Working as Part of a Team

Erin Tracy

Erin Tracy,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 24 February 2015

As a senior engineering student, I am no stranger to working in a team environment. There are few things I do in a normal day that do not involve other people in some way. From being a member of the marching band and leader of a Bible study to working with my Senior Design group to giving high school students tours as an ambassador, other people are always involved.

Engineering students are taught right off the bat freshman year that the discipline requires learning to work well with a team. The first project I can remember my freshman year was in ME 101 where we were randomly assigned teammates to complete a design problem. I recall having moments of frustration as well as gratitude with members of my group, and I learned the necessity of patience and perseverance. If something went wrong (and things definitely went wrong), we had to work together to figure out a solution. These group projects continued every year in classes such as Controls, Machine Design, Computer Aided Design (CAD), and especially Senior Design.

I’ve grown a lot in my ability to function as a team member and to be a leader within the team. Although working with other people to accomplish a goal is hard work and can be frustrating at times, it is an essential skill to master for life as an engineer after graduation. The experience I’ve gained during my time here at Ohio University will serve me well not only in my career, but in life as well.

Life after College

Ross Lowry

Ross Lowry,
Senior, Engineering Technology & Management

Athens, OH 23 February 2015

As my time here in Athens is coming to an end, it’s time to face reality and get ready for the real world. At the end of last semester, I found out that I was accepted to serve in the Active Duty Army as a helicopter pilot, which for me, is what I have been working towards all four years while I’ve been here at OU. So what exactly does this mean…

Within the next two weeks, the current graduating class of Army ROTC Cadets will be finding out when they leave for their training, which for me will be in Fort Rucker, Alabama. Other Cadets who did not branch Aviation will also be finding out their Duty Stations, or essentially where they will be living for the next several years after their training. Due to the fact that flight school for me can last up to two years, I will not be finding out my Duty Station until near completion of my training.

ROTC

Some of the training I will get to experience with my time at Fort Rucker includes the initial eight-week Basic Officer Leadership Course, where I will learn what it takes to be an Aviation Officer. This involves mainly classroom work and the beginnings of learning the components of a helicopter and what makes them fly. This is where I am fortunate that I have my engineering background, so this portion of the course should hopefully not be too bad. I will then attend a three-week survival course, in the event I should ever go down behind enemy lines, and upon completion of this I will begin flight school.

Balancing ROTC with school work has been challenging, all while earning the title of Distinguished Military Graduate for ranking in the top 20th percentile of the nation. Therefore, after graduation, I am hoping to relax for one last summer before I begin what very well may be my career. Looking back, I am still glad for choosing to stick with an engineering degree just because of the discipline and mindset that comes with a lot work.

Preparing for Life After College

Lance Jackson

Lance Jackson,
Senior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 23 February 2015

A lot has come with the final full semester of my college career. Preparing for graduation, continuing to apply myself in classes, and hunting for jobs have been the main three things that have been occupying my time along with attempting to enjoy my last full year of college with my classmates.

There are a lot of things that must be addressed when preparing for graduation, like ensuring that everyone has somewhere to stay and making sure they all have transportation. Classes have become slightly more challenging since the finish line has become within seeing distance but I’ve managed to keep the deadly case of senioritis at bay by increasing my level of focus.

However, my senior year has been very rewarding in the aspect of job searching. I have received interviews with companies where I was treated to dinner, shown around the main office of the company, then given a tour of one of their project sites. These interviews have been particularly exciting seeing that I was able to actually experience first-hand what these potential employers had to offer. I haven’t made a decision on where I want to work after graduation but would not be opposed to being wined and dined a few more times before I finally committed to where I want to start my professional career.

Russ College Career Fair

Steve Toth

Steve Toth,
Junior, Engineering Technology & Management

Athens, OH 21 February 2015

Being a part of the Russ College of Engineering has more benefits than one may think! It really feels great to be a part of a college where its students are so desired. One example of this is the Russ College Career Fair. This career fair is held once a semester exclusively for Russ College students and employers who desire to hire them. It seems that every semester the career fair grows substantially.


