Student Spotlight: Ryan VanDusen

Student Spotlight: Ryan VanDusen

Ryan VanDusen
Major: Engineering

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 is working as a design engineer for 360 Yield Center, which helps farmers maximize the yield of their crops.

“We get to design, test and manufacture the product from start to finish, which allows our engineers to learn the all the process is product development,” he said. “This takes time up front but after a while, the knowledge we gain allows us to design new concepts for manufacturability, which gets us to market faster. I’m leaning more and more every day.”

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.”

More about the Engineering program

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