Athens, OH 25 March 2014 – The Ohio University chapter of Women in Aviation, International (WAI) recently returned from our trip to the annual WAI Conference. This year it was held in Orlando, Florida at the Disney Coronado Springs Resort, which was beautiful! The conference offers the opportunity to connect with professionals in the aviation industry, to attend educational sessions, and to get interviewed by companies such as major airlines and corporate flight departments. Every aviation discipline was represented, from maintenance to flight schools to research to the Federal Aviation Administration. The students who attended this year explored job options after graduation and networked with people who can mentor them and help them further their career. We met many inspiring people!
Personally, the conference offered me the chance to reconnect with pilots and recruiters who I have met at past conferences, and I made many new friends and mentors who gave me great professional advice as I prepare to graduate and begin my career. I also got several job offers through networking and by talking to the right people. We also had the chance to train in a high altitude chamber and feel the true effects of hypoxia, which is valuable training for pilots. The conference was a very rewarding and beneficial experience this year!
Senior, Civil Engineering
Athens, OH 25 March 2014 – This weekend is the Ohio Valley Student Conference, a conference where schools like Ohio State, Youngstown State, Pitt, and Ohio University compete in civil engineering based competitions.
You may have heard of the concrete canoe and steel bridge, but I’m part of a smaller regional environmental competition. Every year teams are challenged to treat a polluted sample of water that is relevant to current environmental policy issues. Competitions have included treating drinking water contaminated with manganese, hydraulic fracturing flow back water contaminated with toxic metals, and simulated storm water runoff with high levels of orthophosphate.
This year, we have been challenged to create a treatment system from materials available at any local hardware store to treat simulated flue gas desulfurization (FGD) water. The water is not actual process water, because high levels of toxic hydrogen sulfide and toxic metals are present. The goal of the treatment process is to reduce the level of calcium present in the water and, if possible, reduce conductivity of the water while maintaining an acceptable pH.
The challenge is difficult, but necessary, as the EPA may begin to impose stricter outfall permits on FGD landfills. These landfills are part of all modern coal-burning power plants and are necessary to reduce the amount of sulfur dioxide released during the combustion of coal. Chances are an environmental engineer working in the Ohio Valley region, known for its coal deposits, will work with FGD in their career. I’m excited to see all the different methods for treating this contaminant.
Senior, Industrial and Systems Engineering
Athens, OH 25 February 2014 – As an officer and member of Ohio University’s Institute of Industrial Engineers student chapter, I was given the opportunity to attend the Great Lakes Regional Conference in Kalamazoo, Michigan this past weekend. I had heard from other Industrial Engineers who had attended last year that it was a worthwhile trip so I decided to make the trip. After attending the conference, I can say not only did I have a good time, but I also learned a lot of useful information.
On the first day, the group was given the opportunity to tour Bell’s Brewery. It was really interesting seeing the technique behind the brewing process and the long journey it takes until it ends up in someone’s home. On the second day, we attended what the conference called breakout sessions. Several different companies spoke to the group about the background of their company and the different kinds of ISE tools and methods that their company used. It is always intriguing to hear how the things we are learning in class can be used in the real world. Since ISE is a broad field, these speakers can certainly help ISE students decide about their career.
One speaker who was particularly interesting to listen to was an Industrial Engineer from Disney. They attempt to improve customer satisfaction and try to enhance the customer’s experience while at Disney. Queues are a large part of what they focus on.
Lastly, I want to add that this was a great opportunity for me to build relationships with my peers, which will be extremely valuable to my success. This experience was great and I certainly encourage everyone to branch out and get involved.
Senior, Mechanical Engineering
Athens, OH 29 October 2013 – I am a member of the Society of Women Engineers and we got to go to the national conference in Baltimore, Maryland last week. The conference was really interesting; there were a lot of seminars on both days and a giant career fair on the second day. A few of the seminars I went to were about things you don’t think about when you are looking to your future. One was about how to deal with having a family and being an engineer, and another was about how to decide if relocating for your job would be worth it.
I found the seminars to be really helpful in a couple of different ways. Being that having a family is a ways off for me, I had never really given much thought before to juggling a family and a career. I had also never considered all that goes into relocating. I knew that the cost of living is different in some places, but I never considered all of the other financial differences from one city to the next. The relocating seminar I went to handed out worksheets that helped you figure out how much money you would have left in your hand after you pay for all of your other expenses.
The career fair was also really cool to be a part of. There were so many big and small companies there looking for engineers for all different kinds of positions, from internships to full time positions. There were also representatives there for Graduate Schools. It was a little overwhelming, but it was a great experience overall.
Senior, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Athens, OH 28 October 2013 – This past March, I went to the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) national conference in Indianapolis, IN. It took place from March 28th-31st. It was a great experience. I had the opportunity to meet several engineering students from different universities. As the vice president of the organization at the time, meeting other students gave me the opportunity to explore what other chapters were doing at their schools. I gained knowledge on new programs that would be great to incorporate for our own chapter at Ohio University.
The conference had so many professional development opportunities. Every day there was a long list of available professional development lectures/activities. My favorite was about working abroad. It weighed both the positives and negatives to relocating to another country during your career. They also had lectures on resume building, interviews, salary negotiations, career tips, etc. All of the lectures were hosted by prominent business men and women.
Another key part of the convention is the career fair which had more than 250 companies. The career fair had tons of fortune 500 companies. There were several companies that I was interested in (General Mills, Johnson & Johnson, DOW, Toyota, etc.) but hadn’t had the opportunity to ever speak with a representative prior to this fair. This was the first time our chapter had attended the national convention in a few years. We had about 22 members attend the conference.
It was such a great experience that our chapter will now be attending this year’s Regional Conference in Detroit, MI at the end of November and the 2014 National convention in Nashville, TN. Shown below is this year’s executive board for the Ohio University chapter of NSBE.