Author Archives: dalemasel

About dalemasel

Associate Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Ohio University

How OU has Changed Me

Ali McCormick

Ali McCormick,
Senior, Electrical Engineering

Athens, OH 27 April 2016

With graduation only days away, I’ve had the opportunity to reflect on how the last four years I’ve spent at Ohio University have affected me as a person.

Coming into Ohio University, I was very timid and soft-spoken. I had a difficult time putting myself out there because I generally kept to myself. I remember taking an introduction to ethics course and the final for the class being to present your beliefs on ethics to the class. (I actually had considered dropping the class, that’s how badly I disliked speaking in front of people.)

Back then, presenting in front of a classroom was the end of the world for me. Not only because of my anxiety of public speaking, but also due to my belief that what I had to say didn’t always seem that important.

The following years I spent at Ohio University changed my opinion on personal voice and, also my life, for the better. I went on to join Theta Tau, the professional engineering fraternity on campus. Through this, I gained friendships that I know will last me a lifetime.

I focused heavily on putting myself into situations that were out of my comfort zone, which gave me the opportunity to grow as an individual. I made sure to put everything I had into my studies, which lead me to obtain a Co-Op at L-3 Communications in Cincinnati, Ohio. I took the experience from there and brought it back to school with me, and applied it to classes.

But, the most important aspect of my college career comes from the opportunity of participating in Engineering Ambassadors. I was nominated for the position at the end of my sophomore year and performed the duties during my junior and senior years.

The position requires strong speaking skills, which as I discussed earlier weren’t as developed back then. I remember that during my interview for the position, I expressed that while my speaking skills may not be as impressive as the fellow applicants, my overall passion to better those skills was immeasurable.

The opportunity to speak with prospective students and parents strengthened my interpersonal skills in unimaginable ways and just the ability to lead students into a direction that will ensure success is extraordinary.

My voice was given purpose and pushed me to pursue opportunities that otherwise would have been unobtainable, and for that I can thank Ohio University.

Graduation and What’s Next

Alyson Meister

Alyson Meister,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 26 April 2016

Yesterday I took my last final of my undergrad career and today I picked up my cap and gown. It’s starting to set in that my four years at OU is coming to an end and I will soon be starting the next chapter of my life.

I am excited for my family to come down this weekend for graduation. My paternal grandparents, father and brother are all graduates of OU as well and this will be the first we will all be on campus together, and likely the last. I am so thankful for my Bobcat family I have created during my time here, but even more so that I have a family of Bobcats to share my experiences with.

After graduation I will be spending May at home with family, going to a number of weddings and graduation parties and playing soccer with my dog, Jürgen.

Dog

At the first Engineering Ambassador meeting in the fall we had to introduce ourselves and share something from our bucket list. My bucket list item was that I wanted to backpack through Europe and so for the first two and a half weeks of June I will be doing just that. I am travelling with my cousin and her boyfriend and will be visiting Paris, Rome and Barcelona.

When I return I will have one week to get all of my things packed up and ready to move to Wisconsin. I will begin working full time for Epic Systems Corporation in Madison starting July 5th.

I’m excited to start anew, but nervous at the same time. I know no one in the area, I have only visited the area twice (once for my interview and once to go apartment hunting) and my hometown is a solid seven hour drive away. However, I am always up for a challenge and I am looking forward to using my skills to create for good.

Getting Ready to Leave

Steve Toth

Steve Toth,
Senior, Engineering Technology and Management

Athens, OH 22 April 2016

Today was my last day of class as college student, meaning a week from tomorrow I will be walking across the floor of the Convocation Center as I graduate from Ohio University. This experience is kind of a bittersweet one, one that I’ve never really had before.

Soon I will be starting a new chapter in my life’s book. One not centered around waiting on classes to start or end. It’s both exciting and scary as I will be coming into a whole new batch of variables.

The first few pages of this chapter will be finding an apartment for my fiancée and I while we remodel the farm house. Shortly thereafter, I will be starting my “big-boy job” at Honda.

With all of these huge changes coming in a very short period of time, I’m sure things will be hectic but I know that my experiences here at Ohio University will be some of my most cherished memories and that the Russ College has prepared me for life after college. For the last time, this is Steve Toth signing off. Stay classy, Bobcats.

