Student 1 of 8 nationally to earn Sigma Gamma Tau Outstanding Senior Award

Published: Dec 1, 2021 1:05 PM

By Joe McAdory

Nicholas Rush, a senior double-majoring in electrical engineering and aerospace engineering, is one of eight students nationally to receive the 2021 Sigma Gamma Tau National Aerospace Honor Society’s Outstanding Senior Award. Fifty-four chapters from universities nationwide entered undergrads for the award.

The award recognizes Rush, who represents the organization’s South-Central region, as one of the top seniors in the U.S. based on academic, service and extracurricular accomplishments.

“There are many strong candidates and programs in this region who are equally deserving,” said Rush, a research assistant at the Auburn Nanosystems Group. “I’m really surprised about winning the award, actually.”

Rush said the key to academic success is balance. His daily to-do list is hand-written, never electronic.

He even arranged semesters where the majority of his classes were either aerospace or electrical and computer engineering, allowing him to focus on one academic discipline at a time. “Mixing the two gets tricky,” he said. “It all comes down to a prioritization of classes. I am here to learn, after all, so I need to focus heavily on that. But a big factor of maintaining your GPA is counter-intuitive – taking time each week just to have fun and enjoy time with friends.”

Rush, a native Texan who came to Auburn from Hillsdale, Michigan, began working with the Auburn Nanosystems Group in 2019, the summer following his freshman year. There, he has been deeply involved in a variety of projects ranging from process development for thin film oxides used as superconductor passivation layers to microcircuit fabrication to digital signal processing for high frame rate cameras used in supersonic wind tunnels.

To sum: he’s experienced much in his time at Auburn.

“I chose to work with this group for the wide scope of knowledge I could capture,” he said. “My passion is focused towards designing digital hardware for aerospace applications. However, this position has opened my eyes to the niche of superconductors, as well as RF design and circuit manufacturing processes, and more. Knowing many facets of circuit design will aid in my own future designs when I begin my career.”

Rush said professors at the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering showed interest in developing young researchers, inspiring his own research interests along the way.

“It is one of the most important factors in my Auburn experience,” he said. “Professors’ efforts to listen and advise helped me recognize that applying course work is much more important than just learning to pass a test.”

Though Rush’s time at Auburn will soon come to a close, he encourages future students to quickly become involved in the university’s variety of student organizations.

“Cast a wide net and find something you really enjoy or appreciate doing,” he said. “Applying yourself outside of classes is where you will meet plenty of friends and learn more about yourself and what matters most to you.”

Media Contact: Joe McAdory,, 334.844.3447
Not only is Nicholas Rush a double-major in electrical engineering and aerospace engineering, he's also a research assistant at the Auburn Nanosystems Group.

Not only is Nicholas Rush a double-major in electrical engineering and aerospace engineering, he's also a research assistant at the Auburn Nanosystems Group.

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