Category Archives: Engineering Technology and Managment

Life after College

Ross Lowry

Ross Lowry,
Senior, Engineering Technology & Management

Athens, OH 23 February 2015

As my time here in Athens is coming to an end, it’s time to face reality and get ready for the real world. At the end of last semester, I found out that I was accepted to serve in the Active Duty Army as a helicopter pilot, which for me, is what I have been working towards all four years while I’ve been here at OU. So what exactly does this mean…

Within the next two weeks, the current graduating class of Army ROTC Cadets will be finding out when they leave for their training, which for me will be in Fort Rucker, Alabama. Other Cadets who did not branch Aviation will also be finding out their Duty Stations, or essentially where they will be living for the next several years after their training. Due to the fact that flight school for me can last up to two years, I will not be finding out my Duty Station until near completion of my training.

ROTC

Some of the training I will get to experience with my time at Fort Rucker includes the initial eight-week Basic Officer Leadership Course, where I will learn what it takes to be an Aviation Officer. This involves mainly classroom work and the beginnings of learning the components of a helicopter and what makes them fly. This is where I am fortunate that I have my engineering background, so this portion of the course should hopefully not be too bad. I will then attend a three-week survival course, in the event I should ever go down behind enemy lines, and upon completion of this I will begin flight school.

Balancing ROTC with school work has been challenging, all while earning the title of Distinguished Military Graduate for ranking in the top 20th percentile of the nation. Therefore, after graduation, I am hoping to relax for one last summer before I begin what very well may be my career. Looking back, I am still glad for choosing to stick with an engineering degree just because of the discipline and mindset that comes with a lot work.

Russ College Career Fair

Steve Toth

Steve Toth,
Junior, Engineering Technology & Management

Athens, OH 21 February 2015

Being a part of the Russ College of Engineering has more benefits than one may think! It really feels great to be a part of a college where its students are so desired. One example of this is the Russ College Career Fair. This career fair is held once a semester exclusively for Russ College students and employers who desire to hire them. It seems that every semester the career fair grows substantially.


In the past, the fair has only been for one day but as the market for engineers grows and grows, the fair was extended to two days with more than 40 employers attending. Some of the larger employers present were: Kenworth, Dana-Spicer, General Mills, Honda, Kokosing, The Ohio Department of Transportation, US Navy Nuclear Propulsion and The Air Force Training Center. In addition, there was at least one company looking for every major in the College, ranging from electrical engineers to chemical engineers!

But wait there’s more! Some companies stuck around to conduct interviews and offer jobs, making the job hunt so-o-o much easier! With a job outlook like this, there is no question in my mind that I chose the right major, at the right university.

Winter Break is Over

Steve Toth

Steve Toth,
Junior, Engineering Technology & Management

Athens, OH 13 January 2015

“What!? Break is over already? What do you mean classes start Monday?” I’m sure this same thought was running through the minds of many students (and professors) this past weekend. For those that stayed in Athens that probably means they have to start fighting for parking spots again. For those that went home that means no more home-cooked meals. Regardless, for all, it means back to the grindstone.

Although it may not be welcomed at first, spring semester does have its perks. Athens will not be as barren and lonely (for those that stayed in or visited Athens over break, you know what I mean). Friends will be reunited. You no longer have to live in your parent’s NEW closet / workout room / sewing room. (If your parents haven’t converted your old bedroom into something for themselves, trust me they are planning).

And most importantly, spring semester offers a new course load with new professors and new classmates providing new experiences, new friends and the opportunity to explore new interests. Well it’s back to homework for me; bundle up ladies and gents, it’s time for winter…

What To Do When I’m Not Studying…

Ross Lowry

Ross Lowry,
Senior, Engineering Technology & Management

Athens, OH 10 December 2014

Finals week is in full swing, meaning sleep and motivation are at an all-time low, with stress at an all- time high. To be successful during finals week, you can’t burn yourself out. It is too easy to, and many students find themselves falling victim to this. My best advice, take breaks! It doesn’t matter if its two minutes or two hours, but you have to let your brain relax for a little bit.

Whenever I take a break, I always turn to music. If I am at either the ARC or the library I can put my headphones in and just zone out for a second and not have to worry about the exam I will be taking in a few hours.

If I am at home studying, I will go play guitar for a while. For me, playing guitar is my best escape; when I am playing I don’t focus on anything but the music, letting all the stresses of the day get droned out from my Marshall amplifier.

