The Engines Division of Kawasaki Motors Corp. has hired Dave Sugden as director of research and development. Sugden has had product development responsibilities for 27 years, most recently as director of product design and improvement at Scag Power Equipment.

Sugden will manage the growing R&D function at Kawasaki. At the same time Troy Smith is promoted to manager of R&D testing, applications, and EFI, and JJ Zeilstra is named manager of new development and government relations. Matt Ulmenstine was promoted to applications engineering supervisor.

“These personnel moves put Kawasaki in the best position to continue to meet our growth objectives and they signal the company’s continued interest in maintaining both internal cohesion and coordinated integration with our OEM customers,” said Nelson Wilner, executive director. “We are taking full advantage of our new facility capabilities and have been expanding development activities and growing our staff to be well positioned for anticipating OEM needs.

The company’s new 200,000-square-foot building in Grand Rapids, Mich., gives its R&D function a larger footprint for expansion and brings the varied components of the company into closer proximity, helping to achieve greater synergies between departments.