Category Archives: Industrial and Systems Engineering

Preparing for Life after Graduation

Esteban Rodriguez

Esteban Rodriguez,
Senior, Industrial and Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 7 February 2016

My four years at Ohio University have almost come to a close and I am now in my last semester. Even though these four years have been amazing, I have to prepare for what my life is going to be in 3 months.

After thinking about my plans for several months, I have decided to pursue a career in industry and not to apply for graduate school. The oil industry had always been my passion; however given the fact that the price of oil has declined to record levels, I started looking at other industries.

The industry that has caught most of my attention has been the software industry, especially business intelligence, analytics and big data. My current plan is to find a job in a company that works with the applications of this type of software.

In order to find a job in the industry that I want, I have been using several resources that are very effective. While being an international student, finding a job in the United States is not easy since it requires sponsorship. However, I do think that the resources that I have used have given me several opportunities to at least introduce myself to the company.

Among the resources that I have used, the one that has helped me the most is my network. Since I was a sophomore, I knew that I had to build a network and I did so through my student organizations. This network has benefited me in getting interviews, assisting me through the hiring process and on top of that provided me with an even larger network. I will keep working on my job search during the next couple of months hoping to have something lined up for after graduation!

Learning How to Crochet

Melinda Nelson

Melinda Nelson,
Senior, Industrial and ,p>Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 22 January 2016

I have found that early in the semester is when homework hasn’t hit full swing, there can be some real time to relax after class. This year I have managed to enjoy several relaxing activities in the afternoons and evenings when classes are finished. I have done some reading (that wasn’t in a textbook), listened to podcasts and taken time to work out. I have also expanded my hobbies, and have been able to unwind with my new favorite past time: crocheting!

Right before winter break, my roommate, Brittany, taught me how to crochet. I had watched her crocheting a lot since she had been making scarves and hats for others as Christmas presents. This is Brittany and some of her more recent projects.

Crocheting

She let me have a small ball of her extra yarn and, once I got the hang of the double crochet (that is a crocheting stitch) I went to town! I crocheted until the yarn was gone and had a nice scarf–my first project complete!

Brittany gave me “crochet starter kit” including several crochet hooks, yarn needles and a pair of scissors for my birthday. Shortly after that, I crocheted a hat that I gave to a cousin, and began looking for my next project. I went to Jo-Ann Fabric with Brittany over break to look for ideas and yarn. Here is the result of that trip:

Crocheting

Don’t worry, Brittany thought I looked pretty ridiculous as well! I went in with the idea of making a blanket because I have enough hats and scarves. Making a blanket takes a lot of yarn!

I began my blanket the week before coming back to classes here in Athens. I have been able to work on it here and there after class, which has been great. It is nice to be able to chill a little before homework starts coming in regularly. The following pictures show my progress on the blanket so far:

Crocheting
Crocheting
Crocheting

The cool thing about crocheting is that it is easy to find patterns and demo videos on the internet so you can learn new stitches and designs very easily. Crocheting wasn’t very hard to learn and it’s one of those things you can easily work on for a little while and come back to later. It has been a great way to relax and I am so glad that I picked it up as a hobby. These first few weeks of school have allowed me time to relax and unwind…many balls of yarn!

Taking Time Out to Cook

Alexa Hoynacke

Alexa Hoynacke,
Junior, Industrial and Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 13 January 2016

The start of the new semester is always a very fun and exciting time of the year. It’s a fresh start in classes and it’s nice to see everyone after being gone for about a month because of winter break.

One of my favorite things to do once it starts to get cold and snowy out is to cook. I love to cook all year round, but I absolutely love cooking in the winter because of the vegetables and foods that are in season in the winter. My mom loves to cook as well, so I was lucky to grow up in a household that valued the family time and creativity that always surrounded dinner time. Since being away at school I have tried to continue the same tradition of cooking at my house and sharing meals with friends.

A few of my favorite meals to make in this cold weather are soups, slow cooker meals, and hearty meals that I can keep during the week. Last week I made a very hearty black bean soup and chicken paella. It has been an adjustment figuring out how to fit cooking into my hectic schedule, but one of my favorite pastimes is taking a few hours once or twice a week to make a home cooked meal.

When it comes to cooking I am pretty lucky because in Athens we have an amazing farmers market that runs all year round. It’s on Wednesday and Saturday and definitely a thing to check out. They make it very easy for me to find fresh in-season foods such as root vegetables or locally grown foods.

When I don’t feel like cooking or just don’t have the time I love going uptown to places such as Zoe’s, Sol, or Jackie O’s. These are all amazing places to get great dishes, usually made from locally-grown foods.

Leadership Biography

Esteban Rodriguez

Esteban Rodriguez,
Senior, Industrial and Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 15 December 2015

This past semester I took a very special class that is offered only to a select group of engineering students: the Robe Leadership Institute. It was based on developing our leadership skills and also to get to know some of our most successful alumni. We had speakers once or twice a week and we would learn from their experiences of being leaders in the professional world.

On top of that, we had projects such as writing a leadership biography of our favorite leader. For this particular project I decided to write about Juan Manuel Santos, the current President of my country, Colombia.

