College of Engineering Seminars & Speakers

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SE 290 - Rob Cotner

Event Type
The Department of Industrial & Enterprise Systems Engineering
151 Loomis
Nov 2, 2023   11:00 am  
Julie Murphy
Originating Calendar
ISE Seminar Calendar

Rob Cotner is currently Director of Global Key Accounts at Weidmüller, a market leader in electrical device connectivity.  In this global leadership role, he is responsible for creating partnership opportunities with a global automation company. 

Rob entered the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign in 1989 as a second generation UIUC engineer with the intention of becoming a patent attorney.  The unique General Engineering program allowed Rob to explore diverse interests by taking classes in psychology, intellectual property, and aircraft crash investigation.  He graduated in 1993, earning a BS in General Engineering with a secondary field of concentration in Italian Language.  His senior project was with an Illinois company, Equipto, designing automated bookshelves.  A summer internship at an assembly equipment manufacturer and role on his senior project ignited a strong interest in industrial automation sales. 

After graduation, Rob began a career as a Field Sales Engineer with ifm, a German manufacturer of sensors.  At ifm he gained valuable industry experience advising automotive, tire, food, beverage, and machine tool manufacturers in industrial control technology. Afterwards, he led teams in sales, marketing, and product management at automation technology companies including Schneider Electric, Anixter, and Graymills. He has built a broad global industry expertise in industrial automation software, hardware, and equipment. 

Rob earned an MBA from Northern Illinois University in 2016, with a concentration on finance and marketing.  He stays engaged with NIU Business School by coaching undergraduates in the Professional Sales Program. 

Rob resides in the Chicago suburbs with his wife and four children.  He enjoys attending his kids’ school athletic events and swimming for fitness. 

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