Energy Savings from the Earth’s Core to the Shop Floor


Combine the talents of a self-described “eco-child” with a cost conscious facilities leader and an engaged and committed group of employees and you get Cummins Turbo Technologies (CTT) in Huddersfield, U.K., one of the Company’s leading facilities for energy conservation and other green practices.

Jennifer Hirst, an Energy Engineer at CTT Huddersfield, and Richard Keane, CTT’s Facilities Manager, are the leaders of Huddersfield’s energy conservation efforts. The facility has consistently ranked at the top of Cummins’ Energy Champions program since the initiative began in 2008.

Hirst and Keane are quick to give credit to the employees at Huddersfield. They say more than 70 percent of the energy conservation projects at the facility in recent years were suggested by workers on the shop floor.

“It’s been very gratifying to see ideas come from the bottom up and not from the top down,” Keane said.

Hirst, the self-described “eco-child,” agreed. “They’re the ones with the vision and approach,” she said.

But it’s also clear that Huddersfield benefits from Keane’s and Hirst’s dedication and passion for finding ways to use energy more wisely.

The facility is currently developing a geo-thermal system that draws energy from the earth to heat and cool a building on the campus that will provide training space.

Last year, CTT Huddersfield installed a large array of solar cells on the roof of the site’s Technical Center to supplement power for that facility (Hirst would love to see the tech center go totally “green” someday, producing enough energy to be taken off the grid).

And Huddersfield has consistently found new ways to build on the $120,000 it saved during Cummins’ first Unplugged Energy Challenge, an effort launched in 2008 to reduce power consumption during holiday shutdowns.

“Richard was leading energy efficiency programs with CTT before the Energy Champions program was created,” said Mark Dhennin, Cummins Director of Energy Efficiency. “He’s been a tremendous advocate for energy efficiency.”

Dhennin says Hirst has had a remarkable impact in just the three years she’s been with Cummins.

“In a relatively short time she’s played a major role in implementing some really important projects for us,” he said.

Keane says he came to energy conservation from the perspective of a plant leader looking to control costs. He said the focus was on getting “turbos out the door” when he arrived at Huddersfield in 2007. Energy conservation took something of a backseat.

He attributes the facility’s success to best practice sharing through the Energy Champions program that showed energy efficiency doesn’t have to come at the expense of production. And he believes the gains realized so far are just the beginning.

“One of the striking things I get to see is what is happening at other sites,” Keane said. “I think we do some very good work and Jennifer is very dedicated but there is excellent work being done all over Cummins.”

Hirst says she believes communication has been crucial to getting employees involved at Huddersfield. “We’re delivering things in a way that people understand—no jargon.”

The facility has electronic signs that track power consumption so everyone can see how the Huddersfield campus is doing on their energy conservation goals. In addition, the facility sponsors educational programming designed to raise awareness.

Huddersfield is demonstrating how environmentally sensitive a plant can be when you have clear goals, leaders with the right skills and dedicated employees.

blair claflin director of sustainability communications

Blair Claflin

Blair Claflin is the Director of Sustainability Communications for Cummins Inc. Blair joined the Company in 2008 as the Diversity Communications Director. Blair comes from a newspaper background. He worked previously for the Indianapolis Star (2002-2008) and for the Des Moines Register (1997-2002) prior to that. [email protected]


Celebrating the value of technical learning

Event attendees in front of the Beijing Polytechnical School

Cummins Inc. TEC Beijing unites students, teachers and community for a day of recognition and planning

It’s almost been nine years since launching Cummins Technical Education for Communities (TEC) in Beijing, China. Although the program is well established and learning and activities have taken place over the years, COVID-19 brought about challenges with face-to-face learning, internships and community partners interacting.

With restrictions lifted this year, it was the perfect opportunity for the Cummins TEC Beijing team, Cummins leadership, vocational school educators, students and community leaders to gather for a “relaunch” celebration, “on the job” interviews with students as they traverse through internships and a coffee talk exchange.

Recognizing achievements

The festivities kicked-off at Beijing Polytechnical School on the first day in-person classes resumed in April with Wang Ning, Vice President and Vice Chairman, Cummins China, welcoming attendees:  “The goal of TEC is to train low-income youth in employable technical skills and connect them to good jobs in their communities, strengthening the communities where Cummins operates. Students are empowered through school-based, industry-supported skills training. We are very proud of the success of TEC Beijing and the valuable support from all involved.” Ning further shared Cummins’ rich history and innovative business, its culture of diversity and the importance of corporate responsibility as one of Cummins’ core values.

