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Outstanding Graduate, Fall 2021

Daniel Bruce

When Daniel Bruce toured the Polytechnic campus at Arizona State University, he knew he was in the right place. The mechanical systems engineering concentration of the engineering bachelor’s degree program in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at ASU allowed him to apply his interest in math. 

Bruce also enjoys the hands-on and teamwork aspects of engineering he found in the Fulton Schools. And every semester, he had the opportunity to take a project-focused course, which meant he was able to build a lot of things. 

He particularly liked the thermofluids and space propulsion course he took with Pavlos Mikellides, an associate professor of engineering and mechanical systems.

“He gave us tough engineering problems to solve and crammed a lot of learning into one semester,” Bruce says. “One of my favorite things about him is that he emphasized learning the fundamentals. I also like that he has a passion for teaching, which I relate to.”

The New American University Scholar was also highly involved outside of the classroom, getting involved in the Arizona Outdoors Club and signing up for Engineering Projects in Community Service, the Grand Challenges Scholars Program and GlobalResolve in his first semester at ASU.

“They fit my interests perfectly and combined my major, my desire to travel abroad and my desire to help others in need,” says Bruce, a student in ASU’s Barrett, The Honors College. “By the end of my first year, I got to travel to Cusco, Peru, and installed two water filters at a children’s orphanage with GlobalResolve.”

His biggest achievements were completing all five competencies in the Grand Challenges Scholars Program and having two research journal papers currently under review based on work with the 3DX Research Group led by Dhruv Bhate, an associate professor of engineering and mechanical systems.

Bruce also conducted research in additive manufacturing with the Fulton Undergraduate Research Initiative, completed an internship with the NASA Langley Research Center and participated in Aerospace Scholarships to Challenge and Educate New Discoverers, or ASCEND, a part of the ASU/NASA Space Grant program. 

Following an internship last summer with Northrop Grumman, Bruce is considering his job options after graduation, including continuing with Northrop Grumman or pursuing new opportunities with the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Wherever he ends up, he hopes to be located “somewhere not too far from the mountains.”

Long term, Bruce is looking toward the stars. 

“I am really excited to see the James Webb Space Telescope launch later this year,” Bruce says. “It would be pretty awesome to be a part of making a ground or space telescope that revolutionizes our understanding of the universe.”

Read about other exceptional graduates of the Fulton Schools’ Fall 2021 class here.

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