Automotive Alumnus Helps Subaru Technician Find Global Success

Published 11.21.2013

Alumni News
School of Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies News

Adopting a goodnaturedly competitive stance are Penn College alumnus James S. Riedel (left) and Subaru technician Mark Jurkovski.A parade of competitors and coachesJames S. Riedel acknowledges the crowd during introductions.Not far from the action, coach Riedel watches an ultimate winner at work.The third-place U.S. entry takes its place in the winners' circle with Australia (the top finisher) and Japan.A 2007 graduate of Penn College's four-year automotive technology management major recently coached a technician to a third-place finish at the fourth annual Subaru World Technical Competition held Nov. 12-13 in Japan. James S. Riedel, a Washington, D.C.-area field service training manager for the automaker, will soon begin his new duties as technical training development manager at Subaru of America Inc.'s Cherry Hill, N.J., corporate headquarters. For the past six months, he mentored Mark Jurkovski, a senior master technician at Morrie's Minnetonka (Minn.) Subaru, who represented the United States in the 14-country competition. Riedel, a two-term president of the college's Student Government Association, likened the atmosphere to the Olympics. Participants entered the suburban Tokyo arena to great fanfare, wearing bibs emblazoned with their national flags as audiences cheered on their favorites in the crowded venue. The world competition comprised a written test to gauge the contestant's academic knowledge, as well as technical challenges of troubleshooting and repairing a "no-start" vehicle, dismantling and diagnosing an automatic-transmission assembly, and designing an electrical circuit.
Photos by Nicole Caucino