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Chuck Jurcic, BASc '83

Making the world a smaller place

If there’s no place you’d rather sit than the driver’s seat, maybe you need to thank Chuck Jurcic.

As Vice President of Sales and Program Management for the European seating division of Magna International, great vehicle seating is his domain.

Based in Germany, Jurcic leads a team of more than 50 sales and program management professionals across several European countries that bring Magna’s seats from concept through to production.

“The seat is one of the most important parts of a car since it is integral to the driver and passenger in-vehicle experience, blending aesthetics, comfort, functionality and safety,” says the 1983 Metallurgy and Material Science grad.

A senior leadership role in a country more than 6,000 km from home isn’t what the Hamilton native expected when he launched his career as a product designer for fractional horsepower permanent magnet DC motors.

Working for a small company in London, Ontario, Jurcic used his materials background to develop expertise in the ceramic magnets critical to that type of motor.

His proficiency in recommending designs for various customer specifications brought him to the attention of Siemens Automotive when they purchased the company.

“Siemens was looking for people who they could develop into leadership positions and I was fortunate that I was identified as having potential,” says Jurcic. “So I moved to Germany to learn German and to get close to the Siemens HQ and develop my business relationships.”

It was a turning point that led him through technical and engineering positions and into management and business development roles. The move also changed his perspective on the world.

“The major highlight of my career is extensive travel across Europe, India and many other Asian countries through the years,” he says. “The travel requirements have given me vast opportunities to learn all about local cultures and ways of life and business in addition to building a global network of colleagues.

“I’ve been fortunate in that the world is a smaller place for me.”