#PROFspective: Learning by Doing with Engineering Major Nicholas Kreuz

Nick stands outside in front of green tree foliage.

Nicholas Kreuz working on electronics in an engineering lab.

Today we speak to junior Nicholas Kreuz, an Electrical and Computer Engineering major from Pennsylvania. Here, Nick shares his Rowan experience through his work in Engineering Clinics, including creating a quadcopter drone and a rocket, which he will enter into a competition in New Mexico. 

Nicholas Kreuz of Quakertown, Pennsylvania is the epitome of “involved” at Rowan. He has an on-campus job as a building manager for Campus Recreation while also being a part of Alpha Phi Delta Fraternity.

Nick is on track to get his bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering. His goal with this degree is to work in the field of aerospace engineering. Nick said he “would love to work for a company like Boeing or Lockheed Martin” when he is finished at Rowan. 

Nick grew an interest in engineering at an early age due to his desire to be very “hands-on and technically oriented.” He said throughout middle school and high school he knew he would want to pursue something involving engineering, but it wasn’t until he arrived at Rowan that he became interested in the electrical and computer engineering aspect to it.

“When I came to this college in particular I really liked how they combined the two majors into one and really had a hands-on focus to their curriculum, especially the clinical classes through the engineering building,” Nick says.

Engineering student Nicholas Kreuz poses sitting down with his hands on top of one another.

Engineering Clinics are the signature aspect of Rowan’s engineering programs. For all four years, engineering students participate in these clinic classes, which involve various hands-on projects. With the guidance of a credentialed engineer, students in groups have the opportunity to learn by doing. 

One of the things that Nick has accomplished in a clinic class involved “constructing and testing a fully submersible Underwater Remote Operated Vehicle (UROV).” Kreuz explains the concept of the project and what was asked of him and his group:

“We had to simulate a task that a UROV in the field would have to do. For example, work on an oil rig and go to the seafloor to examine something. So we had this obstacle course set up and had a basic system of motors and a receiver that we could use that would be the actual operation of the vehicle but as far as constructing the vehicle and designing it to complete all its tasks was completely up to us.”

One semester later, Nick was tasked with creating a “Quadcopter Drone,” which unfortunately he was not able to finish once all students were sent home for Covid-19. He says this project’s objective was a similar concept to the UROV because there was a certain task that the drone had to perform. Like his last project, this too was going to be tested on an obstacle course that was meant to simulate a real-life situation. 

Perhaps the most impressive part of Kreuz’s college career so far is his most recent endeavor. Nick is a part of a team with nine other students and one professor to build a rocket and compete in the Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition in New Mexico. 

Nick Kreuz poses and smiles outdoors.

This is a yearly competition that hosts around 40-50 schools in a desert in New Mexico. Anyone who is a part of a college or university is allowed to enter the competition. Teams at the competitions will test their rockets in front of a group of judges. 

“The way it works is they judge us on our documentation, our predictions, and our calculations, and the second half of the competition comes from how well our rocket actually performs,” Nick says.

Projects in the engineering clinics can be so involved and advanced that they can last as long as five years. Nick will work on this one through this entire school year, and the competition in New Mexico will take place after next semester. 

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Story by:
Luke Garcia, junior music industry major

Photos by:
Stephanie Batista, sophomore music industry major

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