Author Archives: dalemasel

About dalemasel

Associate Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Ohio University

Making Time for Yoga

Emily Morello

Emily Morello,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 16 October 2017

No matter how busy I am, I always try to do something active for a part of my day. One of my favorite types of exercise is yoga. I have been practicing yoga since I was a sophomore in high school.

I used to run track freshman and sophomore year of high school, but I had to quit due to horrible pains in my left knee and along my IT band. I started going to physical therapy and they recommended yoga. Ever since then, I have been hooked.

Not only is yoga a great exercise, but it also is great for your mind. It requires pure concentration to receive the best results. There are many types of yoga: vinyasa, yin, hot yoga, slow flow, power, etc. My favorite is hot power yoga, but I must be in the mood to work hard because it is a challenging workout.

I love practicing yoga first thing in the morning; it is a great way to start my day Yoga calms my mind every day and helps me stretch and strengthen my muscles.

Another reason I love it so much is because yoga is meant for all age levels and can be done anywhere. I personally like studios the most, but as a college student with limited funds, I can only go to studio classes every occasionally.
Normally I practice in my bedroom by watching “Yoga with Adrianne” on YouTube. I definitely recommend it if you want to start practicing!

Robotics Club

Brandon Mahr

Brandon Mahr,
Senior, Engineering Technology & Management

Athens, OH 8 October 2017

I love my engineering classes, and I have learned a lot from them, but one of the best ways to cement what you have learned in class is to apply what you’ve learned in a student organization.

One student organization I am in is the Robotics Club, which is a new Russ College organization that focuses on developing and creating, you guessed it, robots.

As a club, one of our first projects is to create a robot to enter into the Association for Technology,Management, and Applied Engineering (ATMAE) Robotics Competition. At the completion, we will have to put our robot through several tests, including throwing a bean bag into a corn hole, lifting up a weight and grabbing an item underneath it, and removing an object from inside a tiny pipe.

In order to make the robot perform these functions, we have to make the robot, from scratch. I have taken several classes geared towards robotics, including a C# Coding class, an Electronics/Microcontrollers class, and a couple of others, but this is my first chance to truly apply what I have learned about robotics in class into a project.

I have learned and incredible amount of information about robotics from engaging in activities with this club, and is has really helped cement what I learned in class.

Not only has the Robotics Club helped me get involved in something I’m passionate about and helped me learn, but it has also helped me professionally. Employers love to see students who are active in clubs and students who have been involved in activities where they have had to solve problems. You can’t really go wrong with getting involved in an Engineering organization, and I know getting involved with the Robotics Club this fall has certainly helped me.

Professional Conferences: Funding and Value

Cami Jones

Cami Jones,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 8 October 2017

As the president of an engineering student organization, one of the things I’m most thankful for that the Russ College provides is funding. Grants through the Russ Vision fund help individuals and groups of students looking to further their education outside of the classroom at design competitions, conferences, and the like throughout the country. Thanks to this funding, it is possible for us to travel to these events even if we don’t personally have the funds to do so—it breaks down barriers.

You might be able to guess why I have funding opportunities on the brain. If you’re thinking that I may be in the middle of filling out a conference proposal to request funding for a group of thirty-six industrial and systems engineering students to attend a conference in February 2018, you’d be right!

IISE logo

Our student group, the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE), has received funding to attend this conference for at least the last six years, and I attribute a sizeable amount of my professional network and employment successes to attending the event for the past four years. Now, it’s my turn to make sure that we secure funding again so that this year’s group of students can also benefit from the experience.

Award Photo with Past, Present, and Future IISE Presidents at IISE Annual Conference in 2016 (at Disneyland!)

The IISE Great Lakes Regional Conference is an annual event held on the campus of one of the universities in the region (Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and Michigan) that has an active chapter of IISE. In the past, I’ve attended this two-day event at Western Michigan University, Purdue University, and Wayne State University.

Ohio University IISE at Wayne State's Conference in 2016 (selfie by Faculty Advisor Dr. Yuan)

Last year, we even had the chance to host the event here at Ohio University!

IISE Great Lakes Regional Conference Planning Committee at Ohio University in 2017

This year, we will be traveling to The Ohio State University for the conference. The theme of this year’s conference is “Digital Transformations: Improving Systems Everywhere” and will focus on how technology and data are changing the role of industrial engineers in industry. I’m a big data nerd, so I am very excited.

Aside from being excited to hear keynote speakers and attend breakout sessions in line with the technology theme, I’m excited to see my IISE friends from the other schools in the region again. Having attended four regional conferences and three national conferences in the last four years, I’ve made some pretty good friends across the region and country. They are “my people” and many of them have helped me grow both as an engineer and as a person.

Thanks to these connections, I’m not worried about finding a job after graduation or knowing what to do with myself. The friends I’ve made at these conferences know my interests and my strengths and are already looking out for me to help start my career.

Now it’s time for me to do my part and ensure that our group can afford to travel to this year’s conference so that our students can continue to build these relationships and experience discussions on the current events impacting the futures of our careers. Thankfully, the Russ College believes in the value of these conference experiences and is always willing to lend a hand. Wish us luck!

Fall in Athens

Sean Neff

Sean Neff,
Senior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 29 September 2017

Some say the fall leaves in Boston are the sight to see. Yet even though I’m biased, I tend to disagree (rhyme intended).

