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Alumni Association honors Kimmet for his exceptional service to Ohio State

Alumni Association President Jim Smith (left) and Kristin Watt, vice chair of the Alumni Association Board of Directors, presented Dan Kimmet (center) with the 2017 Ralph Davenport Mershon Award.Alumni Association President Jim Smith (left) and Kristin Watt, vice chair of the Alumni Association Board of Directors, presented Dan Kimmet (center) with the 2017 Ralph Davenport Mershon Award.

Dan Kimmet (’71 BS, ’72 MS, Mechanical Engineering) has bled scarlet and gray for as long as he can remember. His commitment to The Ohio State University has remained unwavering throughout his time as both a student and engineering professional.

On Sept. 18, the two-time graduate received the Alumni Association’s 2017 Ralph Davenport Mershon Award in honor of his exceptional leadership and service to the university.

Taking organizations to the next level  

As a young boy, Kimmet followed Ohio State football and basketball games on the television and radio.  While he was sure that he would become a Buckeye, it took him a bit longer to decide on his major.

“I always enjoyed math and science courses in high school,” said Kimmet. “As a freshman, I was undecided but thought about majoring in math. I soon recognized, however, that mechanical engineering would be really interesting and the degree would provide many varied employment opportunities.”

After graduating with his master’s degree in 1972, Kimmet was hired as a product engineer at Ford Motor Company. He joined Aeroquip Corporation in 1974 as an engineering coordinator and by 1976, he was promoted to engineering manager for the company’s Industrial Division.

Photo Credit: The Ohio State University Alumni AssociationPhoto Credit: The Ohio State University Alumni AssociationAt Aeroquip, Kimmet gained leadership experience while moving up the ranks from general manager of Aeroquip’s aerospace business to vice president of the Aerospace Group. In 1993, he was named vice president of the company’s Automotive Group. In this role, he was instrumental in improving the manufacture of fluid power components.

In 2001, Kimmet was named vice president of Eaton Corporation’s Mobile Fluid Power Operations, which provides total hydraulic systems capability for the construction, agriculture, mining, forestry, truck, engine, lawn and garden markets.

"Dan Kimmet has proven himself in virtually every one of Aeroquip's businesses," said Alexander M. Cutler, president and CEO of Eaton in 2000. "He is a highly qualified leader and well-prepared to succeed."

Kimmet retired from that role, but he couldn’t stay idle for long. He joined the Dillin Corporation in 2005 as its chief executive officer. He led the Perrysburg, Ohio company, which provides real estate consulting services, until his retirement in 2007.

“I hope I provided leadership that helped my companies grow and prosper while supporting all of our dedicated and valuable employees,” he shared.

Keeping the Buckeye spirit

Kimmet’s exceptional leadership skills didn’t just benefit the companies he managed. His passion for Ohio State has remained steady for more than 45 years.

In 2014, he combined his exceptional leadership skills with his extensive network of industry partners to establish the university’s Center for Design and Manufacturing Excellence (CDME). As the center’s executive director from 2014 to 2015, Kimmet oversaw the creation of the CDME facility on west campus and helped grow CDME’s list of faculty and industry collaborators.  

His impact has touched the (then) Mechanical Engineering Department directly, as well.

Kimmet has led the Mechanical Engineering External Advisory Board for more than ten years and has been a champion for MAE’s academic success since his time as a student on campus. He is a member of Ohio State’s Alumni Advisory Council; a generous contributor to Ohio State funding campaigns; and he was an especially effective partner in restructuring the mechanical engineering program’s undergraduate curriculum.

The two-time Buckeye graduate was honored for his dedication to both MAE and the College of Engineering with the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1991, the Benjamin G. Lamme Meritorious Achievement Medal in 2001 and the Meritorious Service Citation in 2016.

“In supporting Ohio State and other community organizations, I hope I have made a difference and I am grateful for the opportunity to give back.”

To learn more about how Kimmet has connected campus and corporate America, view his story on The Ohio State University Alumni Association’s website.

Kimmet joined two other College of Engineering graduates as Alumni Award recipients. Learn more about Phil Barnes, the Diversity Champion Award recipient, and Jim Roberts, the Robert M. Duncan Alumni Citizenship Award recipient, by clicking here.