2015 Distinguished achievement award: Jeffrey Graves

// Materials Science & Engineering

Tags: alumni, Engineers' Day, Jeffrey Graves, MSE E-Day

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Jeffrey-GravesJeffrey Graves
CEO
MTS Systems Corporation
MSMetE ’85, PhDMetE ’87
Wayzata, Minnesota

Over the course of his illustrious career, Jeffrey Graves has excelled in a wide variety of roles and achieved remarkable success serving in CEO positions at public companies for more than a decade.

Since 2012, Graves has been the CEO at MTS Systems Corporation, a leading global supplier of test systems and industrial high-performance position sensors. The company’s testing hardware and software solutions help customers accelerate and improve their design, development and manufacturing processes and are used for determining the mechanical behavior of materials, products and structures. MTS Systems Corporation has more than 2,000 employees and annual revenue of more than $500 million.

Graves holds a PhD and a master’s degree in metallurgical engineering from UW-Madison and a bachelor’s of science in engineering from Purdue University. He says his PhD advisor,

MS&E Professor John Perepezko, as well as Professor Austin Chang, who at the time was department chair, stood out as excellent mentors and role models during his graduate work. “Both men made

a real impact on my professional and personal life,” he says.

After earning his PhD in 1987, Graves pursued a career in industry, working in roles ranging from research and development to design engineering to global operations and business development. At the beginning of his career, he held various positions of increasing responsibility at Rockwell International Corporation and Howmet Corporation, and his impressive tenure at these companies landed him key leadership positions at General Electric Company’s Power Systems Division and Corporate Research and Development Center from 1994 to 2001.

Graves went on to serve in various senior positions, from 2001 to 2005, at Kemet Corporation, a global manufacturer of capacitors, including serving as president and COO from 2002 to 2003 and CEO from 2003 to 2005. From 2005 until 2012, Graves was president and CEO of C&D Technologies in Pennsylvania, a leading global manufacturer of energy-storage systems for the power market.

Graves serves on the boards of Teleflex Inc., a worldwide provider of medical technology, and Hexcel Corporation, a manufacturer of composite materials for the aerospace and defense industries. He is

an author of more than 50 publications and holds two patents.

Graves lives in Wayzata, Minnesota, with his wife, Linda. They have four children: Nicola (Graves) Clarke, 26; Rachel, 25; Jacob, 21; and Wyatt, 19. In his free time, he enjoys golfing, fishing and spending time with his family.