Category Archives: Electrical Engineering

Recharging over Spring Break

Mia Wilson

Mia Wilson,
Junior, Electrical Engineeering

Athens, OH 13 March 2017

It’s about that time in the semester where I start to get tired and I feel like I need a vacation. Luckily, there is such a thing as spring break! During spring break, I take some much needed me time so I can get my head back on straight.

With engineering, there aren’t many days off, so I take full advantage of this week. Every year I get to go back home and catch up with my family, friends, and schoolwork. Plus, my mom and I usually go on a short vacation.

This year I spent most of my week hanging out with my family. I worked at my dad’s donut shop to earn a few extra bucks. I enjoyed the nice weather by picking up some milkshakes. I celebrated some birthdays. I also worked on some of my research and schoolwork so I could stay ahead of the game.

As much as I enjoyed seeing everyone back home, the highlight of my spring break was my trip to Washington D.C. While everyone was down at the beach, I got to walk around the capital. I have been before, but my mom had never been, so we made sure to visit all of the “must-sees”. We saw the White House, the Capitol building, the National Zoo, all of the main monuments like the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial, and we visited some of the museums on the mall, like the Holocaust Museum and the Natural History Museum. We also took one of those touristy bike tours. (So worth it!)

During the couple days I went to D.C. I didn’t take my laptop or my book bag. I found out that it is so important to get a break from life for a little bit and just see what the world has to offer. That is what I did this spring break unlike the ones in the past. It really did make all the difference in how much I enjoyed the trip.

Working with Habitat for Humanity

Mia Wilson

Mia Wilson,
Junior, Electrical Engineeering

Athens, OH 6 February 2017

This past Thursday I started working at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. The ReStore is a hardware center where people in the Athens area can donate just about anything pertaining to home improvement, including furniture, gardening tools, lighting, and doors. By donating these items, others can buy them, like they would in a normal store, but the proceeds go to building houses for people in the community.

So far, my job at the ReStore has included cleaning donated furniture and setting it up on the floor for people to buy. But, on days where there isn’t donated furniture to fix up, I get to help reorganize the floor so items are more easily accessible. The volunteers and employees have been very kind and helpful to get me acquainted with the store and to make me feel at home. That makes me feel like I’m in the right bunch of people, actually helping make a difference in the Athens community.

I have had a small history with Habitat for Humanity. Starting in high school, I got to volunteer to build a house for someone in my community back home. Seeing the reaction on her face to finally get a home, made me want to come back to volunteer again. I have also helped shovel lava rock as part of the Habitat for Humanity student organization on campus. Because these experiences were so rewarding, I decided to become a weekly volunteer in Athens County!

Volunteering has always been one of my favorite pastimes. I love helping people, and knowing that I possibly made a small, positive, difference in their day, or sometimes even a large difference in their life. Not only does volunteering look good on a resume, but it also can make a difference in your world or someone else’s

Being a Member of Eta Kappa Nu

Andrew Videmsek

Andrew Videmsek,
Junior, Electrical Engineering

Athens, OH 17 January 2017

Last year myself and nine other Electrical and Computer Engineering students worked together to bring back our university’s chapter of Eta Kappa Nu. Eta Kappa Nu, also known as HKN, is the international electrical and computer engineering honors society of IEEE. It was founded back in 1904 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the Delta Epsilon chapter here at Ohio University was established in 1960.

At the end of last year, I got the honor of being voted in as the chapter’s president, and since reestablishing the chapter, it has given my fellow members and I opportunities we could have never dreamed of. In spring of last year we took a trip up to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to attend the HKN Student Leadership Conference. While we were there we got to meet other HKN members from around the country and hear talks from engineers working at IEEE, Ford, US Power, and NASA.

In addition, just last month we got to the opportunity to host one of our very own EE professors, Dr. Michael Braasch, in a talk he titled “Whatever you do, don’t drink the tea!” In this special presentation, Dr. Braasch told stories about his travels across the country and across the world while teaching and doing research. It was a great event where we were able to bring EE students and faculty closer together.

At the end of last semester, we turned our doughnut sale fundraiser into a project to raise money for the Athens County Children Services Giving Tree Toy Drive. This enabled us to donate boxes of Legos to the ACCS to be distributed to local children in need.

For me, being a member of Eta Kappa Nu isn’t just about showing the work I have completed in school. It is about fine tuning my leadership skills, connecting with other engineers in industry, bringing the students and faculty closer together, and helping out the community we live in. Looking back on the organizations I have been part of in the past, HKN has been one of the few that have had a large impact on my day to day life, and one I will never regret joining.

Working with an OU Alum

Joe Meyer

Joe Meyer,
Junior, Electrical Engineering

Athens, OH 9 January 2017

My sophomore year at Ohio University, I was able to find a co-op with a company called Rovisys, a company that specializes in automation controls. Rovisys came to the career fair, and were represented by two OU graduates. Since then I have been able to get to know many different alumni from Ohio University that work there. I believe that is what makes the Russ College great, its vast network of alumni that are involved.

