Category Archives: Industrial and Systems Engineering

Planning a Chik-fil-A for Athens

Joshua Igwe

Joshua Igwe,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 27 November 2016

This semester in one of my ISE classes, Project Management, myself and a few other students decided to do a project studying what it would take to open a Chick-fil-A restaurant in Athens.

Project Management is a class required for all seniors to take in the fall before we begin our senior design project in the spring. Naturally our department wants us to understand how to manage a project from start to finish before we are given our final capstone project.

Chick-fil-A is my favorite fast-food restaurant and I’ve always wondered why we don’t have one in Athens. I figured it would be a fun thing to study in case I wanted to come back to Athens someday to be a franchise owner.

Soon after we began research we found that all that you truly need to open a Chick-fil-A franchise is $5,000 for franchising and a free year to manage the restaurant. The catch however is that Chick-Fil A accepts less than 0.1% of the applications they receive every year. This realization put a damper on my dream of opening a franchise in real life, but the work on the class project had just begun.

Through the planning of the rest of the project, we went through and picked out a location for the franchise, cost for renovations and supplies along with how we planned to staff the restaurant once opened. After gathering the information, planning each task and developing a report, we presented our findings to the class.

This process was helpful as we learned about opening a restaurant and managing a project from start to finish. I expect that this experience will be helpful when we begin working on our senior design project next semester.

Participating in the Robe Leadership Institute

Kevin White

Kevin White,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 29 October 2016

This semester, I have had the amazing opportunity to be selected into the Robe Leadership Institute. The purpose of RLI is to supply a group of selected graduating seniors in the Russ College (all engineering and technology majors) with leadership insight and techniques. Dr. Bayless (Mechanical Engineering Professor) facilitates and teaches this course.

Throughout the semester, we have successful Ohio University grads come in and speak to us about their leadership experiences and career advice. As a student, this is an incredible experience that most students don’t get. I am making sure to take advantage and to ask the speakers every question I can. To hear about a successful person’s career path, accomplishments, and failures and to ask them how they utilized different leadership techniques has been a great experience for me, as I approach graduation in May.

Also, I admire how excited the speakers are to give back to Ohio University Russ College students. An added bonus to this course is a trip to San Diego for Spring Break to further expand our leadership.

At the beginning of the course, our professor had us participate in a Challenge Course at the Ridges.

Challenge Course

The purpose of this event is to have our whole class participate in problem-solving activities. By doing these activities, I found out more about my peers in the class and their leadership techniques. I am excited to see how all of us make a transition as leaders by the end of the semester. I am so excited that I have decided to take this course and transition into a great leader in what ever I do.

Cru Fall Retreat

Joshua Igwe

Joshua Igwe,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 18 October 2016

Last weekend I took a break from my industrial engineering studies and spent a few days at the Scioto Hills camp site with CRU. CRU is a college campus ministry that I have been involved with since my freshman year.

Each fall a group of about 200 students who are involved with CRU at Ohio University and a few other small schools in southeastern Ohio, travel about an hour from campus to spend time together learning more about Jesus, deepening our relationships with one another and playing fun games like ultimate pumpkin, shown below. (I’m in the red shirt on the far right.)

Ultimate Pumpkin

Ultimate pumpkin is an annual fall retreat event that is similar to ultimate Frisbee, but played with a greased-down pumpkin. There are three teams composed of students that live on the three main greens or sections of campus, South Green, East Green and West Green (which is also home of the engineering buildings).

Since I lived on South Green my freshman year, I played with the South Green team. In 2015 South Green suffered their first lost since the tournament began in 2009, but I am glad to report that I helped bring the trophy back to South where it rightly belongs.

Saturday night, there is a large bonfire. This is a time for students to reflect on what they have learned and experienced during the retreat. (In the picture below, I am on the far left side in the black T-shirt with the bear.)

Cru Bonfire

I really enjoy CRU and many other student organizations that I have had a chance to check out since I began my time at Ohio University. There is truly an organization tailored to fit every type of student on campus regardless of background and interest.

Summer Co-op at Eaton Corp.

Alexa Hoynacke

Alexa Hoynacke,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 01 September 2016

As the school year begins everything seems crazy, hectic and fast paced. It is insane to me that I am entering my senior year. I have been enjoying every moment of my 4th year at OU so far.

This summer I interned with Eaton Corporation in Euclid, Ohio and had an amazing experience, so I think that is why I was so ready to hit the ground running for senior year.

With Eaton I was an industrial operations intern in the aerospace sector. I worked on a team of 10 quality engineers and I had projects that dealt with optimization and quality control. I was able to implement one of my projects by the end of my 12 weeks, saving the company money and time in the fuel pump assembly cell.

