The Ripple Effect of Lifelong Learners

John Timken, Chairman of the Board, explains the ripple effect that happens when lifelong learners improve lives and change the world.

A middle schooler disassembles her bike to figure out how it works. A graduate student takes a semester abroad so he can gain new perspectives. A team of experienced engineers conduct research that benefits an entire field of science.

They are generations apart, but they all have something in common: the curiosity and self-motivation to learn new things that advance their knowledge and the world around them.

More than 120 years ago Henry Timken, my mechanically-minded great-grandfather, patented and continued to improve upon a tapered roller bearing design that helped heavy freight wagons make smoother turns. The Timken Company was born, and its inaugural solution improved performance so much that customers could transport goods using fewer resources, saving money and promoting sustainability.

Today, Timken engineers continue to study machines across industries, taking what they learn to devise solutions that make equipment more efficient. They have helped NASA explore space. They have enabled manufacturers to improve performance in the planes, trucks and trains that drive global commerce. Now, they are driving new innovations in alternative energy and robotics. Timken is on the leading edge across many other industries and it’s because its employees are constantly curious.

This month, I’ll have the great honor of hosting the 2020 Timken Global Scholars ceremony. Twenty brilliant children of Timken associates who exhibit this shared passion for lifelong learning will be awarded $540,000 in scholarships. They represent cities and towns across North America, Europe and Asia and have their own ideas for moving the world forward.

As part of its commitment to education and communities, the company established this program in 1958, awarding the first scholarships to five students from the company’s home state of Ohio. Like Timken, the scholarship program has grown bigger, more diverse and more global. After this year’s honors are awarded, the program will have awarded a collective $25 million.

It’s money well spent. It reinforces a Timken culture where associates are viewed as family. And it promotes the reality that educating a new generation contributes to the overall betterment of our communities-at-large. What these students learn over the next several years will help them become diplomats, doctors, engineers, nurses, scientists and other professionals who will have a positive influence on others.

Last year’s top scholarship winner, Ioana Babarus, is currently studying at the University of Versailles in Paris and hopes to one day work in pharmaceutical research. Ioana, a native of Romania, plans to create an organization that enables pharmacy students to travel internationally and distribute needed medicinal products to underserved communities.

Conor Eckhardt, a 2010 Timken Global Scholar, works as a mechanical engineer with an Ohio firm that designs and builds hospitals, schools and commercial spaces. He recently consulted on the HVAC, plumbing and fire protection design for a new children’s health center. Conor also mentors children through a global organization that helps kids build character and life skills through the sport of golf.

Ioana and Conor both demonstrate that lifelong learning has a ripple effect beyond any one person or profession. It generates informed, responsible and caring people that innovate for the future and contribute in their communities. And that is a combination that moves everyone forward.

John Timken, Jr.
Chairman, Board of Directors
The Timken Company