Every day at his job, Trystan Duell is able to combine two of his biggest passions: archery and engineering.
The same can be said of his time spent at Alfred State, when Trystan studied mechanical engineering technology and was also a member of the Alfred State Archery Team. No doubt, the experiences he had then as a student have had a big influence on where he is now - working as a design engineer at The Outdoor Group. This West Henrietta-based company specializes in the development and manufacturing of premium quality archery and hunting equipment for the outdoor space.
Trystan, who grew up in the small town of Warsaw, about an hour away from Alfred, decided to enroll at Alfred State because of the hands-on experiences he would receive in his program, as well as the small and personal nature of the classes.
“Going to Alfred State gave me the ability to practice the theory and application of the subjects being learned,” he said. “It is that side of my education that has set me apart from many other job-seekers, in my opinion.”
Looking back on his program, Trystan acknowledges that great professors, small class sizes, and plenty of hands-on learning opportunities all played a major role in preparing him for success in his future career.
“There was a ton of volume and quality to the education,” he said. “Most enrolled in the program were great people to be around and learn with, too.”
Another aspect of Trystan’s Alfred State experience that helped put him on target for success was his involvement with the college’s archery team. The club, which formed in 2016, focuses on developing archery skills and allows members to compete against other colleges at events around the nation.
At one of these competitions, the USA Archery Collegiate 3-D National Championships in Foley, AL, Trystan had a particularly impressive showing as he shot his way to a second-place individual finish in the men’s compound/open class division.
“Not many students can say that they had the opportunity to fly to Alabama for the Collegiate 3-D Championships, so that was huge,” he said. “The guys that were on the team with me were able to take this fairly new club to the next level. Aside from being able to do something that I am passionate about, I was also able to practice life skills as a member of the club.”
Immediately after graduating in May 2018 with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering technology, Trystan began working at The Outdoor Group, where he had served as a design engineer intern since April 2017.
As noted on its website, while The Outdoor Group’s primary market is the United States and Canada, the company conducts business globally, with rapidly growing market share worldwide. The Outdoor Group is the parent company of nine brands of archery and hunting equipment, including Elite Archery (bows), CamX (crossbows), Scott Releases, Custom Bow Equipment (sights, rests, stabilizers, and quivers), Slick Trick Broadheads, Solid Broadheads, Lynch Mob (game calls), Duel Game Calls, and Winners Choice Bowstrings.
As a design engineer, Trystan has many responsibilities. His primary role is new product development, which involves taking requirements for a new item and designing a complete system or product from the ground up (concept to production).
“On any given day, I can work on bows, releases, sights, and more,” he said. “Testing is a huge part of my job, so shooting the products is essential, which means I get to be paid to do something I enjoy.”
Admittedly, getting to test out the equipment he designs is a pretty cool perk of his job.
“The fact that at any given moment I can leave my desk, pick up almost any product – current or in development – and go to the range and shoot is great,” he said. “I am also developing very important skills in all aspects of engineering.”
Being an archer who gets to design archery equipment, Trystan said, is both fun and very rewarding. He also gets to apply what he learned at Alfred State to his job each day.
“I am able to envision a product, design it, and make it,” he said. “Then I am able to shoot it and see other archers purchasing and shooting the products. It gives me a sense of pride to see the products that I have designed on store shelves.”
Trystan also has plenty of Pioneer Pride in addition to the sense of accomplishment he feels on the job. Being at Alfred State, he said, enabled him to grow skills he didn’t realize he would need in the workforce, as well as develop the passions that he had prior to college.
“Alfred was a perfect mix of old passions and new experiences,” he said. “For example, the diversity of the town between Alfred State and Alfred University allowed me to get to know tons of people that I never would have had the chance to meet otherwise.”
As a result of both his major and being a part of the archery club, Trystan notes that he made a close group of friends who are now located all over New York State. A year and a half after graduating, he continues to stay in touch with them on a weekly basis.
From lasting friendships, to a terrific hands-on education, to competing in once-in-a-lifetime archery events, it’s no wonder that Trystan considers his Alfred State experience to be “one of the greatest times of my life.”
“I constantly reminisce about the good times and great friends that I had in Alfred,” he said. “Part of me wishes that I was still a student there to make more memories, but the time I spent there was much enjoyed, and I would not trade it for anything.”