Employee Spotlight: Meet Ryan Laprise, Design Engineer

Hi Ryan!

Hi Ryan!

Who is Ryan Laprise?

Empire Group's internal Engineering team works with each department of the organization on all engineering related principles needed to bring projects to life, in the most efficient way possible. They are a collective group of bright individuals that take pride in creating clever, innovative solutions at any part of the development process.

This is one of the things Design Engineer Ryan Laprise values most about his current role. When asked about his favorite part of being a Design Engineer, Ryan answered "...being able to interact with all parts of the company, and the design process on a daily basis."

Folded door coffee table by Ryan

passion to profession

The Manchester, New Hampshire native had an interest in engineering disciplines from a young age. First with woodworking as early as middle school, then with continued exploration of several mechanical engineering courses in high school. It was at this time that an instructor of Ryan’s introduced Industrial Design to his life. Ryan later enrolled in the Industrial Design program at Wentworth Institute of Technology, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Design.

Ryan continued to hone his craft by completing several furniture based school projects, while also making furniture in his spare time and holding an internship with a furniture design company. Post graduation, he held a position in Hasbro’s model shop before transitioning to the Model Shop department at Empire Group. Ryan was soon commandeered for the engineering side of the Industrial Design department, where he's been ever since.

Learn more about Ryan in our Q&A:

Q: If oxygen and food were provided, what three other things would you bring to Mars?

A bicycle, a cool space helmet and a jetpack.

Q: What do you value most in a job? What’s your favorite aspect of the Empire Group?

The opportunity to learn new skills and techniques. My favorite part of the Empire Group is that if we ever need a new technique there’s no hesitation in learning new processes or acquiring new materials.

Q: What is your most treasured possession?

My 1975 Datsun 280z that a lot of my friends have helped with rebuilding, and I’ll eventually be painting with my dad.    

Q: What do you think is the best part of the product development process?

The refinement phase.

MacGyver moment: Stainless steel flare mug

MacGyver moment: Stainless steel flare mug

Q: What was your best MacGyver moment?

A cement filled coffee mug. While building an exhaust for my car, I didn’t have the proper mandrel, so I used a stainless steel mug from a co-worker’s desk and filled it with cement to put it on the hydraulic press to flare the steel tubing. It worked perfectly.

Q: How would you describe Empire Group's mission in your own words?

To create great products, great looking prototypes, and to always improve on both of those.

Q: If you were any other mammal, what would you be?

I’ve been told a beaver because of my woodworking abilities.

Q: In the news story of your life, what would your headline be?

“New Hampshire man creates elaborate time-consuming artwork made of wood”

Q: Biggest thing you’ve learned so far at the Empire Group? Anything you were surprised by?

The biggest thing was programming for prototype electronics. What I found surprising was that a lot of the DIY electronics can be programmed pretty easily by cutting and pasting from different examples, but the challenge comes in mashing them together and making them work.

Q: What do you consider your greatest achievement?

See MacGyver moment above.


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