Cummings Properties, LLC
Cummings Properties, LLC, is a well-known commercial real estate development company with 50 years of history in the Greater Boston area. You might not think that a Biotechnology student at Minuteman High School would find an interest in working there, but it’s become a perfect fit for Dylan Higgins.
The Class of 2022 student from Acton – who’s spent nearly four years doing lab work in Minuteman’s Biotechnology program – is working at Cummings Properties’ Woburn office through the Cooperative Education Program, receiving pay and course credit during the 2021-22 school year.
“Dylan has worked on a variety of architectural and engineering tasks related to our specialty biotech lab projects,” said Jim Trudeau, Chief Design Officer for Cummings Properties. “His professionalism, curiosity, and familiarity with technical terms and principles has garnered him a variety of assignments.”
Higgins’ “co-op” job placement comes amid a surge of growth in the biotech industry in Greater Boston. That means more construction of biotech lab spaces for commercial developers such as Cummings.
For Higgins, the experience has resulted in a greater understanding for how commercial bio labs are constructed.
“I now understand how the formation of a building dictates so much of what you can do in that space,” Higgins said. “I have so much more perspective on what helps or hinders it, how to optimize an area, and what is even possible.”
Higgins has assisted designers with scientific-related details pertaining to lab spaces – gathering information on everything from pharmaceutical wastewater to the corrosiveness of certain materials, and how that all factors into construction.
“His long-term project is to consolidate lab design standard notes into a written standards manual,” Trudeau said. “Dylan has also created project schedules, confirmed equipment specifications with manufacturers, analyzed equipment pricing options, and listed lab equipment for sale. He even started to dabble in CAD (computer aided design) drafting.”
Higgins, who was accepted into Tufts University for the fall of 2022 and plans to study biochemistry, has a greater appreciation for his Minuteman peers who major in traditional trades such as Carpentry, Plumbing, and Electrical Wiring. “I have my fingers a lot more in areas like electrical and HVAC… learning how it all connects,” he said. “It’s very interesting to better understand that side of things… and the amount of skill it really takes.”
At Minuteman, Higgins is a Student Ambassador and the president of the school’s SkillsUSA Chapter, which is overseeing a community service project to collect items for an orphanage in Haiti.
While his options are aplenty, Higgins would like to work in medical research, particularly in neuromechanics. He ultimately wants to work in the field of regenerative medicine to help people who lost a body part due to a traumatic accident or illness.