Camp Ohio University

Cami Jones

Cami Jones,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 5 September 2017

There’s something beautiful about the Fall season in Ohio that is amplified by living in Athens in the hubbub of campus life. I know that this is an engineering student blog, but let me be sentimental here for a few lines. The first few weeks of the first semester in Athens are fun because you get to meet new friends and together explore what I affectionately deem “Camp Ohio University”.

Local wildlife spotting at Camp Ohio University while walking to a 7:30 am class

The campus has so many hidden gems to find—interesting art, local wildlife, rainbows hidden in fountain spray, surprise performances by the Marching 110, cozy coffee shops (my favorite is named after an animal) and more. Everything is new and as the weeks progress, the forest of trees that fills in campus gains a golden hue as autumn settles in.

Throwback to my first week freshman year, when we enjoyed our downtime by doing yoga in the lobby of Read Hall!

What’s even better, in my opinion, is coming back for subsequent fall semesters. As a returning student, the opening of the semester is no longer about finding your way and meeting new people. It’s about rejoining familiar friends at favorite spots and enjoying local fare together. That’s what this past week has been for me.

We all know that our classes will pick up soon—after all, engineering assignments inevitably end up looking like big puzzles and group projects. However, I have learned to take advantage of the downtime that accompanies the first week of each semester in the “calm before the storm”.

Group projects tend to be more creative and fun when working with friends. Just notice the matching galaxy cat shirts we wore for a team intro video used as a part of our final project in computer simulation!

As the second week of the semester rolls around, I’m preparing to settle into the rhythm of classes and student organization meetings. In other words, it will be back to working on group projects with my friends and planning events for our chapter of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers. And while I wouldn’t venture to say that these coming weeks will be as relaxing as the first, I know that they will be rewarding in many other ways. Here’s to a final fall semester in Athens!

Second Summer at Honda

Andrew Videmsek

Andrew Videmsek,
Senior, Electrical Engineering

Athens, OH 31 August 2017

This past summer I lived in Troy, Ohio, while I was completing my second co-op term with Honda. I was located at Honda’s Anna Engine Plant working in the Engineering North America group. This group’s focus is the design and implementation of specialized production equipment for Honda plants. I was
specifically within the electrical design group working directly with a team of 16 other electrical engineers focused on automated manufacturing.

Similar to my previous co-op at Honda, this term introduced me to a brand-new environment and set of challenges that I have never seen or faced before. The Anna Engine Plant is 2.4 million square foot plant that employs 2800 people to assist in the production of engines for a wide range of Honda vehicles.
Working at a location such as this one I was able to work on tasks that brought forth challenges that are not found at smaller-scale facilities.

The projects I worked on gave me the opportunity to grow my skills in areas such as PLC and HMI programming, as well as in the area of electrical hardware design for automated manufacturing. The main focus for many of my projects was to add automated systems to current lines to help ensure part quality without impacting speed of production. I was fortunate enough to work on projects for my home plant in addition to a project for a Honda plant down in Georgia.

Now that I am back at school for my for senior year, I am able to look back and appreciate the opportunity I had during my co-op. The knowledge and skills that I gained during the past 3 months are ones that I will use for the rest of my academic career as well as long into my career outside of school.

Springtime in Athens

Nathan Arnett

Nathan Arnett,
Junior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 24 April 2017

After a sometimes seemingly endless couple of months of walking to class in the cold and having to find indoor activities for the weekend, springtime in Athens almost never fails to come around abruptly and it is always welcome! It always seems as if the weather is never going to break, and then all of a sudden, it will and the general ‘vibe’ on campus picks up so much. It is so nice to see people back on the greens throwing a frisbee or baseball on the way to class, or being able to study outside for a nice change of scenery.

In addition to just the weather being nicer, it opens up all the possibilities for recreation that haven’t been available since the Fall! This includes going to Stroud’s, which is a lake/park near campus and a great place to picnic, fish, or just relax during a break between classes or on the weekend.

Also, springtime is a great chance to hit any of the local popular hiking trails. It is always a good time to be able to get some friends together and take a hike and overlook all of Athens and the Ohio University Campus.

Lastly, maybe my favorite thing about springtime is the blossoming of the cherry trees along the Hocking River. For those of you who may not know, there is a very well-maintained bike path that stretches for 21 miles throughout Athens county, and a part of it runs right along campus and the Hocking River. This section is lined with dozens (if not hundreds) of cherry trees that bloom beautifully in the spring. It is my personal favorite part about spring—to just be able to take a casual stroll or bike ride along the bike path along the river with the trees in full bloom. Athens in the spring is just such an amazing place!

The Bittersweet Time that is the End of Spring Semester

Rob Parker

Rob Parker,
Senior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 24 April 2017

It’s the time, yet again, in Athens Ohio where the cherry trees are blooming, deadlines are approaching, final exams are being administered and longtime friends are saying their farewells. Yes, spring semester here in Athens is always a bittersweet feeling.

Over the last four years I have had the pleasure of meeting some of the most influential people, participating in outstanding organizations and partaking in opportunities of a lifetime. At the end of this week, I will be saying goodbye to many of my friends and wishing them the best of luck in all of their future endeavors.

