Author Archives: dalemasel

About dalemasel

Associate Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Ohio University

Finally Done with Senior Design

Sean Neff

Sean Neff,
Senior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 10 December 2017

This semester was by far the longest 15 weeks of my life. What do I have to thank for this grueling yet empowering struggle? My senior design project of course!

In Civil Engineering, we have the choice of taking three different types of senior design classes. In the fall, there is Land Development senior design. In the spring, there is Environmental/Water senior design and Structural senior design. Because I am interested in transportation, planning, and municipal engineering, the Land Development senior design was the best choice for me.

The overall concept of the class is to design and plan a housing subdivision complete from the initial surveying to the completed utility and grading plans.

In my opinion, this class is the class where you will learn the most Civil Engineering topics out of any class in the curriculum. Over the course of 15 weeks, I learned how to:

  • do a topographic survey of 30 acres of land
  • plan and design roadways with horizontal and vertical curves
  • grade out existing land to make it usable for homes
  • plan out storm sewer, sanitary sewer, and water main utility lines
  • design a detention basin with correct drainage plans

…and a whole lot more which would take up way too much time to
describe.

For the first time ever in a college class, it finally felt like I was being an engineer. To go from nothing to a complete design with all the bells and whistles was something so amazing to be a part of. It wasn’t without mistakes, which my group made a fair amount of. But it was from these mistakes in our design that allowed us to learn the most.

At the end of the class, we presented our design to a panel of 10 professional engineers. They all had specialties they used in their real-world engineering jobs and were able to comment on all of our plans and designs. Even though presenting to them was nerve racking, their input was awesome and it was great to hear comments from veteran engineers.

Even though I wouldn’t recommend taking senior design with 19 credit hours and being the head of two large organizations, it was the biggest learning experience of my college career. The skills I learned with surveying and AutoCAD I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I definitely feel ready to take on the real world now.

The Great Outdoors

Andrew Noll

Andrew Noll,
Junior, Engineering Technology & Management

Athens, OH 8 December 2017

My entire life, I have been quite the outdoorsman. I attribute some of that to my parents who took us camping twice a year with several close families.

In addition to that, I used to go “creeking” and catch all sorts of animals. I would keep these animals and study them for a few days, feeding and caring to them as needed, then I would release them back into the wild.

I was very close to entering a major in bio or even environmental engineering. I do not regret my decision to chose engineering technology. However, in the future I could see myself getting into an industry that can work with or protect the environment.

As I’ve grown older I’ve moved onto different kinds of outdoor hobbies. I started fishing religiously, hunting, cliff diving, backpacking with my pup or even doing “man vs. wild” with my friend.

The two things that made me appreciate nature the most were hunting, and the man vs. wild camps where we went out for 3 days with just a pot, a bb gun, and two knives.

Now a lot of people ask how I could hunt animals yet love nature? Everyone has an opinion and I respect that. I am not here to argue why I believe hunting is okay, but I truly believe it has made me more in tune with nature and helped me understand its complicated beauty.

I might sit outside and freeze all day without seeing one deer, but I get an opportunity to study nature that non-hunters cannot experience. I learn about varieties of plants and animals. I understand weather patterns and how animals react to it. I see the delicate balance of the ecosystem, and the interaction between animals at its simplest level, in which no book can teach.

For example, something I see too often: chipmunks will chirp loudly and scatter into holes, then 10 seconds later a hawk will fly by. It is that sort of communication and realization of nature’s community that has made me enjoy hunting so much.

Whether I am hunting, cliff diving, hiking, camping, etc. nature has never failed to amaze me. At every turn, I will educate people on its importance advocate for its sustainability for future generations.

Here’s a short video I made about my love for nature and the outdoors.

Snowboarding in Colorado

Quinn Mitchell

Quinn Mitchell,
Junior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 3 December 2017

Around 5:00 pm on Friday, December 15, the last day of finals week this semester, my friends and I will start the 21-hour drive from Athens, Ohio to Keystone, Colorado. One of these friends is a fellow engineering ambassador, Dan Riordan.

Once we get to Keystone, we will be skiing and snowboarding in the Rocky Mountains. This will be the third year that we take such a trip. It will also be the third year that I spend much of November and all of December impatiently waiting to be in Colorado. Although it does make it slightly harder to concentrate on studying for finals, this snowboarding trip is a great way to end fall semester.

I learned to snowboard in eighth grade, and since then I have tried to spend as much time on the mountain as possible. This became especially important once I got to college; spending a day or two where I’m only concerned about how much snow is falling each day is a great stress relief.

Snowboarding trips like this one are also rewarding because I get to notice myself getting better every year.

If the past two paragraphs have not already convinced you that I’m a big fan of snowboarding, I suggest you ask any of my friends, roommates, or classmates if I have offered to teach them to snowboard. I doubt you’ll get too many “no” responses.

Wrapping up the Semester

Nicholas Burton

Nicholas Burton,
Senior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 1 December 2017

Finals week is almost upon us. Thanksgiving Break was a nice little taste of the things to come for Winter Break and the end of the semester—just have to get through these next two weeks.

