Enabler of Organizational Goals │Strategic Corporate Partner

  • Advised one or more organizations
  • Received an award or special recognition
  • Received one or more certifications
  • Networked with other professionals
  • Earned one or more college degrees
  • Limited-edition achievement recognizing early members of Workfolio
  • Considered an authority in a particular field
  • Taught a subject or trade to others
  • Filed one or more patents


Christopher D Burns
In all relationships, both professional and personal: "Start with empathy and listen carefully.  Repeatedly deliver as promised.  Enjoy lifelong, trusting relationships."
I recently retired as the engineering director for the North America DEEDS business unit of the Delphi E/EA division. I am now active in business consulting and am considering expanding my horizons to include a long time passion: higher education leadership.

Since late 2010, I was responsible for a Fortune 500 engineering organization that designed and supported the manufacturing of electrical and electronic distribution systems, which included over 1,000 engineers and designers in Mexico and the US. I was privileged to lead many teams that provided innovative, cost effective solutions for multiple customers, in the automotive, commercial vehicle, and agricultural industries, in support of emerging megatrends around electric vehicle propulsion and autonomous drive transportation.

I served as the campus technical lead for all Delphi co-operative student recruiting programs at Kettering University and was the recipient of the Charles F. Kettering award in April 2017, from the CEIA organization. I also collaborated with MIT in their Global Organizations Lab program, where MIT graduate students worked closely with Delphi to improve product innovation strategies, in major automotive design centers in Europe, China, and the United States.

In 2008, I was the global advanced engineering director for Delphi E/EA, responsible for innovation efforts across all regions and business units. Engineering teams under my leadership won an automotive PACE award and submitted multiple patent applications in the areas of high power electrical/electronic cable and connection systems, and high speed data communications.

I began my career as an engineering student at Kettering University. I later served in a variety of engineering and product line assignments at GM and Delphi.

I earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Kettering University, a masters in business administration from Youngstown State University, and a masters in Systems Engineering & Management from MIT. I am grateful to all the educators from these fine institutions that helped prepare me for the future.  


  1. -
    Retired, Delphi

    I recently retired from Delphi and am now consulting and planning a career transition into my long time passion - higher education leadership.

  2. -
    Director Engineering North America DEEDS, Delphi

    Lead all product engineering development efforts for North America DEEDS

  3. -
    Global Advanced Engineering Director, Delphi

    Responsible for all advanced development innovation efforts across all regions and business units

  4. -
    North Am. Core Engineering Senior Staff Engineer, Delphi

    Led problem solving and continuous improvement activities as a Six Sigma Master Black Belt.  Personally lead and coached multiple project improvement teams, using science, computer modeling, and statistical data analysis

    Responsible for the development of an industry leading, customized computer software and a global database system to deliver innovative system designs as part of a new engineering operating system.

  5. -
    Master of Science in System Eng & Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    Received a corporate fellowship from GM/Delphi to attend an executive level program at MIT.

  6. -
    MBA, Youngstown State University

    Received an MBA in evenings, while working full time

  7. -
    Bachelors of Electrical Engineering, General Motors Institute (Kettering University)

    Co-op program with General Motors

Proudest Accomplishment

Being happily married for 38 years to my best friend, Nancy.  Without her, I would be adrift.  :)


  • 2017 Charles F. Kettering award
    Cooperative Education & Internship Association, Inc
  • 2015 Delphi Global Leader of Excellence award
  • 2013 Creatively Connected Workforce Conference
    Organized and conducted a week long workshop for 150 Delphi employees






    Canon 7dii DSLR and Apple 7+ iPhone
    Microsoft WIndows and OFFice 365               ADOBE LIGHTROOM and photoshop


  • 1,000
    Engineers and designers managed
  • 514
    linkedin connections
  • 240%
    6 year operating income improvement
  • 80%
    6 year Revenue Growth
  • 4.0
    GPA at MIT
  • 2 + 2
    Patents and trade scerets


  • Cross Functional TEAMWORK
  • System engineering
  • Program Management
  • lean manufacturing
  • continuous improvement
  • FMEA

Questions & Answers

What is your operating philosophy?
I see no reason why some people cannot be proficient at both technical leadership (engineering) skills and also excel in managerial (people relational) skills.  I see business and educational organizations, as complex systems - where people and organizational goals are the main elements of the system.  

Lately, organizational system design has been far more interesting to me - mainly due to the relatively less predictability of people's motivations and thoughts, when compared to electrical and/or mechanical system designs.
Why did you choose your profession?
I wanted to blend my aptitude in math and science, with a desire to help others develop and grow.
Who were your main influences?
Far too many to list, but here are four. 1. My 7th grade science teacher - Leonard Tropea.  He unleashed my curiosity.   2. My first MIT professor - Dr. Edward Crawley. He opened my eyes to new ways of thinking about complexity and how to develop and manage complex systems, including teams of people. 3. My best boss at Delphi - Douglas Gruber.  He showed me what true leadership and Excellence is all about - Everyday and with Everyone.  4.  Simon Sinek - He is an inspirational and thoughtful speaker and guru.  I reflect often on his message and insight.  He own several principles on my latest pyramid model.
What tools do you use?
An Excellence culture that focuses on the customer, Systems thinking and modeling (2x2 matrices, system dynamic,DMAIC, etc.), Psychology and Temperament theory, Active listening and Communicating with CARE.
What are your long-term goals?
I want to help higher educational institutions better develop undergraduate and graduate students, so that they are more readily accepted and influential in the workplace.
Describe your greatest accomplishment.
While my work life has been long and prosperous, it pales when compared to my personal life. I have been blessed with a wonderful marriage and have a great, loving family.

But at work, I have really enjoyed recruiting and developing young people, as part of a comprehensive co-operative education program in industry.
What are you working on right now?
Enjoying a brief hiatus from work, finishing the architecture and design of our dream home for our future retirement, and contemplating our next steps, until that day arrives a few years from now.


United States

Interested In

Share on