President Lisa Freeman called out our featured CEET graduate, Brandon Cuevas. Here’s the story she told about him at Commencement Ceremony on December 15, 2019.
“As a child growing up in Berwyn, Brandon inherited a love of “tinkering” from his grandfather, who believed in trying to fix things instead of throwing them out. Together they worked on cars and fixed small appliances. That experience influenced him to major in electrical engineering technology.
Once on campus he kept on tinkering by getting involved in the Robotics Club. That club, and the opportunities it created for hands-on learning, supported by the resources and faculty of our College of Engineering and Engineering Technology, was a big reason he chose NIU.
This year he took tinkering to a whole new level, when he worked an internship at Sciaky, Inc. in Chicago, a worldwide leader in metal 3D printing and welding. There he assembled electrical control systems as part of the development of the world’s fastest metal 3D printing process.
What he learned there, and what he learned from his grandfather, will both serve him well as he pursues his goal of developing sustainable products and systems where every component can be reused or recycled through the use of renewable energy. He also wants to create technology that supports the planet and its growing population.
Brandon’s Senior Design project allowed him to do just that. His team helped create a vertical farming greenhouse that precisely controls the temperature, humidity and light spectrum to optimize growing conditions for micro-greens. The system uses as little as 10% of the water that traditional field crops require and allows a large amount of food to be grown in a small space, which could help keep up with growing global demand for food.
Today, Brandon becomes the first in his family to graduate from college. Brandon, I hope that you never lose your love of tinkering, and that the degree you receive today will help harness that love to make the world a better place.”