Category Archives: Civil Engineering

Visiting a Civil Engineering Masterpiece

Athens, OH 17 January 2020

Lydia Ramlo

Lydia Ramlo,
Senior, Civil Engineering (Russ College) and Environmental Studies (Honors Tutorial College)

Athens, OH 17 January 2020

Over winter break, I journeyed to Las Vegas with my roommate and fellow ambassador, Lydia Seiter. The great thing when I do go on a trip somewhere is to explore different civil engineering masterpieces (at least in my opinion).

I recently finished my class on the structural design of concrete, so naturally, we had to go see Hoover Dam.

Hoover Dam

Lydia (who is a Chemical Engineer) and I walked around the dam, and I explained to her about how concrete is different than cement, the curing process of concrete, and how concrete is commonly reinforced by steel bars.

Hoover Dam

Civil engineering is everywhere you go. This is one of the beauties of my major because it’s fun understanding the “why” behind the buildings, roads, or other civil structures. Also, if you haven’t gone to Hoover Dam, I definitely
recommend checking it out.

CE Water & Wastewater Engineering Project

Lydia Ramlo

Lydia Ramlo,
Senior, Civil Engineering (Russ College) and Environmental Studies (Honors Tutorial College)

Athens, OH 2 December 2019

This semester I am taking my final civil engineering classes, meaning I have completed the last group projects of my curriculum. In water & wastewater engineering, we learn about the treatment and design processes of both water and wastewater treatment plants.

The first half of the semester was focused on water treatment. The class was divided into groups to design a preliminary design of a water treatment plant solely based on a group member hometown’s population and given influent water quality. Each week, the material we learned in class was applied to the design of our water treatment plant.

Water Treatment Design

At the end of the project, we turned in a report explaining and justifying our design and chosen treatment processes as well as gave a presentation to the class.

Additionally, my group had the opportunity to present to Ohio University’s civil engineering board! This project allowed me to have a hands-on experience, and now, I am exploring careers in this field.

Student Senate, from Environmental Affairs to President

Lydia Ramlo

Lydia Ramlo,
Senior, Civil Engineering (Russ College) and Environmental Studies (Honors Tutorial College)

Athens, OH 28 October 2019

One of the best decisions I have made during my time at Ohio University was joining Student Senate. After my first year, I switched my majors from theater and social work to civil engineering and environmental studies. I was looking to join an organization that aligns with my new majors. A friend told me I should look into the Environmental Affairs Commission on Student Senate.

During my time as Vice-Commissioner of Environmental Affairs, I helped organize the first Environmental Justice Summit on campus as well as found a new Bobcat family. Through my four years in Senate, I was the Environmental Affairs Commissioner, Treasurer, and now, President.

This organization has made me into the person I am today. I have been challenged as well as rewarded. Now, as I walk around campus, I can see the reusable bags and to-go boxes I helped implement. I also run into people I met through this organization from my fellow student leaders to OHIO’s administrators across campus.

OHIO Student Senate

The best part of Student Senate is being able to help my fellow Bobcats. I love when people come into our office whether it is to grab a free blue book, ask a SAC question, or talk about an issue or concern.

Whenever I am asked “You’re an engineer. Why are you in Student Senate?” I do not know where to begin. Usually, my answer is “Because I am now a better engineer because of it.”

Hiking Radar Hill

Haley Nau

Haley Nau,
Senior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 8 September 2019

It’s fall in Athens! One of my favorite things to do this time of year is hike one of OUs famous hiking trails: Radar Hill. It’s located on a hill behind The Ridges off a back road. There are no markers for it besides a gravel parking lot and an ajar gate that signals the trail head.

The trail takes you mostly through open grassy fields which is perfect in the fall because the bugs and heat have died down, but deer are always roaming about. The tall grasses also turn a golden color that catches the light any time of the day.

The best time to go though is in the evening when the sun is about to set. Due to the open grass fields, you can get a spectacular view of the open sky as it changes colors.

The hike ends at the top of a hill that overlooks the hilly countryside surrounding Athens. Typically, there are groups of people (and maybe a few dogs) scattered about the top sitting on logs or rocks waiting for the sun to set. It is a rewarding ending to a not too difficult hike. I can’t wait to hit the trail once again!

The Pawpaw Festival

Lydia Ramlo

Lydia Ramlo,
Senior, Civil Engineering (Russ College) and Environmental Studies (Honors Tutorial College)

Athens, OH 16 September 2019

One of my favorite weekends of the entire year is Pawpaw Festival weekend! I have been going every year since my sophomore year. Many people may not know what exactly a paw paw is, so if you want to learn a fun fact keep on reading.

