Category Archives: Civil Engineering

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.

Spring Break Reunion

Haley Nau

Haley Nau,
Junior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 21 March 2019

This past spring break was one that focused on nostalgia. I stayed home for most of the week and reconnected with old friends. With my parents we stayed in most nights and had home cooked meals (which I didn’t have to prepare myself) and watched old movies we’ve already seen a hundred times, but never got old. A few of the mornings (where I didn’t sleep in) I would grab a coffee with whoever was available and hike the familiar trails in my area.

Hiking

To reminisce, I met up with my close-knit group of friends from high school at midnight at our local 24-hour donut shop just like the old days. We talked about how much things have changed since our graduation and how much we hope that continues. (But we still vow to stay in touch.) To celebrate growing old, me and another close friend grabbed breakfast mimosas just to show off our brand new 21 IDs and made plans to vacation with each other in the summer.

In the day I would go on walks with my dog and a few times I went to my local library to check out a new book. It felt good to relax for a week with no pending obligations and do the same things I used to enjoy from high school.

Engineering and Technology Day

Haley Nau

Haley Nau,
Junior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 27 February 2019

Last weekend, Renaissance Engineering held its second annual Russ College Engineering and Technology Day. Engineering and Technology Day is a day dedicated to educating Athens youth about STEM. This is done by gathering Russ College’s various clubs and having them each set up a booth and create a STEM activity relating to their clubs’ interests. The event is held in the ARC and Stocker and roughly 400 kids attend each year.

This was my first year participating, and I did it on a fluke. Some of my close friends are the heads of Renaissance Engineers and were putting the event together when they asked me for help to gather more clubs. Being roommates with active members of BSNorg (Bachelor’s in Science, Nursing Organization) I had the idea to bring in a club not founded through Russ College. I asked several professors and of course my roommates if this was possible. I was able to get the green light from both sides and that’s how I ended up as volunteering at Engineering and Technology day as a “Nurse”.

Nurse

The day of the event, the nurses asked if I could specifically work at their booth with them even though I was a generic volunteer. This would mean I would have to wake up a couple hours earlier to help them set up their activity, but they persuaded me into it by telling me I could wear a white nursing coat.

Nurse

Their booth consisted of making a set of lungs out of paper bags and straws. With the straws taped to the bags (that kids would color as the shape of lungs) the kids were able to see how their lungs expanded and collapsed by blowing in and out of the bags. We were also given permission from the college of nursing to use some of their stethoscopes and blood pressure monitors so the kids could hear their heart beat and learn how the equipment works.

The event lasted until three and by the end we were exhausted, but already talking about the activities that we can do next year. I can’t wait to come back and do it again!

Enjoying my Last Semester

Nicholas Burton

Nicholas Burton,
Senior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 25 February 2019

I never thought I’d say it, but I don’t have enough to do this semester (knock on wood).

Turns out, when you’re a fifth-year, the last half of your victory lap is very chill. On top of that, with the job hunt being out of the way, there is a lot of free time and nothing really mandatory to be done. I’ve never had a semester that has had less than 16 credit hours, and the classes I am taking this semester don’t have a lot of homework that is involved, so there really isn’t anything pressing most of the time. Please don’t see this as me WANTING to have a busy schedule by any means. I kind of look at it more as my reward for the past 4-1/2 years before I enter the grind of a consistent 40+ hour work week.

I am really looking forward to the upcoming warm weather, as hopefully this will get me out of my apartment and off of Fortnite more. My final Fest Season is in the near future, so I am looking to take full advantage of these weekends with the all of friends I’ve made here. In addition to this, March Madness will be in full swing following spring break. This is usually one of the best times of the year, so there is plenty to look forward to.