Planning for Spring Break

Gavin Whitehead

Gavin Whitehead,
Junior, Aviation

Athens, OH 28 February 2015

It’s about time for a break. I’m starting to daydream and procrastinate. This spring break came right on time! With all of this snow though it’s more like a second winter break than a spring break. I would love to go to some place warm…Cancun? I wish.

Last year around this time I went skiing for the first time. It was a fun time and I think I will go again and make it a tradition for spring break. My first time wasn’t too bad, I only fell a few times and didn’t lose my poles on the ski lift. I count that as a success. I’m planning on perfect north slopes where my friend works in the winter. He racks up points for working, then we all go as a group and get free lift tickets and ski all through the day. What’s better than free skiing?

One thing that got me pumped this past week was RJet day at the Aviation Department. Republic Airways came down for one of their college recruitment fairs. This is an opportunity to talk with the airline and get the inside scoop on things. It’s great networking and an opportunity to give them our resume.

Republic Airways gave out information and free bags and had a presentation over the history of the company and where they stand now. They backed up the talk about how the industry is hurting on pilots and how now is the perfect time to flight train. Republic Airways, just like a lot of other airlines, are now on a hiring spree and looking for pilots to fly their planes. The road to flying for the airlines is looking more near by the flight hour!

Breakfast with Russ Prize Winners

Erin Tracy

Erin Tracy,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 27 February 2015

Two of this year’s recipients of the Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Prize are Ingeborg J. Hochmair-Desoyer and Erwin Hochmair. Erwin studied electrical engineering at TU Vienna and graduated in 1967. He began research on the cochlear implant in 1975 and was joined by his research assistant, Ingeborg, in 1976. The two continued their research and development for the next year and delivered the first microelectronic multichannel cochlear implant in 1977. They were later married, and Ingeborg is currently the CEO and CTO of the company she and her husband cofounded in 1989 called MED-EL.

One of the perks of being an engineering ambassador is having the opportunity to meet distinguished guests who visit the university. Yesterday, the ambassadors and Robe Leadership Institute students were invited to have breakfast with the Hochmair’s at the Ohio University Inn. The atmosphere was inviting, and the buffet-style menu included many options such as bacon, French toast, potatoes, and muffins.

Over breakfast, the students asked questions of the guests and facilitated an open discussion. We discussed topics such as the start-up of their company, research and testing methods, the number of people that have been helped by the technology, and how widespread the technology has become across the world. We also talked about the variety of backgrounds of the employees working for MED-EL. Of the 1,500 employees, many are engineers from disciplines such as mechanical, electrical, biomedical, and chemical. It was interesting and encouraging to hear how many fields of engineering are needed for even a focused technology like the cochlear implant.

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!