Graduation and Post-Grad

Erin Tracy

Erin Tracy,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 12 April 2015

My first blog post as an engineering ambassador was written exactly seven months ago during the first week of my senior year, September 12, 2015. I was in the midst of “last firsts” and talked about my disbelief about being a senior and desire to make the most of my last year at OU. Now, as I write my final post, I’m in the late stages of wrapping up projects and presentations, attending end-of-the-year banquets, and preparing for graduation. It really does seem crazy how fast the last seven months have flown by.

After graduation, I will be spending ten months to two years in South Asia as a missionary and also working for a non-profit organization. I’m so excited to be a part of something bigger than myself and to keep the same mindset that has been drilled into my head by the Russ College to “create for good.” I plan to come back from my time overseas with a new outlook on people, which I think will also serve me well in a career in engineering. Attending graduate school, going straight into the workforce, or staying in full-time ministry is a decision I will have to make as my next step…but I won’t think too hard about that quite yet!

To end with some advice to incoming freshmen or underclassmen, get involved early and take advantage of every opportunity at OU. Join organizations to build both personal and professional skills, make lasting connections with people, and push yourself outside of your comfort zone. College is the time to try new things, fail, and ultimately grow.

The Foods of Athens

Steve Toth

Steve Toth,
Junior, Engineering Technology & Management

Athens, OH 5 April 2015

When you ask an Ohio University student about the first thing that comes to mind when they think about finals week, you will probably get a couple different answers. Some of these answers would include stress, late nights studying and possibly, like in my case, ordering food because of a busy schedule.

My go-to when I need something greasy and delicious is DP Dough. From here you can get a calzone for only about six bucks. Another great option, if you’re looking for pizza, is Courtside Pizza. If you’re lucky enough to be hungry on a Wednesday night you can get a slice for only fifty cents! Another stop on your food journey should be to Big Mamma’s burritos or the burgers at The Pigskin. Lastly, you need to pick up some wings from Wings Over Athens.

With this short list you should be able to fulfill any finals week munchies. If these restaurants don’t get you through the week, you probably need some more help, maybe add coffee…

May the odds be ever in your favor, good luck Bobcats!

Fundamentals of Rock Climbing

Wilson Taylor

Wilson Taylor,
Junior, Computer Science

Athens, OH 5 April 2015

Something I have learned to truly appreciate at Ohio University is the wide variety of classes available outside of the Russ College. Every semester I make a conscious effort to add something I both have a personal interest in and is outside of my major into my class schedule.

One of the most enjoyable classes I have taken was on the fundamentals of rock climbing. The class covered basic climbing techniques, safety, and general practices. We learned how to tie key climbing knots and set up tethers for varying situations one might encounter at different climbing locations. One thing I really valued about the class was the truly hands on element it offered.

After four in-class meetings learning about the proper techniques and knots used on climb sites we had three days dedicated to applying what we learned. Our instructor took us to two different climbing locations and one nifty bouldering location in areas surrounding Athens. We had the opportunity to climb natural rocks using equipment we set up as a class. Additionally, we were responsible for each other’s safety as we each took turns belaying while other classmates climbed.

I enjoy exploring Athens and taking advantage of the many recreational activities the surrounding area has to offer. The rock-climbing course enabled me to do this and more. I continue to search for recreational classes as I find them to be a great way to just relax and enjoy myself.

NSBE National Conference

Lance Jackson

Lance Jackson,
Senior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 30 March 2015

Every year in the last week of March the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) host a national convention that includes all of the NSBE chapters across the nation. This past week I, along with 16 others, were fortunate enough to attend the 41st annual NSBE national conference, which was held in Anaheim, California.

NSBE

During these conferences, students are able to take part in plant/site tours which are given by nearby companies. There are a number of different professional development workshops that range from ones that help to refine interviewing skills to others that give tips on effective leadership.

NSBE

On top of this there are two career fairs that NSBE members may go to in search of potential employment with one of the companies that attend along with hospitality suites, which are held by the companies and allow students to get to know employees of the company in a slightly more personal setting. In our leisure time, we were able to explore the city; some went to Disneyland while others decided to spend their time relaxing on Huntington Beach.