This project consisted of doing in-depth research on this leader and it was broken down into 3 different parts. The first part included an introduction of the project and the leader, and also a historical overview of all the events that were important in our leader’s life.

The second part was dedicated to our leader’s leadership style and special traits that helped him become successful. This part was very important in order to understand the methodology of this person.

Finally, the third part was a connection between us and the leader–how we could apply his traits and styles to our particular situations.

This project required a lot of time, but I learned a lot from it since it made me understand the most important person in my country to a great extent. In addition, I could comprehend some of the most relevant historical events that make our country what it is today. Finally, I would say that this class has been the one that has prepared me the most for the professional world.

Health Care and Engineering

Paige Preske

Paige Preske,
Senior, Industrial and Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 14 December 2015

As an Industrial Engineer, you can work in a hospital setting doing a variety of things. Everything from inventory control, setting time standards, and developing strategies for patient scheduling can be a part of the job description. I was interested in working in a hospital setting so I made Health Care my PCA (Professional Concentration Area) to specialize my Industrial & Systems Engineering degree.

To date I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the health care classes at Ohio University. I found the classes to be very interesting and relevant to the times. This semester I took HLTH 2170 Health System Organization, Financing, and Delivery, which was very helpful in my PCA.

The class was centered on the U.S. health care system and covered the trends in health care as well as future perspectives against historical background. In addition to trends, we learned about the key components in the health care system: patients, providers, and the stakeholders. This defined health care as a system by recognizing the components and how they relate, which allows me to view and improve the system as an Industrial and Systems Engineer.

The awesome part of this PCA is how relevant it is to the times. Tune into the Presidential debates and you’ll hear plenty of healthcare questions and what direction our country needs/is moving in. Besides health care, the tie-in of insurance and benefit packages are another hot topic within the field.

Knowing that I’m learning and moving towards a field that is so prevalent makes the final semester of college so much more exciting and meaningful.

Project in Industrial Computer Simulation

Melinda Nelson

Melinda Nelson,
Senior, Industrial and Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 19 November 2015

The semester is quickly winding down, and for a lot of courses, that means projects are quickly coming due as well. Some classes and projects are definitely more enjoyable than others, but one class that has pleasantly surprised me is ISE 4130, Industrial Computer Simulation.

As ISE’s we study processes and how people and parts interact with them in different situations. The great thing about this is that it is super interactive. The downside to studying processes is that you cannot always be on location somewhere watching and recording what’s going on. This is where simulation comes in.

Simulation is a tool that can be used to model processes of all kinds on the computer. It can model anything from construction sites to package delivery centers to hospitals. The usefulness of simulation does not just exist in the fact that we are able to model processes and events on the computer; the real key is that we can predict outcomes based on changing events like unexpected order arrivals, patient emergencies and changes in demand.

There are several simulation software packages that model things with different capabilities. In my class we use Arena and Simio. Arena is a 2-D simulator while Simio has 3-D animation and 360 degree viewing capabilities. It’s cool how customizable it can be. Below is the animation of a transporter simulation I modeled; as you can see, you can have a lot of fun with the animations!

Transporter Simulation

Most models we have simulated thus far have introduced us to modeling operators, manufacturers, parts and different types of services like restaurants and banks. Most recently, we learned how to model transporters (operators or vehicles that actually carry parts or products).

Our final project for the class is in Simio and for that assignment we are modeling a real-life assembly process of an automobile headlight manufacturer and experimenting with operator job assignments. Though it can be challenging at times, I said before that simulation surprised me; the surprise is that I really enjoy it a lot!

Entrepreneurship Class

Alexa Hoynacke

Alexa Hoynacke,
Junior, Industrial and Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 13 November 2015
Last semester, I decided to pursue an Entrepreneurship Certificate. This certificate is offered through the Ohio University Center for Entrepreneurship.

Currently, in my Introduction to Entrepreneurship class (MGT 3700), we are doing a group project where we create our own start-up company or social enterprise. My group and I choose to do a social enterprise. Our company is called Paddle Home. Last summer, one of our group members started this company on his own and we are continuing to build onto his original idea.

Paddle Home

Paddle Home is a non-profit social enterprise that empowers young adults to raise money and awareness for affordable housing through volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and participating in a cross-country kayaking adventure journey down the Mississippi River.

Kayak

Since this is just a class project, we are starting small and not trying to overshoot with our idea. If we had more time and resources we would hope to expand Paddle Home to be more than just a summer trip down the Mississippi. We would do community outreach activities about outdoor education for all age levels. We also had an idea to install solar panel charging systems along the Mississippi at campgrounds to make camping and kayaking more accessible.

In this class we are taught about revenue models, markets, key partners, cost structure and other business model aspects.

As of right now I am not sure what I want to do with my certificate. I hope to pursue an MBA in the near future but I’m not entirely sure if I want to start my own company. Regardless of whether or not I want to be an entrepreneur, the certificate has taught me so much about the business side of a company, and it made me realize I really love the people aspect of it.

This has been a great experience and has opened my eyes to the many opportunities engineers have in the business world.