Category Archives: Mechanical Engineering

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!

Finding Time for Netflix

Katie Logue

Katie Logue,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 24 January 2016

With the start of my final semester here at OU, I’m finally finding some extra free time in my schedule. Since I’ve always taken a few more credits than required, my course load is a little lighter this time. Also, since many of my classes are project-based, and since I’m taking an online course as well, I’m spending a lot less time in an actual classroom. So, like many other college students, I like to keep warm and unwind by watching Netflix in my spare time.

Below is a list of my top three series on Netflix right now, so I would highly recommend any of these shows if you’re looking for a new obsession.

  • Dexter -– I finished this series a few months ago, but it is still probably one of my favorite shows on Netflix. I never caught wind of it when it was regularly shown on cable but started it on Netflix after a friend suggested it. The series is about a serial killer who works as a blood spatter analyst for the police department. His goal is to take out criminals who have eluded the justice system. Dexter is definitely different from any show I’d seen before. I really liked it because it was full of action and also extremely unpredictable. There’s a surprise in almost every episode. I wouldn’t recommend starting this series, though, if you have a weak stomach, as it contains fairly gory and graphic scenes.
  • Gilmore Girls -– This is a show I already owned on DVD, but it was added to Netflix not too long ago, making it that much easier to binge watch on a snowy day. This one centers around a witty mother-daughter duo in a charming town called Stars Hollow. It has a much lighter tone, so it’s the perfect show to have playing in the background while studying. I’m currently watching this entire season from start to finish for the third time, so it’s clearly a personal favorite.
  • Prison Break — My husband and I started this not too long ago and have made it to the final season. We watch a few episodes just about every weekend. This series is about an engineer who gets arrested on purpose in order to break his brother, who is on death row, out of prison. The two face an endless list of complications along the way. Prison Break is one of my top picks because it’s thought provoking, exciting, and action-packed. Cliffhangers at the end of every episode motivate you that much more to finish your homework so you can find out what happens next.
  • I’m not advocating for spending hours in front of a television screen, but sometimes, especially during winter months, it’s nice to unwind with a captivating TV series, and Netflix has tons to choose from. It’s been really nice this semester to have a little additional free time to watch the shows I enjoy and even read a novel or two in between my senior project work.

    Ready for Winter Break

    Alyson Meister

    Alyson Meister,
    Senior, Mechanical Engineering

    Athens, OH 13 December 2015

    The end of fall semester comes with great anticipation for the holidays and time with family. My family has a tradition of driving around my hometown of Springfield, Ohio, to look at the Christmas lights. It began my senior year of high school and has continued to my senior year of college. The tradition started with my immediate family and some of my second cousins, and I was the youngest participant. Who says adults can’t have fun looking at Christmas lights?

    Springfield Christmas Lights

    Over the years, our group has expanded to include spouses, finances and babies, but we never fail to make a trip to the Christmas tree downtown to take a picture, see the lights at the Clifton Mill or stop for hot chocolate.

    Springfield Christmas Lights

    There is never a dull moment with my family and after the stress of finals it was just the refresher that I needed. I am looking forward to the rest of our holiday traditions, including a themed Christmas party with my mom’s family, a huge Christmas Eve get together and pork and sauerkraut on New Year’s.

    In between all of that I will be heading to an interview in Wisconsin, working on completing graduate school applications, and working on my own projects.

    I’m excited for this time off of school to spend time with my family and to prepare myself for my last semester of college and whatever is coming next.

    Bird Arena Hockey League

    Adam Robertson

    Adam Robertson,
    Senior, Mechanical Engineering

    Athens, OH 2 December 2015

    It’s that hectic time of year again, with finals and project due dates, but more importantly it’s Bird Arena Hockey League playoff time! Every semester I participate in Bird Arena’s adult hockey league with some good friends of mine.

    The non-contact league is made up of 10 or so coed teams and each team plays two games a week. The players in the league can be anyone from students just beginning to play to players on the Division 1 club hockey team.

    I look at the BAHL as a great way to get some exercise and get away from the stress of classes. Due to the grind of the semester, we have unfortunately lost some key players throughout the season. Fortunately my team, Team 7, was able to prevail and we made the playoffs as a four seed.

    Currently we are one game away from the championship, but we have to beat the top team in the league. We have tough road ahead of us, but I believe we can be successful if we play some solid defense and prevent shots on net. If we win the championship, our team picture will be placed in the Bird Ice Arena lobby. The BAHL is fun time and I would encourage anyone who is interested to play!

    My Furry Friend

    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.

    Carmen

    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.