Though I will be returning in the fall for one final semester, it feels as if I’m leaving this university at the end of this semester. I have wrapped up the majority of my classes making it so I only have two classes remaining; I have stepped down from all leadership positions within all of my student organizations; and as I mentioned, a good majority of my friends from the last four years are graduating in just a few days.

This is the first time in my life that I am beginning to look at my future and make decisions on a career instead of schooling. With that being said, I couldn’t be more excited to be finishing up and I feel that my experiences over the past four years have prepared me for my career in Civil Engineering.

I am starting a co-op with Shelly and Sands this week and will work for them this summer and continue through the upcoming fall semester. I was lucky enough to land on a project that is located right here in Athens making the transition from school to my co-op a breeze. This summer and through the fall semester will be a test run, for me, of Shelly and Sands to see if I like the company and if the company likes me.

So as I start my new co-op experience, finish my final exams and bid a farewell to all of the graduating seniors I can’t help but be reminded that time certainly does move fast. So as my last blog post ever as an Engineering Ambassador, to all of the graduating seniors: I wish you the best of luck and congratulations on this monumental accomplishment; and for all of you incoming first year students: welcome and good luck with the next 4 to 5 years!

Heading off to Grad School

Joshua Greenlee

Joshua Greenlee,
Senior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 20 April 2017

It’s truly a wonderful time of the year, especially for us seniors, as we prepare to take the next big step in our lives and graduate. As awesome as this time is, I for one will testify that it will be hard leaving the city of Athens that we have called home for these past years.

After graduation, I will be attending Vanderbilt University in pursuit of a PhD in Biomedical Engineering. I had applied to eight different graduate programs, and went to visit a few of them to get a feel as to how I would like the school. In the end, Vanderbilt just felt like the right place for me to be, and I am very excited to be pursuing a graduate education there.

I will be working under the direction of Dr. Michael King, a renowned professor in the field and the Biomedical Engineering Department Chair, conducting research focusing on drug delivery with translational applications in metastatic prostate and lung cancer treatment.

I am very excited to take this next step in my life, and I will be moving to Nashville, Tennessee this fall (an awesome city, by the way, if you’ve never been). This is bittersweet though, as I will undoubtedly miss Athens, the place I’ve called home my entire life. I am so thankful for all the people who have poured into me over this first part of my life at Ohio University, and I cannot wait to see what the future holds! Have a great summer everyone!

Learning the Importance of Scheduling

Jacob Motts

Jacob Motts,
Senior, Engineering Technology & Management

Athens, OH 17 March 2017

Like many within Russ College, this point in the semester becomes a nightmare for me. Classes have reached the infamous point of final projects and final exams and final assignments for final projects as a prep for final exams. It’s exhausting, especially when you are as heavily involved on campus like I am. Outside of my classes and ambassador responsibilities, I am also Vice President of Epsilon Pi Tau, participating in an internship at the Innovation Center, a member of the Society of manufacturing Engineers, and involved with Cru on campus. In all of this, I have found there is one simple way to keep from drowning in the ocean of work and responsibilities. All you need is scheduling.

In learning communities they always describe how important scheduling is and plotting your time in spreadsheets. As a freshman, I laughed at this. At the time, I didn’t think there was any way I would need to actually plot my time block by block. I had made it through all of high school without ever touching a planner or spreadsheet. Now, 3 years later, it is the only way I can keep track of it all. Classes alone require me to do this. The day-to-day assignments are only further complicated by larger projects and team projects. This need, however, also extends into my other areas of life as well.

Everything from dates to family gatherings and organizational meetings are put into my spreadsheet and accompanying calendar. As the VP of Epsilon Pi Tau, this is especially important because I have to know when organization events are happening and who needs to be there. I also have a lifeline in the spreadsheet I have put together for my engineering design and rapid prototyping internship at the Innovation Center. It tracks my clients and the priority levels of their projects. It also has estimated deadlines and contains contact information for each individual, as well as what the next steps in the project are.

Now, after reading all of this, you may wonder what the point is. Why should you care about what I said? Well, I am here to tell you that scheduling has taken me from a place of chaos to peace. It now does not feel like a frenetic situation to keep track of what I have going on in the week. All I have to do is consult a couple simple spreadsheets and a calendar. And let me tell you, it makes college life about 1,000 times easier.

Home for Easter

Mollie Whitacre

Mollie Whitacre,
Senior, Computer Science

Athens, OH 16 April 2017

I went home this past weekend to visit my family in the great town of Toledo. I ended up with a very eventful trip, including going to the casino and the sprint car races.

My favorite part of the entire weekend was hands down seeing my dog! Roscoe is a 9-month old Aussie Doodle and he’s quite the thief! If you stop petting him for ten seconds, he will go find a sock or such to steal, then bring it to you for attention.

The casino was not the best trip in the world, to say the least. I did not go home with a million dollars in my pocket, but I did have fun! Isn’t that what casinos are there for?

Sprint car races are a weird hobby of me and my dad. When you go to these races, you usually bring home a pound of dirt because it sprays off the car’s tires into the bleachers, but this time was different. My dad wore a white t-shirt and it was still completely white when we left! We can thank the wind for that.

Overall, I had a blast going home this past weekend and seeing my family before the rush of finals!