Student Spotlight: Ryan VanDusen
While Ryan VanDusen admits there’s a lot more to learn about his chosen field of study, the Engineering student is definitely on the right track.
During his first year at College of DuPage, VanDusen entered Pathways to Engineering at Illinois, a rigorous 2+2 program that provides guaranteed admission to the University of Illinois’ highly competitive College of Engineering. He headed there in 2013 and said COD prepared him well.
“The academic experience at COD is tough, but I enjoyed it. My teachers, and especially the engineering program, were very good,” said VanDusen, who credits his Engineering professor, David Smith, with helping him manage the pressures that come with college life. “The first year I was really stressed on and off. I never really had to study until I came here, and Dave helped me a lot with that. He’s just really mellow and tells you like it is.”
The COD Presidential Scholar majored in Agricultural Engineering at UIUC, specializing in off-road equipment design. In 2014, he interned with Case IH as part of the planter group, gaining real-world experience while making connections within the industry.
Having earned his Bachelor of Science degree, with a specialty in off-road equipment design, and graduating with honors, VanDusen initially worked as a design engineer for 360 Yield Center, which helps farmers maximize the yield of their crops. He is now a process engineer for LCN.
“My basic responsibilities as a process engineer are developing, configuring and optimizing industrial processes from inception through to start up and certification,” he said. “This includes assessing processes, taking measurements and interpreting data as well as designing, running, testing and upgrading systems and processes.”
VanDusen said College of DuPage prepared him for the challenges ahead.
“COD was a nice pathway, maturing-wise. Between the ages of 18 and 20, that’s a big difference,” he said. “I’m definitely glad I made this choice.”
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