Learning from Group Assignments

Claire Hall

Claire Hall,
Senior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 14 September 2014

Everyone has had to do it…and not everyone prefers it…but group work is one of the most important things that our professors can teach us before we graduate. Right from the start of this semester, we were placed into groups in all of our senior classes. Lab groups, homework groups, and project groups are all components of our classes’ curricula.

They can range from 2 people to 10, but regardless of size, you’re forced to work with others. All of us know it’s sometimes a pain to schedule times to meet and coordinate with others who may not be your roommates or your friends. But the entire process of group work is just as important to learn as what the actual lectures teach us.

No matter what field of engineering you pursue or what you chose to do after graduating, you will need to be able to work with others to succeed in your goals. The abilities to communicate with others, articulate your own ideas, and to appreciate others ideas are all intrinsic to being successful.

Although being forced to work in groups is occasionally bothersome, all of the successes and difficulties of working in a group you will be able to use in real world applications, whether that be with a team of engineers, marketers, fellow students or colleagues. The lessons taught by our classmates in groups senior year will be just as useful as the lectures and notes from our professors.

Getting Involved in Engineering Organizations

Casey Davis

Casey Davis,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 10 September 2014

As a Russ College student, you have big shoes to fill. There have been many prominent professionals that all started where we did, perhaps in a big lecture in Stocker 103. However, I can say that none of those individuals went through life thinking, I am just here to go to school get a degree and make a bunch of money. They became involved, interacted with the faculty and the community around them.

Fortunately we have some of the best staff in the world in the Russ College and a long list of programs that can include everyone to somehow find a group that you belong to. I am involved in a couple that I will discuss briefly.

Theta Tau is the oldest professional engineering fraternity in the nation, started in 1904 at the University of Minnesota. Joining Theta Tau has been easily the best decision I could have made for myself while at Oho University. I am currently living with five other engineers also involved in Theta Tau, creating professional relationships as well as life-long friendships how could it not be a good decision for anyone?

The other group I have joined is the Institute of Industrial Engineers, or IIE. It is a group of Industrial Engineering students (though, not required to be an IE) that take tours of facilities that IE is applied including Kenworth Truck Company in Chillicothe and Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus. Overall this experience has led me to see what life will be like once I make the next step from Russ College student to business professional. I can only foresee good things due to my education here at Ohio University.

Focusing on My Final Year

Erin Tracy

Erin Tracy,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 9 September 2014

It’s the third week of fall semester, and I’m still having a hard time coming to grips with the fact that this is my last year here at OU. I know I still have two whole semesters before graduation, but I just can’t believe how quickly time is flying by.

This past summer, I interned at Owens Corning Science & Technology Center in Granville, OH in a design role. I loved my time there and learned so much about myself and my abilities in the technical world, as well as the wealth of opportunities available to me after graduation. This looks awesome on paper, but it’s also a little overwhelming. I have to start thinking about what I want to do with the rest of my life, whether that be graduate school, starting my career in engineering, or doing something else entirely like full-time ministry. But, one of the greatest pieces of advice I received from a mentor at Owens Corning was to enjoy my college experience and to soak in every moment and opportunity while at OU. So, that’s exactly what I’m focused on doing this year.

These first few weeks back at school have been a whirlwind. I have been getting to know my Senior Design group and project, performing with the Marching 110, meeting with students to share with them the Good News about Jesus, getting inducted as an engineering ambassador (pictured below), and studying how osteoplast and osteoblast cells relate to the mechanics of bone fracture. My life may seem like a bit of a smorgasbord right now, but I’m loving every single minute!

ALT

Start of My Senior Year in Aviation

Josh D'Urso

Josh D’Urso,
Senior, Aviation

Athens, OH 8 September 2014

As I start my senior year, everyone keeps reminding me that I need to start applying for jobs. While this is exciting to begin a new journey of my life, I don’t want to leave the life I’ve built here in Athens. I transferred to Ohio University my sophomore year and that was one of the best decisions of my life. Since I was a transfer student I knew I needed to get involved in some organizations in order to make some friends.

I joined an international business flight fraternity called Alpha Eta Rho (AHP) and I’m now the head of the fundraising committee. I’ve also joined Women in Aviation (WAI). I’ve met some of my closest friends through AHP and WAI and through these organizations I’ve been able to travel to Washington D.C. and Kalamazoo, Michigan for our national conferences. This year I’ll be going to San Diego where I’ll get to have dinner on an aircraft carrier! These trips have been possible largely by the help of Dean Irwin and some financial support of Russ College of Engineering and Technology.

