B.S. Mechanical Engineering, 2000
Director of Engineering, Concrete Cutting & Finishing
Blount International, Inc.
At an early age, Todd Gerlach was interested in understanding how mechanical things work. His projects centered around Legos and radio-controlled cars and evolved into building bicycles and automobiles. “In my early years, I was better at taking things apart than putting them back together,” Gerlach said. “But I stuck with it, expanding my skills and confidence.”
Once at Oregon State, Gerlach became motivated to take full advantage of all the resources available to him. He spent free time at the well-equipped shop in Rogers Hall, exploring the dynamics of complex mechanics. For his senior design assignment, he built a highspeed retrieval robot and demonstrated it for CBW Automation, the event sponsor. The project led to his first job working for the company in Colorado.
“The mechanical engineering program really had a profound impact on me,” he said. “I started seeing all the directions where my education and career could take me.”
Today, Gerlach heads the engineering and product development group for the Concrete Cutting & Finishing (CCF) Division of Blount International. His team is responsible for developing diamond tools and equipment for construction and infrastructure markets.
When Gerlach joined Blount, he started in the Forestry Lawn and Garden Division as a product design engineer, then moved into corporate business development as a senior engineer tasked with helping to diversify Blount’s product portfolio. After designing and launching a new and innovative product, Blount offered him a management position within CCF in 2010, and then promoted him to the division’s director of engineering in 2016.
“I have always loved the technical and creative challenge of problemsolving and data analysis,” he said. “But in my current role, I really enjoy learning about what motivates people and teams, how to bridge the gaps, and developing new talent to achieve extraordinary results.”
Gerlach has mentored many interns and junior-level engineers just entering the profession, which he believes has helped make him a valuable contributor to the industry advisory board for the School of Mechanical, Industrial, and Manufacturing Engineering in the College of Engineering at Oregon State.