Caroline wilson

Caroline Wilson,
Junior, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 18 April 2016

This past weekend I had the absolute privilege of attending the Association of American Physicians and American Society for Clinical Investigation Joint Meeting in Chicago, Illinois. The conference lasted from Friday to Sunday, and I sincerely enjoyed every minute of it.

The research project which I have been working on over the past couple of years is in collaboration with a DO/PhD student from the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine named Ashley Patton. Our project involves investigating the early development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, as well as analyzing the effect of a novel group of compounds on the progression of the disease.

Research Poster

Attending the AAP/ASCI meeting offered us the opportunity to share our work with leading researchers and emerging students in the biomedical field. I may very well have been the only undergraduate in the room for the whole weekend, but I would not have traded my experience for anything.

Ashley and I left on Thursday to allow us some time to see the sights before the conference began. We landed at 1:00 pm, and then proceeded to soak in everything that Chicago had to offer.

Chicago Bean

Over the course of our trip, we marveled at “the Bean,” sampled some famous popcorn, tried Chicago deep-dish pizza (TWICE!), trekked up and down the Magnificent Mile, traveled the Chicago River walk, ate squid ink pasta, basked in the sun in Millennium Park, and took in the incredible skyline from the tallest floor of the “Sears” (now known as the Willis) Tower.

Willis tower

It was the perfect mix of business and entertainment. The majority of our time was spent listening to presentations and panels with a group of talented speakers which included everyone from a Nobel Laureate to a former NASA astronaut.

Recently, I have struggled to identify what my path will be after graduation, but attending this conference really invigorated me because I realized that many of the most gifted minds in the world have no idea what they want to do: they follow their passions at any costs, and in this way, they succeed brilliantly in their endeavors.

I think the thing that struck me the most was a quote from a panelist on the last day. Despite being a super successful scholar and entrepreneur, he said, “I am no smarter than anyone else. The only reason that I am here is that I have been willing to fail over and over and over again.”

That was my biggest takeaway from the weekend, and I can only hope that in my life, regardless of my triumphs and trials, I can show the same strength to get back up each time I fall.

Drago Cvijetinovic

Drago Cvijetinovic,
Senior, Aviation

Athens, OH 18 April 2016

With the end of the year approaching, and graduation only about two weeks away, I can’t help but think about how all of this is coming to an end. About five years ago, I was studying day in and day out for college admission tests, thinking about which college I wanted to go to, and writing down pros and cons for a number of different universities.

It would be fair to say I may have shed a few years off my life from the levels of stress I had thinking about all this. It’s not easy to make these large financial decisions that impact the rest of your life, especially at the age of 18.

There was always a little part of me that wanted to come to Ohio University, maybe because I had an older sibling that went here too. The idea of college was intimidating at first, but coming down for Sibs Weekend as a high school senior, spending time with my sister and her “college friends” was a huge encouragement.

OU Sibs Weekend 2011
Sibs Weekend 2011

Despite that, I didn’t want to make a decision that was purely based on one good weekend. But when I added that weekend to the great Aviation program, to the comfort I felt on campus, to the Athens student community, my decision was simple.

From start to finish, I never stopped meeting people. I wasn’t aware until I was on my own how many different types of people there were, the way they thought, and how they perceived life. The people that had the biggest impact on me were the ones who thought differently, and I loved that.

Despite not thinking alike, I find myself to this day with the same group of friends that I made day one in Ewing Hall. We all came from different backgrounds but we shared similar core values: a belief that we’re good people, a want to strive for greatness, and a need to help each other along the way.

It’s almost like having another family. It’s one of those things that’s difficult to describe, possibly because it’s a not tangible, but it’s definitely one of those unique traits that a university like OU holds.

Now that the year is coming to an end, it’s time to grow up and think about the future. Just this past week, I’ve successfully completed my commercial pilot certificate—I’m officially employable! Therefore, starting immediately, I’m starting my Flight Instructor training. This fall, I’ve committed to staying in Athens for a year to be a Flight Instructor for the university.

After the Checkride
After my commercial checkride

Overall, coming to Ohio University was a remarkable experience. I was able to get the degree that I dreamed about as a young boy but I also took away a lot more than what I initially paid for. I was able to become the person I wanted to be: confident, assertive, and an advocate for others in need.

Ali McCormick

Ali McCormick,
Senior, Electrical Engineering

Athens, OH 18 April 2016

As the semester comes to a close, I can officially say that I have completed my senior design project. At the start of the year, I was assigned to design a hedgehog style drone that uses laser rangefinders to semi-autonomously fly around the basement hallways of Stocker and the underground steam tunnels around campus in order to find a person or steam leak via an infrared camera.