I loved everything about Eaton—the people I worked with, the company culture and the exposure/experience I was able to get in the manufacturing world. After this summer I choose to apply to do the spring co-op program with operations and technical sales. About a week ago I received a written offer to return to Eaton this upcoming spring and summer, for my 2nd and 3rd rotations. I am so happy to be returning to Eaton and it has made the start of my senior year even more memorable and exciting.

Summer in Detroit

Joshua Igwe

Joshua Igwe,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 31 August 2016

This summer I spent 10 weeks in Detroit doing a summer internship with Bridgewater Interiors. Bridgewater Interiors manufactures seats for a select number of General Motor vehicles. I interviewed with the plant manager (an OU grad) this past spring and was offered a position as an industrial engineer intern at the Detroit plant.

This internship gave me a chance to grow both personally and professionally. After taking a class on lean manufacturing in the spring, I was able to see a real-world facility that based its operating procedures off of a lean philosophy. I worked with full-time engineers to ensure that the plant was prepared to implement a new set of seats that were to be made for the first time.

Living in Detroit gave me an opportunity to explore a new city and a new culture that is very different from the one I grew up with in Columbus and the one I’ve become accustomed to in Athens. One thing that I had to get used to very quickly was the difference in the driving in Michigan. From the increased speed to the “Michigan left”, I learned quickly that Detroit is a much faster-paced city than Columbus or Athens.

Though Detroit is still suffering from the recent recession, I saw first-hand that the city is definitely making a comeback. As someone who loves cities and urban environments, I was drawn to and captivated by the love that people living in Detroit have for their city.

This summer definitely taught me a lot about myself and about the manufacturing world. I am very grateful for the opportunity to live in Detroit and work with Bridgewater.

Summer in Milwaukee

Kevin 

White

Kevin White,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 26 August 2016

This summer, I had the amazing opportunity to work for
FedEx Ground
as an Industrial Engineering Intern in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This was a life-changing experience for me because Milwaukee is 8 hours away from my home and I knew once I got up there, I wouldn’t be coming home until the end of summer.

I knew nobody in Wisconsin when arriving, so I really wanted to branch out, meet people, and have the best possible experience. This was a very similar situation to my freshman year at Ohio University because I knew I had to get out of my comfort zone and meet people.

I wanted to have the best experience in Milwaukee in and out of the workplace. Their winters are brutal up there with the snow and temperature, so in the summer, they sure know how to have fun in the outdoors. I have never seen so many beach volleyball courts in my life. My first couple games of volleyball were rough because I couldn’t even hit the ball over the net. I could tell that people were thinking, “Get this Ohio kid off my volleyball court!”

Not only did my beach volleyball skills improve, but my engineering skills also improved. I had a really great manager who got me involved in projects that applied many things learned in classes here at OU. This internship just validates my passion for Industrial Engineering and I cant wait for the future.

Finally, at the end of the summer, the Pittsburgh Pirates came to town and played the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park.

Pirates at Miller Park

Everybody who knows me knows I am a huge Pittsburgh sports fan. This was really cool to see my favorite team play at a different ballpark than I am used to in Pittsburgh. This summer was one to remember.

Optimization in Senior Design

Melinda Nelson

Melinda Nelson,
Senior, Industrial and Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 8 April 2016

The biggest project of many senior engineering students is Senior Capstone. This is a course where all your knowledge and experience are tried out in a real world scenario. Each group has an industry client and is assigned the project the client chooses. I knew that this could be a challenge and a great learning experience for life after college. It has definitely met both of those expectations!

The team I am on was assigned a project with Exel/DHL. They run warehouses for customers in various consumer industries. Our task was to create a model that could be used to evaluate existing and new, custom box sizes for packaging their customers’ products.

We created a model to take into account the size of products, boxes and costs involved in using different variations of box sizes. The model consisted of multiple equations that describe the different aspects of the situation we were studying. We set it up to choose optimal box sets based on making the void (empty space) when packing products as small as possible.

This project incorporated so many skills that I had been building throughout my time in college! Not only were skills in software and coursework utilized but also soft skills like presenting ideas and logistics and time management skills for working on the project while continuing to take a full load of courses! It also challenged and helped me to build on my leadership and motivational skills when working in a group. It was definitely a challenge working with conflicting schedules, deadlines, client demands and having to learn on the job.

Our project was to search for optimal box sets but the biggest takeaway for me was learning to create optimal team work and time management when working. These are huge takeaways that can be used in everyday life for years to come! Even though it had its stressful times, overall Senior Capstone was a great learning experience I truly enjoyed.