Nick Zhang

Written By Luke Kim

August 1, 2022
Nick Zhang is a fifth-year student at Northeastern University graduating May 2022 with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and master’s degree in engineering management. Scroll to read more!

Nick Zhang is a fifth-year student at Northeastern University graduating May 2022 with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and master’s degree in engineering management.

Nick joined the Galante Engineering Business Program at the beginning of the Fall 2021 semester. While he joined only one year before graduation, Nick was an active member and one of two storyboard writers for the 2021-2022 academic year. Nick served as Storyboard Writer and was responsible for interviewing graduating Galante Fellows about their experiences at Northeastern and with the Galante Program. The Galante Program was a unique opportunity for Nick and his colleagues to learn about management and consulting career paths, as well as a vehicle for events to practice networking and other soft skills. Nick participated in the Kapreilian Grant Competition along with Galante Fellow Luke Kim, in which their simulated business proposal placed second among their peers. The duo presented with a focus on how engineers can create better presentations and visuals to convey the purpose of their work to non-technical audiences. Additionally, Nick took advantage of his Galante training grant fund to attend the 11th International Conference on Manufacturing Engineering and Processes. He decided to use the grant on conference attendance because he wanted to learn about the different research that is going on at different universities, and how PhD students and professors present information to technical audiences.

When Nick began his studies at Northeastern, he knew that he was interested in chemistry and mathematics, so it seemed only natural that chemical engineering would be the major that he chose. However, Nick, like many other prospective chemical engineers, learned that chemical engineering has very little to do with chemistry and much more to do with pipes and fluid mechanics. While this was not what he had originally intended on studying, Nick decided to continue with chemical engineering and grew to appreciate the problem solving and engineering skills he developed.

Northeastern’s co-op program allowed Nick to put his chemical engineering studies to practice. His first co-op was at high-end hair care company Living Proof, where he was responsible for performing quality control on products for market approval, as well as method improvement on developing processes. At Living Proof, Nick learned the value of both business and engineering skills in a work environment. He learned that along with the need to understand the science involved in Living Proof’s products, he also needed to understand how trends might impact product development and discovery. Because of Nick’s experience at Living Proof, he decided to pursue a combined Master’s in Engineering Management to supplement his chemical engineering degree.

Nick’s second co-op was at Pfizer, where he worked as an Upstream Process Development Engineer. Here, Nick worked on method development and optimization of Pfizer’s microbioreactors. Nick had the opportunity to work for a large company with leading biotech research and development and learned to work and develop methods independently. While the COVID-19 pandemic forced him to continue his co-op remotely, he gained valuable experience in the biotech industry that sparked his interest in pursuing a PhD post-graduation.

For his final co-op, Nick decided to join a start-up company called Mori, whose goal is to use hydrolyzed silk fibroin as a food coating to reduce food waste. Food waste and nutritional access are two issues that Nick is passionate about and are the primary reasons he joined the company. As a process research and design engineer, Nick was responsible for elucidating the physical and chemical properties of the silk fibroin. Mori gave Nick the opportunity to take ownership in his work and further develop research skills. Additionally, he gained valuable professional experience from collaborating with other teams, presenting his work, and going on a business trip.

In his free time, Nick enjoys playing video games, watching movies, and fishing with his friends. A self-proclaimed foodie, Nick also enjoys trying different restaurants and cuisines, especially when traveling. Before the pandemic, Nick was a member of Northeastern’s Ultimate Frisbee team and would play mahjong with fellow Northeastern students at the Curry Student Center.

After graduating in May, Nick plans to move to Los Angeles to begin his doctoral studies with UCLA’s Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department. There, he will be researching bacteriophage engineering and its applications in food safety and production.

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