Guitar and Amp

Just the other night I learned the solo to the song “Hotel California” by the Eagles (great solo by the way for any guitarists out there). The first time I was able to play it all the way through without making any mistakes gave me a huge sense of accomplishment and satisfaction which is exactly the confidence boost everyone needs before finals week.

Playing Guitar

Don’t let finals week overshadow your passions in life, for they are exactly what your mind needs in order to relax, build confidence, and overall reduce stress. The less stressed out you are, the more successful you will most likely be on your finals. Don’t get me wrong, studying is very important, and a lot of time should be dedicated to it, but if you decide to take a break do something you enjoy doing to put your mind at ease.

Best of luck to everyone with finals this week!

Electronics and Microcontrollers

Steve Toth

Steve Toth,
Junior, Engineering Technology & Management

Athens, OH 9 November 2014

No… I am not an electrical engineer. But being an Engineering Technology and Management student, I receive a good taste of electronics and programming. In the final project for my electronics and microcontrollers class, we are creating a robot that is completely autonomous. The robot will drive forward until it reaches an obstacle which is sensed by an ultrasonic sensor. At this point the robot will reverse and the ultrasonic sensor will turn left and right, using a servo, sensing for more obstructions and determine which direction to turn and continue forward.

Mini Electric Car

This project is based on an Arduino microcontroller which is a platform programmable in the C computer language. It can accept digital and analog input signals from components such as switches and sensors and then process this data to command outputs for components such as motors, servos and lights. All of this is powered by a pack of 4 AA batteries fed through a voltage regulator providing a constant 5V to feed the Arduino.

Although you could probably tell from my past blogs I am more of a mechanical than an electrical person, but I’ve really been enjoying this class and especially this project as I have been learning a lot about how many of the devices in our everyday life work that you don’t really think about.

Applying Lean Methods on Campus

Ross Lowry

Ross Lowry,
Senior, Engineering Technology & Management

Athens, OH 4 November 2014

One of the classes I’m taking this semester is ETM 4320 which is Lean Enterprise Methods, its main focus being Lean Engineering. For those of you who may not be sure what Lean Engineering is, it is essentially the practice of eliminating as much waste from a production process as possible. The lecture portion of this class is already complete; however, the remainder of the semester is going to be spent working on our group project.

We are assigned to choose any business in the Athens area and implement the Lean methods that we learned in class to the business, granted that we have the business’s approval. Our group chose The Front Room coffee shop in Baker Center; other groups chose Whit’s and a local body shop.

Some of the things we may try and change include anything from the layout of their equipment, how many employees they have per shift, what role each employee is going to take, and the line used to take the customers’ orders.

Work on the project is going to begin right away as there is a lot of data we must collect on the Front Room. One of the first things we are going to study is the process to make a cup of coffee. This may seem like a very simple task, but there are a lot of components that go into making one cup of coffee. We consider the beginning of the process right when the customer places the order; the process then concludes as soon as the cup is in the customer’s hand. We will be taking a look at all of the steps in between to determine where we can cut down on time to get the product to you quicker.

Hopefully by the end of this semester we will be able to work out all of the kinks in the operations so that the customer’s experience is improved. We should even be able to save them some money, which could mean lower prices for us?!?!?

My “Brand-New” 1970 GMC K2500

Steve Toth

Steve Toth,
Junior, Engineering Technology & Management

Athens, OH 30 September 2014

Besides being a college student, one of my hobbies includes restoring antique farm equipment and trucks. This past summer, although I was very busy with my full-time internship, I found time to bring a 1970 GMC K2500 pickup back to life. (I didn’t sleep.) It is 1 of about 6000 made and 1 of few that have survived 44 years of abuse.

1970 GMC K2500

My treasure came from Sisseton, South Dakota, complete with the original dealership decal and 80,000 miles. After contacting the original owner I discovered that it had spent its life as a ranch truck, hauling hogs to market and daughters to school.

After spending countless hours in the shop, all rust was repaired (while maintaining most of the original paint), a completely new suspension and steering system was installed, the complete brake system was upgraded and countless other repairs and upgrades were performed.

1970 GMC K2500

Although the truck has been a large investment of both time and money, it has also been a great source of pride and satisfaction for this engineer-in-training. It seems as though I cannot drive it anywhere without getting a smile on my face or attracting the attention of passers-by.