Chemical Engineering Academics

Veronica Ammer

Veronica Ammer,
Junior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 18 February 2018

I’ve heard it said that sophomore year second semester of chemical engineering is the hardest semester. I’ve also heard it said that junior year first semester is the hardest semester. Okay, it’s second semester junior year that is the hardest, and so on and so forth. This is because each semester my dad tells me it’s the hardest one.

I think I understand his parenting logic, to get me to be ever vigilant in my studies and take every class seriously. I remember being annoyed during my sophomore year, but now I appreciate what he said to me. He got me in the mindset to tackle each semester one at a time, not dwelling on past semesters, or worrying about future ones.

However, this semester might actually be the hardest semester in chemical engineering, at least for me. That being said, I have never been more excited about engineering than I am right now. While I enjoyed my calculus and chemistry courses over the past two years, my true passion lies in my engineering classes this semester.

My chemical reaction engineering class takes me inside a reactor where molecular bonds are breaking and reforming. I am learning the intricacies of sizing and choosing what type of reactor will best fit my future company’s needs. In my advanced materials course, I can delve deeper into what makes steel so tough and how to choose the optimal characteristics of a material.

Overall, my classes this semester are some of the most engaging I’ve had during my time here at OU. I am beginning to scratch the surface of what my future career could be like, and I am thrilled about that. I am solving problems that, though textbook, have real engineering applications and challenge me to be creative and apply what I know. These classes are tough. None of them are easy, but I’ve heard junior year second semester is the hardest semester and I only have a few more to go.

Spring Co-op at Toyota

Andrew Noll

Andrew Noll,
Junior, Engineering Technology & Management

Athens, OH 18 February 2018

Starting out the year 2018 I accepted a co-op with Toyota Manufacturing in Buffalo, West Virginia. I have an apartment in Eleanor, WV, the neighboring town of Buffalo, and live with another co-op.

I am very grateful for the classes and professors here at OU that have set me up to secure this opportunity. I got an interview with Toyota through the Russ College career fair last fall and learned a lot about the company through a friend who worked in Buffalo last summer.

My position at Toyota is internal logistics engineer and I have been doing lead time studies for the engine and transmission lines. I map out the process lines and analyze them in attempts to eliminate buffer stock, which in turn reduces inventory costs.

At the end of my rotation I will have to present out to various managers on what changes I propose to implement. The work environment at Toyota is great and I am learning a lot of manufacturing precedents that the Japanese company has set. I have no doubt that this experience will be very valuable in my career search, and I am hopeful that it will turn into a full time offer after graduation!


Brandon Mahr

Brandon Mahr,
Senior, Engineering Technology & Management

Athens, OH 8 February 2018

The weather has been absolutely brutal this winter, but thankfully, it’s still toasty 72 degrees in the Ping Center, so I can’t complain too much.

One of my favorite things to do when it’s nasty outside is to head to the Ping Recreation Center, where I can play one of my favorite sports, racquetball. Not only is racquetball a great way to get your “spring break bod”, it’s also a great way to engage in a little friendly competition.

If you haven’t played racquetball before, it’s basically tennis, but it’s indoors and you play without a net. The goal is to get the ball to hit the floor twice before your opponent can hit it off the “back” wall, and it is a blast. I had never played it before coming to college, but after trying with a buddy one night, I was hooked.

It’s a great game to play for several reasons, but one of the biggest reasons it’s great is it only takes two people to play. When everyone is busy and you can’t get a team together to play basketball, football, etc., you and a single friend can head to Ping and get a quick game in.

There are a ton of other things to do in the Ping Center, but racquetball has to be my favorite. So when it’s cold outside and you feel like you have nothing else to do, or you want to get a quick workout in, head to the Ping Center and play some racquetball, you won’t regret it.

The Ambassadors Take on Roller Bowl

Sean Neff

Sean Neff,
Senior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 1 February 2018

Although it was cold and dreary on the outside, the action could be nothing but hot inside Roller Bowl Lanes in uptown Athens. February 1st was the date of the first annual Russ College Engineering Ambassadors Bowlathon. It was bound to be a great one.

By the time 7:10 pm struck, the teams were set, the smelly 90s-era bowling shoes were laced, and the participants selected their 10 to 16 pound spherical weapons of choice. The match was destined for glory as Team Randy Savage (featuring Andrew “Randy” Videmsek, Sean Neef, Matthew McKenzie, and Emily Morello) set off to face Team Gutter Balls (featuring Joe Meyer, Jordan Osman, and Mollie Whitacre).

Team Randy Savage started off the first game on fire with strong performances by the captain Randy Videmsek and veteran bowler Sean Neef. Role player Matt McKenzie also played an outstanding hand in the first game, finding the game’s first strike and hitting a double in the later frames.


Team Gutter Balls sputtered to a slow start due to some rust in the throwing arms and some early missed spares. Yet, the team was anchored by star player Mollie Whitacre, who finished the game with a strong 156 and only 3 open frames. Overall though, Team Savage took a commanding lead early and didn’t give up, finishing the game with a total team score of 403.

Early in the second game, the pressure started to mount on both sides. Spares and strikes were flying left and right as it became a shoot-out between the two star-studded teams. The crowd of Athens locals roared as fan favorite Jordan Osman showed off his amazing trick shot skills, laying down incredible backwards between the leg throws.


Joe Meyer also got the crowd on their feet as he hurled his fiery orange ball down the lane at incredible speeds. For Team Savage, Randy Videmsek and Matt McKenzie showed pinpoint accuracy and power on their straight down the middle strike shots.

