Tag Archives: engineering orgs

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

2014 Women in Aviation International Conference

Kelly McCoy

Kelly McCoy,
Senior, Aviation

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!

Preparing Others for the Career Fairs

Talli Topp

Talli Topp,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 20 February 2014 – Earlier this week, both Ohio University and the Russ College of Engineering and Technology hosted career fairs. Career fairs are a great way to find internships or full-time positions with great companies. As a senior, I have been to quite a few career fairs now, and so have many of my friends. Most of my mechanical engineering friends and I are members of the Mechanical Engineering Student Advisory Board (ME SAB). In order to pass along some of our knowledge, the SAB members hosted a career fair prep session last week before for anyone who was planning on attending the career fair and wanted to know more about what to expect.

We had a PowerPoint that went through some of the things that we thought were most important, from how to prepare to how to dress. But, what I feel was most useful for those who attended, was being able to ask questions to students who had been there before. There were a lot of us upperclassman that attended the prep session and we all answered as many questions as we could!

I saw a number of the students who attended the prep session at the career fair the following week looking confident and excited. Being able to help out my fellow students on anything from homework to landing an internship is a great feeling, and something that I find I am always able to do at Ohio University.

Girl Scout Day at the Russ College

Marissa Singley

Marissa Singley,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 3 February 2014 – This past weekend, the Ohio University Society of Women Engineers hosted a Girl Scout Day. We invited troops from the Athens and surrounding areas to come and participate in some neat engineering activities. 31 girls from the ages of 7-14 came and spent the day in the Academic Research Center.

Each engineering discipline that is housed in the Russ College was represented by female engineering students in the respective majors. Hands-on activities were provided for the girls to enjoy and then afterwards the theories behind “why does this work?” were explained. Chemical Engineers made Ooblecks (shown below). Mechanical engineers made catapults and explained force of motion. Industrial and Systems Engineers demonstrated the importance of teamwork through a Lego building activity. Electrical engineers explored robots and programming, and Civil Engineers built bridges from gum drops and tooth picks and then tested the strength.

Girl Scout Day

This is a great way to get young females involved in STEM fields. We hope to show these young ladies that Science and Math is fun! There is always something new to explore and to have some fun while exploring. I know I had a lot of fun at the event and really hope the Girl Scouts did as well!

Bobcats Building a Better World

Evan Boso

Evan Boso,
Senior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 22 January 2014 – One of the student organizations I’m currently involved with is Bobcats Building a Better World (BBBW). This organization’s main goal is to help disadvantaged communities through the application of economic and environmentally friendly engineering projects as well as giving students an ability to travel and develop respect for others across the globe.

Since 2006, BBBW has had a strong connection with Maase-Offinso, which is a small village in Ghana that is about 45 min. northwest of Kumasi. Over the past few years, students at Ohio have designed and installed various projects that have included a pump station to bring up ground water and a house for teachers’ accommodations.

More recently we have focused on the creation of a wastewater and water collection system for the teachers’ accommodations. This is in hopes to entice better teachers to the school and inevitably offer a better education to the children in the village. The picture below shows the group who traveled to Ghana last summer, including Russ College Associate Dean Dr. Giesey.

BBBW in Ghana

Currently there are about fifteen student members in the organization, running the gamut of the engineering majors here, and we are always looking for more. So if you are a current or future Bobcat and any of this interests you, I would highly recommend joining. I know I have loved the group and it has been an amazing opportunity to learn, travel, and help others!

Preparing Our Concrete Canoe

Nick Sparks

Nick Sparks,
Junior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 8 December 2013 – During the past two years I have been involved with American society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and every year in March we compete against other schools in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky with our concrete canoes. Yes, we make concrete float and race them with up to 4 people in the canoe.

Although the competition isn’t until March, we spend the entire school year preparing by constructing a mold and designing a new concrete mix because the specifications change every year. The past two years we have tried to do something we have never done before. Last year we did an injection mold and this year we are using per stressed wires.

Per stressed wires is something we wanted to give a try but problems keep showing up for our first test. First, we had to come up with a way of keeping the wires from being pulled out of the concrete after the tension is released. We need to have some object attached to the wire that will not move and provide contact points throughout the concrete walls. So we decided to use crimping nuts.

Secondly, we need to keep the wires off the mold so that they are in the middle of the wall to provide the best strength. We have decided to use flat head screws and drill them into the mold at a desired distance and the wire will rest in the grove of the screw head. Finally, we need to add about 100 to 150 pounds of tension to the 18 wires. We have decided to go with using a turn buckle to reach the right tension. A scale model with all of our solutions will be conducted the beginning of spring semester.

Construction Tour of the Nelsonville Bypass

Nick Sparks

Nick Sparks,
Junior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 19 November 2013 – The Nelsonville bypass is an 8.5 mile road around the city of Nelsonville, Ohio, not far from Ohio University in Athens. It was completed and open to the public in October 2013. About three weeks after completion my transportation class took a field trip to visit specific areas on the bypass so that we might have a better understand how designing and constructing a road way through a wooded area will impact the wildlife.

The ODOT officials who were responsible for overseeing the project went along so that they could explain what measures were taken to protect the wildlife. We made two stops throughout the trip, including one where we got to go under the road at an overpass and one so that the ODOT officials could explain and show how they are trying to reduce the number of deer on the road.

Our first stop was to see how the overpass was helping the wildlife. This overpass was put in for the animals so that they are able to cross under the road instead of having to cross on top of the road. Also the Wayne National Forest had built bat boxes and they were attached to the concrete under the overpass. (Click for a larger version of the image.)


Overpass across Deer Crossing on the Nelsonville Bypass

Our second stop was to see the deer fence. This fence travels along the entire length of the road on both sides and is eight feet tall. This is to prevent deer from getting onto the road way and getting hit by cars. This fence leads up to the overpass so that it acts like a funnel and is able to direct deer from one side to the other.

Interesting facts:
• 8.5 miles and cost over $160 million
• 26.6 million cubic yards of earthwork
• 18 bridges
• Over 200 thousand square yards of concrete pavement
• Over 150 thousand square yards of asphalt pavement