This semester has definitely been full of ups and downs, and it has given me an idea of a curriculum path to take while I finish up at OU with taking a path of land development. I tailored my schedule next semester to this path and I am very excited to learn more in depth of what all it has to offer.

I recently accepted an offer to intern at the company I was at the previous summer, Seamon Whiteside in Mt. Pleasant, SC. This has lifted a huge weight off of my chest, as it’s just one less thing to worry about now. If anything, it provides extra motivation to keep grinding and finish up school when I am supposed to. I hope to continue on with some of the projects I worked on last summer and gain more knowledge in my field of interest.

The fate of this upcoming weekend lies in the hands of the Ohio State Buckeyes. A win Saturday in the B1G championship and a potential college football playoff berth would be a great start to “Finals Week”. Go Bucks!

Learning the Guitar

Mollie Whitacre

Mollie Whitacre,
Senior, Computer Science

Athens, OH 1 December 2017

My family lives in a pretty centralized area, except for my aunt and uncle who happen to live in Texas. I very rarely get to see them, so where an opportunity arrives, I have to be sure to take it. Just to my luck, they took a trip back to Ohio to see the family before the holidays! I was able to go home for the weekend and have a great gathering with them.

The coolest part about this whole trip is that I recently just started learning guitar and my uncle is a wizard on the six string. I can play the basic chords and such, but when my uncle pulled out my guitar and started playing all sorts of songs, it was hard to be anything else but amazed!

I took in every second of being able to learn subtle movements or finger placements to make chords easier, and also, he was telling me some of the best ways to learn. He was also sharing to me about the guitars he has. I was just amazed at how talented he was and that I never knew this information about him, even when all of the times we have seen each other.

I am looking forward to being able to see him next time and hopefully impress him with getting better at the guitar.

EcoChallenge

Landon Rehmar

Landon Rehmar,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 26 November 2017

This semester I had had the amazing opportunity to be selected into the Robe Leadership Institute. RLI is a unique course for graduating seniors in the Russ College. The purpose of the course is to develop engineering students’ leadership skill-set through valuable leadership insight and techniques. The course is led by one of the best professors in the Russ College, Dr. Bayless, a faculty member of the Mechanical Engineering Department.

One part of the RLI is a project called the EcoChallenge. The EcoChallenge is a competition to come up with sustainability projects around campus. It is a unique project with teams made of a combination of engineering students from RLI, business students from Select Leaders, and a wide variety of students from the Cutler Scholars Program.

This challenge helped everyone learn how to work in a diverse group and practice leadership skills. The interdisciplinary teams required us to work with students with entirely different backgrounds, mindsets, and problem solving skills.

My team’s project was to retrofit the aquatic center with new high efficiency LEDs. The project was a great learning experience and a huge success: if our recommendations are implemented we projected that the University will save over $14,000 and over 350,000 lbs of CO2 per year.

The competition concluded with presentations to our professors and various stakeholders around campus. My team ended up taking second place and on top of that, our project will most likely be implemented.

EcoChallenge

This course and project have allowed me to learn things about leadership that most students don’t get the opportunity to learn. I really enjoyed working on the EcoChallenge and would highly encourage anyone with the opportunity to take RLI to do so!

Staying Healthy

Emily Morello

Emily Morello,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 19 November 2017

Based on my previous blog posts, it might have become apparent that I am very into health and fitness. When I am not studying or doing school work, I love learning about ways to stay healthy and looking at new workouts. Don’t get me wrong, I do other things in my free time such as hangout with friends, watch movies, go out to eat, but health is my passion.

I started getting into health when I was in high school. I knew about the rumors of the “freshman 15” and did not want that to happen to me. Because of this, I started doing my homework on nutrition and healthy habits. I grew up playing a lot of sports and always loved food. I have a HUGE appetite, so did not want to deprive myself and instead be mindful of what I eat.

After much trial and error from healthy “diets” and workouts, I have found the best solution for myself. I listen to my body every day and fuel myself with my cravings by eating healthy alternatives to certain foods. For example, if I want a milkshake, I might make a banana and almond milk smoothie. It may sound gross at first, but to me it is delicious. I have learned to live this way instead of trying to “diet”. It works way better and helps me stop craving unhealthy food.

For exercising, it is pretty much the same thing. I try to do something active every day, but it all depends how I feel and what I am in the mood to do. Some days I wake up and my IT band aches from my running injury. For days like this, I don’t kill myself with a hard workout and instead I do an easy yoga practice or go for a walk. Other days I may be in the mood to do something really challenging and will then go to the gym to have a great workout, usually consisting of HIIT exercises.

Health is not only about diet and exercise. It also has to do with getting enough sleep, not stressing out, taking vitamins for your specific deficiencies, and most importantly being happy! Mental health is so important and is sometimes disregarded. I am not a fitness or health expert, nor am I the most in shape or healthiest person. This, however, is my passion and I love incorporating healthy habits in my everyday life.