2003 Distinguished Service Award: Duane Collins

// Mechanical Engineering

Tags: alumni, Duane Collins, Engineers' Day, ME E-Day

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Duane E. Collins
Chairman of the Board
Parker Hannifin Corporation
BSME ’61

If you have ever flown in an airplane, or been scared by a dinosaur at Disney World, or simply picked up a gallon of ice cream on the way home from work, you’ve probably come in contact with products made by Parker Hannifin Corp.

For the past decade, the Cleveland, Ohio, company has been led by Duane Collins. He currently serves as chairman of the board for Parker Hannifin, having been selected to the post in 1999. For eight years beginning in 1993, Collins served as president and chief operating officer of the company.

With sales exceeding $6 billion annually, Parker Hannifin is the world’s leading manufacturer of motion and control technologies, providing precision-engineered products for aerospace markets. Jet planes use Parker Hannifin’s leak-tight fuel settings. Amusement park attractions utilize the company’s motion and control systems. Grocery stores rely on its cooling and refrigeration systems.

Collins’ ascension to chairman of the board of Parker Hannifin culminated a career with the company that began in 1961 following graduation from UW-Madison’s College of Engineering. The Jefferson, Wisconsin native joined the company as a sales engineer and quickly rose through the company’s ranks. He spent several years overseeing the company’s international operations before being named company president and chief executive officer in 1993.

Under his tenure, Parker Hannifin doubled its number of employees, increased sales 2.5 times, and quadrupled its earnings. The company employs more than 48,000 people in 44 countries.

Collins has been active in a number of civic organizations in the Cleveland area. He’s served as a trustee for the Cleveland YMCA and the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland Foundation. He has also served on the boards of the Greater Cleveland Growth Association and Cleveland Tomorrow. He currently is serving on the boards of University Hospitals of Cleveland, Hospice of the Western Reserve, and is a member of the visiting committee of the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. He is also a member of several corporate boards.

Collins is married to his high school sweetheart, Joyce, and has two daughters, Sharon and Pam. Outside interests include golf, bridge, hunting, traveling and sports — especially University of Wisconsin football and the Green Bay Packers.