Next on the agenda was the school board echoing their appreciation of the dedication and benefits Cummins TEC Beijing brings to the community, highlighting the program’s effective five-element framework: market relevant skills, quality curriculum, effective teachers, career guidance, and workplace & classroom learning.

Demonstrating technical knowledge

Following the speeches, student winners of an Engine Skills Competition were recognized for their hard work by Shen Xianbo, Cummins Director, East Asia Distribution Business Unit, Service System & Capability and TEC Beijing sponsor: “I applaud these students for their dedication, creativity and achievements. This program brings so much technical knowledge and skill to not only the students and our local communities but to the world at large.”

The competition was designed to measure the students’ hands-on performance with Cummins engines, donated at the launch of TEC Beijing. With 85 students competing, the three-day event involved a service tools usage challenge, including engine disassembling, cylinder head measuring and troubleshooting. Students had to complete all tests within a limited time. Those fastest, with the required accuracy, won.

Hans Xin, one of the students, gave a thankful speech on behalf of the winners, followed by loud applause for the teachers supporting the program. Diane Ren, one of the female students who currently make up less than 5% of the overall enrollment, stepped out and shared her thoughts and experience from her school life, expressing appreciation of the Cummins engine MRC (Master Rebuild Center) tour in the Yizhuang District she recently experienced. Ren conveyed her hope to visit additional offices and factories in the future, looking forward to more out-of-classroom technical training.

Planning for the future

Following the formal program, a meeting was held with school leaders and TEC Beijing. Naru Liu, Cummins TEC Beijing Manager, summarized the program footprint over the years, exchanged opinions with the school on focused areas and shared work plans for 2023. “It’s very rewarding to know that we are aligned with our efforts,” said Liu. “Both Cummins and the school are devoted to advanced curriculum development in new technologies and digitalization, hiring qualified teachers in international skillset enhancement, promoting female leadership experience sharing and developing career roadmaps.”

Then came the most fun part of the event – coffee talk. Xianbo warmed up participants with an engaging Q&A session where students responded freely, expressing their perspectives and ideas about how to move TEC forward. Ning talked about gender equality and inclusivity, emphasizing the need to eliminate unconscious biased behaviors in daily lives. Some suggestions from the students on future program enhancements included: role model technician visits, hydrogen technology learning and an office day whereby students can “walk out of the classroom” to gain real experience of how it feels to work as an employee. Complementing their technical skills, students have expectations to develop their employability skills such as communication, conflict management, and time management. An office day also provides exposure to Cummins activities and programs like Youth Days, Cummins Powers Women, and various diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Collaborating is key

“At the end of the day, it’s the students’ voices and the global community’s well-being that we strive for,” says Liu. “It takes synergy with those involved to fulfill our mission. This event was a great way of bringing new energy to the program and reinforced the fact that together, we are better.”

Cummins TEC Program is located in 26 schools across 12 countries. To date, over 3,000 students have completed the program with over 10% being female. 83% of all the graduates have either obtained good jobs or continued their education. And, some graduates are even returning to teach or providing resources for scholarships to help others!


STEM Presentations and learning


Honoring the legacy of Cummins engineers

Dr. Perr anthologies

Cummins Inc. engineers, technicians and technologists are no strangers to setting records in the industry, especially when it comes to powering the success of customers.

Since Clessie Cummins’ first two patents awarded in 1921, Cummins engineers have continued to foster invention and innovation year after year. In 2017, Cummins engineers and scientists set a record after receiving 287 patents from the United States and countries across the world. In 2020, 312 patents. By 2022, Cummins doubled our previous numbers, receiving a record of 623 global patents. 

“Every company strives to leave a legacy of change and impact, but it starts internally with fostering an environment of innovation and ideation for individuals,” said Srikanth Padmanabhan, Vice President and President of the Engine Business. “We have some of the brightest people across the world working for Cummins, not solely asking the question ‘does this work well?’ but more importantly, ‘how can I make it better and something that has not been done before – for all stakeholders – for the planet, for our customers, for our communities and fellow employees?’ We believe that’s powerful, for both our employees to be so closely connected to purpose in their work and innovating for the future.”

In conjunction with the recent World Engineering Day, take a moment to reflect on our history of innovation, led by our incredible engineers, technicians, technologists, and many more.

Julius Perr Innovation Award

Cummins engineers are encouraged to explore their ideas, leading to upwards of thousands of inventions each year. Yet, while many of these thousands of inventions become patented – an incredible feat in and of itself – an even fewer number of those are considered for Cummins’ prestigious Julius Perr Innovation award. 

