Category Archives: Mechanical Engineering

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.

Relaxing with Yoga

Emily Morello

Emily Morello,
Junior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 23 March 2017

One of my favorite hobbies is yoga. I have been practicing yoga since my junior year of high school and do not see myself quitting any time soon. I started going to yoga after I had many knee issues from running track in high school. I had to go to physical therapy for my injuries.

As a long term solution, my therapist recommended that I start stretching more often to relieve tension in my knees. After doing yoga for a month straight, I noticed a huge difference in my flexibility and my knee pain was gone! From then on, I have made it a point to stretch every day and do an actual yoga class at least once a week.

Yoga not only has many physical benefits, it has mental benefits as well. When I am overloaded with school work and start to stress out, yoga always helps me calm down. The main thing I love about it is that it can be as easy or as hard as you want it to be. No matter what the difficulty, I always feel rejuvenated after.

My favorite type of yoga is Vinyasa, which means “to flow”. It is a series of movements that flow together. I particularly like power vinyasa, especially when the room is hot. Hot yoga helps increase flexibility since it warms the muscles. At first, I thought I would not like being stuck in a hot room doing hard yoga poses, but it is actually incredible. I definitely recommend giving it a try if you want a good workout. I also love gentle yoga. This type is great if I need to destress and get a good stretch in.

Finally, yoga is meant for any age group and is a great go-to work out when traveling. Adding this in even once a week can make a huge impact on balancing out stress levels.

Spring Break in the Caribbean

Matt McKenzie

Matt McKenzie,
Junior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 12 March 2017

For spring break this year, I ended up leaving the country for the first time and heading to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic with a few friends for a week off the grid. With the craziness of classes and the cold weather in Athens, this break couldn’t have come any sooner.

With this being the first time I had ever been out of the country, I was a bit apprehensive before leaving but as soon as we got to the resort, those worries all went away.

Every day was a new adventure, whether it was sitting by the pool or ocean meeting new people from all around the world, or adventuring on different parts of the island, riding horses or looking for starfish.

Spring Break Dominican Republic

While meeting new people and hearing everyone’s story is nice, I am always one for a good adventure. There were a few times where we toured around parts of the island with the first being on the southern coast in Bayahibe. Here we took a speedboat out to a sandbar where we were able to swim some and look for starfish. Following the sandbar, we got back in the boats and headed to the island of Saona where we hiked for a little, had lunch, and relaxed for a few hours before boarding a catamaran for the journey back.

As there are about 70 resorts in Punta Cana, each journey had new faces along with it. One of the other journeys around the island took us to the rural countryside north of the city of Higuey. Here we found ourselves riding horses through the mountain trails, driving side by sides through the mud, enjoying some cocoa from the local plantations, and riding a series of zip lines back down the mountain.

As some may call me an adrenaline junky, the zip lines were probably my favorite part of the trip. The final zip line we rode spanned almost 0.75 miles with speeds reaching over 40 mph. The excursion was rounded out with a nice Dominican meal before heading back to the resort.

Spring Break Dominican Republic

All in all, the first time leaving the country was a great success in my mind. I was able to enjoy the time off from classes while meeting lots of new people and experiencing pieces of a different culture.

Designing a PT Standing Frame

Lucas Bond

Lucas Bond,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 25 February 2017

The process of transforming from an engineering student to an actual engineer is one that is very important to have completed by the time you have graduated from an engineering school. At Ohio University the mechanical engineering students are tasked with a senior design project to do just that. We are given a real world problem that we must solve by designing, creating, and implementing a mechanical device or process.

My senior design team was given a problem from a physical therapy professor at OU. Every year she takes a group of her students to Gabarone, Botswana, in Southern Africa. They travel to a clinic there to get real world physical therapy experience while also helping the staff in Gabarone. They have a need there to get physically disabled children, ages 2-8, into a standing position, so that’s where we as engineers can help.

We spent the fall semester inventing designs for a physically therapy standing frame that would be cost effective (around $100) and easy to build in Gabarone. We finalized our design and got the thumbs up from the physical therapist.

ME Senior Design

This semester we began by tying up loose ends and actually started to produce the first prototype. We should be finished with it next week and will begin testing it by having kids actually try it out.

Thus far the process has been very gratifying and fulfilling. The opportunity to use my engineering skills to create a product that will benefit others is the reason I wanted to become an engineer all along.

Making it to the Future City Finals

Jane Oberhauser

Jane Oberhauser,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 23 February 2017

This past week has been a whirlwind. I was planning to go to Washington DC with Mira, a fellow ambassador, to judge the Future City Finals, but was not planning on getting the flu a few days before.

Here’s what happened. It’s Tuesday, I’m finishing up my classes for the day waiting to have a senior design meeting when my stomach starts making funny noises. Fast forward through all graphic details, and I am home miserable all night, then I sleep literally ALL DAY on Wednesday. I need to get his out of my system as soon as possible.