While I’m looking forward to the future and those trips, I’m going to mention something in the not-so-long-ago past. This summer I stayed in Athens and worked very hard towards getting my Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) certificate. Three days before opening weekend I was able to successfully pass my checkride and I’m now a CFI and I’m teaching students this semester. It has been one of the greatest accomplishments of my life and I’m looking forward to where it is going to take me after college!

After CFI Checkride

Summer Co-op with General Mills

Emily Blaha

Emily Blaha,
Senior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 7 September 2014

Over the summer, I had the opportunity to complete an internship with General Mills. I worked at their plant in Wellston, Ohio, where they make Totino’s pizzas and pizza rolls. For work, I commuted from Athens with another OU chemical engineering student.

I was an Engineering & Operations Intern, and my projects introduced me to both process engineering and daily operations of the pizza lines. I was very fortunate to work with an awesome group of interns from around the country.

General Mills Interns

Since I graduate in May 2015, I really wanted to use my last summer to work in a plant setting and see how I liked it. The General Mills plant definitely fit what I was looking for with 24-hour production schedules and 1200 employees! Overall, it was a great experience. I learned a lot about what type of work environment is best for me and what I should focus on when I start to apply for full-time jobs.

I also took two semesters off of school last year to complete two co-op terms in the automotive industry where I had a Quality role in a corporate setting. I am really glad that I spent my time during my undergrad to gain work experience and try multiple industries. The Russ College of Engineering & Technology provides students with so many opportunities to gain real engineering experience, whether it’s through a student organization, undergraduate research, or a co-op or internship. Get involved!

Reflecting on Becoming an Engineer

Eric May

Eric May,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 6 September 2014

Ah! At last, it’s finally here. I’m a senior, and what a trip it’s been.

As I look back on the last few years I can’t believe how much I’ve grown in every aspect of my life. If you’re an incoming freshman or thinking about coming to Ohio University and the Russ College of Engineering and Technology you’ve probably heard a lot recently about the cost of college tuition, which degrees will get you jobs, or perhaps even that college isn’t really worth it.

But most of those people miss the point of coming to study at college. It’s not just about the degree you get, but also about how you grow as a young person. College is an opportunity for you to explore your interests, or become part of a community, but live an independent life too.

Besides “getting a piece of paper”, being an engineering student teaches you a few things about yourself. You learn that there are a lot of people just as smart or smarter than you; you learn that you’re not invincible and that you will make mistakes. For me personally, the most important thing I learned was that despite how difficult engineering is, if you want badly enough to be an engineer you can do it.

This experience has helped me build a strong foundation for my future, not necessarily a job, or money, but to be a good person and one that can help leave the world a better place than I found it. I’m excited to be getting my last year of college underway, and I know that my learning experience here has given me a strong platform from which to begin my professional career.

Benefits of My Summer Internship

Steve Toth

Steve Toth,
Junior, Engineering Technology & Management

Athens, OH 3 September 2014

As a Russ College student I’m surrounded by students who had worked in engineering co-ops and internships. After hearing them talk about all the new skills they learned and the great experiences they had, I decided that I wanted to do the same thing. As fall semester came to a close, I decided I should probably start my job search. Little to my knowledge, most companies had filled their internship slots long ago, so as spring semester went on, I thought I would not get to have a real world engineering experience.

Out of the blue one day, an opening popped up that caught my attention. This opening was with Ludowici Roof Tile, located in New Lexington, OH; just a half hour from my hometown of Lancaster, OH. After a brief interview and plant tour I was offered the job. Man, I was ecstatic!

During my internship I worked full-time under the supervision of a mechanical engineer. I did not have a truly standard day. Primarily, I was tasked with designing unique solutions to improve current production machines as well as designing new machines. Additionally, I was charged with seeing that the project went from the napkin drawing, to SolidWorks (did I mention I had to learn a new modeling software!?), to the machine shop, and lastly I had to assist in the implementation of the machine. Through this process I interacted with people from a variety of backgrounds which allowed me to see both what I was designing and life as a whole in a brand new light.

My internship with Ludowici was truly a growing experience and I could not imagine my summer without it. The skills I honed by working in the real world are just the start to the benefits I gained from my internship. I feel that the relationships I built were the real prize.