College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Trace Tuthill: Outstanding senior in agricultural engineering

Trace Tuthill

Major: Agricultural engineering, emphasis in power and machinery

Minors: Agricultural business and agronomy

Hometown: Wyoming, Illinois

Clubs and activities: American Society of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineers – three years on executive board, Fluid Power Club – founder and treasurer, Undergraduate research with Dr. Brian Steward, Honors Program, Honors ambassador, First Year Honors leader, The Salt Company – student leader

Awards and honors: Dean’s list, Tau Beta Pi, Honors Program graduate

Who was your most influential mentor while at Iowa State?

Brian Steward, professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering, has been instrumental in my success here at Iowa State. He’s been my research mentor for undergraduate research for four years, the advisor for my Honors Project, and he helped introduce me to the company that I will be working for after graduation.

What would you consider your greatest accomplishments at Iowa State?

I have two. First, graduating in four years while completing the requirements to graduate from the Honors Program. I double minored and took a semester to study abroad while still getting my engineering degree and being very involved in campus organizations. Managing that workload and being able to accomplish my academic goals was very rewarding.

Second, studying abroad in Poland for a semester. I had an incredible experience and made a bunch of friends that now I get to go back and see. Being able to adapt to a different culture and travel in Europe for four months is something I’m really proud of.

What’s your favorite place on campus?

Definitely Sukup Hall. It’s where my major is housed and I think that building is a really great place to study, work and hang out with friends. Plus, I’ve spent more time there over the last four years than any other place.

What’s your advice for first-year Iowa State engineering students?

Pick one thing that’s outside your comfort zone and just do it. You don’t need to be good at it and you don’t have to stick with it if you really hate it, but you came to college to challenge yourself and broaden your horizons. You’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t put yourself out there from time to time.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I enjoy helping on my family farm in Illinois by working with the pigs or on the crop side. I also do some woodworking when I’m at home.

What are your plans for after graduation?

I will be going to work for Iowa Fluid Power in Cedar Rapids as an Applications Engineer. I get to help design and build one-of-a-kind machines powered by hydraulics.