Tag Archives: Ambassador Activities

Lunch with Dean Irwin

Natasha Norris

Natasha Norris,
Junior, Electrical Engineering

Athens, OH 19 September 2014

This past Tuesday, the Engineering Ambassadors and several student organization representatives had the honor to attend a luncheon hosted by Dr. Dennis Irwin, the Dean of the Russ College. This was not only my first formal meeting with Dean Irwin, but this was the first for several of the other new ambassadors as well.

The Dean started off the meeting with a variety of stories all emphasizing the purpose of the meeting and of the ambassadors. All of the Ambassadors are students, so we experience all the classroom settings that every student experiences. The Dean emphasized that ambassadors are added eyes and ears for Russ College.

The purpose of the luncheon was to relay the concerns of Russ College students to the Dean. He wants the students to be able to reach out to him and express their ideas for improvements and new technology. It was evident that student ideas and contributions are vital to the success of the Russ College.

Some of the ideas the ambassadors brought to the meeting were improvement of lab equipment, discussions on the atmosphere in classrooms, and the technology available in the computer labs. Even smaller things, such as replacing the erasers in the ARCM/a> were mentioned.

I have already seen some of the suggested improvements appear around the Russ College since the meeting. As a Russ College student, I fully believe that the ambassadors and the Dean have the student body’s best interest at heart.

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

Russ College First-Year Welcome Dinner

Justin Lumbard

Justin Lumbard,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 4 September 2014

Earlier this evening, freshmen of all engineering and technology disciplines were able to explore some of the very diverse offerings available to them as a student in the Russ College of Engineering and Technology. I was able to escort a group of undecided engineering freshmen through several excellently prepared stations to introduce them to engineering majors that they had been interested in as well as some that they may not have considered before.

One stop on our tour brought us to the ASME design project. The students were able to see the robot that the Mechanical engineering students had designed for the previous year’s Battle Bots competition. The group that I led was able to listen to Tyler Lucas as he explained the design process while Dylan Rhodes drove the robot around and answered specific design questions the students came up with.

Finally, we moved to the ballroom in Baker Center. Outside the ballroom, several engineering organizations were there to introduce themselves to the freshmen and welcome them to the college. Inside, we were served a surprisingly good dinner of lasagna and salad which let the students eat and get to know one another better. After dinner, Dean Irwin welcomed all of the new students to the Russ College and congratulated them for their talents and wished them all well with their studies.

Welcome Weekend at the Russ College

Casey Davis

Casey Davis,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 27 August 2014

This year’s Russ College Welcome for new students was such a successful event–thanks to all of those who came! We had quite the turnout this year, with around 280 freshman engineering students here to learn a little bit about what the Russ College has to offer.

Mechanical Engineers

At the Welcome Session, there were Engineering Ambassadors from every major of the Russ College including Mechanical, Chemical, Computer Science, Electrical, Industrial and Systems, Civil, Engineering Technology and Management, and Aviation. After arriving, the new students scrambled to find the room for their major.

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineers

In my room of future Industrial and Systems Engineers, the majority of students were female (all with a great sense of humor), something that pleasantly surprised me, as there is not always an equal distribution of both sexes in engineering. It was good to see that my future profession will offer diversity and future perspectives in the field.

Industrial and Systems Engineers

All of the majors started their session with an informal student-to-student presentation. This allowed for them ask real questions from current students including job potential, best dining hall, and how hard physics actually is here.

Welcome Weekend

After the presentation, my group took a small tour of the ISE department as well as the computer lab where they will spend many hours. After the official ending of the tour, students seemed to be much more comfortable asking detailed questions about classes and engineering in general. This orientation was something I did not get to attend when I was a freshman and wish I had, for the sake of having a better idea of what life was going to be like for the next four years. I met many new faces and personalities of the future and I must say I like where it is going.

Visiting TTX

Sarah Anderson

Sarah Anderson,
Senior, Industrial and Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 12 March 2014 – Earlier this week, the Engineering Ambassadors went on our annual professional development corporate trip. This year, we went to Chicago for a couple of days and visited different companies and met several OU alumni. The companies ranged from a fry grease regeneration and processing facility to a civil engineering firm that inspected the structure of some of the city’s iconic skyscrapers.