Dr. Julius Perr, who retired from Cummins in 1997 as Vice President – Fuel Systems, began his 41-year career as a Cummins engineer and leader. Throughout his career, Perr submitted over 300 patents on engine technology improvements, 186 of which were granted he invented or co-invented, and more than Clessie Cummins himself.

“Dr. Perr really set the standard that the sky is the limit for ideas,” said Jonathon White, Vice President of Engine Business Engineering. “It’s rewarding to see employees strive to exemplify Perr’s ambitions, not for status or reputation, but because they have the ability and are encouraged to try - and maybe fail - but try again. That’s how we achieve progress, as a company and for our customers.”

Perr award winners 2022

To date, only 84 patents have been selected for the award, yet each award application symbolizes the promise of innovation and dependability as well as the desire for employees to continue pursing ideas that improve the world for our customers and communities.

Today, Cummins, with our recent acquisitions, has almost 6,000 active patents.

A look back at Cummins’ patent history

Throughout the 103 years, Cummins has made our mark in history through invention and innovation. Check out some of the patents that make our history.

Circulating fuel system for oil engines

Clessie L. Cummins filed for one of his first patents in 1921, just three years after establishing Cummins Inc. In 1925, the circulating fuel system for oil engines was granted. Crude oil used in engines contains a high percentage of gasoline. The purpose of the fuel system was to construct the injector and evolve a principle of fuel supply. It would allow the engine to be operated not only by kerosene but also by fuel sources with a low percentage of gasoline.

picture of original patents

Wartime patents

When the United States was thrust into World War II, Cummins supported the U.S. Army with their technology. From generators to charge radio communications at the front lines, to engines powering ‘Ghost Ship’ minesweepers and heavy-duty trucks carrying soldiers to and from the battlefield. Cummins continued pushing innovation and submitting patents globally throughout that time.

Italy patent

Soaring through the 1950s

Like many companies following the end of the war, Cummins experienced a great time of growth. Throughout the 1950s, over 65 patents were granted. While the geographic reach of the patents was predominantly in the United States, the company was expanding their patent reach into European countries. Technology like fuel supply, injectors, pressure regulators and distributors defined the 1950s.

Norwegian patent

Disco and Discovery

Throughout the 70s, Cummins had over 175 patents granted. This was a time of expansion into new areas such as piston and cylinder construction, isolation of components from vibration, compressions ratio, and filtering and mixing. Dr. Perr was a prolific inventor during this time.


By the 1990s, the culture of creation and invention was deeply a part of Cummins. Patent work had heavily expanded into other countries beyond the U.S. and Europe including China, India, and Japan. With over 580 patents granted during this time, electronic controls for engines and early aftertreatment systems for particulate filters and NOx removal became key focuses.

Here we are, today

Having officially established the Julius Perr Innovation Award in 2000, Cummins kicked off a new period of recognizing the innovative ideas and creations of its engineers. Cummins employees have submitted ideas ranging from internal combustion engines producing low emissions and NOx adsorbing catalyst technology, to developing methodologies to not only monitor the accumulation of sulfur on a selective reduction catalyst (SRC) but also to regenerate the catalysts faster and at lower temperatures. 

In 2022, seven Cummins engineers received the prestigious Julius Perr Innovation Award. Eleven Cummins leaders were also named recipients of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) annual Patent Recognition Award. The SWE program is dedicated to recognizing industry leaders who are making significant contributions to the STEM community and the advancement of women in engineering.

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins, a global power technology leader, is a corporation of complementary business segments that design, manufacture, distribute and service a broad portfolio of power solutions. The company’s products range from internal combustion, electric and hybrid integrated power solutions and components including filtration, aftertreatment, turbochargers, fuel systems, controls systems, air handling systems, automated transmissions, electric power generation systems, microgrid controls, batteries, electrolyzers and fuel cell products.

Cummins Inc. wraps up 2022 with remarkable milestones

Cummins 2022 highlight icons

With over a century of innovation under its belt, Cummins Inc. has celebrated countless milestones along its journey, and 2022 was no exception with numerous entries added to the list. As Cummins continues investing in key technologies to advance its path to zero emissions strategy – Destination Zero – to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lower the air quality impacts of its products on the planet, the company simultaneously optimizes performance for its customers’ applications, grows the business and makes positive impacts in communities throughout the world.  

