Bosch photo

Bosch Automotive dedication -- James Seargent, a senior customer marketing analyst with Robert Bosch LLL, Automotive Aftermarket North America, and Andy Wang, dean of Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s College of Applied Sciences and Arts, hold a plaque dedicating the Bosch Automotive Parts Center at the university’s Transportation Education Center today (April 9). With Seargent, a 2003 SIU automotive technology graduate, and Wang, are from left: Michael Behrmann, department chair; Adam Wolfe, a sophomore in automotive technology who is a Bosch co-op marketing product coordinator; Tim Bruin, Bosch vice president of field sales, and Rob Darrow, a 2005 automotive technology graduate who is a manager, strategic products for Bosch. (Photo by Steve Buhman) 

April 09, 2015

SIU, Bosch Automotive celebrate partnership

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The dedication today (April 9) of the Bosch Automotive Parts Center in Southern Illinois University Carbondale's Transportation Education Center was a celebration of a longstanding partnership that benefits students while they are in school and after they graduate.

The facility in the Transportation Education Center is the central hub for connecting students to the public and providing quality automotive parts students need to perform their laboratory experiments. The center will also house the department’s retail parts and service operations office, where the public interacts with the department and its operations. 

The auto parts center is integral to the program’s success and is an important educational resource for faculty and students, Andy Wang, dean of the College of Applied Sciences and Arts, said. 

“This gift from Bosch supports the university’s mission to recruit talented students to serve the region and beyond. It is always rewarding to invest in education for young generations,” Wang said. “Through this Bosch Auto Parts Center, we are able to create a unique learning environment with advanced automotive technologies and a great variety of auto parts and supplies that equip our students to become leaders in automotive industry.” 

Michael Behrmann, department chair, said Bosch actively recruits SIU automotive graduates for automotive product and program management. Two program alumni, Rob Darrow, a 2005 graduate, and James Seargent, a 2003 graduate, were among Bosch officials at the dedication. Darrow, a manager of strategic projects; Seargent, a senior customer marketing analyst, and Tim Bruin, vice president of field sales for Robert Bosch LLC, Automotive Aftermarket North America, presented the plaque for the facility. 

“As the world’s largest automotive supplier, Bosch has a particular passion to foster the education and growth of those who will build the future of this industry. We are both honored and proud to partner with the Southern Illinois University Automotive Technology department to support its unique program, equipping students with the specialized knowledge and skills needed to step into active and productive roles in their chosen fields,” said Odd Joergenrud, regional president, North America, Robert Bosch LLC, Automotive Aftermarket. 

Bruin’s son, Matthew, is a sophomore in automotive technology at SIU. Bosch has been “fortunate” to hire several SIU graduates, many with “long and distinguished careers,” Tim Bruin said. 

“We find them to be knowledgeable from both the technical and business perspectives, highly enthusiastic, and innovative thinkers who have advanced Bosch and the industry through their contributions,” he said. 

“Bosch’s coordinated engagement and development experiences help attract and prepare individuals that are highly capable of becoming the future leaders of one of the world’s largest corporations,” Behrmann said. 

“Support from Bosch also allows the department’s outstanding faculty to remain involved in research and development of some of the most advanced technical and business developments occurring in the industry,” Behrmann said. “The SIU and Bosch working relationship supports the entire educational environment for students, faculty and the public.” 

Behrmann said graduates “are highly sought after and respected in the industry” with numerous positions available in product support, management, business operations, training and service engineering from major corporations, suppliers and government agencies. With an abundance of paid corporate co-op and internships positions available for students, corporations such as Bosch begin recruiting students even in their freshman year, Behrmann said. About 90 percent of last year’s graduating class had accepted a job offer prior to graduating, and the remaining students had an average of two job offers they were deciding on. 

SIU Carbondale provides one of the few automotive technology baccalaureate degrees in the nation and the only four-year degree of its kind in Illinois. Established in 1952, the competitive admission program has more than 250 national and international students with more than 70 graduates each year. 

More information about Bosch automotive aftermarket is available at More information about the SIU’s automotive technology program is available at