Student Experience: Keane Nowlan

KEANE NOWLAN is a senior and will be graduating in May 2020. He grew up in the Twin Cities and worked alongside his father in his custom cabinetry business.


Structural Engineering

“like cabinets, only bigger”

“My interest in engineering came from working with my dad in the woodshop. Seeing a project from beginning to the end, that project approach appealed to me.”


“I started taking CEGE classes my first year and got involved in ASCE right away. I became good friends with people in my classes, through groups, and especially travelling to Tanzania.”

Now in the CEGE Capstone Design class, Nowlan is working with three good friends to design a three-story building with a mezzanine.


Nowlan had an internship at the City of Roseville where he observed a lot of construction and learned how things work “on the ground.” Last summer Nowlan worked at Hudson Facades, and he plans to return there this summer.

Passion for People

“A big thing for me is not to be a one horse show. I want to address more than one specialty. Now I connect with people from multiple areas—engineering, mock trial competitions, long distance running. Having these different groups enriches my life. Different people lead me in different directions and can lead me to new people, new perspectives.”


Nowlan would like to complete his Master’s degree in structural engineering to gain more technical expertise. Following that, he is considering law school.

“Another part of my passion is protecting marginalized groups. My approach would be technical and analytical. Many engineering reports are structured similar to a legal argument.”