a.d. of America, Inc. – Charlotte, NC

Chief Engineer

An international automotive engineering and consulting company, responsible for design, engineering and project supervision including project budget & scheduling, work distribution and hire/fire recommendations on projects for

Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. - Gaffney, SC

A manufacturer of heavy vehicle and bus chassis

Projects included Frame- & Suspension design, engine-, cooling-, transmission-, steering- and brake packaging for “Low Floor Chassis Bus” (natural gas driven),

Design use of Catia V4 and Pro/Mechanica.

ADtranz - Pittsburgh, PA (now BOMBARDIER Monorail)

A manufacturer of mass transit systems

Development of chassis, suspension and steering system of the people mover system NGPM and power train placement,

Design use of Pro/E and AutoCAD;


Development of design requirements from the letter of intent;

Calculation of minimum engine requirements;

Calculation of minimum transmission and drive axle requirements;

Development of chassis concepts in regard of letter of intent and minimum design requirements;

Frame analysis; Structure;

Calculation of suspension requirements and development of suspension concepts;

Calculation of cooling requirements;

Working with vendors (i.e. Cummins, Allison, Rockwell, Neway/Meritor, Valeo) on adapting their off-the-shelf products for a cost effective solution while guiding and supervising 2 to 3 design engineers from concept to design;

Creating presentations for design reviews and preparing the “in-house” design reviews;

Finalizing the design with customers and optimizing the layout and analysis utilizing Pro/Mechanica while working and fine-tuning design with design team and electrical team;

Checking manufacturing drawings (GD&T); and

Checking prototype assembly.

Additional smaller projects with p.a.d. of America, using Pro/E, Pro/Mechanica, Catia and AutoCAD

November 1994- October 1997

Applied Mechanics & Regenerative Energies - Langelsheim, Germany

CEO, Project Consultant

Engineering and consulting company, for:

p.a.d. of America, Inc., Charlotte, NC

Analysis of vehicle dynamics, vehicle suspensions design requirements, calculations and design.

Uhlig Metallwaren GmbH, Langelsheim, Germany

Analysis and simulation of high-grade steel solar collector systems.

Institute of Chemical Process Engineering, TU Clausthal, Germany

Design of a model reactor for simulating gas separation in fluid hydrogen under high pressure (300 bar) and high temperature (300 ºC) under room conditions.

February 1980 – November 1994

TU Clausthal - Clausthal-Zellerfeld, Germany

Assistance Scientist

Institute of Electrical Machines: Layout of circuit boards and installment of components.

Institute of Material Science: Maintaining and repairing electron microscopes, cutting and preparing manganese samples for laser welding tests,

Institute of Technical Mechanics: Various projects with PhD-applicants in the fields of fluid dynamics, thermodynamic, vibration and stress analysis.


July 1983 – October 1983

Volvo Truck Corp., Brake Laboratory - Gothenburg, Sweden

Analysis of vehicle behavior in Steady Turn Drive

Developing computer simulation program in APL.

February 1980 – April 1980

Chemetall AG - Langelsheim, Germany

Process Engineering Design office

February 1979 – April 1979

Metallgesellschaft AG - Langelsheim, Germany



Technical University Clausthal - Clausthal-Zellerfeld, Germany

Engineering Graduate Degree (Dipl.-Ing. TU) in Machine Design / Applied Mechanics,

Degree evaluated as equivalent to a M. Sc. Mechanical Engineering in the United States with a GPA 3.5.


TeamCenter, MS-Office


Career assignments have included the development and quality assurance of major components of the BMW X5 SUV, Volvo P2287 (VNL and VHD) Truck, Freightliner CCC Low Floor Shuttle Bus, the Bombardier People Mover Light Rail System, GE C38AChe diesel-electric locomotive and Workhorse CC Maxxforce 7 diesel engine integration into W22 RV chassis leading to an industry best at 13.2mpg for a 22,000lbs RV and the Conceptual definition of the NGCC vehicles class 3 - 6.

SAE Professional Career Development Programs successfully completed in

Fundamentals of Heavy Truck Dynamics

Chassis & Suspension Component Design for Passenger Cars & Light Trucks

Commercial Vehicle Brake Systems

Fluency in German, French and English enables effective integration of engineering and prototype assembly, supplier quality, manufacturing quality and final assembly.

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