A decade and many remote-control planes later, this past summer Fine was
in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, at the headquarters of xCraft, a drone-making startup
that got a big boost — $1.5 million — from the venture capitalists on the ABC
TV series Shark Tank.
Last academic year, Fine was experimenting with a drone prototype with
Professor Nathan Siegel, mechanical engineering, when Siegel, who had heard
about the Shark Tank-funded project, encouraged him to pursue an internship
This summer, Fine worked on some of xCraft’s models but also refined his
own prototype of a vertical takeoff-and-landing drone that he hopes will be in
production by early 2017. Fine says he was just as excited about learning how
to market and fund drone production as he was about the engineering aspect.
“It’s amazing to learn about what goes into the preparation for a product
launch,” he says. At xCraft, he got to know how a drone goes from an idea to a
business model to a prototype and on to production. “I hope my experience will
make whatever products I make successful,” he notes.
Fine says that back at Bucknell he spends a lot of time at the MakerSpace in
the 7th Street Studio, which has the requisite machines — for wood-carving,
laser-cutting, 3-D-printing, and the like — to craft drones.
The time in Idaho not only helped Fine hone his engineering and product-production skills but fed his love of the outdoors — he’s been a facilitator for the
Buck Wild first-year preorientation outdoor-and-leadership program for the last
three years. He’s also active in the Outing Club.
“It is a three-and-a-half-mile bike ride to the office [in Coeur d’Alene] every
day along the water and in the mountains,” says Fine, whose parents are Mark
and Lauren Holben Fine ’83 and brother is Andrew ’ 11, all of Allentown, Pa. “It
was quite a summer.” — Robert Strauss
Kevin Fine ’ 17 displays the
drone he worked to refine
this summer in Idaho.
Kevin Fine ’ 17
Daniel C. Roberts Hall, the central section of Main College, has long occupied a
prominent place on College Hill. Now
a significant facelift has restored it to its
former splendor, making it a dazzling
residence, primarily for sophomores.
The $13.7 million renovation of the
building, which began in late 2015,
features a grand entrance; a redesigned
central quad with study-friendly outdoor
seating; lounges and meeting spaces;
and two-, three- and four-person suites,
each with a private bathroom and
shower. LEED certification is being
sought, based on sustainable design
features including energy-efficient
windows, low-flow plumbing and
Main College, once known as
Old Main, is one of Bucknell’s oldest
buildings. Its construction dates from
the 1850s. In 1932, a fire gutted much
of the structure, which was rebuilt in
1937. The central portion was named in
memory of the man who funded much
of that work, Bucknell trustee Daniel
For a further look at the new Roberts, go to
$13.7 million renovation
puts a new face on a
historic residence hall.