Dustin Arvola was inspired by his father to be an engineer at an early age.
“My dad grew up on a farm, worked in a mechanic shop, earned a degree in industrial maintenance, and eventually joined Steel Dynamics as an electrician,” he recalled. “His attitude was to take care of the things he owned, to repair the things that would break, and to spend time understanding a problem before attempting to solve it. I was quite fortunate that he not only liked having me involved with the things he worked on, but he would also teach me what he was doing along the way.”
As Dustin approached high school graduation, he encountered challenges with college admissions.
“My SAT scores were not the best, which made it quite difficult for me to gain admission into most engineering programs,” he said. “I knew that I was meant to be an engineer and I had the confidence that I would do well if given the chance.”
While investigating colleges near his hometown of Churubusco, Indiana, he received a piece of mail offering on-campus tours of Trine University.
"After visiting I realized Trine not only had a beautiful campus but was also a place full of opportunity and resources for me to grow and thrive."- Dustin Arvola
“I was skeptical at first,” he recalled, “but after visiting I realized Trine not only had a beautiful campus but was also a place full of opportunity and resources for me to grow and thrive.”
Dustin was accepted into Trine’s mechanical engineering program in 2011. He learned how to solve problems using a technical approach in his engineering classes, and developed communication and socialization skills through Trine’s Student Government and The Delta Chi Fraternity. He also built relationships with the faculty which expanded his opportunities for scholarships, internships and graduate school.
By the time he graduated in 2016 with a mechanical engineering degree, he had the confidence to pursue a career in metallurgy.
“Through the assistance of my academic advisor and the network I had built as an undergrad, I was able to secure a two-year research position at Missouri S&T while I pursued a Master of Science in Metallurgical Engineering degree,” he said.
After finishing his master’s degree in 2018, he accepted a position as a full-time metallurgist with Steel Dynamics, where he had interned several times while a student at Trine.
As a metallurgist, his primary responsibility is to optimize steelmaking practices that utilize the company’s electric arc furnace. This includes a variety of tasks, such as implementing technology to improve process performance metrics, analyzing data to identify productivity trends, performing value-in-use analyses to minimize steelmaking costs, writing standard operating procedures, and verifying that scrap and other furnace inputs conform to specifications.
“Our facility in Columbia City, Indiana, produced approximately 2 million tons of steel last year, so small mistakes in the process can result in large financial losses over time,” he commented.
His Trine education has allowed Dustin to progress a long way from the high school student who was just trying to find an engineering school to attend.
“I am so grateful that Trine was willing to give me the opportunity to pursue an engineering degree,” he said. “I am truly blessed beyond measure, and cannot wait to see what the future may hold!”