Heather Nelson – Introduction

Hello, I am Heather Nelson and I’m a student at the City Colleges of Chicago pursuing an Environmental Engineering degree. I live in Rogers Park on the north side of Chicago with my dog, Fangorn, and my partner Julia. Currently, I am coming close to finishing my Associates degree at the City Colleges and am preparing to transfer into one of the few universities offering engineering in the city.

My Professor, Dr. Torralba, was who initially got me interested in the project, and I jumped on the opportunity. I have been very interested in pursuing research since choosing to go back to school, and this is my first chance to really learn what it’s like to work on a research project. Further, the guided research work is the perfect opportunity to get a little less “green” working on problems outside of the textbook.

Outside of school I’ve spent the last 17 years working in the restaurant industry as a chef. I still do some chef work on the side, mostly running supper clubs with another chef, but at this point I think I do it more for fun. I also have some construction experience under my belt. I’m a big fan of reading, and I really like critical theory, speculative fiction, and magical realist literature. What time I don’t spend on cooking, reading, and schoolwork, I spend with my partner and my dog.

This summer I hope to accomplish several launches, and am currently leaning towards researching the effects of radiation on plant life above our atmosphere. I am excited to get a better grasp on writing research papers, and of course launching things into near-space, which is basically the coolest thing I could be doing with my summer.


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