Category Archives: Civil Engineering

Griffin Braun

Griffin Braun,
Junior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 13 November 2020

As winter looms around the corner and the cold air sweeps through the midwest, I always tend to get a little excited. Winter brings the cold and the cold brings the snow and the snow opens up the ski slopes.

Over the winter I think it is very important to find a hobby you can do to get out of the house. The summer presents many opportunities for hobbies, many of which I enjoy, including golfing, swimming, and watching baseball games. However, there is one thing in the summer I am never able to do…and that is go skiing.

So, as the winter comes, I get excited for my yearly ski trip to the East coast. Vermont and northern New York has the best skiing on the East coast and receives well above the annual average snowfall every year. I only learned how to ski in high school, but I enjoy hitting the slopes to shred some pow whenever I can.

Once I got to OU, I have taken a yearly trip to Vermont to ski with some of my close friends. Each year we add a new person to the trip and are currently at 8 people. We drive through the night to arrive at the slopes first thing in the morning.

I am even more excited for this year, mainly due to the lack of trips with COVID. The picture is from our trip last year at Killington Mountain in Vermont.

Ski Trip

Speakers at the American Society of Civil Engineers

Ndem Ndobegang

Ndem Ndobegang,
Senior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 31 October 2020

One of the student organizations I am part of is the American Society of Civil Engineers. One kind of event I like to attend is presentations from guest speakers. For every bi-weekly meeting, they usually invite a working professional in a civil engineering profession to come and talk about what they do. With the broadness of civil engineering, there is so much that one can do or specialize in. So, this is a great way to be informed as to what is out there for a civil engineer.

This semester, one of the guest speakers invited was the Athens City Engineer who shared some of the projects he is involved in, including the recently finished Richland Avenue Passageway project. This was especially interesting since it was done on West Green where the Russ College is located. He talked about the challenges faced through the planning, design, and construction process as well as the successes.

During such events, the speakers are very open to any question us students may have such as why they chose to be a civil engineer and if this is what they expected to be doing once they graduated. With a lot of them being recent graduates one can easily relate to them as they have been in our shoes and they know what is like. Being part of this organization has helped me know more about the specialties in Civil Engineering and has expanded my network by meeting other civil engineering students.

Fall Outings in Athens

Griffin Braun

Griffin Braun,
Junior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 19 October 2020

Fall in Athens…is this a dream or real life? The truth—who knows but it surely is beautiful.

Fall in Athens is one of the most striking times of the year in any part of the country. The curvy country roads covered with different colored trees mixed with a sunny, sweater weather day cannot be beat.

Fall in Athens

My favorite activity draws me outside to the bike path that runs on the south side of campus, along the Hocking River. In fall, the path is covered with multicolored leaves from the trees that surround it on both sides. If the day permits, I love to ride my bike down the path and maybe get a bite to eat at Eclipse, a local barbeque joint with great brisket. The food there is tremendous and fuels me to make it back home.

Fall in Athens

If you go further down the path you go past this homestead with a great message. Sometimes I am lucky enough to see a few sheep, goats, turkeys, chickens, and maybe even some front yard live music.

Other places around Athens that I enjoy seeing the fall foliage are Hocking Hills, or the hiking trails near The Ridges. For me, the fall in Athens truly displays the best of what the University and city has to offer.

Taking Senior Design in an Online Format

Ndem Ndobegang

Ndem Ndobegang,
Senior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 16 September 2020

This semester I am taking my senior design course, Land Development, which is one of the three available senior design courses civil engineering seniors can take. In a nutshell, students learn to design a residential subdivision on a 20 to 25-acre piece of land from the ground up. This includes roadway design, sanitary sewer design and grading to name a few.

In this class, students work in teams of four or five with each person proficient in at least one element of the design. Due to the current health crisis, the class format changed and went fully online, so what was a team project became an individual project.

And before you raise your eyebrows and think “How will they get it done in time??, a lot of adjustments were made. The project was scaled down so it could be completed by one student in a period of three and half months. We were assigned into teams based on our strengths to assist one another if struggling with a specific component of the design or had questions.

On Mondays and Fridays, the course instructor meets with each team to answer questions, but we are also welcome to meet with the instructor privately for further questions. So far, my experience in the class has been going well as I have learned a lot when it comes to such design, and making it work for not only on paper but in reality.

Civil Engineering Senior Design

The picture shows a screenshot of my design in the AutoCAD software used to draw. The yellow outline contains my current subdivision layout design.

Summer Internship at Skanska Construction

Griffin Braun

Griffin Braun,
Junior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 27 August 2020

This past summer, I interned with Skanska Construction Management for my second summer. Skanska is a construction management company, with a branch based out of Cincinnati, my hometown.

During my time with them, I participated in the new build of three elementary schools, and a new high school. During my time on the three elementary schools, I was also tasked with overseeing the construction of road improvements and widenings at the entrance of the schools. I was in direct contact with subcontractors and I was able to gain valuable knowledge on the profession of construction management.

Internship building schools

I’m glad that I was able to find a job that I enjoyed going to every morning and that paid well. While getting paid to work was nice, the experience and advice I received from being on a project site was priceless. I found that classes pertaining to construction management have been much easier for me because I’ve had the experience of being on a job site. The people I worked with said the experience gained through internships was an attractive facet of resumes, because they know how much a person can absorb through in-person training. Taking the internship was one of the better decisions I have made while in Civil Engineering at OU.