Category Archives: Mechanical Engineering

Katie Logue

Katie Logue,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 17 November 2015

As enjoyable as my time here at the Russ College has been, I would be lying if I said there were no days (or endless nights) crammed with homework, meetings, studying, and projects. Engineering school can be stressful, especially when you’re taking on extracurricular activities, group projects, and leadership positions at the same time, so it’s important to take time to step away from the stress and get your mind off of things.

One of my favorite ways to do that is by spending time taking walks with a very special furry friend, Carmen, my nearly two year old miniature goldendoodle. Sometimes just a short jog on the bike path to get out of our apartment does us both a world of good. Even though the weather is getting colder as winter approaches, we try to take advantage of the last few warm days any chance we get. I’ve always loved getting out on the bike path, but it’s even better when I have someone to tag along who enjoys it as much as I do.

I’m so thankful to have Carmen, who never seems to mind when I complain about studying. She’ll stay right by my side, no matter how late I have to stay up to get my homework done. She’s always waiting for me with a smile on her face when I get home from class. She even plays along on Halloween weekend, getting dressed up in costume with me and the rest of my friends.


Getting a dog has been one of the best decisions I’ve made. I was a little worried about the added responsibility of having an animal to take care of during college, but I like to think of her as a friend and not a responsibility. It has been so worth it, and I can’t imagine living in Athens without her.

Rediscovering Soccer

Alyson Meister

Alyson Meister,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 27 October 2015

This was the first year since I was 4 years old that soccer was not a consistent part of my life and to say I miss it would be an understatement. However, I’ve been finding ways to keep the game I love a part of my life. This weekend I finally made it up to a Columbus Crew SC game, which is something I have wanted to do all year.

It was “Ohio University” night at the game, so students got discounted tickets. One of my friends and I drove up to Columbus for the game and my brother and some of his friends were in the same section as us! We hadn’t planned it so it was a nice surprise to spend some time with him as well.

Crew Game

Another thing I’ve been trying to do more this year is read books. My brother gave me a book called Finding the Game by Gwendolyn Oxenham, which I finished at the same time I was starting to play intramural soccer. I mention these together because the book is a personal account of a girl who traveled the world with her boyfriend and two friends looking for pickup soccer games in 29 different countries. Playing with my team makes me feel like I am living that book, but instead of traveling thousands of miles, I just go to the other side of campus.

The majority of the people on my team are engineers, but of different disciplines and cultures. We have kids from Oman, Angola, Spain, China and the United States and although everyone speaks English, most default to their first language when we play. At first I thought it would be difficult to play because of this, but we communicate through the universal language of soccer with passes, claps and high fives. We have won both our games so far (5-1 and 12-1) and I am looking forward to the rest of our games.

Soccer’s ability to break barriers is one of the things I admire most about the sport. There are kids I’ve had many classes with, but had never talked to until we started playing soccer together. This connection not only has affected our social interactions and cultural understanding, but it has enhanced our collaborations as engineers which, to me, is invaluable.

Mechatronics Projects

Katie Logue

Katie Logue,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 18 October 2015

One of my favorite classes this semester has come as a real surprise to me because I honestly didn’t think when I signed up for it that I would enjoy it at all. However, Mechatronics is a required course for mechanical engineering, so I didn’t have much of a choice.

One reason I really like the class is because we’re only in lecture for one hour each week, but we have four hours for lab, and I’ve always been a fan of the more hands-on classes anyway. So far, we’ve done a series of lab activities that have taught us how to use microcontrollers called Arduinos. We get to write the programs on the computer, wire up the circuits, and test our devices.

Now we’re getting to the more interesting part of the class where we get to use what we’ve learned in lab for an actual project. The first project we are doing is an individual project that we were able to choose. For my project, I am creating a jack-o-lantern that lights up and moves when it senses motion. I’m using an infrared motion sensor, color-changing LEDs, a servo motor, and an Arduino. I was able to write the entire program from scratch, and now that I have all of the components working, I just have to solder the connections, and get all of the parts in place before the end of the month.

