Growing up in a family filled with United Auto Workers members, Brian Rauch was a regular at the salvage yard and spent time working on machines and fixing cars with his father. “I don’t remember even deciding to be an engineer,” he says. “It was just assumed that I would continue my interests in college.”
A first-generation college graduate, Rauch earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from UW-Platteville in 1986. He worked briefly for Caterpillar before enrolling at UW-Madison for his master’s and PhD degrees, which he earned in engineering mechanics in 1990 and 1993, respectively.
After a year with Hewlett Packard as a development engineer, Rauch joined John Deere, ultimately returning to the company’s location in his hometown of Dubuque, Iowa. He held several positions of increasing responsibility and today is vice president of engineering for the John Deere Dubuque Works Worldwide Construction and Forestry Division. In that role, he leads 600 engineers in a global organization that develops construction and forestry equipment, such as backhoes, bulldozers, skidders and forestry harvesters. Among its recent innovations, the division has introduced an industry-first high-speed dozer and two hybrid-electric loaders.
Rauch is known for his intense focus on Deere customers and enjoys developing innovations that increase Deere customers’ profits and productivity and enhance the company reputation as an industry leader. He also is committed to diversifying the Deere workforce and enjoys providing opportunities for people from many backgrounds and cultures to work and grow. In the past decade, he played an integral role in assembling a multicultural, multinational team in the U.S. engineering center and building new talent in locations such as India and China.
In addition to his engineering degrees, Rauch earned an executive MBA in 2000 from UW-Madison and international business certificate from the Dartmouth College Global 2020 Executive Program in 2005. He previously was chairman of the board of directors of Plustech Oy, a Deere company in Tampere, Finland. Rauch is a member of the UW-Madison mechanical engineering industrial advisory board and the University of Iowa engineering advisory board.
As a student, Rauch was an avid runner and still completes about a dozen races each year. He enjoys cooking and baking, hiking, travel, and spending time with his family. He and his wife, Marirose, have four children: Jennifer, Elizabeth, Peter and Joseph, whose activities include soccer, volleyball, basketball, choir and dance.