Kevin Evans BS ’87, Biosystems & Agricultural Engineering, was awarded the 2013 College of Engineering BAE Distinguished Alumni Award.
Mr. Evans is senior technical manager for Beam Global R&D. Since joining the company fall 2012, he has played a key role in the design and build out of the new Beam Global Innovation Center in Clermont, Kentucky. He grew up on a dairy farm in south central Michigan, with green and white running through his veins from the beginning; his dad, sister, and brother all attended Michigan State before him. It was this background that led Kevin to MSU to earn his BS in biosystems and agricultural engineering in1987, where he worked his way through school in the agricultural engineering department. Kevin furthered his education at the University of California, Davis, obtaining his MS in biosystems and agricultural engineering in 1989.
Kevin began his career at Frito-Lay, Inc., in Dallas as an R&D process engineer and acquired exposure across the portfolio of potato chips, extruded and salty snacks, and sweets. While at Frito-Lay, Kevin started to hone his skills and passion for process design and project management. The next career move, in 1994, found Kevin migrating back north to Sara Lee Bakery in Chicago, where he continued to expand his consumer goods exposure in the bakery industry. Continuing to migrate south, Kevin moved to sunny Florida to join Tropicana Products in 1997. There he developed strategic plans and business models for new technologies to drive productivity, quality, and cost. In 2006, he transferred back north to Barrington, Illinois, as the PepsiCo-Quaker- Tropicana-Gatorade R&D operations manager for the cross-functional operations teams including: pilot plant, health, safety and environmental, quality, project management, and purchasing sub-teams. In 2008, Kevin moved into the role of director of commercialization and engineering for PepsiCo Beverage, taking responsibility for research and commercialization of new products and processes across the PepsiCo Beverage portfolio, including Tropicana, Naked Juice, Gatorade, and Lipton Tea.
Kevin has engaged in a variety of leadership and mentoring opportunities. He has chaired local blood drives and United Way campaigns and volunteered for Junior Achievement. He was an original PepsiCo trainer for diversity and inclusion initiatives. He has twice achieved Gold Level Toastmaster status and was the founding member of the Quaker-Tropicana- Gatorade Toastmasters club. He also served on the MSU Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering industry advisory board for several years (as chairperson 2007-2008) and mentored several senior design project teams at MSU.
Kevin and his wife, Shay, reside in Louisville, Kentucky. They have two boys—Avery, 14, and Harrison, 11. Kevin continues to spend many hours coaching and supporting his boys in the many endeavors they undertake, from sports, to music, to academic teams. He also enjoys traveling the globe.