Category Archives: Mechanical Engineering

ME Senior Capstone

Halle Harris

Halle Harris,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 21 November 2020

As a senior in mechanical engineering, it has been very exciting to see how I can apply my engineering knowledge from the classroom to projects. One of my classes I am taking this semester is Senior Design Capstone I. In this class, teams work to design and manufacture a product to satisfy their customer’s needs.

Product design takes many factors into account; a few of these factors to consider include safety, cost, technical feasibility, and machinability. Through this class, it has been interesting to see everything that goes into everyday products you can buy at the store.

My team is currently working to design a heating unit to be used with a digital light processing 3D printer. I have been able to use my engineering knowledge from previous classes for this project, including Machine Design and Heat Transfer, as well as learn about new topics.

In Machine Design, I learned how to make design decisions by analyzing the purpose and needs of a product. This helps me to see product designs and understand why materials and dimensions were chosen. This has been helpful in Senior Design Capstone because I can use what I learn from calculations to make design decisions.

In Heat Transfer, I learned about the three main heat transfer modes. Based on knowledge and calculations of the three modes, design decisions can be made to find the best heat transfer solution.

I am also learning more about manufacturing processes this year, as well as cost analysis. These areas are important in product design, and it has been rewarding to learn more about these areas. This project has also helped me learn more about 3D printing processes; it has been interesting to learn more about 3D printing capabilities in design. Learning about new topics to better understand the product needs is interesting.

Through the semester, it has been exciting to see how my knowledge from my coursework applies to product design. It is exciting to see how my knowledge in Machine Design and Heat Transfer was used for the project. I have enjoyed learning more about manufacturing, cost, and 3D printing through this experience. Senior Design Capstone I has been an interesting and exciting experience this semester.

Job Interview in California

Alex Polacek

Alex Polacek,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 10 November 2020

Recently I had the opportunity to be interviewed on-site in California. Having an interview where you are away from class for four days can be detrimental to a semester in some ways.

It is definitely doable if managed correctly, but finally it’s something where there’s a great advantage with having virtual classes. Back in my freshman year, I had no idea that I would be able to attend my Applied Thermodynamics course in an airport while waiting for a flight. This seemingly impossible event became a reality when I flew to California.

Flying to California

This entire experience allowed me to get out of my apartment for the first time in what seemed like forever. Driving from the airport reminded me of how fun it can be to do simple things like go for a drive and just walk from place to place.

After being in California for 4 days I was ready to get back to Athens and back to my current home. Every time I drive back into Athens, I feel a sense of belonging very few places provide. Seeing the bricks in the street and the insane amount of greenery in comparison to California reminds me that I am hOUme.

From this experience I am reminded of the importance of staying active. Since I have returned back, I have been trying to incorporate more trips out of the house such as walks and drives.

ME Senior Capstone: Plastic Waste Recycling

Haley Myers

Haley Myers,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 1 November 2020

This semester I am in the first half of my senior design capstone class. My group is currently working to find a way to recycle plastic waste in Uganda and create a building material that can be used to build a boardwalk. The boards on the current boardwalk are made of wood and rotting due to the hot and humid climate of Uganda. The customer ideally would like a final product similar to a 2×4 that could be used in additional building applications outside of the boardwalk.

The teams that have worked on this project in the past purchased a plastic extruder (pictured) that continuously extrudes a stream of plastic. My team is proposing to design a die with the largest cross-section possible that can attach to the extruder while still creating a material with limited imperfections. This will prove the concept is feasible and will allow for next year’s team to make appropriate upgrades to the extruder to result in a larger plastic flow rate.

Plastic Extruder

Over the summer, I visited a landfill and was really moved from the experience. I have made it a point to start recycling everything I can, as well as to motivate others to recycle. I have been more conscious when using one-time use products, but most importantly am so excited to work on a project that involves recycling waste into something useful.

Carving Pumpkins for Halloween

Logan Veley

Logan Veley,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 29 October 2020

With the leaves changing colors and the temperatures getting colder, I was excited for the fall holidays this year. Halloween is always an exciting time in Athens, and this year, I chose to carve pumpkins to celebrate. My girlfriend and I drove to the Sharp Farms pumpkin patch where we ventured into the pumpkin patch.

We walked around until I found a pumpkin that I liked. It was a medium sized pumpkin that was bright orange and round. I cut it off the vine as my girlfriend continued to search for her pumpkin. She picked a large pumpkin, and I carried them up to the register and back to the car.


Back at the apartment, we prepared to carve our pumpkins. We laid out a tarp to keep the carpet clean, and we gathered the carving utensils. I drew out my design with a sharpie. Luckily with my artistic skills, I only had to redraw a couple of sections. With my design sketched, I cut open the top and started to pull out the seeds and the guts. I scraped the inside clean and began to carve.


I carved the vampire pumpkin, and my girlfriend carved the “Scream” pumpkin. We set them out on the balcony and put the lights in them to turn on at night. I really enjoyed creating my vampire pumpkin, and I cannot wait to carve pumpkins again next fall.

Learning with Online Classes

Halle Harris

Halle Harris,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 24 October 2020

This semester has been unlike any semester I have experienced in my academic career. The virtual learning environment is something I have not experienced, as well as completing a semester remotely. As I was entering my senior year, I was unsure of what the semester would bring.

This year has brought uncertainty, along with many changes, but my professors have made these transitions much smoother. They are doing everything they can to stay connected with the students as we are remote. All of my courses have live virtual lectures. This has been incredibly beneficial because it has allowed me to keep a routine schedule, ask questions during class, and follow along with the notes.

My professors have also been available for Teams meetings outside of class. For example, being in Senior Capstone this semester, I was wondering what this semester would look like in a mostly virtual environment.

Online Learning

Although the semester may look a little different, the dedication of our professors has not changed. I have been able to meet virtually with my professors every week to ask questions and get feedback. I have reached out to several faculty this semester; they have been very helpful and available for virtual meetings outside of class time.

I am thankful to have professors that strive to stay connected to their students. Although the semester has been different, I am very appreciative of the adjustments my professors have made to stay connected in the virtual experience.