Building a career with hands-on experience: Lofgren earns civil engineering degree

May 06, 2024

Ryan Lofgren, an Iowa native, first toured Mizzou as a rising junior in high school and fell in love with the character of campus. After going on various other visits in the year that followed, he says nothing quite compared to his experience at MU. So, he followed his gut and could not be happier with that decision.

While at Mizzou Engineering, Lofgren was involved in campus admissions, peer mentoring opportunities and an engineering honor society. He was also a Mizzou ‘39 recipient, chosen for his academic achievement, leadership and service to Mizzou and the community.

Lofgren plans to work as a civil engineer at Burns & McDonnell after graduating, a company he first networked with at the Mizzou Engineering Career Fair.

Read on for a Q&A with Lofgren about his Mizzou Engineering experience.

What’s your favorite thing about civil engineering?

First, the faculty here is extremely impressive. Dr. Bill Butler, Dr. Glenn Washer and others are considered world-renowned experts in their fields and having the opportunity to interact with people like them is special.

Secondly, the hands-on learning that we get to participate in is extremely unique. From making concrete to testing steel specimens, the amount of immersive learning that we participate in is extremely beneficial to the learning process.

How did you get involved at Mizzou?

I was involved in a few areas across campus. My freshman year, I started giving tours of Mizzou’s campus and eventually, I was given the opportunity to travel with the admissions department several times to speak to prospective students from out of state – places such as Los Angeles, Dallas and Iowa. Within the College of Engineering, I am a member of Tau Beta Pi Honors Society, I served as a peer mentor for freshman civil engineering students and I got to be a peer learning assistant for an introductory engineering course!

What’s your favorite Mizzou Engineering memory?

Best Mizzou Engineering memory is hands down E-Week 2024. Getting to celebrate Mizzou Engineering’s long-standing traditions with all of my friends one last time was really special. The Knighting Ceremony was super fun, but so was the Dome Lighting. Best time of year is when Jesse Hall turns green!

I also recently got to meet the structural engineer, William “Bill” Baker, who designed the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. He himself is a Mizzou grad, and being able to connect with such an influential person in my dream profession was something that I will never forget.

Why are you proud to be a Tiger?

The community you feel when you really immerse yourself in Mizzou’s culture is second to none. To this day, I keep in contact with people who graduated years ago because of the shared experiences that Mizzou offered us. Even away from Columbia, you would be hard pressed to walk through any airport with a Mizzou Tiger on your chest and not hear at least one “M-I-Z!” from a stranger. The network that Mizzou builds across campus, and even around the country, is what makes being a Tiger so special, and why I am proud to be one for life.

What’s next for you after graduation?

After graduation, I will be moving to Denver, Colorado, to work as a civil engineer within the transmission and distribution global practice of Burns & McDonnell.