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Nicholas Jones a freshman

Exploring the leadership and technical skills of Engineering

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  • Undergraduate research assistant
  • Recognition at National Science Foundation REU
  • Nuclear Mechanist at Navy’s Nuclear Operation Program

A student and a father of 3 kids, Nicholas Jones a freshman at Nanosystem Engineering has inspired many to start a new journey. Being an undergraduate student, he even worked as a research assistant with Dr. Shawn Chen; an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University’s Institute of Micromanufacturing.

Despite his busy schedule, Jones has embarked on his presence at the Louisiana Tech College of Engineering and Science’s hands-on, project-and service-based learning model, finding research opportunities and joining the Freshman Engineering and Science Association.

National Science Foundation REU

Nicholas’s sense of focus on multiple projects at once was recognized at 10-week National Science Foundation REU (undergraduate research experience) at the University of Arkansas – Fayetteville, which he began this summer.

He is very well confident and prepared for the REU as his experience working with Dr. Chen has helped him a lot in the research. He says, “It’s been a steep learning curve, but the technical experience and the hands-on programming I’ve gotten are worth it.” Although his undergraduate research assistantship at Louisiana Tech has helped him learn the basics of molecular dynamics, research on how to create longer battery life for solid-state batteries using a solid electrolyte interface.

Learning new techniques with the University of Arkansas team, he believes that working with a different team, new people, and a different professor can help him learn more as they’ll have different perspectives, which can bring a new style to his research compared to what he is doing.

Nuclear Mechanist to Nanosystem Engineer

Jones’s love for nanosystem engineering began when he was in U.S. Navy, he spent his nine years as a Nuclear Mechanist’s Mate in the Navy Nuclear Operations program, later as an instructor. He worked as a Mechanist with engineers in water control for nuclear reactors and power generation. From there Jones got inspired and decided to be a nanosystem engineer.

He stated, “I decided I wanted to become an engineer because I like taking stuff apart and putting it back together and I wanted to contribute to advancing the human race. I chose nanosystem engineering because I want to eventually get into engineering for the aerospace industry. Since nanosystem engineering focuses on nanoscale items, it will be a very easy transition from nanosystem engineering into an aerospace engineering job. I’m also interested in power generation and new materials. None of the other engineering programs felt right for my goals.”

Later, Jones joined as a dual nanosystem Engineering and Studio Art major. He led his freshman year getting hands-on through the first-year engineering series and creating art through design course. After graduation, Jones plans to pursue a degree in nanosystem or aerospace engineering.

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