Category Archives: Mechanical Engineering

Human-Powered Vehicle Team

Matt McKenzie

Matt McKenzie,
Junior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 24 September 2016

With the school year setting in, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ Human Powered Vehicle team has begun its quest for the top. Each year, around 35 universities compete in a series of rigorous events and races with the vehicles they have designed over the previous year.

As a leader of the OU team, my passion and goal is to continue to help young, aspiring engineers through the engineering process from research to testing, and ultimately to show off what Ohio University students have to offer.

In my previous two years’ experience, I have learned a lot about not only bicycles, but also the engineering process, including many items that I have not yet learned in the classroom environment.

As this year rolls in, and I continue on to my second year as a leader of the team, I am looking to pass on that information to younger members so they can continue leading the organization to success after I have moved on. One of the most gratifying parts of this organization for me is being able to pass on the knowledge I have gained to other members.

The process of designing, analyzing, manufacturing, and testing a vehicle is neither a simple nor short endeavor. As a leader of such an extracurricular group, I realize that time while in college is precious and a juggling act between classes, extracurricular activities, personal life, and even work. I have devoted much of my time to the organization and am very grateful to see new and returning members devoting theirs to the organization as well.

While there are still many unknowns and hurdles to overcome, I continue to look forward to passing on knowledge and seeing the ideas members come up with to solve the challenging issues they face, with the hopes of bringing home a win for Ohio University come competition time.

Starting Fall Semester

Jane Oberhauser

Jane Oberhauser,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 8 September 2016

Fall is a complex time. As time passes and it comes closer to October, I yearn for cool weather and colorful trees. I daydream of long runs on the Athens bike path where I can breathe in fall-scented fresh air and reminisce on my high school cross country days. At the same time, however, I am aware that as time progresses, the many commitments I have will pick up to the point that my “long runs” might only be speed walks to class in the morning.

An exciting part of senior year that just came together is our senior design project assignments. Our class of around 70 students has been split into about 14 teams, each of which have a design project to work on for the next two semesters. I have been really pumped for this, and even more now that I know what my team’s project is.

The projects that always excite me most are those from local project partners, so I was very excited to hear that our team would be working with the Athens Cycle Path Bike Shop to design a human powered bike path cleaner. I’m sure I’ll post more about this design in the future as it comes together.

I’m only beginning to see what this semester will look like. So far, something I see that will separate this semester from the rest is the amount of purpose there is in what I’m doing. Although each of my previous semesters has also had purpose, they were more focused on preparing me and turning me into a competent engineer. Finally, now that I’m on the last level of my undergraduate career, I can feel the training wheels being lifted and I’m ready to roll.

Co-op with Columbia Gas

Lucas Bond

Lucas Bond,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 4 September 2016

This past summer I had the privilege of working at Columbia Gas of Kentucky. The location I was working at is located in Ashland, Kentucky, which is about 10 minutes away from my hometown, Ironton, Ohio. I worked in the field-engineering department and for the most part I spent my time working on small gas line extensions, relocations, and betterment projects.

The position had some great learning opportunities. I was able to attend a course on project management in Columbus and a course in Pittsburgh, PA to learn a computer program used by pipeline companies called Synergi. Traveling for work was super fun and I took advantage of my time while I was there, especially while in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh has so many fun things to do, fantastic restaurants, and the city is very beautiful.

Columbia Gas

I loved my time at Columbia; the atmosphere was always friendly and laid back. The people I worked with while I was there were great, and very diverse. I was around a lot of people who had been with the company for over 30 years. They were incredibly knowledgeable of engineering practices and the natural gas industry. I learned many lessons from them that I most certainly couldn’t gain from the classroom and I am so grateful for it.

Now I am back in Athens and I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to work for Columbia part time while in school. I just try to log about 5 hours a week for work, which still leaves plenty of time for school and life. I miss being at work, but school is great and I am really enjoying my senior year so far.

Summer at JPMorgan Chase

Emily Morello

Emily Morello,
Junior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 23 August 2016

June 6, 2016, was the first day of my internship at one of the largest finance companies in the world: JPMorgan Chase. As a mechanical engineering major entering the finance world, I was a little confused about the type of work I would be doing for the company. Luckily enough, I was assigned a great manager who had an assignment that was very relevant to my studies laid out for me from day one. She had studied industrial and systems engineering in college and had interned at JPMorgan for two rotations during that time, so she knew where I was coming from.

Basically, for the entire duration of the summer, I was a web application developer. The mechanical engineering program at OU requires students to learn to code in the language C. It was really helpful that I had some coding background when I was put on my assignment, and because of this, I did not have to learn everything from scratch. Once a person has a programming mindset, it is easy to learn new languages.

For my assignment, I worked with another intern in an Agile Development method to add enhancements to an audit application. We had to code with a MVC 5 Asp.Net framework.
MVC stands for Model, View, Controller, and basically makes it easier for a user to be able to create, edit, and delete data from a database. The Asp.Net deals with how the code is bundled. We coded in Javascript, Jquery, C#, and HTML 5.

This was all very new to me, so it involved a lot of training videos and Googling. Some of my specific tasks included adding features to the navigation bar, creating a notification drop down menu, and creating web pages.

I really did have a great experience at JPMorgan. I am grateful that the Career Fair the Russ College held last fall introduced me to this company. Now I have more coding skills that will help me throughout the rest of college.

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…