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Heather Nelson

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Heather Nelson

Major & Graduation

Mechanical Engineering ~ May 2017

Short-Term Goals

Before I graduate from Illinois Tech, I plan on participating in at least one startup, getting the Makers Society to a point where the reigns could be passed on to another student, and having experience interning within industry and research fields. Academically, I want to continue performing exceptionally in all of my classes and maintaining my GPA. By the end of the term I am hoping to complete meaningful research with one of my professors. Further I am hoping to complete my first physics engine and build a working prototype of a robot that I have been developing over the past year. In my personal life, I want to continue providing a fulfilling life to my partner of 5 years and my pet dog Fanny. I also want to continue practicing my hobby of woodworking and build more furniture and machines.

Finally I have spent the last 2 years working in the Architecture department's robotics lab, turning it into a fully functional fabrication laboratory with CNCs, 3D printers, and other computer aided design tools. I want to finish my work in the lab and pass the reins on to a freshmen student at the school.

Long-Term Goals

In 10 to 15 years I see myself as the technical director of a production company working between the engineering, business, and art departments attempting to get large scale products made. I excel in my communication ability and have found myself being the lead on several projects in my life. I live for the challenge of getting departments with different agendas to come together and work towards the greater goal. By this mark in my life I want to have several completed projects under my belt and will also have a few personal projects completed.

In my personal life I want to complete several life goals of mine. I want to finish visiting every state in the U.S. currently I'm at 39 out of 50. I want to hike the ice age trail in Wisconsin and Minnesota, and the Appalachian trail along the east coast. I at this point also want to have spent a year living and experiencing Shenzhen's incredible maker community. I also want to have visited every continent in the world. With all that travel aside I am also excited to give back to the LGBT community that helped support me in my life when times were hard, by donating my money and time to youth centers in the country. 

Leadership Experience

  • Head Chef - Classic Slice - 2010 to 2012
  • Chef De Cuisine - Boathouse - 2012 to 2013
  • Lead Researcher - Nasa Space Grant City Colleges - 2013 to 2015
  • President - Maker Society - 2015 to 2017
  • Scholar - Leadership Academy - 2016 to currently
  • Engineer - Robotics Lab - 2016 to currently