Category Archives: Mechanical Engineering

Graduation and Post-Grad

Erin Tracy

Erin Tracy,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 12 April 2015

My first blog post as an engineering ambassador was written exactly seven months ago during the first week of my senior year, September 12, 2015. I was in the midst of “last firsts” and talked about my disbelief about being a senior and desire to make the most of my last year at OU. Now, as I write my final post, I’m in the late stages of wrapping up projects and presentations, attending end-of-the-year banquets, and preparing for graduation. It really does seem crazy how fast the last seven months have flown by.

After graduation, I will be spending ten months to two years in South Asia as a missionary and also working for a non-profit organization. I’m so excited to be a part of something bigger than myself and to keep the same mindset that has been drilled into my head by the Russ College to “create for good.” I plan to come back from my time overseas with a new outlook on people, which I think will also serve me well in a career in engineering. Attending graduate school, going straight into the workforce, or staying in full-time ministry is a decision I will have to make as my next step…but I won’t think too hard about that quite yet!

To end with some advice to incoming freshmen or underclassmen, get involved early and take advantage of every opportunity at OU. Join organizations to build both personal and professional skills, make lasting connections with people, and push yourself outside of your comfort zone. College is the time to try new things, fail, and ultimately grow.

Accepting a Job to Start My Career

Justin Lumbard

Justin Lumbard,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 29 March 2015

As a graduating senior, one of the more daunting tasks that I have had to do is interview for jobs and really decide what direction I wanted to go with my career as I finish. So far, it has been a natural progression from one school to another, but now that I have some choices, it makes things a bit more interesting.

I have had several day-long interviews with companies, which are an exhausting experience. I also had been thinking about attending Ohio University for a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. Ohio’s program is becoming really excellent and it would make for a really good transition into the “real world”.

Recently, however, I had an interview with Honda R&D in Raymond, Ohio. They extended me an offer for a Suspension Test engineering position which I was glad to accept just a few days ago. Now that that weight is off my shoulders, I plan to finish out my projects well and head to Haiti for my final senior design project.

Enjoying My Golf Class

Justin Lumbard

Justin Lumbard,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 8 March 2015

This semester, because I am graduating, I decided to take a few classes that are more relaxing rather than doing more engineering work. One of my classes is Fundamentals of Golf.

As it turns out, going to the driving range three times a week for an hour is a very relaxing pastime. We go Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and use Ohio’s great driving range for an hour and as many golf balls as you can hit (or at least as many as I have been able to get through). To make matters better, I have some other friends in the same class so we are able to relax and get a break from engineering.

Thinking back, I wish I would have scheduled more of these classes as they are instructed very well and so far, my swing has improved. Unfortunately for my game, it would be impossible to get any worse at this sport, but as soon as the weather warms up I’m sure I will be able to go out and enjoy 9 holes on Ohio University’s course.

Working as Part of a Team

Erin Tracy

Erin Tracy,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 24 February 2015

As a senior engineering student, I am no stranger to working in a team environment. There are few things I do in a normal day that do not involve other people in some way. From being a member of the marching band and leader of a Bible study to working with my Senior Design group to giving high school students tours as an ambassador, other people are always involved.

Engineering students are taught right off the bat freshman year that the discipline requires learning to work well with a team. The first project I can remember my freshman year was in ME 101 where we were randomly assigned teammates to complete a design problem. I recall having moments of frustration as well as gratitude with members of my group, and I learned the necessity of patience and perseverance. If something went wrong (and things definitely went wrong), we had to work together to figure out a solution. These group projects continued every year in classes such as Controls, Machine Design, Computer Aided Design (CAD), and especially Senior Design.

I’ve grown a lot in my ability to function as a team member and to be a leader within the team. Although working with other people to accomplish a goal is hard work and can be frustrating at times, it is an essential skill to master for life as an engineer after graduation. The experience I’ve gained during my time here at Ohio University will serve me well not only in my career, but in life as well.