A pawpaw is the largest edible fruit that is native to North America, particularly in Appalachia. It is a cousin to a mango but tastes and has texture more similar to a banana. I’ve found pawpaws on hikes through my years in Athens. Dr. Riefler (one of my professors) has a pawpaw tree in his yard and brought samples into class one day!

Pawpaw

The Pawpaw Festival has local vendors ranging from arts and crafts to food to music! And yes, there are free paw paw samples as well. My personal favorite is the Snowville’s paw paw ice cream.

This festival is a great way to bond with friends and connect with the Athens community. While I was a Voinovich Research Scholar, I was able to volunteer at the Raccoon Creek’s tent to explain about acid mine drainage and the importance of sustainability in the southeast Ohio area. Sustainability, friends, and some weird fruit—what’s not to love!

Summer Internship in San Francisco

Haley Nau

Haley Nau,
Senior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 2 September 2019

This past summer I got the opportunity to work with Turner Construction Company out in San Francisco, California. I was able to get the internship through the Russ College Career Fair that occurred last fall.

I worked for three months on the San Francisco Airport Terminal 2 Build Back project.

San Francisco Airport

It was a great experience to oversee the construction work that was happening for several floors above an active terminal. It kept me busy and I learned so many new skills!

San Francisco Airport

When I wasn’t working at the airport, I was getting as much hiking done as I could with my roommate. Without having a car, access to the best hiking spots were very limited. So, we stuck to the surrounding Bay Area. We explored Muir Woods (home of giant redwoods), summitted Mount Tam and trekked to hidden beaches all summer long.

San Francisco Airport

By the end of the summer we were in some of the best shape of our lives just from the (surprisingly strenuous) hiking alone! Between these two activities I stayed active this whole summer getting the explore the city through construction sites and hiking trials. It is an opportunity I hope to have again!

Create for Good in Florida

Illona Hartman

Illona Hartman,
Junior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 31 March 2019

During Spring Break, I had the chance to go down to Florida with Theta Tau, my coed professional engineering fraternity, to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. We were able to stay at the United Methodist Church in Flagler Beach, which was only 3 blocks away from the Atlantic and 20 minutes away from the work site where we volunteered for 4 days.

My friend and little in the fraternity, Sam (ISE senior), and I started our trip down to Florida on the Friday before break. Firstly, we drove 8 hours to Cleveland, Tennessee, to stay the night with Sam’s family and break up the road trip to Florida. The next day, we drove another 6 hours to Savannah, Georgia, where we found a hotel. Here I saw the first palm trees of our trip!

Habitat / Spring Break

For some reason, I get extremely excited about palm trees. These trees are the ultimate sign of vacation in my view. The next day, we had time to spend a couple of hours exploring the city of Savannah! This city had a lot of historical architecture at the riverbank and some crazy structures to visit.

Later that afternoon, we drove to Flagler Beach to meet our other brothers from 6 different chapters around the nation: Texas, Virginia (2x), Rhode Island, Michigan, and Ohio. We had dinner and found out that most of the volunteers were returners from previous years! They were extremely friendly and welcoming towards us, the newbies. After a free dinner from the church and Habitat, we spent some time bonding at the beach.

Habitat / Spring Break

For the next four days, we woke up at 6:30 am to leave the church by 7:30 am. Habitat for Humanity expected us to be on the site by 8:00 am to start the day with a dedication circle. Throughout the day, we performed different tasks such as roofing or siding.

Habitat / Spring Break

I joined the siding group for most of the days, so I was pounding nails in the outside of the house to finish the outdoor walls. I also spent a day or two on hurricane straps. These could be a real pain at times because both sides of a roof frame had to be nailed with 5-6 nails to the strap and wall so the wind could not blow underneath the roof. The angle of nailing and the fact that we had to nail them through metal while standing on a ladder didn’t make the job much easier!

Habitat / Spring Break

By the end of the day, we had a lot of fun and it was extremely rewarding work! On our last day, we finished almost the entire roof and the outdoor walls. We also got to dedicate another, finished house to a family which was a great experience. It was awesome to see how a finished house would look like!

Next year, I hope to come back to volunteer again as it precisely describes what I would like to do after graduation: combining civil engineering with natural hazard mitigation and humanity work in developing communities.