Visions for the future come to fruition 

One such entry on the milestone list is the acquisition of Meritor, an industry leader in drivetrain, mobility, braking, aftermarket and electric powertrain solutions for commercial vehicle and industrial markets. The addition of Meritor’s people, products and technology are helping Cummins address one of the most critical technology challenges of our age, developing economically viable zero carbon solutions for commercial and industrial applications.  

employees smiling at Cummins-Meritor event

Another key acquisition in 2022 was that of Jacobs Vehicle Systems (JVS), a supplier of engine braking, cylinder deactivation, start and stop and thermal management technologies. Adding JVS to the Cummins portfolio creates growth opportunities in current and future advanced diesel engine platforms, allowing Cummins to continue developing component technologies that deliver market leading performance and emissions. 

Local production put to global action 

It was a landmark year for Cummins’ plant in Darlington, United Kingdom, kicking off 2022 with the production of its 1.5 millionth engine. Cummins has been manufacturing in Darlington since 1965, with about 1,500 colleagues currently at the plant. Once the milestone mid-range engine rolled off the line, its long journey began, traveling 5,400 miles across the globe to Korea.

employee moving engine

Upon arrival, the engine was installed in a Hyundai excavator and quickly headed off to its customer in Guatemala. A true testament to the global nature of Cummins’ business, the Darlington Plant supplies products to customers in over 50 countries.  

Breaking a record while bettering a community 

In June, our colleagues in India partnered with their local dealer and set a Guinness World Record by constructing the longest piece of road, a single-lane of 75+ kilometers (46+ miles), from Murtizpur to Loni, Akola. Completing the feat within record time, 105 hours and 33 minutes, the stretch of highway is part of an important East-West corridor and connects major cities in India. Cummins’ Distribution Business Unit engineers provided 24-7 support to the endeavor and the equipment used by Trinity, a dealer of Cummins since 1979, for construction of the road. It was a proud moment for Cummins, the 720 workers and team of independent consultants involved in the vital project. 

Efficiently delivering customer needs 

Always looking for ways to react to market needs and improve the business, Cummins opened its state-of-the-art Power Integration Center (PIC) in Fridley, Minnesota, this August. The facility allows for the configuration, integration, and testing of power system technologies including diesel and natural gas generator sets, photovoltaic (PV) solar panels, battery storage systems, fuel cells, transfer switches, switchgear, and system-level controls.

employees smiling in front of Power Integration Center building

With Cummins’ customers placing an even higher value on flexible and well-integrated solutions, this center helps the company bring together and test different ones, discovering more efficient ways to provide sustainable power, allowing for cost savings and improved design. Watch the exciting PIC launch event here

Enabling the energy transition 

Cummins announced in December its latest project in support of moving the green hydrogen economy forward. The company will be supplying a 35MW proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyzer system to Linde, a global leader in the production, processing, storage and distribution of hydrogen. The project is not only a milestone for Cummins but also for the energy transition in the U.S. The state-of-the-art electrolyzer system is designed for easy on-site installation with the ability to scale up output as needed. This highlights Cummins’ commitment to the advancement of the green hydrogen economy and the company’s ability to support large-scale renewable hydrogen production with market-leading innovation: another great step forward for Cummins’ Destination Zero strategy. 

Powering the future for success 

Delivering record breaking revenues, appointing its first female CEO, advocating for racial equity, making a case for climate action, being named best employer for diversity, and collaborating with numerous businesses and organizations that share a similar vision, the list goes on of the many achievements made by Cummins and its employees during 2022. Watch for more exciting milestones to come in 2023! 

Keep up-to-date with what’s happening at Cummins and if you're interested in joining in on the action check out to see what opportunities are available! 

Tamra Knudsen smiling

Tamra Knudsen

Tamra Knudsen is a Brand Journalist for Cummins with extensive experience in the Capital Goods sector, serving over 20 years in various corporate communications roles. She began her career in accounting, moving into numerous positions within finance, marketing and administration, until she discovered her niche in the field of communications. Her passion is to create transparent and meaningful content that educates, informs and engages readers on a variety of topics for both external and internal audiences. 

Tamra graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Parkside, with a BS in Business Administration and Management.

Improving the environment one mussel and bee at a time

Cummins project tagging mussels

Cummins Inc. employees take pride in supporting their communities through unique initiatives reinforcing the company’s environmental sustainability strategy.  


Strengthening global communities has long been an important objective for Cummins. Company employees around the world participate in numerous community initiatives through Cummins’ Every Employee Every Community (EEEC) program.  

A global network of more than 200 employee-led Community Involvement Teams (CITs) work with Cummins leaders and community partners to assess environmental issues facing their communities and organize employee efforts to make a difference.  