In the past, the fair has only been for one day but as the market for engineers grows and grows, the fair was extended to two days with more than 40 employers attending. Some of the larger employers present were: Kenworth, Dana-Spicer, General Mills, Honda, Kokosing, The Ohio Department of Transportation, US Navy Nuclear Propulsion and The Air Force Training Center. In addition, there was at least one company looking for every major in the College, ranging from electrical engineers to chemical engineers!

But wait there’s more! Some companies stuck around to conduct interviews and offer jobs, making the job hunt so-o-o much easier! With a job outlook like this, there is no question in my mind that I chose the right major, at the right university.

Graduation Around the Corner

Rachel Fryan

Rachel Fryan,
Senior, Computer Science

Athens, OH 17 February 2015

With graduation right around the corner, the reality of the real world is starting to set in. I am finishing my victory lap with a double major in computer science and visual communications, and I am excited to get into the industry and use this dual skill set.

The technology world is in a high demand and I am finding the Bobcat alumni are equally willing to help fill these spots. Most of my contacts can be attributed to a very successful, distinguished California alumnus, Mr. David Pidwell. Mr. Pidwell graduated from the Russ College with a bachelor’s in electrical engineering, and has since become a CEO, earned his doctorate, become a successful investor, and has been a lecturer at Stanford University focusing on entrepreneurship. He is very determined on giving back, and well connected in the Silicon Valley area which is the hub of all technology.

It never ceases to amaze me how much Bobcat alumni are willing to help, in both my VisCom school, but especially within the Russ College. If you’re willing to put in the work, there will always be someone there to help you or connect you where you’re trying to get to. Once a bobcat, always a bobcat!

Tau Beta Pi Supports the Polar Plunge

Courtney Sterrick

Courtney Sterrick,
Senior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 15 February 2015

This year, Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society, sponsored six members to jump into Lake Snowden on February 14th. The Polar Plunge is a fundraising event during the winter months which, in Ohio, sponsors Special Olympics Ohio. Prior to the event, participants must raise at least $50 for the cause.

At the day of the event, each participant runs into a body of water…and freezes! Besides running into the lake, there is also a costume contest, where fellow onlookers and participants cheer for their favorite costume. While I was too chicken to take the plunge, I supported fellow Tau Bates as they jumped.

Tau Beta Pi’s participants (from left to right):
Josh Johnson, Josh Frash, Eric Arnold, Greg Croxford, Zach Zwahlen, and Marshal Willet

Polar Plunge: Before

As if the concept of diving into an Ohio lake during February didn’t sound appealing enough, the day was particularly cold. On top of the lake was ice, which had to be removed so that participants could enter the water. At the time of the event kickoff, the wind chill made the already chilly 30-degree afternoon even colder. In fact, it started snowing while we waited for our group to jump in!

Running into Lake Snowden:

Polar Plunge: During

The water was cold!

Polar Plunge: After

Both the spectators and participants had a great time supporting such a great cause.

Calculus Class and Multi-Engine Flying

Gavin Whitehead

Gavin Whitehead,
Junior, Aviation

Athens, OH 14 February 2015

I’ve been planning out my senior year class schedule since freshman year. My plan was to take the harder classes before my senior year to make my last year here a breeze. One thing I didn’t quite plan out was that all of those harder classes were going to be compiled all to this year.

One of the classes I have been putting off till this semester is calculus. The thing about calculus is I haven’t taken anything math-related since high school. Going into this semester I was pretty nervous and for some reason the word “derivative” scared me. As it turns out, the class isn’t all that bad and the worry and stress I gave myself dreading over this was for nothing. One of the big things that is helping me though the class is the Student Connect software (the access code that comes with textbook that no one enjoys buying). It gives step-by-step instructions on how to do everything we learn in class and I would look over it the day before. This gave me a lot of confidence and I ended up scoring one of the highest on the first exam!

My favorite course by far this semester is the Multi-Engine Airplane certification course which is my last flight course I will take before graduation. The plane we use for this class is a Baron 55. Comparably, other flight schools usually train in a Piper Seminole that only puts out 180 hp on a side. The Barron 55 is a monster and it puts out 300 hp each engine for a total of 600 hp! This plane actually puts you back in your seat on takeoff and it is a blast. I regularly break 200 mph and like I always say, the faster the better! This is definitely the capstone class for me and I can’t wait to jump back in it for next time.