Category Archives: Civil Engineering

ASCE Steel Bridge Competition

Nick Sparks

Nick Sparks,
Senior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 19 November 2014

Every year the members involved in American Society of Civil Engineers participate in multiple competitions such as steel bridge, concrete canoe, environmental, and more. The competitions aren’t until March; however, we have to begin working now so that our teams will be ready for competition.

This year I am captain of our steel bridge team. For the steel bridge competition we have to design a 1/10 scale model of a steel bridge and every year the criteria are changed. This year we have to design a bridge that has an 18-foot clear span which means that the supports are only on the ends of the span. During the competition we are challenged to subject our bridge to various forms of loading.

To begin design we have to carefully read the rules. As a group we all suggest different ideas and begin to build off of them. This year we decided to go with a beam bridge design. As a group we are planning that we will use a built up T-member made from two L-members for the bridge decking. Our biggest challenge so far is to design the way to brace the bridge laterally. Lateral bracing is used to prevent side sway. After we decide what we would like to do for bracing our next step will be to make all shop drawings and then next semester we will begin fabrication.

My Favorite Restaurant in Athens

Lance Jackson

Lance Jackson,
Senior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 4 November 2014

Athens offers a number of unique restaurants that are exclusive to the city. From Big Mama’s burritos, to Kiser’s barbecue to Wings Over Athens, there is a wide variety of food options in the city of Athens that can be enjoyed.

However, one of these restaurants will always hold a very special place in my heart. That restaurant is Ginger’s Asian Kitchen, commonly known as Ginger’s. Ginger’s is a restaurant that allows the customer to make his or her own Asian bowl. Customers may choose rice, noodles or both to start and are able to choose between a wide variety of meats, vegetables and sauces to top off their order. For those watching their weight Ginger’s also offers different soups and salads on the menu. Sushi lovers should not feel left out either seeing that sushi can either be added to a bowl as a substitute for a meat selection or ordered separately.

Next, Ginger’s offers a delivery service that will deliver anywhere within a 3-mile radius, this is very convenient for us busy college students because it keeps us from having to take a break from our studies and traveling to the actual store to pick up our order. In closing, for any of those who might be visiting Athens in the near future or have never experienced the glorious food served at Ginger’s, I would strongly suggest making that your restaurant of choice the next time you are faced with that decision.

Water Treatment Field Trip

Nick Sparks

Nick Sparks,
Senior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 30 October 2014

Throughout the semester in my water and waste water management class, we have been in the process of designing a water treatment plant. During class we have learned all types of treatment processes and how to remove contaminants to provide quality drinking water to the public. We learned how the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides the water quality standards and from the standards civil engineers are free to design the water treatment plant however they would like as long as they meet the standards.

There comes a time when learning theory in class does not teach you everything you need to know about water treatment. During our own design project, there were multiple times when we were doing calculations to determine tank size we questioned ourselves if our numbers made sense. Most of the time we were unable not comprehend how massive water treatment plants are.

As a part of the class and a teaching tool our professor organized a field trip to a water treatment plant in Lancaster, Ohio and a waste water treatment plant in Columbus, Ohio. Being able to see these plants in person helped us understand on how massive these plants are actually and help us realize that our calculations of our own design are acceptable.

Pictures provided show both the water treatment plant and waste water treatment plant.

Field Trip

Field Trip

Field Trip

Field Trip

Field Trip

Enjoying a Fall Getaway

Jordan Sapp

Jordan Sapp,
Junior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 20 October 2014

A question I wrestled with when choosing to major in engineering was “If I study engineering, will I have a life outside of homework and exams?” After spending two-and-a-half years in Civil Engineering, I can confidently answer that question with, “Yes it is possible to have a life outside of engineering work.”

This past weekend was a clear example of leaving the real world of work and just enjoying life. Saturday I went to the Circleville Pumpkin show with a group of friends. The pumpkin show is an annual gathering of pumpkin fanatics in a festival-like atmosphere about an hour from Athens. There are rides, food, games, and tons of pumpkin goodness. That includes the World’s Largest Pumpkin Pie, 6 feet in diameter.

World's Largest Pumpkin Pie

Anything you can think of, they’ve made it pumpkin-flavored and I had the opportunity to taste some of it! After sampling through pumpkin chili, elephant ears, coffee, pie, funnel cake, ice cream, and fudge I decided my favorite pumpkin-flavored food was the pumpkin donut from a local bakery named Lindsey’s. The donuts were one-of-a-kind and truly satisfied my taste buds.

After the pumpkin show we camped out at the house of one of my friends. this camping out involved marshmallows, hot dogs, guitar playing, and an overall good time. To top off the night, we all slept in hammocks.

Hammock Camping

After weekends like these, I appreciate the ability to have some free time to get away from engineering and just enjoy the opportunities going to school in this area offers

ASCE Tour of On-Campus Construction

Nick Sparks

Nick Sparks,
Senior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 25 September 2014 -

Being president of two separate student organizations I am in the process of getting activities organized that will be fun for all. As a civil engineering student there are quite a few projects that are going on around campus that are great real-life learning tools. The biggest project going on right now is the South Green Dorms. For the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) we scheduled a tour. The project engineer took us around the grounds and inside two of the four buildings.

ASCE Tour

As a senior I will not a get a chance to live in these new dorms or go inside but, seeing the structure and all the inner workings was a great learning tool.

ASCE Tour

The new dorms are using a building method that has never been done before on campus. The entire building is made out of precast concrete. A precast building comes in sections that are made off site and transported to the job site. This means that the building can go up in the matter of weeks instead of months.

ASCE Tour

These new dorms are also going to have office spaces and there are rooms set aside for student use like workout room, study room, and can be a classroom if needed.

ASCE Tour

As a civil engineer it is cool to get out to a job site and see how what we are learning in class can be used in a structure.

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.

Being a Part of Cru at OU

Jordan Sapp

Jordan Sapp,
Junior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 3 September 2014

The start of a new semester is always quite exciting thinking about the new obstacles that lie ahead. It feels like I just finished overcoming classes and projects from last semester, but I am ready to face the new ones.

One thing here at Ohio University that has helped me in my endeavors to receive a diploma has been my involvement with a student organization called Cru. Cru stands for Campus Crusade for Christ and is a ministry here on campus. Through this organization I have met some of my closest friends. These are friends who have encouraged me through difficult times and challenged me when it seemed to be easier than it should be.

This past summer I had the opportunity to go on a six-week mission trip with Cru to a little country called Slovenia. Slovenia is an absolutely beautiful place and is filled with so much to discover. While in Slovenia, our mission was to connect with students attending The University of Ljubljana and learn about their perspectives on life while sharing with them the opportunity they had with the Cru organization there. In Slovenia, this partnership is connected to the same Cru here at Ohio University, but it is for the Slovene students. It’s an organization where students are welcome to come and ask questions and find answers about who God is and what it means to have a relationship with Him.

The six weeks I spent in Slovenia were life-changing and one of the greatest things I have done in my life. I am thankful that Ohio University offers such intimate student organizations where you can truly find who you are and what you are most passionate about.