Learning about Alternative Energy

Erin Tracy

Erin Tracy,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 23 January 2015

There will always be a huge need for energy around the world, which is why many companies are working to find alternative energy sources to meet the increasing demands. Coal and natural gas are most commonly used in the United States and will most likely continue to be for the near future. But these types of finite resources are dwindling, and for this reason there is an ever-growing need for renewables.

I have been studying renewable energy on and off for the past four years of college, starting with my ME 101 research paper on photovoltaic cells freshman year. I enjoyed learning about this topic then, and continue to expand on it now in my senior year with my Senior Design project and energy management technical elective class.

My Senior Design team has been working all year on a system to bring electricity to two schools in Cambodia to power laptops and a printer for teachers to write up lesson plans and worksheets for their students, using solar energy. Our hope is that the teachers in these schools will be able to provide a better educational experience for the students by the use of our system. We are thrilled to use our skills as mechanical engineers to develop a system that will bring technology to students who have never seen such.

The courses I’ve taken and projects I’ve been involved with during my time at OU have definitely heightened my interest in the field of renewable energy. I’m sure I’ll find the energy management class I’m taking this semester to be interesting. I hope to learn more about the current energy demands and how alternative methods such as solar and wind power could be utilized in the future.

Being a Learning Community Leader

Justin Lumbard

Justin Lumbard,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH dd Month 2014

Back in Spring Semester, I was approached about being a Learning Community Leader. I only had a brief idea of what that actually meant, but my advisor, Dr. Bob, told me that he thought I would be good at it and that it would be a good opportunity for me. So, late last summer, I was trained as a student leader for the Learning Community program. This program seeks to give students a head start in some of their studies as well as the social aspect of being in college. It is a great forum for meeting new people that have similar interests.

This semester, I was the Learning Community Leader for a group of undecided engineers under Dr. Masel as the faculty leader. Because they were undecided students, we were able to show them the different engineering disciplines that they could decide to study. Beyond that though, I believe the new students were able to get a great head start in meeting other people and get acclimated to the new environment that they would be in for the next four to five years.

Personally, this experience was a great experience for me also. I was able to get exposure to helping plan classes and events that the students were able to go to, such as a hockey game and a night of jazz at one of the local places on campus. I also was able to lead study sessions to help students when they had upcoming exams or to review past assignments.

Finally, though, I think we all had fun. The classes were informative for the students but they were never dry or boring. We were able to do projects in class that were engineering related but also helped develop team working skills and friendships. One example of this was the class where we built towers out of simple sheets of paper and masking tape.

Learning Community

The objective was to build a tower to hold as much weight as possible with as few sheets of paper. We had a scoring system, but one team was able to build a tower that held every book, as well as 50 pounds of paper, that we had in the class room.

Paper Tower

The learning community experience was a great growing opportunity for myself, as well as the students who took the class.

Spending Time at the Dog Park

Justin Lumbard

Justin Lumbard,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 24 November 2014

As busy as engineering can be, it is important to make sure to enjoy the little parts about college that really make it the experience that it should be. At the end of last year, I adopted a puppy (Cookie) because I enjoy the company and attention a canine friend gives you at the end of the long days studying.

Cookie

Recently, I discovered a really nice dog park right on campus that I often take Cookie to. She is the kind of dog that never actually gets tired and can outrun almost any other dog that she has ever come across. Fortunately for me, there are almost always several other dogs at the park that will attempt to wear her out, and when there are not, Cookie and I have been trying to learn the obstacle course as a sort of game for her.

Cookie

It is always good to have a nice sunny day to remind engineers what the outside world is actually like this late in the semester. Having a dog while in college can be stressful, but the company is absolutely worth it in the end.

Cookie

This time at the dog park, the dogs were in prime form. I hadn’t seen them run so much in such a small amount of time. Being the engineer that I am, one of these days I will rig up a GPS to Cookie’s collar to see how far they actually run while they are there.