Nicholas Houck


I’m Nicholas (or Nick) and I’m from Reading, PA. Currently, I am a chemical engineering senior and am minoring in energy engineering at Penn State. Aside from schoolwork and research, I enjoy playing video games (mainly strategy games), hiking (favorite trail would be the Schuylkill River Trail, I like walking parts of it with my family), and trying new hobbies. Fun fact: I also have a short story published in the Penn State Libraries’ short story dispensers.

Research Project

Azotobacter vinelandii’s ability to assimilate nitrogen is the focus of my current research, as this function can be utilized in a biofertilizer. This entails growing Azotobacter vinelandii on plant biomass and analyzing its growth in a non-axenic environment. I’ve also been doing a small amount of bioinformatics using BLAST, GenBank, and KEGG to locate genes and enzymes.