Hearing from Experts in Industry

Andrew Videmsek

Andrew Videmsek,
Junior, Electrical Engineering

Athens, OH 24 November 2016

As a student in engineering, I feel it is sometimes hard to see how everything we are learning is applied to the world around us. Luckily there are always plenty of opportunities to hear talks from experts in industry and research about how engineers are moving the world forward.

Just last week, the local chapter of IEEE hosted Jim Watson, an IEEE National Speaker, for a talk at their weekly meeting. Jim gave insight on what an engineering degree allows you to do after graduation, and what you can do during school to better prepare yourself for the future. In addition, he touched on the ways we as students can transition the skills we have learned in a university setting to challenges we will face on the job site.

Another talk I got the opportunity to attend recently was by Dr. Zak M. Kassas from the University of California, Riverside. Dr. Kassas runs the ASPIN Lab (Autonomous Systems Perception, Intelligence, & Navigation Laboratory) and focuses his research on collaborative and opportunistic navigation and optimal information gathering in stochastic environments. His talk went into great detail about his research in ways to complement, or completely replace, GPS biased navigation with the radio waves that are constantly being projected in the world around us.

The final of the talks I heard in November was by Dr. Arvind Thiruvengadam, a research assistant professor at West Virginia University. Dr. Thiruvengadam is probably best known for being one of the researchers who broke the recent news about the Volkswagen emissions tests. In his talk, Dr. Thiruvengadam went into depth about the research areas and future engine technologies that could lead to lower emissions and higher operating efficiencies.

ME Senior Design: Path Sweeper

Jane Oberhauser

Jane Oberhauser,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 21 November 2016

In an earlier blog post, I wrote about how I was excited for my capstone design project. Our team is designing a bike path sweeper to be pulled behind a bicycle and sweep the dry leaves and small debris into a hopper for dumping in designated areas.

It’s a very interesting project that brings in a lot of different mechanical concepts to balance. The obvious ones were directly addressed in the beginning of the project, such as pulling behind instead of in front for safety reasons and our required and desired performance specifications from our project partner.

The first stage of the design process was our conceptual design development stage. This is where we’re just trying to imagine as many possibilities for the design as possible. Next, is the conceptual design decision stage, where we use many different methods and continued research to decide upon an idea. After this stage, we meet with our mentor and professor to present our decision.

Our team ran into some difficulties in this, because around that time, we took a prototype which was given to us (a grass sweeper for a lawn) out for a ride hitched to a bike, and realized that after a certain speed, the sweeper became very unstable and swung back and forth. This drove a whole new arrangement of our design and set us back for a couple of weeks.

With an intimidating mentor and a craving for perfection and approval, this was pretty challenging psychologically. However, I feel like this design process has taught me a lot about how to think through difficult problems from various aspects and not be satisfied with the aspects I immediately think of. I hope I can apply this in life’s other problems as well.

Epsilon Pi Tau Inductions

Jacob Motts

Jacob Motts,
Senior, Engineering Technology & Management

Athens, OH 16 November 2016

Epsilon Pi Tau is the honor society within Engineering Technology and Management. Because it is an honor society, students do not apply to join the organization. Instead, students are chosen for admission based on several strict criteria within EPT. As the weeks passed this semester, I knew that meant that new members were about to be added to our group.

I was appointed to be Vice President of Epsilon Pi Tau last spring and I could not have been more honored. However, since I was an officer, that also meant that I was part of the honorary that led the induction event. When we all got our 15 page script for the event, it became quite clear that some practice was going to be needed.

See, for anyone who has not been to an honor fraternity induction, there is almost always a script from the national organization to be followed in order to keep events consistent and formal. This is great and all, but, the other side of that is that the script is filled with both academically challenging English as well as Greek vocabulary. Furthermore, since this is the first impression new members had of both the officers and the organization as a whole.

On the big night we all were a little unsure if our practice had been enough. It wasn’t so much about getting the script right, rather, it was mostly about leaving the right first impression on the new members. We may have had to improvise in a couple places and flubbed a few words, but at the end of the day, the ceremony was a success and all the new members were overwhelmingly positive about the night. Of course, maybe that was just the Bob Evans talking.

