Next Stop: Engineering Happiness

Reith Nolan (ECE) came to Temple from the workforce and is now taking his next steps toward a career in engineering and research.

On the outside looking in, you’d assume that engineers prefer everything to be planned out, deliberate. For Reith Nolan, his plan is more fluid. 

After discovering a fascination with computers at the age of three, Nolan recognized a career catalyst. 

“Basically, it was also the one thing I wasn’t good at,” Nolan said. “I’m good at mechanics, I work on cars, stuff like that. Computers were this big black box of mystery.”

That interest took him to Thaddeus Stevens College where he earned his Associate's in Engineering Technology, before a three-year stint with a Fortune 500 company as an electronics technician. Then, he came to Temple. 

Coming to Temple as an undergraduate Computer Engineering major, Nolan brought a different perspective to his studies, as well as practical experience.

“This time, I had the time management skills,” Nolan said. “Then I got into Robotics and other groups. Now I have a couple hundred people to talk with about things instead of four or five people.”

That collaborative culture is something Nolan said he’ll miss about Temple, but has also prepared him to leave.

“Everyone in this building comes together to help (if you have a problem). We all go through the shared trauma to getting our degree,” he said, laughing. “If I need help with something out of my wheelhouse, there’s always someone I can talk to.”

In addition to cultivating relationships with fellow students through IEEE and Temple Robotics, Nolan nabbed an internship while participating in the Innovation Festival, focusing on software and mobile app development. 

Now he’s looking to focus more on circuit board and microcontroller design, with an eye toward continued education and, eventually, research. But don’t ask him to chart a hard-and-fast path. 

“I’m taking the GRE in a few weeks and want to get involved in research in some way. 10 years out, hopefully that happens, and I’m still involved in research. But, as long as I’m happy.” 

Follow our full Next Stop series to see where some of this semester’s graduating seniors are headed.