3 min read

Trevor Bormann admits, he didn’t really expect to land a role at one of the most cutting-edge companies in the world. It was unlikely that the hiring team would even see his resume; Bormann didn’t have connections or prior contact. His extracurriculars were stellar and resume had been reviewed but his application was sent knowing that the chances were slim. When he got the phone call that NASA chose him to participate in a co-op, he was shocked to be selected.

“It was an interesting opportunity that I was not expecting to be able to get. I was completely expecting not to get it; I applied on a whim. They are competitive positions and a lot of people apply for them” says Bormann.

Bormann will be spending three total semesters at NASA working with world-class metalergy scientists and working on projects that focus on nuclear thermal proportion. Metalergic engineering, Bormans area of study, deals with the way metals work with one another and how fuel components of the spacecraft will interact with it.

“Right now, I am working on nuclear thermal proportion, specifically the fuel component of that. In a nuclear thermal rocket, you take a gas, almost always hydrogen, and you run the gas through a nuclear reactor. That heats the gas up and then you eject that hot gas out a nozzle. The metalergy part is designing the fuel components of that, the nuclear reactor bit of the rocket” explains Bormann.

He is surrounded by world class PhD professionals who specialize in his chosen career-path. As Bormann is looking to take Metalergic Engineering to the next level through a doctoral program, a large part of the day is spent asking questions and “playing catch-up.” This kind of experiential learning has been pertinent to learning how to become comfortable with the uncomfortable.

Bormann has no problem spending eight hours each day designing the fuel components of a nuclear reactor but carving out a few hours to spend with friends is not in his natural rhythm. The purpose of attending a four-year college is to get a well-rounded education, however, creating lifelong friendships and character growth is an equally important part of the journey.

“At college, I will reprioritize my social life in order to do well academically. My initial reason for joining was that it was a way to force me to interact with people whether I wanted too or not. I actually do want too, but sometimes it’s easier when I have a whole bunch of homework” explains Bormann.

Having readily available social outings and friend groups was huge in his development as a man. Several senior members of the chapter accepted Bormann and showed him how to reflect the Seven Core Values. Through the guidance of his lifelong friends, Bormann takes lessons of character traits that only come with demonstration.

“A lot of it has been the mushy, harder to describe things. Lambda pushes for the mushy, harder to describe things” says Bormann.

Now that he is spending time with some of the smartest individuals in the world, Bormann is able to understand just how much Lambda Chi impacted him on a personal and professional level. Without the courage of trying something new and learning to become comfortable with the uncomfortable, Bormann would not have found the success he has today.

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