For breadth of technical knowledge; for exemplifying leadership in dynamic and rapidly shifting environments; and for deep commitment to SWE, and to the well-being of children everywhere.
Sarita Kuppili is an engineering manager in the Large Power Systems Division of Caterpillar Inc., located in Griffin, Georgia, where she manages the Design to Order Custom Packages Team for C32/C27/3400 platforms that serves the Oil & Gas, Marine and Electric Power Markets. From early in her career, she has exhibited strong technical and leadership skills while delivering on commitments and partnering with global and cross-functional teams.
After successful assignments as a design and manufacturing engineer for undercarriage (UC) products, she traveled to India in 2012, as competitive analyst to develop undercarriage competitive intelligence. Her results provided tremendous competitive insight, capturing new market share for UC products.
From 2013-2016, she oversaw large hydraulic excavator UC design, managing several new product introductions (NPI), continuous product improvement (CPI), and cost management projects. Under her leadership, teams delivered substantial annual product cost savings. In addition to traveling to facilities and suppliers in China, Italy, and France on a yearly basis, she designed a new undercarriage product that ended 20 years of customer frustration in quarry applications.
In 2017, she moved with her family to Colorado Springs, Colorado, as NPI team leader for large track type tractor UC products. There, she led partnerships with global teams in the U.S., Italy, France, South Korea, and China, executing NPI and make/buy strategy for critical UC components. In 2019, she moved to Sanford, North Carolina, and served as engineering specialist and led the NPI, CPI, and aftermarket undercarriage design and validation for skid steer loaders.
Over the past 14 years, Kuppili led various design, validation, manufacturing, and supplier development projects supporting CTL, HEX, TTT, and LWL Caterpillar machines. Throughout her career, she has exhibited true passion for excellence and delivering great products to improve customer experience. Caterpillar has recognized her contributions with its Chairman’s Award and three division-level General Manager Awards.
A SWE member since 2013, she received the WE Local 2020 ELiTE Award and the SWE Central Illinois Section Outstanding Engineer Award (FY18). She has planned and coordinated countless SWE events and served in many SWE-CI outreach programs and as lead mentor for 3D printing, speed mentoring, and Quest Charter Academy boot camp programs. In 2015, she led collaborations with 4-H, Riverfront Museum, and Quest Charter, as well as annual events such as Science Sleepover, 4G STEM Camps, Maker in Motion, and more. Her outreach has touched the lives of at least 5,000 children annually and has received SWE recognition at the Society-level multiple times. She served as vice president for the Eastern North Carolina Section for FY19 and FY20 and is the section’s current president.
She is active in her community and in India, where she was born. Through Caterpillar, she has been a lead member supporting Easter Seals and United Way. For the past eight years, she has been engaged with the Public and Police Association for Children in her hometown in India and is committed to sponsoring the support and schooling of two children until their education is finished and they secure employment. She also funds financial support for meal drives on annual holiday and festivals for up to 500 children.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Sri Venkateswara University in India and an M.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Oklahoma. In her leisure time, she enjoys traveling with her husband and two children, cooking with her daughter, and entertaining friends and family.