Piecing it together

Mechanically-inclined freshman works on cars, RC vehicles to pursue engineering


Payton Naftzger

Freshman Ryan June holds up a remote control car and controller.

Payton Naftzger, Staff Writer

When freshman Ryan June was a kid, he already knew that engineering was “his thing.” Starting with improving objects around his house and helping his dad work on cars, June began his path toward working with RC vehicles. 

People on both sides of June’s family are mechanically-inclined and have worked on machines like cars and boats. They influenced a young June. His father was one of the first people to bring him to the world of engineering.

“I remember when I was nine, my dad asked me for the first time, ‘Hey, why don’t you come out here and help me fix the truck?’” June said. “After I got under the truck, I was just thinking about how there were so many parts there.”

June’s father influenced his son to become interested in the hobby, but June had seen others around him making things and had his own ideas.

“When I was about eight years old, I told my mom I wanted to put a leaf blower on a wagon and see how fast it could go,” June said. “I remember starting it up and watching it go down the driveway. When it ran out of cord and unplugged, I had to chase it down because it kept rolling away.”

When June first got involved in RC cars and boats, he went to things like fixing RC cars, messing around with gear issues and making the cars be able to go slower or faster. 

“I’ve made my own before, but I usually take a cheaper RC car that’s not meant to go fast and then build it up to go faster,” June said. “One time, I put a new system in, and it started by doing 25-35 mph, tops. Now it does about 80 mph.”

Though June said he enjoys many aspects of working on cars and RC vehicles, he said his favorite is the process of figuring out how to implement the parts he adds in. 

“I mainly make RC car parts and usually just a lot of parts for random things,” June said. “It’s mainly parts in general. I piece things together to make what I’m aiming for. I like figuring out how I can take something and pair it to another, along with the process in between. Sometimes it’s easy, and a lot of times it’s very difficult because you get in a spot where it’s really hard to implement a part.”

One of June’s more recent projects was taking three license plates and some silicone and turning it into a remote control boat hull, which ended up working in the end.

“I had to measure out all the pieces and size the hull from the license plates,” June said. “Cutting it was difficult as all I had was a pair of old scissors and wire cutters and metal cutters.”

Working on RC vehicles has become a large part of June’s free time, but he still helps his dad with working on cars – the thing that helped to spark his passion in the first place. In the future, he said he has plans to continue in engineering, following what other members of his family have done before him.