Author Archives: dalemasel

About dalemasel

Associate Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Ohio University

A Scary Experience in Junior Composition

Natasha Norris

Natasha Norris,
Junior, Electrical Engineering

Athens, OH 21 September 2014

When I signed up for junior composition for this fall semester, I had no idea I was in for such a “terrifying” experience. Of course, to any engineer, an English course doesn’t sound as appetizing as our math and science based curriculum, but in any case, it is a refreshing change.

A week before my classes started, I got an email from my soon-to-be English professor informing me of the required literature. To my shock, I found the movie “Carrie” by Stephen King, “Silence of the Lambs” by Thomas Harris, and “Rosemary’s Baby” by Ira Levin just to name a few. I had signed up for a section of the class that was focused on “Women in Horror”. I have always avoided anything with terror, blood, etc. so I didn’t think I would be able to survive the course. My first reaction was to drop it, but after a few classes, I decided to give it a shot.

Recently, I’ve just completed one of my more interesting projects for the course: I live-tweeted my experiences while watching the movie “Carrie” (1976). Hopefully, nightmares won’t come and my followers on Twitter won’t think I have the most random tweets in the world, but this was a great change from the usual calculations my engineering courses require. So far, I’m very happy with my decision to try something bizarre and completely different from my engineering courses.

Getting Involved in Student Organizations

Lance Jackson

Lance Jackson,
Senior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 21 September 2014

When in a field such as engineering it is important to find a balance between school work and recreational activities. Ohio University offer a plethora of clubs and organizations that students are able to join. From intramural sports all the way down to the hula-hooping club, it would be tough not to find at least one club that interested you. Sometimes it’s nice to get away from the anti-derivatives and go for a nice Sunday run with the running club (my personal club of choice).

From my personal experience, being able to take a step back and not think about schoolwork for a while actually helps me focus on my work once I decide to get back to it. During my time at Ohio University I’ve tried to join a different club each year. During my freshman year I joined an intramural flag football team and my sophomore year I was very active in the running club. My junior year, I would go to weekly bible sessions with Divine Covering.

Joining clubs is a great way to make new friends and relieve stress. Although it takes good time management skills to juggle the demands of a rigorous engineering course-load while still remaining active outside of Russ College, I think it is well worth the sacrifice.

Surviving My Busy Semester

Gavin Whitehead

Gavin Whitehead,
Junior, Aviation

Athens, OH 19 September 2014

This is officially the busiest I’ve been in my life. Having classes and working a few jobs all at the same time. It’s a different feel than I am used to. I’m used to having a morning class, a five hour break of relaxation, then a class in the afternoon after a leisurely lunch. What I had before sounds like the best schedule ever but overall I always felt like I should have been doing something. So I thought I would try something new this year and have a few more obligations. I am now an RA, Engineering Ambassador, and Certified Flight Instructor. This is actually the first time in my life I have a working calendar and every day I have something new to do. I just need to work a little more at this managing time thing, but so far I like it.

One of my favorite things about this year so far is flight instructing. Not only am I doing something that I love, but it also helps me with experience toward my career. Building this time and experience now is going to help me with a better job out of college. I currently have a few students now and flying with them a few days a week is an awesome time. I love seeing how they are developing the skills they need to fly an airplane and seeing their excitement towards flying makes me want to do all I can for them to have the best training. This is going to be a great year!

Ohio University Challenge Course

Lance Jackson

Lance Jackson,
Senior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 8 September 2014

Beginning this semester as an Engineering Ambassador has truly been an enjoyable experience. Being surrounded by fellow students who all are involved in a number of engineering-related organizations has opened my eyes to how many diverse groups the Russ College has to offer. With ambassadors representing all of our different engineering and technology disciplines, there were a number of us who were unfamiliar with each other. In order to break the ice, a challenge course activity was scheduled this past weekend at The Ridges at OU.

The Ridges Challenge Course

We participated in a number of fun activities as a group and also had some down time that allowed us to get to know each other a little better.

Challenge Course

The first activity we did once we arrived at the Ridges was a name game where everyone had to state their name along with a motion that starts with the first letter in their name. In addition, there were a couple of timed activities where we had to work collectively as a team to complete the activity while trying to beat the time we set in the previous trial.

Challenge Course Run

There were also a couple of activities where we were split into two teams and competed head to head during the activity, which got pretty intense.

Challenge Course Race

All in all, I feel like our day at the challenge course was a success. We were able to get to know each other a little better and being forced to work in teams to complete an activity enabled us to develop a trust that we can take back and apply to our ambassador tasks during the year.

Casey and Nick Blindfolded

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