Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Spotlight

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Spotlight

Article excerpt

Brad Nihls, a senior at Christian Brothers College High School, is in the spotlight because of his interest in engineering.

Brad says he "was exposed to lots of different types of engineering" at a one-week seminar he attended last summer at Purdue University in Lafayette, Ind.

"In the electrical engineering lab, we built a circuit using LED lights with an electronic die instead of a rolling die," said Brad. "We also used geiger counters to measure the radiation in everyday things like buildings, desks and tables."

Brad says he's considering studying chemical, electrical or computer engineering at either Purdue University, the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor or Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.

Brad's enjoyment of photography inspired him to invent and patent a shutter release cable adapter. He was trying to determine how to take a picture of a particular star, such as the North Star, and also capture the pattern of stars around it. To accomplish the effect would require the use of a shutter release cable to expose the film and snap the shot in a time-delay sequence. However, Brad's Nikon and others like it are not made for using the cable attachment. Brad hopes to manufacture the adapter he designed.

Whenever time permits, Brad schedules a flying lesson at the Spirit of St. Louis Airport in Chesterfield, where he trains in a Cessna 150 for his private-pilot license. He has logged 53 flying hours and has attained a solo license.

"I always wanted to fly, and so for my 15th birthday my parents allowed me to take lessons," Brad said. "It's a thrill, a rush that you'll never have anywhere else. The view is spectacular."

For his service project, Brad works in the radiology department at St. Anthony's Medical Center, where he comforts anxious patients whom he transports for CAT scans.

"I see a lot of trauma; it shakes you up a little bit," said Brad, recalling a recent afternoon when victims of a drunk-driving accident, all whom were in their 20s, were brought to radiology.

Brad works about 15 hours a week in the restaurant at the Cheshire Inn and Lodge in Clayton. …

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