Nick van der Geest

Nick van der Geest

Doctor of Philosophy candidate
Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Mechanical Engineering

He has always been fascinated by engineering, says Nick van der Geest who came to AUT to study a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Mechanical Engineering and is now enrolled in a PhD.

“My passion is in engineering, and I’ve really enjoyed the environment and the people at AUT. What I’ve loved most about my time at AUT is being able to experiment, push my learning without borders and try new ways to solve problems.

“I would highly recommend AUT’s engineering programmes to other students. The programmes focus on applying the science we’re covering to real-life applications, which really helps us understand what we’re learning.”

Supporting health professionals
As COVID-19 reached New Zealand in early 2020, Nick also had the opportunity to apply his engineering skills to provide much-needed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for health workers, assisting his lecturer, Associate Professor Tim Pasang.

Inspired by a story about a man in the UK who used 3D printing to make face shields for health workers, they managed to secure funding and access to 3D printers to achieve the same here in Auckland.

Shore Care Clinic on the North Shore was the lucky recipient of the very first face shield, and to date more than 50 medical grade face shields have been provided to medical professionals all over the North Shore.

Being able to support health professionals with his understanding of mechanical engineering was a rewarding experience, Nick says.

The next step
After completing his Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in mid-2020, Nick has returned to AUT to take his understanding of engineering further through doctoral study.

“My PhD research focuses on bio-inspired underwater vessels. This an extension of the project I created in the final year of my bachelor’s degree, and I was awarded an AUT Vice-Chancellor’s Doctoral Scholarship to further develop this project.

“I enjoy being involved in engineering research, and my goal is to work at the highest level with people who share the same goals.”

Nick’s PhD research is supervised by Dr Lorenzo Garcia and Associate Professor Roy Nates from AUT’s School of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences and he is based at the AUT BioDesign Lab.

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