During the course of the project, the goal changed to deliver a drone with an integrated data collection system to be further progressed by graduate students in the following years. As I have learned, and many will find out, project scopes tend to change over the duration of the project. Problems constantly arise and the group must adjust the project accordingly. Our final tangible deliverable is a blackout 330 frame based integrated system, with custom wiring and a custom laser/Arduino Uno holding box that sat underneath the frame.

The system utilized the LIDAR-Lite v2 lasers connected to an Arduino Uno. The Arduino Uno is then connected to an Odroid, which collects and processes the laser data. A wireless access point has been created on the Odroid so that the ability to SSH (secure shell) into the drone is possible. Through the SSH, users are able to view the laser data remotely. A hardware flowchart (including future additions) can be seen below.

Flow Chart

Following the entire engineering design process, from paperwork to actual product, has been tedious, but extremely beneficial. Overall, having the opportunity to work on a project like this has been a life-changing experience.

Women’s Leadership Symposium

Mira Cooper

Mira Cooper,
Junior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 15 April 2016

Waking up at 4 am on a Wednesday sounds like an awful way to start the day, right? Pair that with a four-hour bus ride to the other side of the state, and you’d think that the day is going poorly. Actually, when it involves networking with women in professional leadership positions, it’s not so bad.

I spent my Wednesday at Cleveland State University attending seminars and panel discussions on what it means to be a woman in the workforce, and what we can do to support our sisters in professional growth.

Here’s about how the day went:

4:00 am (Athens): Wake up, eat a small breakfast, get dressed in business professional attire—don’t ask me the difference between business professional and business casual, I probably couldn’t tell you—and try to leave my house on time.

5:30 am: Be late, leave my house in a hurry, and take one step down the hill, purse breaks. Great start to the day. Speed walk to Baker Center to catch the bus that’s supposed to leave at 6, see a bus leave the Baker parking lot, panic, consider going home, decide against that and begrudgingly walk with my head down to the designated meeting place.

5:45 am: Realize that the bus I saw leave was theGoBus, feel embarrassed, stand with the other attendees and wait for the real bus, not saying a word to anyone.

6:00 am: Bus leaves for Cleveland. Commence napping.

9:45 am (Cleveland): Bus pulls up to the Cleveland Public Auditorium. Attendees all pile out of bus, directly go into first session.

10:00 am: Walk in late to a panel discussion on women in male-dominated fields. Listen to testimony from female police chiefs, construction company CEOs, and athletic directors. Feel empowered. Take lots of notes. Scurry off to next seminar.

11:00 am: Arrive early for discussion on LGBTQ rights in Ohio. Realize that Ohio is still very far behind in the fight for equality. Leave feeling motivated.

12:00 pm: Lunch at a table of professional attendees. Discover one is an OU alum. Briefly chat about Athens. Lunchtime keynote speaker begins. Listen to presentation on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Feel enlightened.

1:30 pm: Keynote speaker ran long, after-lunch sleepiness kicks in. Wander into panel discussion on women in creative fields. Ears perk up at the statement “I graduated in a class of 75% women”. Try to imagine what engineering would be like with 75% women. Leave feeling disconnected and a little jealous.

3:00 pm: Attend discussion on emotional intelligence. Learn so much on emotionally conscious leadership. Decide to implement in everyday life. Leave feeling rushed, but excited.

4:00 pm: Load back up onto bus. Immediately fall asleep. Realize that I’m an 80-year old woman trapped in a 20-year old’s body.

8:00 pm (Athens): Arrive home. Fall back asleep. Too much excitement for me in one day.

It was an interesting event, to say the least. Usually, I attend these kinds of things with at least one person I already know, but this time I decided to roll solo. As a remarkably socially awkward person, this was probably not a good idea. I don’t think I had a conversation that lasted more than two minutes the whole day. But, this allowed me to spend a lot of time sharpening my observation and listening skills.

I did feel a bit disconnected from the other attendees, being one of the only engineers there, but the community was still very strong. I’ll probably try to attend again next year, if possible. Even though it’s not an engineer-focused event, it would have been nice to have an engineering presence there. Maybe it’s an event that SWE would like to partner with, since it’s like a mini-conference. I think that would be a good idea!