From Beijing to Pine Street

Kim “Mac” McGinnis, ME’79, hasn’t missed a single St. Pat’s celebration since graduation – even though, for the past five years, he’s had to travel halfway around the world to get back to Rolla.


As the international project manager for Tuthill Suspension Technologies, a spinoff of Springfield, Mo.-based Tuthill Transport Technologies, McGinnis splits his time between Beijing and Springfield. For the past half-decade, McGinnis has made the 7,500-mile flight from China back to the states in order to slosh a mop down Pine Street on parade day.
Back in Beijing, McGinnis directs the development of suspension systems for Chinese auto manufacturers. One of the biggest challenges facing Tuthill in this huge market is finding new customers. “Identifying and moving into new markets is a big thing,” he says. “You get somebody like Caterpillar or Cummings Diesel – everybody knows those companies. But we’re not as well known.”
China’s automotive industry also lacks the standardization of the United States. “Every design is a custom,” he says. Moreover, the Chinese expect a fast turnaround. “Working with GM or Ford, we’ll spend around two years designing and testing a product,” he says. “These guys want to throw together a bus in two months.”
And how does McGinnis handle that stress? “You don’t get a lot of sleep.”
That’s something the former St. Pat’s Board rep knows well.

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