Category Archives: Mechanical Engineering

Family Ties

Erin Tracy

Erin Tracy,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 16 November 2014

It’s my favorite time of year again: time for the holidays and family gatherings. Every year after the first week of November, my mom’s siblings and their families get together at my Aunt Kim’s house in Parkersburg, WV for Thanksgiving. Since my Papa, my mom’s dad, passed away thirteen years ago in early November, we have made it a priority each year to get together and re-strengthen the family ties. I have been looking forward to this weekend since the end of summer, especially because this year was at our house in central Ohio.

Family

I was able to spend time with some of my favorite people during this reunion, and it was a much needed break from the chaos of senior year. I talked to my aunts Becki and Sherii about my future plans of mission work in South Asia and coddled my four month old cousin for as long as her mom could stand to give her up. We also celebrated my older brother Josh’s recent engagement!

Family

Family is super important to me, and this time of Thanksgiving giving way into Christmas and New Year’s is all about family. I can’t wait to be home for Thanksgiving break and hopefully have my brothers who live in southern Ohio and North Dakota home as well. Then the day after Thanksgiving, it will finally be socially acceptable to put up Christmas decorations and listen to Christmas music non-stop. The time is so near, friends!

Being Involved: Marching 110 and Cru

Erin Tracy

Erin Tracy,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 12 October 2014

In October of my junior year of high school, I visited Ohio University for the first time to watch my older brother perform with the Marching 110 at a football game. I remember how exciting the halftime performance was and how much the crowd loved the band. I was so proud of my brother, and that visit was a big part of my decision to come to OU.

I auditioned for the band before my freshman year and have been a member all four years. Although it can be overwhelming and exhausting, it really is one of my favorite things about OU. I absolutely love performing at halftime and experiencing the crowd’s reaction, especially after a dance chart. It’s hard to explain that rush we get on the field, knowing that we’re a part of something that brings so much joy and energy to a stadium full of people. The 110 was recently named the ‘Nation’s Best College Marching Band’, which is such an honor, but we don’t do what we do for titles. Our goals every week are to perform to the best of our abilities, entertain the crowd, and have a ton of fun! If we do that, we’ve done our job.

As much as I love being in the 110, my involvement in Cru is what gives me life. I lead a community group of girls on East Green, and many of my best friends are in my Action Group of East Green leaders (pictured).

Action Group of East Green leaders

I love the opportunity I get to work with these awesome ladies and watch how God is growing them! At Fall Retreat last weekend, I made the decision to apply for STINT (Short Term International) with Cru for a year after graduation. It’s not official yet, but I may be ministering to college students in Asia next year, which is both exciting and terrifying at the same time. My path has definitely been shaped by the things I love, both band in getting me to attend OU and Cru in sharing my faith after leaving.

Getting Involved in Student Organizations

Julie Stenger

Julie Stenger,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 23 September 2014

My senior year started off with a bang. I didn’t have very much time to kick it into high gear on my time management skills, as I became involved with a number (read “too many”) activities this year.

Last year I was in Phi Sigma Pi, a coed National Honor Society, and was a scuba diving teaching assistant. In addition to those, this year I am an Engineering Ambassador and a Learning Community Leader; I play intramural soccer; and I am the president of Pi Tau Sigma, the National Mechanical Engineering Honor Society.

On top of that I started Senior Design this fall, plus my other classes. “I must be crazy for taking on all these activities” and “which organization should I drop to keep my sanity?” were things that initially went through my head this year.

However, as time went on I realized that I couldn’t drop any of them without being disappointed in myself:

  • I love being an Engineering Ambassador and becoming friends with people in other majors as well as having the opportunity to talk to prospective students and their families about why Ohio University and Russ College is the greatest place to be.
  • Being president of an organization also makes me feel accomplished and proud to be a leader of others and to do good things for our school
  • Scuba diving is my get-away from engineering and the opportunity to get to go to Florida every semester for free is never something I could quit!
  • Finally, as a Learning Community Leader I get to interact with freshmen all the time and I appreciate that I get to make them excited about Ohio University and school, as well as being able to sort of live my freshman year again vicariously through them!

