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Design Renegade: Industrial Design Alum Creates Power Sport Vehicles of the Future

Christopher Rudwal designs vehicles in one of the most interesting niche markets in the transportation industry: the ATV, or All-Terrain Vehicle.

Christopher RudwalChristopher is an Automotive and Powersport Vehicle Designer for Bombardier Recreational Products, or BRP, the company that invented the snowmobile. BRP offers a broad range of power sport vehicles, including Sea-Doo, Ski-Doo, and Can-am Roadster.

A native of Quebec, Christopher feels right at home working in Canada for BRP, where he designs for the company's Can-am brand.  He started interning for the company while still enrolled as an MFA student at Academy of Art University. Upon graduation, the company hired him immediately.

During his first year at BRP, he worked on many Can-am projects, including the all-terrain Can-am Renegade, which is Christopher's favorite project to date.  After his first year at BRP, he was transferred to the company's Advanced Concepts Team, where he has been working for three years now.

Christopher's main task at BRP along with his teammates is to determine what the future may hold in the world of power sports.  Most people would feel a lot of pressure in Christopher's position; after all, he is participating to the future of a major brand of vehicles has been placed in his hands. But for Christopher, the job comes naturally.

He has always found himself designing sci-fi, futuristic vehicles in his spare time.  And now, it's his job to design the coolest, craziest vehicles you'll see outside of a science fiction film: these are the type of vehicles he's been doodling all his life. As Christopher puts it, "I get to draw vehicles, which I believe will be the future in terms of usage and design."

But before he came to Academy of Art University, it seemed as though Christopher's imaginative designs would remain on paper. He remembers his time at the Academy, when Director Tom Matano taught him to channel his creativity. "Tom told me I had to make my designs more marketable," says Christopher. And that's exactly what he has done.

Today, Christopher pushes the envelope of what's possible in vehicle design, while staying on top of social and economic trends, and staying within production capabilities. "Within those guidelines, we have a lot of freedom," says Christopher.

Christopher is doing what he's always loved to do, but with a big difference: working at BRP, he's been able to see some of his designs become actual vehicles. "You get feedback on something that was in your head, and one day it might be something you will see on the streets - that's the best part of the job."

Christopher was Valedictorian of the 2004 graduating class at Academy of Art University. Since he joined BRP in 2005, he has continued to win a lion's share of awards and distinctions, including being named a Finalist at the 2007 Peugeot Design Contest, winning the 2005 Marine Research and Design Alliance Contest, getting 1st Prize at the 2005 Boating Leaders Scholarship, 1st Prize Sovran Award for the 2005 Amphibious Vehicle Concept, and the list of top prizes goes on and on.

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