Another really interesting aspect of this project is that we are collaborating with an ETM class to get some parts for our project created using 3D printing. For my project, my partner is modeling and printing the jack-o-lantern and a base to hold my motor and motion sensor.

I’m really excited to see the finished project and actually be able to take my engineering project and turn it into a cute fall decoration for my apartment. I’m also looking forward to the second project phase of the class, where we work in groups to build a robot and compete against the rest of the class in an obstacle course.

Summer Research Work at Ohio University

Alyson Meister

Alyson Meister,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 2 October 2015

I spent my second summer in Athens this year. Last summer I stayed to take a class and I had a lot of fun, but this year I wanted to get more out of my time here and I did!
Not only did I take a class to get ahead and make my senior year a little easier, I also spent time doing research for a few professors. I worked on two projects over the summer with very different focuses, since I’m not exactly sure where I want to direct my career after graduation.

For one project, I worked with a team of students to design and build a test rig to collect data on an innovative particle capture system. Our system was specifically designed to capture coal fly ash which is typically done by Electrostatic Precipitators (ESPs) which are large, expensive, and require high voltages. This project required a lot of hands-on work in the machining labs, troubleshooting, and collaboration with students and professors.

I also did an independent study project dealing with the material properties of bones. This project was mostly computer-based work and involved writing MATLAB codes and running statistical tests on acquired data. I also completed an abstract for the Biomedical Engineering Society and will be presenting my work at their conference in Tampa, FL next week. This will be my first time presenting individual research work and I am really excited and nervous!

Overall I’d say my second summer in Athens was a success and I gained a broad range of skills and experiences that will benefit me in the future!

Participating in the Robe Leadership Institute

Adam Robertson

Adam Robertson,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 20 September 2015

Well, it’s the beginning of another amazing school year here at Ohio University. It always feels so great coming back to school, especially after a long summer of working. This semester is my first semester as an Engineering Ambassador, so I am really excited for this year.

It is also my first semester being part of the Robe Leadership Institute. The Robe Leadership Institute (RLI) is an awesome class/organization where engineering students participate in lectures with Dr. Bayless and debate the characteristics or roles of a leader. Each student does have to go through an interview process to be able to get in the class. However, I feel it is absolutely worth it.

It’s only been a couple of weeks and the class is already very close with each other. The 17 of us participated in a team-building challenge over at The Ridges the first week of class and it really bonded us together.

Throughout the semester we will get the opportunity to interview many influential people, which include anyone from Professors to CEO’s. I have learned so much on leadership so far and yet we haven’t even interviewed anyone. I would highly recommend this class to every student. Even though this class can be incredibly demanding, the material that I’m learning in this class is not taught in any other class.

Beginning the Job Search

Katie Logue

Katie Logue,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 1 September 2015

Classes and extracurriculars are well underway, and it hasn’t quite sunk in that this is my final Fall semester. My time at Russ College has flown by, and I honestly can’t figure out where the past four years have gone.

This summer I completed my fourth co-op rotation at DuPont in Washington, WV. Although participating in the co-op program that many times delayed my graduation by a year, it was well worth it. I worked in the Mechanical Development Group and gained overall about a year and a half of experience with all kinds of mechanical equipment. I learned so many things that I wouldn’t have necessarily been able to see in a classroom. Now, as I am already beginning my job search for after graduation, I’m truly realizing the value of this experience.

I didn’t realize how time-consuming and stressful applying for jobs could be or just how early in the semester this process would begin. Not only have I spent several hours editing my resume, corresponding with recruiters, and filling out applications, but next I’ll have to find time in my schedule for plant tours and interviews. Although I’m very excited about this next step in my life, it is challenging to stay focused on school and other responsibilities while job hunting.

I know that this will likely be my last stressful semester, and by the time Spring semester arrives, I will have accepted a job offer, my senior design project will be nearing prototype completion, and I will have a much less strenuous course load. Sometimes it’s hard to see very far into the future, but I know all the hard work and responsibility has been worth it, and I will look back on this time one day an miss all these great things that are going on in my life right now. My goal for this year is to embrace every opportunity and truly enjoy my senior year.

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.