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Nicholas Hennigan
Nicholas Hennigan
Milwaukee School of Engineering
Major: Mechanical Engineering

Congratulations to this week’s #WSGCStudentSpotlight, Nicholas Hennigan! Nicholas is the two-time recipient of an Elijah Balloon Payload Team Research Fellowship. He is a senior majoring in mechanical engineering at the Milwaukee School of Engineering and is looking forward to pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree in aerospace engineering.

This year, Nicholas Hennigan lead the Elijah Balloon Payload team, exploring various topics centered around high-altitude balloon research such as: modular payload design, providing quick access to experiments on the field; the ionization energy of air, as air density changes; the generation of electricity from flight turbulence; and the visualization of turbulence. 

Nicholas and his team also looked at the sonification of flight data, essentially turning their data into music, while attempting to maintain the nuances of the original data. They did this by balancing data resolution with westernized musical tonality. While users were able to perceive data relationships aurally, the team found creating more complex compositions with the data, while abiding by western tonal harmonies, to be challenging.

Outside of his passion for mechanical engineering, aerospace, theoretical physics, and experimental design, Nicholas enjoys stage acting, competitive gymnastics (placing second overall at the Chicago Turnfest National Gymnastics competition!), and playing the trumpet, classical piano, and ukulele.

Congratulations Nicholas, and best of luck to you in your future studies!