Category Archives: Mechanical Engineering

Graduation and What’s Next

Alyson Meister

Alyson Meister,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 26 April 2016

Yesterday I took my last final of my undergrad career and today I picked up my cap and gown. It’s starting to set in that my four years at OU is coming to an end and I will soon be starting the next chapter of my life.

I am excited for my family to come down this weekend for graduation. My paternal grandparents, father and brother are all graduates of OU as well and this will be the first we will all be on campus together, and likely the last. I am so thankful for my Bobcat family I have created during my time here, but even more so that I have a family of Bobcats to share my experiences with.

After graduation I will be spending May at home with family, going to a number of weddings and graduation parties and playing soccer with my dog, Jürgen.

Dog

At the first Engineering Ambassador meeting in the fall we had to introduce ourselves and share something from our bucket list. My bucket list item was that I wanted to backpack through Europe and so for the first two and a half weeks of June I will be doing just that. I am travelling with my cousin and her boyfriend and will be visiting Paris, Rome and Barcelona.

When I return I will have one week to get all of my things packed up and ready to move to Wisconsin. I will begin working full time for Epic Systems Corporation in Madison starting July 5th.

I’m excited to start anew, but nervous at the same time. I know no one in the area, I have only visited the area twice (once for my interview and once to go apartment hunting) and my hometown is a solid seven hour drive away. However, I am always up for a challenge and I am looking forward to using my skills to create for good.

Senior Design Demo Day

Katie Logue

Katie Logue,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 4 April 2016

With graduation just around the corner, I really can’t believe how quickly my senior year has gone by. There are so many things left to do, but I know the next four weeks will be over in the blink of an eye.

This past weekend, my senior design class presented our final projects to other students, faculty, mentors, parents, and members of the community. We call it Demo Day, and it’s the culmination of all the hard work, blood, sweat, and tears we’ve put into our projects over the past two semesters.

I may be a little biased, but I think our team’s demonstration and presentation went perfectly. Our booth was a big hit with the attendees. Our project was to create a custom tricycle for a five-year-old girl named Fiona, who has agenesis of the corpus callosum. This condition affects the ability of the two hemispheres of her brain to communicate with each other. Due to this condition, Fiona needs physical therapy to improve her strength, coordination, and motor skills. The tricycle we created for her can be used independently for therapy, and it can also be attached to her mother’s bike so that the entire family can ride together on the bike path.

ALT

Our Demo Day booth, with our actual project setup, tri-fold board displaying our needs statement and project pictures, and laptops with a slideshow of photos, and before and after videos of Fiona riding her old trike and her new trike.

We were so grateful that Fiona and her family could join us on Demo Day. Fiona is such an adorable, happy little girl, and she absolutely loves her new trike. She kept asking members of our group to take her for a ride around the building.

After about half an hour of pulling Fiona around, we proceeded to the auditorium to present our project. I was fortunate to have the responsibility of presenting for our team. When I flipped to a slide with a picture of Fiona’s trike, she got so excited, pointing and laughing. I had to pause my presentation to let the laughter of the audience die down.

Then, I asked her father to say a few words about what the project means to their family, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. This project has been so rewarding, and Saturday was the perfect way to wrap it all up. It was incredibly cool to be able to share this experience with so many people.

Senior Design group

Group photo of our team on Demo Day with Fiona, her brother Griffin, and parents Megan and Lenny.

Now that Demo Day is over, it’s like we’re finally able to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s unbelievably bittersweet. As excited as I am for the past four years of school and one year of co-op work to pay off, I know I’ll miss this school very much.

Athens will always be home to me, and I wouldn’t trade being a bobcat for the world. Every late night studying for finals, every frustrating assignment I had to do, and every paper I had to bribe myself with coffee to finish was worth it. I feel like I’ve made the most of my time here, but part of me wishes I had more time.

I think as I look back, I’m realizing that it’s the people I’ve met here that mean the most. I’ve met some of my very best friends over the past five years, and I’m so grateful I was given the opportunity to be a part of the Russ College community.

Alyson Meister

Alyson Meister,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 15 March 2016

Having spring break in the middle of the semester allowed for a much needed refresher and time to prepare for my last few weeks and beyond.

For the first weekend, I went to visit a friend (and former ambassador) in Chicago.

Pizza

We ate deep dish, explored the city and I pretended I was on House Hunters as we looked at apartments for her. The weather was amazing and the city stole a piece of my heart. I was sad when it came time to leave, but I knew I would see it again soon. Below is a picture I took of the Chicago skyline from the North Avenue Beach.

Chicago Skyline

After my weekend trip, I spent three days at home with the flu. Being sick on break was not fun, but at least it happened when I didn’t have school and work to hinder my recovery.

I’ve accepted a job at Epic Systems Corporation in Madison, WI, so on Thursday, my parents and I drove up to explore the area and look for apartments (House Hunters Round 2). The drive up was an adventure since our GPS kept taking us off the highway and it took all day to get there when it should have only been 7 hours, but I got to see the Chicago skyline once again.

Other than my interview, I had never visited Madison so there was a lot of backtracking, trying to figure out the city layout and where to get the best cheese curds.

There are four main lakes around Madison and the heart of downtown is nestled between the two biggest ones, Lakes Mendota and Monona. Even though it was March, the lakes were still frozen enough to skate and walk on as you can see below.

Lake Mendota

The trip was successful and I now have an apartment lined up for when I begin work in July. Visiting Madison got me excited for the future, but also made me realize I don’t have much time left to enjoy Athens. I better go get started on that Athens bucket list…

Zamboni Driver

Adam Robertson

Adam Robertson,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 15 March 2016

With so many exciting things happening this year, one of the most fun things I have done is to work at Bird Ice Arena as a Zamboni driver. Like every young boy playing hockey, I always wanted to get the chance to drive the Zamboni around the ice rink. Even as a senior at Ohio University, driving the Zamboni was still on the life bucket list.