Before it was all over, we ended up having 8 of our members receive interviews from the career fair and one member receiving a $500 scholarship. All in all I would say it was a great trip and personally enjoyed being surrounded by so many driven and passionate engineers.

Project in Sustainable Construction

Nick Sparks

Nick Sparks,
Senior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 19 March 2015

When we got back from spring break, my Sustainable Construction class got assigned a project that is going to extend until the end of the semester. Our problem statement is to work with Ohio University to see what it would take to get various buildings around campus to a LEED Silver standard. LEED is the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED is one of the leading green building standards used throughout the country and parts of the world.

The group I am working with has been assigned Siegfred Hall, it is currently used as the Arts building. During this past week we have been taking multiple tours of the building to understand different parts of the energy use, transportation, environmental, and a few other components. Our group is tasked to see what it would take to in order to obtain the LEED Silver Certification.

LEED takes into account six major aspects:

  • location and transportation
  • sustainable sites
  • water efficiency
  • energy and atmosphere
  • materials and resources
  • indoor environmental quality

These six categories have different numbers of points that you can achieve and total up to 110 points for the highest certification of Platinum. For our project we have to reach a minimum of a Silver certification which is between 50 to 59 points. Our professor is challenging us not to just stop there at silver but to really see what it would take to get an even higher certification of Gold or Platinum.

Our professor also surprised us with the fact that once our projects are complete our report with be shared with the university along with a presentation to the sustainability department. They will be able to use our project as a starting point when it is time for a major renovation.

Android BAN Senior Project

Patrick Hanlon

Patrick Hanlon,
Senior, Electrical Engineering

Athens, OH 16 March 2015

Here is an update on the status of my group’s current senior design project. So far our team of seniors–Morgan Haggerty, Trevor Vogelhuber, Levi Moore, Gordon Fleming, and I–have been nominated by a contest committee as one of the top six teams in the world. The contest we have entered is hosted by the IEEE Antenna and Propogation Society. Though there are more contest rules, the main ones are fairly straightforward: build a body area network (BAN) that consists one or more vitals-monitoring sensors, a microcontroller, a custom antenna, and an Android application.

In addition to being nominated to the top six, we have completed some major milestones in our design. We have custom fabricated numerous antenna designs through photolithography and have analyzed their radiation pattern on the spectrum analyzer. Also, we have temperature, heart rate, and fall detection sensors integrated on a central microcontroller. Finally, I am working on finishing up our Android application that will be able to display all the data collected from the sensors on the screen of an Android-enabled mobile device. The data transmission will be through a Bluetooth 2.0 (Smart Bluetooth) signal. This is a low-energy transmission that will allow power consumption to be at its lowest.

Our project is coming to a conclusion, and we hope to have a working product soon. Some final goals are to get the Android application running with all the rest of the system integrated and have the completed unit stored in a small enclosure for aesthetics.

Athens Startup Weekend

Eric May

Eric May,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 16 March 2015

This past weekend I had the opportunity to participate in Athens Startup Weekend at the Ohio University Innovation Center. For those of you who may not be familiar with it, Startup Weekend is a 54-hour event where students and local community members get together to come up with ideas, create marketable products, and validate their business model. During the weekend you receive feedback from coaches and mentors who have started businesses to help you as well. Oh, and it was free for us Russ College students. :)

The team I was on consisted of 3 students from the Russ College of Engineering and Technology as well as another Ohio University student from outside the College. We came up with an idea for a job searching site that would focus on a particular market segment that we believe other job searching sites are missing or don’t do well. We spent the entire weekend validating our business model, identifying our revenue streams, analyzing our competitors, and pitching our ideas.

Startup Weekend

At Ohio University, and the Russ College, we look to do more than just be engineers and I think that is one of our key competitive advantages. Engineering students come to the Russ College to learn how to be engineers, of course, but we also help students combine their engineering skills with their other passions so that they can hopefully Create for Good in new and innovative ways. It’s hard to find that anywhere else.

Also… I’m really looking forward to the warm weather.