Category Archives: Electrical Engineering

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.

Bonding in IEEE

Mia Wilson

Mia Wilson,
Junior, Electrical Engineeering

Athens, OH December 10 2016

Being a part of a student organization, such as IEEE, has given me many opportunities. I have gotten to take trips to different schools for conferences, even out of state, for free. I have gotten to lead projects and people to accomplish a goal. But of all of the things that I have gained from being a part of IEEE (the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), the best reward is all of the friends I have made.

For our last IEEE social of the fall semester we all decided on going to Bdubs to get dinner for boneless wing night. Before this event, we were all pretty good friends. We would work on homework together, joke, and laugh, but at this event we started to learn about each other outside of the academic setting. It was so refreshing to get to know the person behind the student. We bonded over some wings, appetizers and ranch dressing. It really did reinforce that we are all in this together.

Ever since this social, our meetings have been more productive. People feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and opinions. And they like coming to meetings because they know they are surrounded by supportive friends. I am so glad that we ended up having this event and that it was so successful.

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!

Rocket Design and Engineering Team

Andrew Videmsek

Andrew Videmsek,
Junior, Electrical Engineering

Athens, OH 15 October 2016

With classes now in full swing and midterms coming to an end, it’s always nice to take a small break from school and relax. One of the best ways for me to relax while still working on engineering projects is through the student organizations I am a part of.

Last weekend I and four other members of the Rocket Design and Engineering Team took the hour long drive down to Gallipolis, Ohio, to launch our level one and level two certification rockets. The rockets we launched went to a projected height of 3,800 feet and were designed to prove we have the knowledge to safely construct, launch, and retrieve high powered rockets.

Rocket Launch

While we were there we got the opportunity to do so much more than just launch rockets. We experienced firsthand what it was like to make last minute modifications due to weather conditions, got to work with and talk to experts in the industry, and even had a friendly competition with another engineering college.

With that being said it wasn’t all fun and games: we saw what happens when a rocket burns up on the pad due to a failed motor, and had to retrieve a rocket from a tree when its parachute got stuck on its return to earth.

Additionally, just this weekend was another major event for a student organization I am involved in. Our chapter of IEEE-Eta Kappa Nu, the Electrical and Computer Engineering Honors Society, held its induction for new members. Our school chapter, the Delta Epsilon chapter, dates back to 1960, and this induction ceremony added 8 new members to the long history. In addition, this induction marks my first official day as president of the chapter for the 2016-2017 school year.

Retail’s Digital Summit

Mia Wilson

Mia Wilson,
Junior, Electrical Engineeering

Athens, OH 27 September 2016

This past weekend I attended Shop.org Retail’s Digital Summit in Dallas, Texas. They flew a few Ohio University students down there for free. The only thing I had to pay for was a ride to and from the airport, a lunch and a dinner.

I was informed about the event by our secretary here in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. I saw “free” written everywhere, and so I figured I would apply. After a day they emailed me and told me I had been accepted to go to the conference.

One important aspect of the trip was being able to network with large retail companies like GSN, Ebay, and PayPal. They attend this conference looking to network and team up with other companies to brainstorm new ideas for selling their products. They also were hoping to show off their recent marketing schemes.

One thing that I did learn was how to communicate on a professional level with people that aren’t just strictly engineering. I got to meet some students from other schools. I also got to meet some students from Ohio University’s Russ College who I hadn’t known before this event. I also learned that although the marketing industry treats their members very nicely, I don’t think it’s a field that interests me.

While I was in Dallas, I was able to do some sight-seeing and enjoy some good food. I got to see where John F Kennedy was shot with the help of an unofficial tour guide. He pulled us out into the street to get a picture near the “X” of his assassination. The skyline was beautiful and so was our hotel. I tried one of the best steaks I’ve ever had, with some amazing peach cobbler. We got delicious free food at the conference events. Although we tried to diversify our taste buds, to save some money we stopped by a Subway to get an Italian BMT.