When Nick traveled to Portugal on a family vacation, he never thought that years down the road, he'd be able to work at the leading engineering firm and even take a selfie with the Portuguese Prime Minister!
Sam Belden and Nick Schwartz pose with Portugal Prime Minister Antonio Costa at CEiiA plant in Porto, Portugal.

Nick's work this summer encapsulated the prototyping process from beginning to end. With an end goal of developing a gimbal for CEiiA's UAS30 drone, Nick started with the basics. He began by conducting extensive market research to determine the viability of his own prototype. He then developed CAD models of the gimbal, taking various design constraints into account. After several critical design reviews, he was then ready to perform Finite Element Analysis on the gimbal. Next, he met with the in-house director of machining to determine the best way to construct the parts of the gimbal. Finally, he used a carbon fiber wet lay-up process to construct his prototype of the gimbal. This prototype is being currently used on CEiiA's UAS30 drone.

In addition to the engineering skills Nick built over the summer, he also found an incredible working environment at CEiiA. Just a five minute walk away from the beach, he often went to take surfing lessons after work. Furthermore, his coworkers had a running group, and Nick blew off some steam with them during lunch or after work. CEiiA's beautiful new building just outside Porto made it extremely easy to access, but not too busy. Finally, Nick says that everyone at the company had a wonderful sense of humor and knew how to have a good time outside of work! Nick was traveling to new places every weekend. Whether it be Brussels to indulge in chocolates and waffles, Paris to party it up on Bastille Day, Madrid to enjoy some Sangria with the locals, or Pamplona to run with the bulls, he got to experience many different cultures in Europe. His travels didn't stop there. He conquered every single region of Portugal--the beautiful mountains of Geres, the vibrant colors and people of Porto, the incredible history of Lisbon, and the endless beaches in the Algarve. Nick says that traveling like this opened his eyes not only to the beauty of the world, but more importantly to the importance of friendships. No matter how fleeting, these friendships were shared experiences during the happiest times of his life.

Living and interning in Portugal this past summer seemed like a once-in-a-lifetime adventure every single day. Each day I was challenged by the people, by the language, and by the newness of everything. These challenges made me much more confident in myself, and made me realize that the most important thing to me is the companionship of others.

  • Portugal
  • Internship
  • MechE