I started working at Rovisys not knowing what to expect, but soon I found coworkers that were able to help me when I didn’t know what to do, and were always willing to help me out when I had questions. After working with different projects, I found myself relating with a group manager who had graduated from Ohio University in 2008.

After switching groups to the glass division, I found myself working directly with him on his projects. He was able to get me involved with projects that used cutting-edge technology to assist with the glass making and molding process. In that time I was able to learn many different technologies that allowed me to expand my knowledge on PLCs, data analytics, and general systems engineering.

Over the Winter Break, my group manager was able to throw me into a project for four weeks that got my involved in creating the HMI’s for a glass melting process. Instead of working on busy work, I was able to go into work each day knowing that I would be helping with something that excited me. With the guidance of an Ohio University Alum as my project manager, I have been able to greatly advance myself as a professional engineer.

Computer Organization Class Final Project

Andrew Videmsek

Andrew Videmsek,
Junior, Electrical Engineering

Athens, OH 12 December 2016
At the end of last semester, I was assigned a final project in my Computer Organization class that was focused on designing and simulating an introductory MIPS processor. This was a very simplified version of a processor that is fairly similar to what is found in modern computers. This project took the information that we learned throughout the semester and applied it to a single problem.

Like most modern day research and development of computer hardware, we did not build the processor out of physical components, but simulated the hardware design on a computer. To do this, we used a HDL, or hardware description language, called Verilog. Verilog allows a designer to start at the lowest level, building the different types of basic gates out of transistors, and then use those basic components to continue building upward until a final design is reached.

Since this project was to encapsulate the entirety of the course, we had to start from the ground up replicating every component we learned that semester. In total we designed and tested over forty discrete components that when replicated and used to create the functions of the processor, created over 500 hardware components that were being simulated to run the processor.

When it was all said and done, and the 36-page report covering everything from the functions the processor was able to perform to the standardized input the processor must receive, it was easily one of my favorite projects of my college career. It was a project that challenged me to make sure everything I was doing was in an efficient and fault proof manner. It helped me see what I wanted to do when school was completed, and was another proof that I had chosen the correct major for myself.

Hearing from Experts in Industry

Andrew Videmsek

Andrew Videmsek,
Junior, Electrical Engineering

Athens, OH 24 November 2016

As a student in engineering, I feel it is sometimes hard to see how everything we are learning is applied to the world around us. Luckily there are always plenty of opportunities to hear talks from experts in industry and research about how engineers are moving the world forward.

Just last week, the local chapter of IEEE hosted Jim Watson, an IEEE National Speaker, for a talk at their weekly meeting. Jim gave insight on what an engineering degree allows you to do after graduation, and what you can do during school to better prepare yourself for the future. In addition, he touched on the ways we as students can transition the skills we have learned in a university setting to challenges we will face on the job site.

Another talk I got the opportunity to attend recently was by Dr. Zak M. Kassas from the University of California, Riverside. Dr. Kassas runs the ASPIN Lab (Autonomous Systems Perception, Intelligence, & Navigation Laboratory) and focuses his research on collaborative and opportunistic navigation and optimal information gathering in stochastic environments. His talk went into great detail about his research in ways to complement, or completely replace, GPS biased navigation with the radio waves that are constantly being projected in the world around us.

The final of the talks I heard in November was by Dr. Arvind Thiruvengadam, a research assistant professor at West Virginia University. Dr. Thiruvengadam is probably best known for being one of the researchers who broke the recent news about the Volkswagen emissions tests. In his talk, Dr. Thiruvengadam went into depth about the research areas and future engine technologies that could lead to lower emissions and higher operating efficiencies.

Family Halloween Tradition

Mia Wilson

Mia Wilson,
Junior, Electrical Engineeering

Athens, OH 27 October 2016

Well, it seems like the month of October has zoomed past me and now it’s the weekend of Halloween! All of the leaves, costume parties, and cooler weather combine to make October one of my favorite months of the year. One thing I really like about the end of October is the thought that I have made it more than halfway through the semester already.

A tradition that I have with my family is our trip to Halloweekends at King’s Island. We usually go the weekend of Halloween and go through all of the scary haunted mazes and houses they have set up throughout the amusement park. This weekend we are going up on Saturday. And to add to all the fun, we are staying at Great Wolf Lodge, known for its indoor waterpark! So, when I am not riding roller coasters and having my butt scared off, I’m going to be slipping and sliding through the waterpark.

A perk about going up on a Saturday and staying through Sunday on the last weekend they are open, is that no one is there the Sunday! That means shorter lines and even more rides. So my plan is to go to all of the haunted houses Saturday night and ride the rides until they close on Sunday!

I am really excited to get to spend some quality time with my family this weekend and have a fun and safe Halloween at King’s Island!