Towards the end, it was an incredible dual between Mollie Whitacre and Sean Neef, as both players traded strikes and spares. It was clear that Mollie Whitacre was a force to be reckoned with, as shown by her great 160 score and consistent spare making ability. Sean Neef struggled to pick up the 10 pin spare, as his spare ball took a while to dial in. In the end though, Team Savage took game 2 due to solid performances team-wide.

In the third and final game, Team Savage made a late addition, adding rookie bowler Emily Morello to the active lineup. Although the power was not yet there in her shot, Morello’s accuracy made up for it, consistently hitting 8 and 9 pin first throws. For Team Gutter Balls, Mollie Whitacre continued to dominate the individual performance rankings, completely overshadowing the rest of the field. She scored an incredible 189 game with multiple doubles and only two open frames. Yet in the end, her performance was not enough to match the team consistency of Team Savage. Although Team Gutter Balls took home the final game, the match win went to Team Savage for overall pin count.

It was an amazing spectacle to observe on a cold February night in beautiful uptown Athens. The locals can’t wait for the next match to take place. Jersey sales for Whitacre and Osman are already through the roof, and fanfare is alive in the hills of southeast Ohio. Even though there were winners and losers on the lanes tonight, the real winners were all of the Ambassadors. They enjoyed cold drinks, great atmosphere, and best of all… great friendship. Reporting from Roller Bowl Lanes on Palmer Street, this is Civil Engineering senior Sean Neef signing out.

Interviewing with Parker Hannifin

Emily Morello

Emily Morello,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 23 January 2018

This past September, I spoke to Parker Hannifin at the Ohio University career fair. At the end of our conversation, the recruiter told me to apply to the position as soon as possible because they would be conducting on-campus interviews in a few months.

I did as he said, and a few weeks later found out I was selected to interview at the beginning of November. The men I interviewed with informed me that they were going to select a few top candidates from the interviews that day to interview again at the Global Headquarters in Cleveland. I felt pretty good about my interview with them; however, I was unsure if I would be selected.

A week or so later, I received an email from Parker Hannifin inviting me to a banquet in January and a full day of interviews to follow. I was thrilled!

Over break I started doing more research on the position and company to educate myself before the big day. The banquet was wonderful. It consisted of managers and a group of employees who had recently graduated from the Technical Sales Associate position. I learned a lot about the position and became even more excited. I knew it would be the perfect job for me.

The interview day sounded intimidating, but ended up being quite enjoyable. Each finalist had six different interviews starting at 7:30 am and ending at 1:30 pm. The interviews were for different divisions in Parker Hannifin.

After the interviews, one of the managers told all the finalists we would
hear back from them within the next few weeks with either an offer or explanation as to why it did not work out.

I felt good about the interviews, but was still a little worried I would not get selected. As I was driving home, my worries diminished. I received a phone call from a manager in the Sporlan Division, telling me they had decided to extend an offer to me and I would receive the written offer on Monday.

I had no words. I was so excited!

I went over the offer for a few days and decided to accept. On June 4th, 2018, I will start working for the Sporlan Division of Parker Hannifin in Washington, MO for my departmental orientation. I will work there until July 10th, then get relocated to Cleveland for 4-6 weeks to begin my Technical Sales Associate orientation with all the other TSAs that were selected. From there, I will rotate the US and get located in my permanent position in November.

I am so thankful for this opportunity and cannot wait to begin this next chapter of my life.

Learning Python

Cami Jones

Cami Jones,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 21 January 2018

Would you take a class on a Saturday? What if it was just a one-time class, but it was on the first Saturday back from winter break after a week of new classes? I’m guessing it depends on what you expect to learn in the class.

Believe it or not, I spent my first Saturday afternoon back on campus in a computer lab learning the basics of computer programming in Python. Perhaps the more surprising thing is that I was joined by twenty other students and two professors from our Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE) department who were all there for the same reason I was—to learn something new.

The Python workshop I attended was the first of its kind hosted by our chapter of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE). Eric May, an alumnus of our ISE department (and current machine learning researcher for J.P. Morgan Chase in Columbus, OH) volunteered his time and talents to help us better understand the applications of Python, a widely-used programming language, in the context of industrial engineering.

To me, this workshop was a testament to more than just the growing importance of understanding general programming. I saw that both students and professors in our department truly value continuing their education and working to understand how to solve problems in new ways. I also saw the great impact of an alumnus spending time back on campus to teach others about their passions to prepare them for the future.

So now would you take a class on a Saturday? If it’s hosted by an industry professional taking their time to share their knowledge, I highly encourage it!

P.S. Eric was also an Engineering Ambassador during his time at Ohio University!

Ohio Snowcats Take On Keystone

Daniel Riordan

Daniel Riordan,
Senior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 16 January 2018

Wintertime in Athens is always visually striking—the trees are bare, snow is everywhere (unless the sporadic 60°F day comes around)—and there’s always plenty to do outside within walking distance. However, Ohio University’s location in the hills of southeast Ohio also places it within driving distance of ski resorts Snowshoe Mountain and Seven Springs Mountain as well as a couple
hours away from Columbus’s Mad River Mountain.

When it comes to snow sports, my trip into the white snow and high elevation this winter was not to one of those places, but with many of my friends and peers to Keystone Resort in Colorado, facilitated by the local ski & board club, Ohio Snowcats.

Many Ohio University students take advantage of this Athens-area club to spend a week of our winter break in the mountains of a world-class ski resort somewhere in the United States, and I surely enjoyed the choice of destination this year.


For a heavily subsidized cost, my friends and I, as well as about 200 other Ohio University students had the opportunity to ski down some black diamonds and enjoy the views from 10,000 ft. up at this scenic mountain range two hours west of Denver.


Athens is a great place to be, but the opportunities Ohio University has presented me to travel to places and with people I would not otherwise have had the chance to take advantage of are the source of life-changing experiences and many fond memories for me.