Category Archives: Chemical and Bimolecular Engineering

Learning from a Great Advisor

Claire Hall

Claire Hall,
Senior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 2 October 2014

As an incoming freshman, you are paired with a faculty member in your department. It will be your advisor’s duty to help guide you through the process of choosing classes and schedules throughout your time at OU. Sometimes your advisor is the first professor you meet outside a classroom with. You’ll meet your advisor at least one time a semester to go over scheduling classes.

This professor is a huge part of your experience! They become a mentor and are a very important contact to have. If you have questions about changing major, adding minors, adding certificates, adding specific tracks, switching classes, or dropping classes they’re the person to talk to.

My own advisor, Dr. Monica Burdick, has helped me with much more than my classes throughout my four years at OU. Starting my sophomore year, I had the opportunity to work under Dr. Burdick in the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department helping with biomedical research experiments. I had a chance to learn about the different options other than classical chemical engineering that you could pursue with my degree.

I was intrigued and thoroughly enjoyed the lab and Dr. Burdick’s research. She and her graduate students have helped shape me as an engineer throughout the past couple of years and have also made a huge impact on what I’ve chosen to pursue.

Advisors can be an intimidating first step when coming to OU but these professors are here to help you find out your goals and achieve them! They help and mentor you in many ways throughout the years.

Dinner with the ChBE Professors

Courtney Sterrick

Courtney Sterrick,
Senior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 29 September 2014

Last Saturday, the OU Chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) held its first “Dinner with the Professors” night of the academic year. Each semester, our organization visits a Chemical Engineering Professor’s house for dinner.

Typically, the first dinner of the year is held at Dr. Ridgway’s house, the advisor of AIChE. The final dinner of the year is the “End of Year Picnic” which is open to all OU Chemical Engineering students.

This year, about 20 ChBEs ranging from freshmen to seniors attended the event in addition to several ChE professors and their spouses. Over the course of the evening, we played cornhole, sat around a warm fire, and spent the evening with friends while listening to music. A couple of pictures from the dinner held at Dr. Ridgway’s are below.

Dinner with ChBE Faculty

Dinner with ChBE Faculty

“Dinner with the Professors” is one of my favorite activities AIChE organizes throughout the year. As a 5th-year senior, I have attended over 10 of these events while at OU. Not only do you have fun with your fellow classmates, but it’s also a wonderful opportunity to meet upperclassmen and bond with your professors outside the classroom. One of my favorite things about OU is the degree we get to know our fellow classmates and faculty because of the smaller class sizes. “Dinner with the Professors” is only one of the many events that provide the opportunity for students to interact with one another as well as with the ChBE faculty.

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.

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!

Benefits of Theta Tau

Claire Hall

Claire Hall,
Junior, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 8 April 2014 – By the end of my freshman year, I had close friends I had been in class with all year. Some of them had joined an engineering fraternity and somehow convinced me to try it. Theta Tau turned out to be one of the best things I could have gotten involved in at Ohio University and Russ College.

Theta Tau is a professional engineering co-ed fraternity founded in 1904 with the Ohio University, Rho Beta chapter being established in 1988. All different majors in Russ College can join the organization and it’s a great way for different majors to meet each other and learn about different disciplines. The current exec board is composed of Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, and Computer Science majors.

Theta Tau

It’s also a great organization to learn from older students and seniors in Russ College. Learning leadership skills and gaining experience in organizing and communicating with others are benefits from involvement in Theta Tau. The professional fraternity is involved in community service in the Athens community, professional development activities on campus and also intramural sports.

I’m currently the chair for community service and this year we have helped at the Pawpaw Festival, supported a Good Works Friday Night Life dinner, and will be participating in the Athens B-day.

  • The Pawpaw Festival is a community event held at Lake Snowden in honor of Ohio’s state fruit, the pawpaw. Animals are not allowed to be taken in to the festival so the local Friends of the Dog Shelter dog-sit while their owners are able to walk around. We volunteered as a group, watching over and playing with the dogs.
  • Good Works puts on a Friday Night Life dinner sponsored by a different group every week. One week this winter, we cooked a chili dinner for 150 community members at Friday Night Life.
  • Athens Beatification Day is a large volunteer event organized by OU’s Student Senate which involves over 2,000 students giving back to the Athens community. Theta Tau has participated as a group the past couple of years.

Joining Theta Tau my sophomore year has given me the chance to become close friends with engineers in other disciplines, to learn from seniors in Chemical Engineering and develop some friendships I’m sure will last much longer than our time here at OU.

Theta Tau

Preparing for P&G After Graduation

Nichole Lowe

Nichole Lowe,
Senior, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 25 February 2014 – Ohio University, specifically Russ College, has allowed me to reach my goals. When I graduate, I will be working for Procter & Gamble Research and Development for their Beauty department. Since my freshman year, I have always known that P&G was my dream company. The education here at OU prepared me to be successful in two internships for P&G which led to my full-time job offer.

There is also a lot of assistance here beyond the academics. I had my resumé looked at by the Russ College co-op office and even did a mock interview to prepare myself. Another important resource on OU’s campus that I used sophomore year for my job interview was the quiet rooms provided at Baker for phone and Skype interviews. This was very useful because I did not have to worry about anyone interrupting my interview or having a lot of background noise.

Now that I have already accepted my full time job offer, I am currently in the process of preparing my new apartment. This has truly been an exciting time for me. Despite living in apartments here at OU for two years, getting an apartment for my job feels more official. This process has made me realize that I am truly entering into the real world. Furniture and apartment shopping has been the highlight of the post-graduation plans.

It’s exciting to already know what I will be doing when I graduate and to reflect on the four great years I’ve had as an Ohio university student. I look forward to graduation day and receiving my diploma so I can officially call myself an Ohio University Alum.

Looking at Graduate School

Colton Moran

Colton Moran,
Senior, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 24 February 2014 – So you spend 4 years slugging it out with core classes, trying to find the best general education courses, that you’re interested in, that hopefully won’t be too demanding if your schedule is already looking rough, and getting involved with your academic community. After all this time, after the good the bad and the ugly you come up to a point where you have to make one of the biggest decisions of your life. That is where I stand this day, deciding (after 4 year of hard work) whether to get a job or go to graduate school. It seems like just a few months ago I was a freshman looking at the beginning of my collegiate career and here I am sliding down the tail end.

Many of my friends have decided to go into industry but I don’t think I’m quite done with the “good ole years”. I have my eyes set on graduate school and let me tell you, it can be an exciting and overwhelming task to find the perfect school. First I had to take those 4 years previously mentioned and wrap them up, polish them and present them on 1 piece of paper (my resumé). Then I had to search for the schools that are at the top of the field of energy engineering. Once I found the schools I narrowed them down by looking at their current research and active professors. All the while I spent studying for the GRE which is always a pleasure (Not too bad for us engineers!!). Then the biggest moment of them all comes, submitting the accumulation of your life to the schools of your choice. I sent in resumés, transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a multitude of essays. Then the waiting game begins.

Luckily for me I got into the three schools I applied to and I am currently set up to visit them. I still have Ohio University on my list of schools as well. This exploration and decision will be in chapter 2 of (What to do after my undergraduate degree).

Purdue
Ga Tech

NC State
Ohio