By: Desiré Bennett
Nick Schwartz is the UC College of Engineering and Applied Science Engineer of the Month for August. Nick maintains a 3.92 GPA in his senior year in the aerospace engineering program while working toward dual Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Aerospace Engineering in the college’s ACCEND program.
Ever since he was a child, Nick has been fascinated with the sky. “I always found myself looking up, whether it was at the birds or the airplanes overhead,” he said. His interest was further cultivated through a series of events as a Boy Scout and through courses he took in high school.
As a Boy Scout, Nick completed the Aviation merit badge which was where he says his “love for aviation took off.” And in high school, Nick found that he enjoyed and excelled in his math and science courses. “When I put these traits together, I decided that I wanted to major in aerospace engineering.”
It is the University of Cincinnati’s co-op program that ultimately attracted Nick to UC. “None of the other engineering schools I was considering offered a co-op program that was integrated into the degree curriculum,” he explains. Nick says that having the real-world work experience while pursuing his degree not only gave him invaluable industry experience, but it also confirmed that aerospace engineering was the right career path for him. “After four years of school and five co-op rotations, I can affirm that my career path is the right choice for me.”
All of Nick’s co-op rotations were completed at Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation in Savannah, GA. He says that through these rotations, he has worked in various engineering organizations such as Applied Aerodynamics, Flight Dynamics, Flight Deck & Furnishings, and Acoustics. “I have gained many invaluable lessons from my co-op assignments, from gaining hands-on experience as an engineer, becoming familiar with the tools engineers in my field use, to other skills such as proper workplace communication.”
In addition to his co-op experience Nick is a member of several organizations – including the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the UC Racquetball Organization, he is a Choir Flutist at St. Monica-St. George Parish and he is a volunteer for Cincinnati Parks.
He is also an ACCEND student which, according to Nick, “has really opened a lot of options in my college career during my undergraduate research experience,” he said. “Without the ACCEND program, I would not have had the opportunity to participate in undergraduate research under professor Kelly Cohen and PhD candidate Wei Wei. The research project I have been working on has afforded me the opportunity to apply both experiences I’ve gained during co-op experience and course work to solve an open-ended issue.”
Nick says that the main challenge he’s had facing his course load is dealing with the stress that a lot of the coursework brings. “I find that participating in physical activities and getting out every now and then really helps to relieve some of that stress,” he said. “The best advice I can provide is find an outlet to help relieve some of the stress school can bring.” Nick says that doing things like playing his guitar, racquetball, hiking, mountain biking or skiing (water and snow) are ways that help him unwind.
When asked what is the best piece of advice he could lend to fellow students, he said, “Major in something you enjoy – if you find a career you love, you never have to work a day in your life.” Upon graduation Nick is looking forward to gaining a full-time position with Gulfstream Aerospace.