Lucas O'Bryan





Materials Science and Engineering
Class of 2019

Hometown: La Grange Park, IL.

Research/Work Experience: Not yet, but I am a Residential Advisor at Weston Hall.

Other campus activities: I am part of Design for America, a human-centered design organization that focuses on user outreach to develop unique and long lasting solutions to problems in specific communities. I'm also a residential advisor in Weston Hall and a member of the fighting Illini Triathlon Club.

Why did you join EA? I joined Engineering Ambassadors originally for the student outreach. As a summer swim coach, I love working with children and I saw EA as an opportunity to continue that at school while combining it with my academic interests.

What’s your favorite part of being an engineering student? I love the confidence it builds. I know that I have the tools and support to tackle real world issues. Professors do an excellent job of encouraging students while also demanding the very best from them.

What made you come to the University of Illinois? I chose Illinois first for it's exceptional engineering programs. But I fell in love with it when I talked to the people who are a part of the Illini family. Everyone is so incredibly nice and passionate about what they do, from students to professors to academic support staff. The Illinois community is something truly unique and makes the college experience special.

What has been your best experience at Illinois? My best experience has been being an RA. The community and being involved with so many excited residents has helped motivate me every day. It's also given me an appreciation for how we all perceive the world, and how important it is to keep in mind our audiences when we present the ideas and work that excite us.

What advice would you give to someone interested in pursuing a STEM degree? Find what excites you and follow that, even if the path is challenging. If you're excited by the end result, the work you put in will feel less like work and more like a puzzle you'll enjoy solving.

What do you plan on doing after graduation? After I graduate I'm hoping to join the Peace Corps and then ultimately get a job working for a human-centered design firm.