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Donna McCracken


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This Year



UIS graduate student receives FMC Fellowship Award

May 16, 2005

SPRINGFIELD – Darin Bohlmann, a graduate student in the MBA program at the University of Illinois at Springfield, has received a Graduate Fellowship from Chicago-based FMC Technologies, Inc.  Bohlmann, a first-year student in the MBA program offered by UIS in Peoria, will receive $9,000 for the 2005-2006 academic year.

FMC graduate fellowships are made to outstanding students in business administration, engineering, or related fields in recognition of noteworthy achievements. Students are nominated by their program advisers and final selections are made by representatives of FMC, the U of I, and the U of I Foundation.

Bohlmann entered the UIS MBA program in the 2004 fall semester. Ronald McNeil, dean of UIS’ College of Business and Management, noted that materials nominating Bohlmann for the award cited him as performing at a “consistently superior level in all classes, earning a perfect 4.00 grade-point average” and “by all available metrics, earning both the respect and friendship of his fellow students.”

Bohlmann is employed by Caterpillar, Inc. in East Peoria where he is a design engineer in the Transmission Business Unit.  In that capacity, his responsibilities include product design and management, purchasing and manufacturing support, coordinating test work, cost management, and support of quality initiatives. He recently led a team of engineers from five Caterpillar facilities in three countries to implement application of a new truck transmission system. His duties have also included responsibility for monitoring product costs and leading efforts to formulate and implement cost reduction strategies. He has previously worked as a design and mechanical engineer with various companies and served an internship with the Boeing Company in Seattle. He and his wife are owners of The Mole Hole, a specialty store in Peoria.

Bohlmann earned the B.S. in engineering from Bradley University in 1999. While at Bradley, he was a leader in the Formula SAE project, an international student design competition sponsored annually by the Society of Automotive Engineers in which students design, construct, and race a scaled-down formula car in less than a year. The faculty adviser for the project noted at the time that Bohlmann’s combination of “leadership, determination, intelligence, and mature judgment contributed strongly” to the team’s success.

Said Bohlmann, “When it comes to the business of learning, I believe firmly in the synergistic power of real-world experience and formal education. Many lessons are lost on those who don’t understand the fundamental principles behind the real-world lessons.” 

The UIS Peoria MBA format is designed to meet the needs of students who are employed full-time, but wish to complete degree requirements in a timely manner. Courses are offered so that it is possible for students to complete degree requirements in 21 months.

The FMC Educational Fund (formerly the Link-Belt Educational Fund) was established in 1963 by U of I alumnus Bert Gayman, who donated a large block of company stock to the U of I Foundation.



    The University of Illinois at Springfield, one of three U of I campuses, is a small, public liberal arts university that offers 42 degree programs – 21 bachelor’s, 20 master’s, and the Doctorate of Public Administration. UIS has a special mission in public affairs and service and is known for extraordinary internships, a wireless campus, extensive online offerings, and a commitment to teaching.