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Hansotia award
December 11, 2023

Spotlight on Badger Alumni: Honoring Mechanical Engineer Eric Hansotia

Written By: Caitlin Scott



Eric Hansotia earned his BSME and MSME from UW-Madison and was recognized at the College of Engineering’s 2023 Engineers’ Day celebration with the Mechanical Engineering Distinguished Achievement Award. Hansotia is now the Chairman, President, and CEO of AGCO Corporation. Read more…

In addition to the questions he answered for the College’s Engineers’ Day profile, Hansotia shared some thoughts with ME.

Can you discuss who has made the biggest impacts on your life while at UW and since your time on campus?

Eric and Nicole Hansotia
Eric and Nicole Hansotia at Engineers’ Day 2023

“Although I may not have realized it at the time, my professors had a significant impact on my career,” said Hansotia. “They taught me technical skills, business acumen and how to be a problem solver. However, the person who has had the most profound influence on my life is my wife, Nicole. She has always been my biggest supporter, coach, and partner both personally and professionally. Her unconditional love and encouragement inspire and motivate me every day. At AGCO, we often talk about teaming up because we believe that working together is the key to delivering excellence for farmers, investors, and each other. Nicole is my lifelong teammate who helps me become the best version of myself.”

On his recent visit to Madison, Hansotia shared some of his experience and insights with current ME students as part of an alumni panel presentation. Hansotia and fellow ME alumni Amelia Cosgrove Thomas (BSME’04, Channing Street Copper Company) and Brian Rauch (MS, PhD EM’93, John Deere Construction & Forestry Division) discussed their time at UW and emphasized the importance of stretching yourself during your time in college. Hansotia advised students to take advantage of the diverse offerings the campus has to offer. At UW, he enrolled in various classes beyond his core engineering courses, spent time as a Hoofers ski instructor and competed in UW’s Formula SAE collegiate competition to design, build and compete with a small-scale open wheel prototype racecar. Combined with his practical experience including five internships in the agriculture industry, the opportunities all contributed to his success. He believes being a well-rounded student will help expose students to more paths and more people.

Brian Rauch, Amelia Cosgrove Thomas and Eric Hansotia 2023 ME Engineers Day panel
Brian Rauch, Amelia Cosgrove Thomas and Eric Hansotia on the 2023 ME Engineers Day alumni panel.

The panel also shared that experience builds exponentially, and there’s no one path for an engineer to take. Hansotia specifically advised not to waste time mapping careers but rather to deliver excellence in their current roles. In his experience, growing isn’t always a vertical line. Next moves can come as laterals or even steps back, but each step should be viewed as a chance to make yourself more valuable to the company or team by not only generating excellence but also inspiring it in others.

Badger engineering students can become great leaders by learning the fundamentals, but especially by getting some ‘dirt on their boots’ and gaining hands-on experience. Prospective employers don’t only want to hear about successes; they are interested in hearing what candidates learned from their failures.

The annual ME Engineers’ Day luncheon rallied 150 attendees including 80+ alumni from the classes of 1968 to the present. Emeritus Professors connected with former students, and we saw a 1991 news clip highlighting the Engineering Expo design efforts of Hansotia’s senior team project, the Slapshot. Everyone was impressed by the successes of current student organizations and teams at competitions and events across the country. Hansotia gave a heartfelt message of thanks to his support system and to all of the faculty and instructors at UW who do so much to educate their students. Thank you to our ME community who gathered together and all who were unable to join us this time. On, Wisconsin!

Eric Hansotia and UW COE group
Dean Ian Robertson, Professor Dan Negrut, Eric Hansotia, and Chair Darryl Thelen at the College reception at Monona Terrace.
Hansotia in graduate lab
Hansotia visits the lab space where he completed his graduate work.
ME 2023 engineers day lunch
2023 ME Engineers’ Day luncheon in Varsity Hall III at Union South
ME engineers' day alumni panel 2023
Brian Rauch, Amelia Cosgrove Thomas and Eric Hansotia at the alumni panel event.
Hansotia and Franck Fronczak
Hansotia reconnects with his senior design advisor, Professor Emeritus Frank Fronczak.
ME 2023 engineers day lunch
Hansotia addresses the room at the luncheon event

Featured image: Eric Hansotia pictured at the 2023 College of Engineering Engineers’ Day banquet at Monona Terrace. Photo by Todd Brown.