Nick did Maths, Physics and Chemistry A Levels, with an AS Level in Further Maths, and graduated in 2002.
"I have always been interested in engineering - I learnt how to solder at the age of 11 and electronics has always been a hobby of mine - so Engineering was a natural choice for me at university. I took a gap year between school and university, during which I worked for an engineering company involved in applications of radar: that meant working with electronics and software development, both of which I really enjoyed.
The highlight of the course at Cambridge, for me, was the robot design project which everyone does in the second year. I also got involved in designing and building a remote-controlled bicycle to take part in BBC's Technogames and other practical projects as part of the Design Club.
I devised my own fourth year project, which was to build some data-logging equipment to monitor the performance of rowers. I took up rowing when I arrived in Cambridge and had this idea as to how the electronics they already used in the boats could be improved. Basically the idea is that we can monitor the performance of rowers, as well as producing a radio-based communication system, which the coach can use to instruct the oarsmen instead of yelling at them from the bank or accompanying launch. I worked with researchers in the Signal Processing Group to develop this idea, and I still liaise with them now.
I have set up a small manufacturing company called Rowdata, based in Cambridge, to exploit the system. Now that I am designing my own instrumentation I have found the mechanical- and materials-related engineering I did in the first and second years at Cambridge to be very useful. The sensor technology I have developed to monitor the rowers is also being used by a company (Windjet) to improve the performance of a solid-sail, wind-powered craft, with which they are aiming to beat the three World Speed Records on land, ice and water. I am hoping to be present when they make the attempt."