Author Archives: dalemasel

About dalemasel

Associate Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Ohio University

Efficiency in Commencement

Casey Davis

Casey Davis,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 3 May 2015

As another year ends at Ohio University, there are many smiles along with long faces from departing seniors. One of the greatest moments of a young aspiring college student is walking across the podium hearing your name called as your family screams in your honor. Four (or five) years of hard work can be celebrated with you and thousands of other happy graduates.

Friends at Commencement

One of the greatest things about the graduation weekend was how well-organized the commencement ceremony was conducted. As an industrial engineer, efficiency is ingrained into your head after four years of classes preaching efficient processes and reduction of many kinds of waste. Many of us can attest that sitting through a 4-hour commencement is not the greatest reward for a graduate or their celebrating family. Many collegiate graduations have two portions, which can indeed cause extreme drowsiness.

Ohio University had the PhD and Master’s graduations on the first day of graduation weekend (Friday). There were two additional splits amongst the colleges for the undergraduate degrees on Saturday. Then, once the degrees were given to the graduates and their name was called, they were free to go as well as their families. This received much praise from my supporting cast as it reduced the traffic in the Convocation Center and allowed for easier exit. This reduces risk, increases happiness, and provides an efficient conferral of degrees. As this was the 200th commencement for Ohio University, I think they have achieved efficiency through experience.

OU Commencement 2015

Summer Aviation Plans

Gavin Whitehead

Gavin Whitehead,
Junior, Aviation

Athens, OH 2 May 2015

Summer is here! I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I got all of my hard classes out of the way and next year is going to be a breeze.

Overall this semester wasn’t too difficult. I only had three finals and I have to admit they were challenging, but manageable. All I can think about now, though, is no finals, no midterms, no homework, and no more classes for 4 months. What am I going to do with all of this free time! Travel to every continent, see the world. Endless possibilities.

Actually, this summer I will be staying here in Athens flight instructing. I have to build those flight hours somehow! I am pretty excited, though, because I have 10 students. That’s like a full workload and I am going to enjoy every moment of it. I’m going to be out at the airport Monday through Saturday 8:30 am to 6:30 pm. It’s a lot of work, but this is what I signed up for and I’m really looking forward to it.

Another thing I’m really looking forward to this summer is I signed up to volunteer for OBAP’s (Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals) ACE Academy. The ACE Academy is a way for students from 14-18 to get a taste of aviation. During the time there, they learn leadership skills, the history of aviation, and even have a chance to fly an airplane for the first time. I love being part of people’s first experiences with airplanes. I love seeing how excited they get and it reminds me of my first time in a plane.

End of Senior Year

Courtney Sterrick

Courtney Sterrick,
Senior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 27 April 2015

I cannot believe that after five years at Ohio University, I graduate on Saturday! Last week was my last week of classes ever, and on Friday, I will have my last final. Each picnic, dinner, and activity is very bittersweet. With that being said, I am very excited to begin the next chapter of my life.

On May 26th, I will begin working at DuPont in the Teflon® area as a process engineer and will be located at the Washington Works plant site in Parkersburg, WV. This is the same plant and area I co-oped in for a total of 16 months from 2012 to 2014. I am excited to begin tackling projects and making process improvements within the area. To add to the excitement, on July 1st, the Chemicals and Fluoroproducts business of DuPont (which includes Teflon®) will be spun-off and form the new company, Chemours. This is an exciting time for the business, and I’m looking forward to being part of it.

Even though I grew up in Parkersburg, I will also have new living arrangements. Today, I signed my lease for my new apartment! Unlike my past two apartments while at school, this will be the first time where I will living without roommates. Having no roommates will definitely be a shift from sharing an apartment with two roommates for the past three years.

There’s a lot about Athens that I will miss—-my friends, professors, the bike path, attending hockey games, and Casa Nueva (my favorite restaurant!). However, all in all, I look forward to the challenges and experiences that are ahead. I’m so grateful for all of the opportunities I’ve had the last five years and look forward to representing Ohio University as an alumna.

Civil Engineering Bridge Design

Nick Sparks

Nick Sparks,
Senior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 26 April 2015

This past Friday marked my final day of classes for my undergraduate degree. In addition, I presented my final presentation for my senior design project.

I choose to do the structural senior design project which required my partner and I to design a bridge. We were given a bridge location, as well as the length and width dimensions the bridge must satisfy. Given this information, my partner and I began to create our bridge, which was a great challenge for my partner and I because we both did not have much experience in bridge design.

My partner and I began by conducting research on bridge design which led us to the finding that the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) has a design manual. We found this manual to be most helpful during our project. Furthermore, we were given computer programs in order to help with the iterative process for the superstructure and substructure.

The most challenging part of this project was the girder design for the superstructure. We ran into many problems where the girders failed; however, not by much. This caused us to come up with a whole new design. This project was great for our senior project due to the fact it taught us that even after much research about bridges, we still don’t know everything there is to know.

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!

Environmental Design Contest

Courtney Sterrick

Courtney Sterrick,
Senior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 5 April 2015

From March 29th to April 1st, nine OU ChBE students and two ChBE professors traveled to Las Cruces, NM to compete at the annual Waste-management Education Research Consortium (WERC) Environmental Design Contest organized by New Mexico State University.

WERC

This year, our four-person group was tasked with designing a small-scale wastewater treatment facility capable of reducing sulfate concentration in brackish water using electrocoagulation. Over the course of the academic year, our team worked to understand the theory behind electrocoagulation and researched various electrochemical cell designs to maximize sulfate removal.

Besides testing different designs, we also had to prepare an in-depth paper discussing our research, an oral presentation, and a bench-scale demonstration of the technology. The entire research process was a great learning experience, as was being able to discuss with other teams their approaches to solve the same problem.

In addition to competing in the competition, our group also went sightseeing! While in Las Cruces, we spent one evening at White Sands where we watched the sun set. We also jumped off and raced up some of the sand dunes.

Once the competition concluded, our group traveled to Flagstaff, AZ for the remainder of the week. While traveling, we visited the Petrified Forest. A group picture while at the Painted Desert is below.

WERC

The trip culminated with hiking the Grand Canyon. Three of us (including myself) hiked from the rim to the river and back in less than 7.5 hours!

WERC

The whole trip was a great experience, and if given the chance, I would do it again in a heartbeat.