There isn’t one thing I would drop and it’s helped me learn to be better organized. Despite how much time they take up and stress they create, I greatly appreciate that I get to be involved in my school and meet tons of new people all the time. I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

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

Summer Co-op at Honda

Justin Lumbard

Justin Lumbard,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 31 August 2014

The end of this summer was bittersweet. While I am always happy to come back to Athens, this summer I had the awesome opportunity of being invited back for my third co-op with Honda R&D Americas Inc. I worked in the Steering and Handling test group (this summer and last summer) and my group was responsible for the way the vehicle responds when the steering wheel is turned both when the car is stationary and when it is moving at any speed.

I helped the engineers tune steering systems to fit the needs of the anticipated demographics for several types of Hondas. I was able to watch the new Acura TLX go from the early prototype stages to a full-blown automobile, and it was a fantastic learning experience. I was exposed to some of the other new models Honda is currently working on and I am very excited to see them as finished vehicles.

Probably some of the best experiences I had working with Honda were some of the higher speed testing trials that I was able to sit in on. Watching a highly trained engineer push a prototype vehicle up to the very highest limit of the car is a great experience, but sitting in the car while it is sliding sideways is another experience entirely. I learned how to control motion sickness very quickly, as collecting data using computers while someone drives is actually much more difficult than it sounds. I was able to work with some extremely talented and smart people and I will not soon forget the experiences I had there.

SourceAmerica/AbilityOne College Design Challenge

Scott Kostohryz

Scott Kostohryz,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 26 June 2014 – After 4 years, I cannot believe my time at Ohio University is coming to a close after one more semester. After finishing my senior design project and submitting a report and video to the SourceAmerica/AbilityOne College Design Challenge, our senior design team (Team Flower Power) found out we were finalists. Our entire team was given the opportunity to fly to DC from June 16th – June 19th for recognition of the award.

Unfortunately only 2 of my 4 teammates could make it. Marissa Singley, Nick Reed and I had the opportunity to see the sites and sounds of DC. One of the best places we visited was the Air and Space museum. My favorite exhibit was the Wright Flyer which was on display.

Wright Flyer

Going out to Washington DC also gave our team the opportunity to meet the other finalists. One team was a group of undergrad electrical engineering and computer science students from Weber State and the other was a team of 3 graduate students from Oregon State University.

One of the most exiting and touching parts of the weekend was doing a simple team builder. We were placed in teams of 3 from different schools and given a bag of parts and a set of instructions. By the end, each team had a prosthetic hand to be given to a victim of a land mind accident in another country. It was a moving team builder where we all worked together to make a difference. Here is a link for more detail on the team builder: Sunrise – A helping hand for landmine victims.

At the end of the week, at a congressional reception, it was announced by Ohio Congressman Steve Stivers that Ohio University had won Best Overall Design in the AbilityOne College Design Competition. It is a great honor to have worked with such a great team, and bring recognition to Ohio University. I do not think that the 3 schools honored at the reception were the only winners. The true winners were the non-profit organizations and those with disabilities who were helped through this design competition.

ME Senior Design

A writeup on the competition, Ohio University, and the Senior Design Team can be seen at the Athens Messenger web site.

Saying Goodbye and New Beginnings

Talli Topp

Talli Topp,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 27 April 2014 – Graduation is upon my classmates and I, and as the day gets closer it is starting to settle in that we are all moving on. In this last year I have formed really close friendships with a number of people in my class. I have always been close to a small group of my classmates, but senior design has brought me closer with even more people! I have loved getting to know my classmates and we have had a great year doing so.

It is really interesting to see all of the different paths that everyone is taking. Some of my friends are going to grad school for engineering; others for their masters in business, and a lot have accepted job offers. Not only are the paths that everyone is on different, but people are moving all over the country as well. There are a lot of people staying in Ohio, but some are moving as far as Colorado and Arizona!

I am very sad to say goodbye to all of my new, and old, friends. It will be weird to go from seeing a group of people everyday for four years to saying goodbye to some of them forever. Luckily for me, I will be attending graduate school next year at OU, and so are a number of my classmates! I also hope to stay close with as many of the people moving away as possible, because I can see a number of them being my lifelong friends.