Intramural Sports

Nathan Arnett

Nathan Arnett,
Junior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 14 November 2016

One may think that being ‘bogged down’ by an engineering curriculum and involvement in various organizations would leave no time for any fun–but this is not the case!

For the second consecutive fall, some of my closest friends and I have got together an intramural flag football team for the 7 on 7 Men’s Competitive League, and it is always an absolute blast on game days.

I strongly believe that a good balance between studies/involvement and recreation is essential for any engineering–or any discipline, really–student’s success. It is a great way to unwind from the inevitable stress of day-to-day college life, and also a great way to stay active and to just have fun with some friends.

In addition to intramural sports, it’s not too difficult to work time
into my schedule to make it to Ping Recreational Center for pick-up games of basketball once a week or so. Like I said earlier, when faced with what can be a stressful curriculum, physical activities and a little competition go a long way

Travel Opportunities

Emily Morello

Emily Morello,
Junior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 13 November 2016

One passion that I have always had is traveling. Ever since I was little, my family has always loved going on vacations to interesting places. My family is from Warren which is a smaller city located in northeast Ohio. There really is not much to do in this area, so any chance we get, we like to go places.

My mom’s side of the family is from Quintana, Spain. Some of my Spanish family lives in Ft. Lauderdale so we go there quite a bit to vacation. I always loved listening to their stories about living in Spain; it made me want to visit the country very badly.

One summer, however, my mom decided to switch up our usual Ft. Lauderdale visit. She is a Spanish teacher at the high school I used to attend and she organized a school trip to Europe for all of the students. When she told our family this news, we were extremely excited.

During this trip, we traveled to Spain and Italy, specifically Madrid, Barcelona, Rome, Capri, and Pompeii. I was fifteen at the time and will never forget the amazing experience I had that summer.

Now that I am twenty-one and in college, all I want to do is go back to Europe to travel more. I recently applied for a study abroad program to visit Greece in May. It is called the Global Consulting Program, which even includes an internship opportunity. I am supposed to find out if I was selected for the program sometime before Thanksgiving break. Hopefully it works out!

Meet the Ambassadors Event

Kevin White

Kevin White,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 11 November 2016

On Wednesday, November 9th, the Russ College Engineering Ambassadors hosted a “Meet the Ambassadors” event. The goal of this event was to receive feedback and concerns from the current students for different things around the Russ College such as facilities, courses, and extracurricular organizations. The students gave their feedback by writing the feedback on a Post-It note and putting it on the white board in the room.

Pizza and beverages were provided at the event in exchange for the feedback. This was a great and unique way for the ambassadors to find out about some issues around the Russ College from different students’ perspectives in all majors. This was also a great opportunity to explain to students who the Ambassadors are and what we do.

Meet the Ambassadors

Another added benefit to this event was that the Ambassadors now have great feedback to relay to Dean Irwin when we have lunch with him. Usually the feedback we give come from the Ambassadors’ perspectives but now we have suggestions from a lot of different students. Improving the Russ College experience for students is very important to the Ambassadors and this event was one step forward by receiving input from many students.

Chili Cook-Off

Becca Sedlak

Becca Sedlak,
Junior, Aviation Flight

Athens, OH 11 November 2016

For three years now, every Dad’s Weekend my dad and I go to OU’s Women in Aviation annual Chili Cook-off. My Freshman and Sophomore year, my mom would make a pineapple chili and my dad would bring it down and we would enter it in the non-traditional category. This year I have my own apartment, so my dad and I made the pineapple chili. To be honest we just threw everything in the crockpot then looked at the recipe that we didn’t even follow.

Throughout the night the chili cooked and we went and entered it into the cook-off on Saturday. Since, we have made this chili for two years and never won I didn’t think that we actually would win this year too.

Chili Cook-Off Prize

When the results came back, the pineapple chili I made with my dad won first place for the non-traditional chili category. I couldn’t believe it–for the past two years, this chili was never close to winning and when we don’t follow the recipe it won. Now my dad and I hold something over my mom: the fact the year we made the chili and we won. I think that was the best the highlight of the weekend besides my dad coming down to visit.