Category Archives: Mechanical Engineering

Snowboarding in Colorado

Quinn Mitchell

Quinn Mitchell,
Junior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 3 December 2017

Around 5:00 pm on Friday, December 15, the last day of finals week this semester, my friends and I will start the 21-hour drive from Athens, Ohio to Keystone, Colorado. One of these friends is a fellow engineering ambassador, Dan Riordan.

Once we get to Keystone, we will be skiing and snowboarding in the Rocky Mountains. This will be the third year that we take such a trip. It will also be the third year that I spend much of November and all of December impatiently waiting to be in Colorado. Although it does make it slightly harder to concentrate on studying for finals, this snowboarding trip is a great way to end fall semester.

I learned to snowboard in eighth grade, and since then I have tried to spend as much time on the mountain as possible. This became especially important once I got to college; spending a day or two where I’m only concerned about how much snow is falling each day is a great stress relief.

Snowboarding trips like this one are also rewarding because I get to notice myself getting better every year.

If the past two paragraphs have not already convinced you that I’m a big fan of snowboarding, I suggest you ask any of my friends, roommates, or classmates if I have offered to teach them to snowboard. I doubt you’ll get too many “no” responses.

Staying Healthy

Emily Morello

Emily Morello,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 19 November 2017

Based on my previous blog posts, it might have become apparent that I am very into health and fitness. When I am not studying or doing school work, I love learning about ways to stay healthy and looking at new workouts. Don’t get me wrong, I do other things in my free time such as hangout with friends, watch movies, go out to eat, but health is my passion.

I started getting into health when I was in high school. I knew about the rumors of the “freshman 15” and did not want that to happen to me. Because of this, I started doing my homework on nutrition and healthy habits. I grew up playing a lot of sports and always loved food. I have a HUGE appetite, so did not want to deprive myself and instead be mindful of what I eat.

After much trial and error from healthy “diets” and workouts, I have found the best solution for myself. I listen to my body every day and fuel myself with my cravings by eating healthy alternatives to certain foods. For example, if I want a milkshake, I might make a banana and almond milk smoothie. It may sound gross at first, but to me it is delicious. I have learned to live this way instead of trying to “diet”. It works way better and helps me stop craving unhealthy food.

For exercising, it is pretty much the same thing. I try to do something active every day, but it all depends how I feel and what I am in the mood to do. Some days I wake up and my IT band aches from my running injury. For days like this, I don’t kill myself with a hard workout and instead I do an easy yoga practice or go for a walk. Other days I may be in the mood to do something really challenging and will then go to the gym to have a great workout, usually consisting of HIIT exercises.

Health is not only about diet and exercise. It also has to do with getting enough sleep, not stressing out, taking vitamins for your specific deficiencies, and most importantly being happy! Mental health is so important and is sometimes disregarded. I am not a fitness or health expert, nor am I the most in shape or healthiest person. This, however, is my passion and I love incorporating healthy habits in my everyday life.

Biomedical Engineering Society Conference

Quinn Mitchell

Quinn Mitchell,
Junior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 17 October 2017

Last Thursday, I woke up early and tossed my suitcase in my car and drove to Columbus. I was on my way to the airport to fly to Phoenix, Arizona to attend the 2017 Biomedical Engineering Society Conference. I was going to the conference to present the research I had been performing in Dr. Monica Burdick’s lab.

When I got to Phoenix, I immediately headed to the hotel to quickly unpack, change, and head to the conference. After signing in, I skimmed the program and decided to join some other members of my lab in lecture session focusing on prosthetics. This was an extremely interesting session and a great example of how biomedical research can improve people’s life.

After this session, my labmates and I visited a few more presentations before eventually heading to dinner. We spent most of that night networking with other biomedical engineering students and professors.

BMES Conference

Much like Thursday, I spent Friday listening to experts in the biomedical engineering field discuss their cutting-edge work. The best thing about the conference was that I was not just listening to these speakers, but I also had the opportunity to have conversations with them. It was a great experience to meet researchers whose work I had read about in journal articles.

Around 8:00 am on Saturday morning, it was my turn to present on my work with plasma-based cervical cancer therapies. This would be the first time that I had ever given a talk to a room full of engineering professors and students from universities around the country. The presenters that went before me had done a fantastic job, so I felt that I had a high standard to meet.

I gave my presentation, fielded a few questions, and sat back down. I was relieved that I had managed to talk at a reasonable speed throughout the whole ordeal, something that I struggle with in normal conversation.

I flew home Saturday afternoon, and except for a few flight delays, it was a great trip!

Making Time for Yoga

Emily Morello

Emily Morello,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 16 October 2017

No matter how busy I am, I always try to do something active for a part of my day. One of my favorite types of exercise is yoga. I have been practicing yoga since I was a sophomore in high school.

I used to run track freshman and sophomore year of high school, but I had to quit due to horrible pains in my left knee and along my IT band. I started going to physical therapy and they recommended yoga. Ever since then, I have been hooked.

Not only is yoga a great exercise, but it also is great for your mind. It requires pure concentration to receive the best results. There are many types of yoga: vinyasa, yin, hot yoga, slow flow, power, etc. My favorite is hot power yoga, but I must be in the mood to work hard because it is a challenging workout.

