Mechanical engineering runs in the Zachman family. When Joe Zachman enrolled at Purdue University, he was following in the career footsteps of his father and older brother. But instead of engineering, Joe chose mechanical engineering technology. Two more brothers earned MET degrees as well. His Purdue education has benefited several companies since he graduated in 1983: Delco Electronics, Sanmina Corporation, CDR Corporation, and TTM Technologies.
Joe has held increasingly responsible positions in engineering and operations throughout his career. As a senior vice president at Wabash National in Lafayette, he is now responsible for all manufacturing, manufacturing engineering, safety, quality, production control, maintenance, and continuous improvement.
Joe’s success in the field can be attributed largely to his academic preparation.
“My degree from Purdue has opened many doors to new career opportunities around the country,” he says. “The practical approach to problem solving has permeated my approach to all aspects of my responsibilities.”
Joe continues to look for opportunities to grow professionally and personally. In his spare time, he enjoys family activities, outdoor activities, physical conditioning, and reading.
Joe and his wife, Debbie, reside in Lafayette with their three children.
This was originally written for the Distinguished Technology Alumni Awards in 2007.