As the temperature drops and the days get shorter, the weekend exploration in Athens gets even more exciting. One of my favorite parts of going to school here
at Ohio University is the amazing history and scenery of southeast Ohio. The beautiful array of color that covers the hills is something that always stops me on my walks to Stocker Center or the ARC. By the time the weekend rolls around, my itch to explore southeast takes me away from the books and onto the backroads.

One of my favorite places to visit and hike is in Zaleski State Forest just west of Athens in Vinton, County. Zaleski State Forest is home to some of the best hiking trails in Ohio and has a lot of interesting historical places. One of the most frequented places is the Moonville Tunnel, which is an old railroad tunnel that is reportedly home to numerous ghosts. Although I never have seen any ghosts on my trips there, the civil engineer inside of me enjoys examining the
structure of the old tunnel and all of the engineering work that took place for its construction.

Fall semester at OU is also the semester of senior design projects for most civil engineering seniors. For my senior design project, my team and I are designing a complete residential subdivision with roadways, sewers, and lots for homes. The design also includes surveying the topography of a land parcel in Alexandria Township.

Even though senior design takes a lot of my time, the activities and adventure in Athens makes the journey worth it. Just a few hours spent in the wilderness of southeast Ohio takes me away to a time where cars weren’t self-driving and cell phones weren’t the center of our lives. Yet, coming back to school just motivates me even more to create and think outside the box in life!

Ohio Soccer Alumni Weekend

Mollie Whitacre

Mollie Whitacre,
Senior, Computer Science

Athens, OH 25 September 2017

This past weekend was Alumni Weekend for all of the Ohio Women’s Soccer Alumni. The weekend consisted of two games from the current team and they were opening up their Mid-American Conference play, as well as getting to catch up with the alumni. I consider myself an Ohio Soccer Alumna because I no longer play on the team due to exhausted eligibility, but I am yet to graduate college.

Friday was the start to the weekend and that is when the first conference game was played. They took on Eastern Michigan on their home turf. Recently for our program, it has been difficult to beat both Eastern Michigan and Central Michigan, the opponent they played on Sunday.

On Friday, there was 36 seconds left in the match with Ohio tailing 1-0, when they scored and made it 1-1! The crowd erupted because now they got a chance to win in overtime. Well, overtime did not last long due to an Ohio goal by my roommate about thirty seconds in! Once, again the crowd erupted, except this time the game was over.

Sunday’s game was where they honored the alumni, so the crowd was larger than Friday. There was a special ceremony at halftime to honor the past players and coaches who were in attendance. The team ended on a high note this weekend with dominating Central Michigan 3-0. It was a very cool weekend to experience, both as a soccer alumna and also still a part of the team.

This is also the first time in a while that the program has started off with two wins! I am very excited to keep watching their progress as the season continues.

WERC Competition

Daniel Riordan

Daniel Riordan,
Senior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 24 September 2017

As fall has just recently begun, the days are becoming shorter and temperatures are becoming more sweater-friendly here in Athens. Before the cold weather catches up to us and the “new” school year becomes the “current” school year, I wanted to highlight a valuable experience Ohio University’s Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department allowed me last year during 2016-2017: the WERC Environmental Design Contest.

Teams of junior and senior chemical engineers (plus others who are interested) are led by Dr. Darin Ridgway of the Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering department to compete in a nationwide competition to design solutions to real-world environmental and waste-management issues, presenting their proposal and a bench-scale demonstration in April at New Mexico State University.

WERC Competition

I had a blast last year working with my teammates on our project, where we proposed cleaning industrial wastewater from a coal-fired power plant by installing a specialized absorption tower at the beginning of their existing wastewater treatment system. Not only did I have an all-expenses-paid trip to the Southwest during the school year to present our work, but our group won the award for Best Written Technical Report in our category. Being recognized for all the hours of hard work my teammates and I put into our project was one of the most rewarding experiences of my college career.

The event wasn’t all WERC, though (Get it? Work? I’ll be here all week…). After the awards ceremony, we spent the few days left on our trip seeing some incredible examples of natural beauty in New Mexico and Arizona.

WERC Competition

WERC Competition

From hiking the Grand Canyon (14.2 miles is no joke, let me tell you) to experiencing the White Sands National Monument and Petrified Forest National Park, traveling the Southwest in a university van with my best buds after taking home a trophy was a vacation and resume-booster worth remembering.

First Fall in Athens

Nicholas Burton

Nicholas Burton,
Senior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 22 September 2017

4 weeks down, 11 to go. These are the kind of thoughts one like myself experiences at this point in the semester, where the joys of “syllabus week” and early semester fun ends and it becomes time to buckle down for the first round of exams.

Ohio State’s loss to Oklahoma has brought some sour feelings to the beginning of the best season in the world, but with that being said, I am really enjoying my first true fall semester in Athens. Last year at this time, I was in Cleveland cheering on the Tribe during my co-op at Soils and Material Engineers and the year before, I was at a different school, so finally I am able to be in Athens for a fall semester. I’ve done all I can to be outside and soak up as much of the nice weather that I can, and it’s nice walking to class in the sun rather than getting wind burn in sub-zero temperatures that come with spring semester in Ohio.

I am actually happy to be back at OU and keeping busy with classes. I was able to enjoy the beach all summer working down in Charleston, SC, but I did miss my home state and it’s good to be back (stay tuned for my next blog post to see if this positive attitude remains the same). I like all of my classes so far this semester and I am ready to keep grinding them out every day and learning as much as I can.