November 9, 2023 Eric Hansotia: 2023 Distinguished Achievement Award recipient Written By: Staff Departments: Mechanical Engineering Categories: Alumni Eric HansotiaBSME ’91, MSME ’92 (MBA ’98, University of Iowa)Chairman, President and CEO, AGCO Corporation An innovative mechanical engineer, executive and successful change agent who is delivering industry-leading smart farming solutions to feed a growing global population. How did your experience in the College of Engineering influence your career path? It helped me learn how things work. It also provided me the opportunity to do five internships with John Deere, which kickstarted my career in the agriculture equipment industry. Describe some of the impacts you’ve had on society as a result of your contributions. I’ve been at the intersection of understanding farmer problems and using innovation to find new ways to profitably solve those problems for the world’s farmers. At AGCO, we’re focused on reducing the emissions from our products and our manufacturing facilities. Farmers are uniquely positioned to help address climate concerns, so we’re also focused on carbon sequestration to help farmers capture carbon in the soil. We’ve launched the AGCO Agriculture Foundation, which helps address food insecurity and respond to humanitarian crises. We’ve got a model farm to train subsistence farmers on first-level mechanization in Africa. We’ve also been supporting Ukraine; among other efforts, many hospitals are running on generators we donated. Of what professional accomplishments are you most proud? I had a clean sheet design opportunity to develop a new combine, which was the biggest new product development project in the history of AGCO. It’s a marvel of engineering, with 10,000 parts, 43 computers, and more lines of code than a space shuttle. We were recognized with the best of the best Red Dot Design Award for that project. In recent years, we’ve built an ecosystem of tech companies to enhance our capabilities and accelerate our farmer-first innovation. Additionally, since becoming CEO in 2021, we’ve grown revenue from $9 billion to a projected $14.5 billion for 2023. Today, we’re leveraging our tech innovation know-how to develop autonomous vehicles and leverage AI and machine learning in our products; I’m proud of our track record of innovation and the value we’re able to deliver to farmers and our society. What do you enjoy about your career? I love my job because it combines my passion for innovation with my passion for inspiring people to achieve great things for farmers around the world. Growing up in central Wisconsin, I had a view of how big the world was, and wow, has that view changed over time. Through my career, I’ve had the opportunity to travel the world and directly connect with farmers—sitting at their table and riding with them as they plant or harvest. It’s energizing to turn those farmer connections into solutions that address real farmer challenges. What do you like best? Fun on the Terrace or fun on Lake Mendota?The Terrace. I bought a brick for our family that’s in the terrace patio now. My parents were both graduates, and my sister’s also a graduate. Camp Randall Stadium or the Kohl Center or the Wisconsin Field House?Camp Randall. I lived right across the street. Bascom Hill or Observatory Hill?Observatory Hill is the best view on campus. It’s where I lived in the dorms for a while. My window faced the lake and I woke up every morning to the crew team going by. Orange custard chocolate chip or anything else?My favorite is union utopia. My wife’s is chocolate peanut butter. My daughter’s is Badger blast and my son’s is blue moon.