DI Crew Spotlight: Nicholas Cindrich

Nicholas Cindrich has been with Design Innovation longer than most staff have worked here.

Cindrich joined as a DI Fellow in spring 2021 and he added crew member to his resume shortly after in the fall. A senior mechatronics engineering technology major, he credits DI with expanding his breadth as an engineer.

“I've gotten a better understanding of collaboration, a better understanding of working with different styles of people,” he said. “The collaboration aspect really helped me grow. I never wanted to work [in] a team but now I love working as a team.”

Nicholas Cindrich leans against a table with 3D printers in the DI Hub Reactor

Cindrich’s love for teamwork has since seeped into many of his projects. Along with fellow crew member, Julian Leff, the two developed a new system to make it easier for a disabled person to grip weights.

Earlier this year, he joined a team for Immobileyes’ NINJA throwable light challenge, in which students competed to design a device that law enforcement could use to distract an active threat. His team placed second, due in large part to a prototype 3D-printed right in the Reactor.

The 3D Print Shop is where Cindrich can be found on most days – other crew often joke the machines will stay offline after he graduates. His love for 3D printing started when he got the chance to tinker with a printer at his high school. Since joining DI, he has had the chance to work with more advanced printers, such as the PolyJet.

Nicholas Cindrich holds 3D printed deer in the DI Hub Reactor

“I think in a 3D mindset,” he said. “When I came here, the first week and a half I got assigned to fixing printers originally in the Spark Lab. …So, I ended up being able to learn through the DI Hub all the different nifty details of 3D printing.”

Last semester, Cindrich traveled to Pittsburgh with other crew and student fellows for the International Symposium on Academic Makerspaces. There, the academic maker community discussed the importance of having access to makerspaces on campus.

“It allows students to grow as people, to grow their knowledge, to share their knowledge,” he said. “Especially a space like the DI Hub, they found that students were able to collaborate and learn from each other in different ways and become more well rounded individuals in terms of multiple subjects, not just learning their own subject.”

POSTED: Wednesday, February 28, 2024 10:44 AM
Updated: Tuesday, March 5, 2024 02:58 PM
Alton Northup
Alton Northup