I love practicing yoga first thing in the morning; it is a great way to start my day Yoga calms my mind every day and helps me stretch and strengthen my muscles.

Another reason I love it so much is because yoga is meant for all age levels and can be done anywhere. I personally like studios the most, but as a college student with limited funds, I can only go to studio classes every occasionally. Normally I practice in my bedroom by watching “Yoga with Adrianne” on YouTube. I definitely recommend it if you want to start practicing!

Studying in Greece

Emily Morello

Emily Morello,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 11 September 2017

This past summer was probably the best summer I have ever had. The first month of May consisted of traveling to Greece with my best friend for a study abroad internship. This happened through the OU Global Consulting Program which Dr. Costas Vassiliadis, from the electrical engineering department, supervised.

It was an incredible experience that I will never forget. The program was two weeks long and took place in the city of Thessaloniki. Thessaloniki is located in the upper peninsula of Greece right on the coast. The city is beautiful!

During the day, all the students met at the American College of Thessaloniki (ACT) to work on our consulting projects. We were split up into groups of 5-6 students and 2-3 of those students were from the ACT. Each group was pared with a different company to consult.

My team was pared with the Chalkidiki Flour Mills. This company is a global flour mill company that produces specialty flour blends that they ship out to other places. My team had to implement a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) program for the company. It was a great learning opportunity.

Other than the project, we had socials, special dinners, and traveled to other cities in the free time. I also loved shopping in the city after class. Another great opportunity was being able to tour monasteries and Mount Olympus on the weekend.

After the two weeks were over, my friend Gabby and I island hopped for an extra week. We visited Ios, Santorini, and Mykonos.

Ios was incredible because it was a mountainous island that a lot of college students liked to travel to. It was cheaper than the other islands, so we stayed for three nights. We did not want to leave. We stayed at a family-owned hotel that had a gorgeous view on top of a cliff. One of our favorite things about Ios was renting ATVs to ride around the island on.

Santorini was our next stop, but we only stayed for one night. Santorini is located on a cliff and it was not what I expected at all! When looking at the city from the water, it looked like little bird nests were located on the peaks of the mountains. As we moved in closer, we were amazed by the beautiful architecture and colors of the buildings. I loved this city, but it was very touristy.

Our last stop was Mykonos before heading to Athens. Mykonos was my favorite island. We met students from the University of Barcelona that hung out with us every day. I think being with a fun group made this island the best. Mykonos is very hilly with a beautiful town located on the shore. I loved all the white
buildings and beautiful beaches. I definitely want to travel back to this island.

Athens was our final destination. Dr. V was our tour guide since he lives near Athens. He showed us the Parthenon, monuments, and the museum.

Studying abroad was probably one of the best decisions I have ever made.

Summer Road Trip

Quinn Mitchell

Quinn Mitchell,
Junior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 3 September 2017

This past summer I spent a little more than a month on a road trip with one of my best friends, Keegan. The point of the trip was to explore as much of this country and its national parks as we could. We visited North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado.

While in these states, we got to see some of the most incredibly beautiful natural landscapes that the United States has to offer. In between campsites, we spent a little bit of time in cities. We were mostly visiting old friends who had moved across the country. These friends include Ohio University alumni, old roommates, and Keegan’s parents’ friends from college. It was an awesome opportunity to see people we hadn’t seen in far too long. It was also nice to sleep in a bed every once in a while.

The following are some pictures from the month on the road:

Summer Road Trip

Keegan and I are standing in the hollowed base of a redwood tree, which towered far above us.

Summer Road Trip

This picture was taken as we canoed toward Mount Moran in the Grand Teton National Park.

Summer Road Trip

This is a long exposure of the night sky over Yosemite Valley. You can see El Capitan and Half Dome.

Summer Road Trip

It was extremely humbling to be so close to wildlife, especially a massive bison. It’s a very effective reminder that humans are by no means the biggest animal in the woods.

Travelling to so many awesome places gave me a whole new appreciation for our massive country. It was absolutely one of the most rewarding experiences of my summer. I cannot wait to take another trip like this one.

Getting Outdoors Around Athens

Matt McKenzie

Matt McKenzie,
Junior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 25 March 2017

With the warm weather of spring just around the corner, I look forward to spending some more time outdoors when possible. Anytime I find free time between classes and my work in engineering extracurriculars, I like taking some time to get outside and enjoy some fresh air. Whether I go play soccer, hike, or donate my time to organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, being outdoors to me is relaxing and sometimes needed with the pressure of school.

One of the recent activities I was able to enjoy was exploring Sells Park. I had never been there before and I ended up hiking around for about two-and-a-half hours, exploring all the neat outcrops and hilltop views. Growing up in Pittsburgh, I am quite used to hilly terrain and I have always liked climbing my way to the top of the hills, and just looking out over everything below.

The other thing that I try to get involved in at least once a week is intramural soccer. I grew up playing soccer and had played all through high school, but it was something I had to give up coming to college, so I enjoy the times I am able to get back out on the field for a little.

As I was an intramural soccer referee my freshman year, I met many people who still contact me to play with them to this day. The best part about that is I don’t have to worry about starting a team or whether enough people will show up to the games, if I’m able to I can just show up and play.

For me, just getting outdoors is fun and relaxing so with the warmer weather to come, I look forward to spending a little more time doing things outside without having to worry about freezing while I’m at it.