Sickness is so different in college. In high school, sick Jane was half happy because at least she didn’t have to go to school. Nowadays, sick Jane is 0% happy because time is the only money she has. Thursday, thankfully, I didn’t have class because of a water main break, so I didn’t have to decide whether to go or not (PTL). Friday and Saturday, I frantically caught up on all of my work just to fly out to DC and start a hectic day of judging.

The Future City competition is for middle school students who have worked all year on designing a city of the future. With so much science and details in their designs, it makes you think you’re judging college students.

We were judging with so many different people. I met random marketing advisors for construction firms who were sent to represent their companies and also past presidents of super big engineering organizations. We even met President Obama’s STEM advisor (SO COOL). It was an incredible experience to meet them all and learn from them. The whole trip was incredible, especially with the cool museums we went to and delicious food we ate.

Looking back on the past week, drowning in work to catch up on, half of me wonders whether it was all worth it. The flu, definitely would have stopped if I could have. The trip, though, not a chance. These are the experiences that will develop me and that I will remember, and I am so thankful that we got to go. The only cost will be pretending this weekend is just two days of free, intense studying. Because that’s exactly what it will be.

Global Consulting Program

Emily Morello

Emily Morello,
Junior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 19 February 2017

Out of all the courses I am taking this semester, my favorite is my Global Consulting Program Greece Course. It’s not that I don’t enjoy engineering–I find all my courses very interesting and have great professors. It is, however, refreshing having a class that is not math or science based.

I will be studying abroad in Thessaloniki, Greece for two weeks in May for a global consulting internship through the College of Business. Before we leave for the trip, it is required for all students to attend a course that teaches us about the program.

The class meets every Monday from 6-8 pm. The first hour is dedicated to learning everything we will need to know before starting our consulting project in Greece. We were each assigned a team of four or five students to submit mini assignments throughout the semester. Some of our assignments include a team charter; country and city report; pestle analysis; decision matrix; and a presentation at the end. This course is set up similar to a “cluster”, which are team based courses that business students take for a semester at Ohio University.

The second part of the course is to learn the Greek language. This is my favorite part of my Mondays. Our professor is very personable and passionate about this trip. He makes the class fun so everyone is willing to learn. We started out learning the Greek alphabet and then learned how to spell our names. Next, we were taught simple words to hear how Greek sounds.

Each week we add on to the previous week’s topics. We learn a little about the history, cultural differences, and enhance our vocabulary. Our final exam for this course is to be able to say each phrase on a sheet that is front to back that we received the second week of class.

I am very interested in the business section of class. Ultimately, I would like to earn my Masters in Business so I can become an Engineering Manager at some point in my career. I believe that these courses and this internship will help prepare me for my MBA in the future.

I am also very excited about the travel. Like I’ve stated in my previous posts, I do enjoy traveling a lot. I cannot wait to see a different part of the world and grow as an individual. Lastly, I am very excited for all the great relationships that I will gain due to this experience.

Winter Break Travel

Emily Morello

Emily Morello,
Junior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 13 January 2017

This past winter break was a very exciting time for me. My only opportunities to work during break were to stay in Athens and work at my Guest Services job at Baker Center or begin research for a professor in Athens. Both of these options sounded great; however, since I live in a sorority house, I was not allowed to stay longer than the Saturday following finals (rules similar to dorms). I am not the type of person to sit around doing nothing, so I decided to plan a vacation.

My cousin Britni recently moved to the lower East Side of Manhattan. I decided to visit her with my boyfriend and brother for a long weekend. It was a great time. Even though this was my fourth time being in New York City, I still went to all of the sites because it was my boyfriend’s first time there. We visited the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the Top of the Rock, and viewed Times Square. We also went to many local restaurants and events with my cousin, followed by some good old New York City shopping. As much as I loved being there and site seeing, I have realized living in New York City is not the life for me. By the end of the long weekend, I was ready to come back to Ohio.

The next place I went over break was to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. My Mom’s side of the family lives there. My parents like to bring everyone there every year to celebrate Christmas in warm weather with all of our loved ones. For some, that may sound strange since Christmas in Ohio is usually thought of as being cold and snowy. For me, however, being in the warmth is a tradition. Florida was fabulous, as usual, but once again, after being there for nine days I missed the snow and being in Ohio.

Finally, to wrap up my crazy winter break, I began 2017 in Colorado skiing the week before OU started classes. This was my favorite trip of all. I was able to take both the NYC and ski trip because I saved all my internship money from the previous summer to fund special events like those.

We were at the Copper Mountain Resort in Colorado to ski during the trip. I rode a bus for 26 hours to get there, but honestly it was so worth it. Unfortunately, the day we got there we could not see the beautiful mountains…. Actually, we could not see them for the first three days of skiing because there was a blizzard! It was so bad that they actually had to shut down the tunnel connecting Denver to all of the ski resorts. On the bright side, a blizzard meant excellent skiing conditions, powdery slopes and all. On the final day, we lucked out with a blue bird (not a cloud in the sky).

I left Colorado with sore legs and a sad heart because I love that state so much. I have been to Colorado four times now, and each time I love it more and more. That is the state where I wish to establish my engineering career someday.