After graduating with his bachelor's degree from Concordia, Evan Neidholdt launched into a successful career in the space industry.
Evan earned a PhD in Chemistry at Caltech (official, California Institute of Technology) and now works at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) helping to create instruments for the next Mars rover.
I got a great education at Concordia and great preparation in science. I was ready for classes at Caltech which were some of most challenging I’ve taken.
Evan double majored at Concordia in Chemistry and Mathematics. He was studying to be a high school math teacher when Concordia professor John Kenney invited him to conduct undergraduate science research and build the chemistry lab from scratch. Together, they fetched donated equipment from other states, set up and repaired countless instruments and machines, painted the dark room for laser use, and much more.
Getting experience in the lab at Concordia was so helpful. Anyone wanting an edge going into grad school should get involved in undergraduate research. It’s a lot of hard work, perseverance, and character-building.
Today, Evan works as a technologist at JPL, building instruments that “sniff” the atmosphere of other planets — taking chemical measurements to illuminate the planet’s history. His work will help scientists understand the history of water on Mars.
He recently donated surplus equipment from Caltech to the lab he and Dr. Kenney built.
Concordia was a great place to grow as a person and a student in a faith environment. I matured a lot in four years there. The thing that set Concordia apart and truly enabled me to succeed was its safe and nurturing environment which facilitated my personal and academic growth. You need an environment that does both, and Concordia’s small size combined with its academic excellence and philosophy on managing student life was a major key to my success.