Here are some highlights from recent EEEC events that used small creatures to tackle big environmental challenges: 


This fall, Cummins employees in Columbus, Indiana, gathered to transplant kidneyshell mussels into the Mississippi River basin. Coordinated by Scott Saum, Program Manager, Cummins Water Works, the project was guided by experts from The Nature Conservancy (TNC).  

mussel tagging project
Tagging the mussels will help researchers track them months or years after reintroduction.

Cummins Water Works is the company program to address the global water crisis. It established a partnership with The Nature Conservancy to improve water quality and increase groundwater levels in the Mississippi River Basin. 

The kidneyshell mussel is a medium to large, freshwater mussel, similar to the shape of a kidney. They grow to about 12 centimeters (5 inches), and are great indicators of environmental health, with some species living to 100 years. The mussels eat algae and bacteria, cleaning and filtering water of pollutants, resulting in healthier aquatic ecosystems. Their complex life cycle provides a meaningful snapshot of waterway health conditions.  

“Being passionate about environmental conservation, I regularly seek EEEC volunteer opportunities in this domain,” said Akash Desai, Engine Optimization Senior Technical Specialist at Cummins. “The mussel tagging event was ideal in that it blended my interest with a unique opportunity to learn and network.  

“Not having seen mussels before, it was eye-opening how important a role these tiny creatures, a seemingly passive organism, can play in local ecology,” Desai added. “This is the essence of EEEC, where small volunteer engagements along with engaged community members have significant, long-term impacts.” 

Native to Indiana, the kidneyshell mussels, about 1.5 to 2.5 years in age, are currently listed by the state as a species of special concern. Event activities included tagging and measuring them for reintroduction into Indiana’s waterways, via the North and South Forks of Wildcat Creek in Kokomo, Indiana. The creek is part of the Mississippi River Basin.  

Small, flexible, colored, plastic tags were applied to the shell of the mussels, which included an individual number for each mussel to be identified and measured. Some mussels were also outfitted with Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tags glued onto their shells.  

These tags can be read with a bar code-type reader to detect a mussel’s location. Since mussels can bury themselves in riverbeds, a PIT tag helps researchers find a subset of mussels months or years after reintroduction.  

In total, 403 mussels were tagged and successfully placed in their new home by representatives of The Nature Conservancy and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. After the mussels have been in their new surroundings for six months, they will be recovered and measured again to determine their growth and survival rates. 


Over recent decades, bee populations have been declining due to habitat loss, air pollution, changes in weather patterns and the excessive use of agrochemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers. Studies show a lack of honeybees in agricultural areas is limiting the supply of some food crops, suggesting the decline in these pollinators may soon have serious ramifications for global food security and the maintenance of biodiversity.  

People around the world are working to create environments that help bees thrive as well as educate people about their importance. Cummins employees in Germany and Norway are no exception, enthusiastically doing their part to protect bees in local communities. 

A beekeeper checks on the health of the hive in Germany.
A beekeeper checks on the heath of a hive behind the Cummins Emission Solutions plant in Marktheidenfeld, Germany.

In Germany, volunteers developed five bee colonies behind the Cummins Emission Solutions (CES) plant in Marktheidenfeld. Three team members also serve as beekeepers, as well as educators, inspecting hives, conducting bee population counts and removing honeycombs. 

Other employees extract honey from the honeycombs, bottling and labeling the harvest. So far this year, the hives have produced 98 kilograms (216 pounds) of spring honey and 46 kilograms (101 pounds) of summer honey, offered to employees for a donation and given away to local community partners. 

The Marktheidenfeld team also hosted a “Bee Day” on site for local youth, including both an educational component as well as bee-themed games to help bring the education to life. Beekeepers explained the lifecycle and importance of bees and the role they play in our ecosystem, all while exhibiting the bees in action.  

Employee volunteers in Norway jumped on the bee band wagon as well, building six bumblebee boxes and planting bee-friendly flowers to support bee colony growth. The team continues their efforts in protecting and encouraging bee activity by maintaining the boxes while weeding and watering the surrounding plants. 

These are just a few of the many initiatives underway by Cummins employees as they work together to address environmental issues and strengthen their communities. 


Tamra Knudsen smiling

Tamra Knudsen

Tamra Knudsen is a Brand Journalist for Cummins with extensive experience in the Capital Goods sector, serving over 20 years in various corporate communications roles. She began her career in accounting, moving into numerous positions within finance, marketing and administration, until she discovered her niche in the field of communications. Her passion is to create transparent and meaningful content that educates, informs and engages readers on a variety of topics for both external and internal audiences. 

Tamra graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Parkside, with a BS in Business Administration and Management.

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