Luckily for me I was able to pull a few strings and become an official Zamboni driver here at school. As a Zamboni driver, it is my job not only to maintain and repair the ice, but also to repair any hockey or ice equipment that needs it.

Even though engineering is a difficult degree that can be time consuming, I would highly recommend doing some part time work in college. I wish I had this job my freshman year because it is not only a good way to get some extra money, but it is also a good way to meet some new people. I have personally made some great friends at Bird, and it hasn’t even been a year since I started!

Whether you are doing research with a professor or working as a Zamboni driver at Bird, having a part time job at school is great experience!

ME Senior Design: Adaptive Tricycle

Katie Logue

Katie Logue,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 28 February 2016

Since Spring Break is beginning this week, a lot of students are getting the opportunity to relax, go on vacation, and maybe even start to see the light at the end of the tunnel for this semester. However, for the senior mechanical engineering class, it’s crunch time.

All year long, we put our blood, sweat, and tears into our senior design projects, and it’s finally time that all our planning and designing pays off, and we get to actually make something. I feel extremely lucky with the project I’ve had the privilege of working on this year. My team is working with a local family and a physical therapist who works for the university in order to create an adaptive tricycle for an incredibly sweet five-year-old girl named Fiona.

Fiona has agenesis of the corpus callosum, which prevents the two hemispheres of her brain from properly communicating with each other. This causes her to have difficulty developing muscle strength and coordination. Fiona has recently begun riding a tricycle for therapy, but there are many features on her existing trike that needed improved, and that’s where we stepped in.

We decided to purchase an existing bicycle that properly fits Fiona and convert it to a tricycle by attaching a two-wheeled rear axle. We’re also modifying several other parts to make the device more adaptable to Fiona’s specific needs. We plan to create custom shaped handlebars, add a more comfortable seat, include interchangeable backrests, and design pedals that will help keep her feet in place as she rides.

Another cool but super-challenging aspect of our design is that the trike can be towed behind an adult bicycle, so that Fiona can use it not just for therapy, but for a recreational activity with her family as well. Below is a 3D CAD model our team has created to demonstrate our design.

Adaptive Tricycle Design

I think our senior design course is especially exciting because the projects we complete as a class aren’t theoretical. They’re very real projects for very real people, and it’s so rewarding to be able to use your engineering education to positively influence someone’s life in such a huge way. We’ll be continuing construction over Spring Break, and hopefully we will be able to deliver the final product to Fiona and her parents within the next few weeks.

Creating a Motion-Sensing Alarm Clock

Adam Robertson

Adam Robertson,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 24 February 2016

With Spring Break ahead and midterms behind, it’s now time to relax and finish up some of this semester’s projects. This semester I am taking a class called Mechatronics. This class is by far one of the most interesting and fun classes I have taken in college.

Each student must use an Arduino microcontroller to make some sort of device that completes a task. Since I have been hitting the snooze button in the morning too much recently, I decided to make a motion sensor alarm clock that will not stop buzzing until I walk out of my room.

After project proposals have been completed, we are paired up with a student from the ETM Department who is enrolled in a different class. Their role is to fabricate parts needed for the design using a 3-D printer.

For my alarm clock I will need a housing that is large enough to fit my circuit, microcontroller, and battery pack. I will also need it to have an opening so my motion sensor is able to detect whether or not I am walking out of my room.

In the class, there are a lot of different things that people are designing. Other projects include remote control cars, automatic pet feeders, and even a pneumatic Nerf gun!

I am really looking forward to see everyone’s project when they are completed. This is going to be a challenging and exciting project that will top off my senior year perfectly.

Alyson Meister

Alyson Meister,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 11 February 2016

In 2010, the Russ College was expanded with the Academic Research Center (better known as “The ARC”) as a place for students to work on projects and homework, have classes, and conduct meetings for various organizations. A lot of the students refer to it as “home” since it seems sometimes that we spend the majority of our time there, we are comfortable there and our friends are usually there too. The ARC is a blessing for us and having our own café to fuel the caffeine addictions is fantastic as well. However, sometimes I forget that life exists outside the outer edge of West Green so I have been seeking to take in as much of the beautiful campus as I can before I graduate in April.

I have been exploring Athens, trying to find different places to study, grade papers or read and I have a few favorite places for each activity.

One of my favorite places is Front Room Café on the fourth floor of Baker Center. It is actually where I am writing this blog post! It’s a good place to meet up with people or work on homework. I love to come to Front Room on Wednesday and Friday nights for open mic and have done so since my freshman year!

Front Room Fireplace

There’s a fire going right now which is keeping me warm on this 22º day!

Another one of my favorite places to do work is the 7th floor, East wing of Alden library. It has one of my favorite views on campus and was recommended to me by my father who used to study there when he was a student, so it makes me feel connected to home! t’s a much quieter place than Front Room, so it’s good for when I really need to focus.

Snowy View from Alden

A picture of the view from the 7th floor East wing of Alden

I also enjoy going to Donkey Coffee on Washington St. (Clearly, I have a coffee addiction.) This is probably my favorite place to grade papers and makes me feel important and like a professor.

Donkey Coffee

Not warm enough to study outside yet

There are several others places I enjoy going to study, but those are the top 3 outside the ARC/Stocker area. It’s important to remember there is a bigger community out there and tons of places to explore on campus and around Athens. When the weather warms up I hope to find some great places to study outside!