One of the places we visited was TTX, a railcar pooling company. This company fills a unique niche in that it rents its iconic yellow railcars to the major railways for as long as they are needed, and then the cars are transported short distances to the location to where they can be used next, similar to a rental car company.

TTX

This was one of the most interesting companies because it appealed to the broad range of engineers present, and we were all able to see real-life applications of our own discipline as well as the other engineering disciplines. The mechanical engineers were able to see how the cars themselves were designed and retrofitted to meet the changing demands. The aviation majors drew parallels between the railcars and airplanes in the amount of time the vehicle could stay in use as well as required inspections. As an industrial engineer, I was interested to learn about the logistics of the railcar movements as well as the way this method was more efficient than the individual railways buying their own cars. We all benefitted from seeing the business side of engineering required in finding what the market requires and negotiating with clients.

All of the employees we talked to at TTX were very hospitable and more than willing to answer all the questions that we had. All the engineers who went enjoyed the trip; it was enlightening, showing us how much more applications there are in the engineering field than anyone realizes. It was encouraging to get outside the classroom and see real-life applications, especially seeing the work that OU graduates were doing in the years after leaving Athens.

At the Future City National Finals

Kelly McCoy

Kelly McCoy,
Senior, Aviation

Athens, OH 24 February 2014 – I LOVE being an Engineering Ambassador! Last week, another Ambassador and I got the chance to fly to Washington, D.C., to represent the Russ College as judges at the finals of the national Future City Competition and it was awesome!

Future City is a national project-based competition where middle schoolers imagine and design futuristic cities and present their visions through scale models, essays, presentations, and a SimCity software simulation. Their projects are then judged on everything from transportation systems to city self-sufficiency to presentation skills. There were so many incredible presentations this year!

Groups compete regionally, and if they win in their region they are invited to the national competition in Washington, D.C. Evan and I acted as general judges and as judges for a Special Award–Best Personal Transportation System–and we heard some very creative solutions! Many groups incorporated several different futuristic ideas, such as autonomous pods charged by a road made of photovoltaic cells or a moving sidewalk. Some ideas were very imaginative and it was great to see kids thinking about engineering principles at such a young age. Many of them were excited continue their engineering educations and admitted they were thinking of becoming engineers. Success!

My personal favorite part of the competition was judging the scale models that the kids made. They had to be constructed of recycled materials ans have certain features. I saw buildings made of everything from vacuum heads to old computer equipment to car parts, all spray painted or decorated to resemble futuristic cities. The creativity of these kids was incredible, and their pride in their work was very inspiring.

Meeting a Russ Prize Winner

Sarah Anderson

Sarah Anderson,
Senior, Industrial and Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 21 February 2014 – Yesterday, members of the Engineering Ambassadors and the Robe Leadership Institute had the opportunity to have a breakfast and discussion with Dr. James Wynne. Dr. Wynne is the 2013 winner of the Russ Prize for his work on developing the laser that would make LASIK and PRK procedures possible. The Russ Prize is the highest honor for bioengineering achievements that better the human condition and is awarded by Ohio University and the National Academy of Engineering.

The meeting over breakfast flowed like a conversation with friends with the topics developing from whatever came up. The food itself sparked conversation ranging from how your morning diet can affect your overall health to Dr. Wynne’s recent profitable investment in a coffee company. A large amount of what Dr. Wynne talked about was based around his family and his college experience. It was clear that his family plays a large role in is life. It was also possible to see that his life was widely defined by his college experience, the people he met, and the opportunities he was given while still in school. At one point the students provided their plans for the future with Dr. Wynne giving encouragement and advice on how to get the most out of their careers. The discussion never got around to Dr. Wynne’s award-winning achievement, though he did share his medal with the group, inciting a brief discussion about its composition.

The conversation flowed easily throughout the meal and would have continued on had the room not been reserved by another group. The Ambassadors had an excellent opportunity in getting to meet Dr. Wynne. He was very personable, and also had great advice to give to the senior engineers as they are about to graduate.