SWE Distinguished New Engineer

Alison Bergmann

John Deere

For creative problem-solving based on exemplary engineering skills and insight; for effective leadership grounded in humility; and for extensive contributions to the SWE mission at every level.

Alison Bergmann served as a supply management specialist and design engineer for John Deere, where she oversaw the current product combine warranty and value improvement projects for supply management. In this role, she managed hundreds of changes for numerous tactical buyers. Bergmann had a direct project impact of millions of dollars annually and realized substantial cost reductions for the company. She had a global impact through projects with Mexico, China, India, Brazil, and Germany. She also planned, coordinated, and led numerous value improvement and idea-generating events.

These days, however, Bergmann is a Forté Fellow in The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, where she is pursuing an MBA.

Prior to this role at John Deere, Bergmann was lead hydraulic design engineer for future combine front-end equipment programs, two of which are in current production: draper and folding corn head. Bergmann came into the draper program in progress and with more than 30 changes needed. She evaluated each issue and engineered solutions to bring the product to production on schedule with no issues. She also worked on the folding corn head program from early stages through start of production on schedule with no issues. In two additional programs, Bergmann developed the concept and laid the framework for the systems to build on, owning more than 300 parts.

As lead design engineer, Bergmann frequently presented design updates to the combine management team. She created and internally published three design books for hydraulic systems and components. When she found there was no training documentation for the role, she created and published her own 42-page document on the role of a hydraulic design engineer to the company’s website that is now shared with new hydraulic design engineers.

A SWE life member, Bergmann joined the Society in 2010. As Valparaiso University section president, she increased membership 67% by expanding outreach activities, professional development, and mentoring programs. As Region H collegiate communications editor, she wrote monthly blogs and increased followers by 50%. As the FY18 and 19 SWE awards chair, Bergmann led a team of more than 180 coordinators and judges for the individual awards, Mission Awards, and WE Local Awards. As FY20-25 SWE senator, she serves on numerous subteams. Bergmann holds two patents and received a 2020 WE Local New ELiTE Award and the SWE Patent Recognition Award in 2021 and 2022.

She is active in her community, serving as a volunteer musician and tech person at her church, participating in mission trips to Poland in 2017 and 2018, and volunteering for the John Deere Classic PGA golf tournament and United Way programs.

Bergmann holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering with a minor in mathematics from Valparaiso University and a master’s in engineering management from Duke University. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, cheering for the Chicago Cubs and Duke basketball, and spending time with family.