RLI Trip to San Diego

Emily Blaha

Emily Blaha,
Senior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 14 March 2015

The Robe Leadership Institute is a seminar for Russ College students to be introduced to leadership concepts and develop their own opinions on what characteristics lead to effective leadership. I had the opportunity to participate in the class this past fall. I think the most beneficial thing for me is that I understand more about my own personality and how to work best with others. We also get to hear from many different speakers throughout the semester; most of them are alumni who have held high leadership positions in different organizations.

Over spring break, participants in RLI traveled to San Diego to visit 5 companies in the area: FieldLogix, Outsource Manufacturing, Wintriss Engineering, Vektrex, and Indyme Electronics. While we were there, we met with the CEOs of the companies and discussed leadership with them. It gave us the chance to see all of the leadership concepts that we learned in the seminar in action. Each of the leaders was unique. They all had their own strengths and weaknesses, and it was easy to see that each company needed a different style of leader.

Robe Leadership Institute Members

Today, more and more companies are looking for engineers to be leaders. The way we think about efficiency and problem solving gives us a great foundation to be effective leaders. Here’s a short article about CEOs with engineering backgrounds!

I love RLI

Spring Break Activities

Josh D'Urso

Josh D’Urso,
Senior, Aviation

Athens, OH 12 March 2015

My Spring Break this year was split into two different trips. The first four days of my break was spent snowboarding in Breckenridge, Colorado and the last half of my Spring Break was spent in Dallas for a Women in Aviation Conference. Yes, I know, I’m not a woman but it is a great organization for anyone in the Aviation industry to be involved in!

Since Spring Break was so early this year, my buddies and I decided since it’s going to be cold everywhere, we might as well enjoy it. The mountains in Colorado are majestic and there are no words or pictures that will do them justice. Since the runs were so long and exhausting it was nice to sit down and look out and enjoy the scenery. I don’t always make the best decisions when on the mountain and I try to push my limits by traveling through the woods and going off a few jumps. After a few nasty wipe-outs and bumps and bruises, I was ready to head to Texas for my conference.

The conference had every major airline and company attending including Boeing, Airbus, Southwest, Delta, American Airlines, and many more. There were a little over 4,000 people who attended and about 1,000 were collegiate students and the rest were professional pilots or in some way involved in the industry. I was able to listen to many keynote speakers including Colleen Barrett who is the president of Southwest Airlines. It was a great networking experience and I was able to hand out my resume to a variety of companies. It was very rewarding, as I have already received emails to interview for the first officer position on a regional airline as soon as I meet the minimum flight hour requirements.

Fun Times at the Fun Barn

Wilson Taylor

Wilson Taylor,
Junior, Computer Science

Athens, OH 8 March 2015

Finding things to do other than stay in your house or room when the weather gets cold often proves to be a challenge. I find this to hold true for myself on occasion, even as a self-proclaimed winter weather dresser professional, meaning I can get out and about whenever I please.

I found my first winter in Athens to be particularly challenging because I was unaware of many off-campus activities that were both affordable and more importantly reachable. While I have since learned of many local digs I have recently been playing favorites with the Fun Barn.

While the Fun Barn is not within walking distance of the university it is still within a fifteen minute drive. The Fun Barn has many of the newest releases at a reasonable price of $4, which is often the bait for myself and anyone else I am going with.

The real hook, though,is the environment. The Fun Barn reminds me of a Chuck-E-Cheese. Before entering the movies there is a food bar and arcade. The arcade has some of my most memorable childhood games: Skeeball and ticket roulette. There are also modern games such as a ticketed form of Deal or No Deal and Fruit Ninja.

While the Fun Barn has a lot to offer the best reason to go is to have the chance to ride one of their three coin operated kiddie rides. You can see me below riding with Dr. Seuss in his slick silver car.

Dr. Seuss's Car

Planning for Spring Break

Gavin Whitehead

Gavin Whitehead,
Junior, Aviation

Athens, OH 28 February 2015

It’s about time for a break. I’m starting to daydream and procrastinate. This spring break came right on time! With all of this snow though it’s more like a second winter break than a spring break. I would love to go to some place warm…Cancun? I wish.

Last year around this time I went skiing for the first time. It was a fun time and I think I will go again and make it a tradition for spring break. My first time wasn’t too bad, I only fell a few times and didn’t lose my poles on the ski lift. I count that as a success. I’m planning on perfect north slopes where my friend works in the winter. He racks up points for working, then we all go as a group and get free lift tickets and ski all through the day. What’s better than free skiing?

One thing that got me pumped this past week was RJet day at the Aviation Department. Republic Airways came down for one of their college recruitment fairs. This is an opportunity to talk with the airline and get the inside scoop on things. It’s great networking and an opportunity to give them our resume.

Republic Airways gave out information and free bags and had a presentation over the history of the company and where they stand now. They backed up the talk about how the industry is hurting on pilots and how now is the perfect time to flight train. Republic Airways, just like a lot of other airlines, are now on a hiring spree and looking for pilots to fly their planes. The road to flying for the airlines is looking more near by the flight hour!

Breakfast with Russ Prize Winners

Erin Tracy

Erin Tracy,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 27 February 2015

Two of this year’s recipients of the Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Prize are Ingeborg J. Hochmair-Desoyer and Erwin Hochmair. Erwin studied electrical engineering at TU Vienna and graduated in 1967. He began research on the cochlear implant in 1975 and was joined by his research assistant, Ingeborg, in 1976. The two continued their research and development for the next year and delivered the first microelectronic multichannel cochlear implant in 1977. They were later married, and Ingeborg is currently the CEO and CTO of the company she and her husband cofounded in 1989 called MED-EL.

One of the perks of being an engineering ambassador is having the opportunity to meet distinguished guests who visit the university. Yesterday, the ambassadors and Robe Leadership Institute students were invited to have breakfast with the Hochmair’s at the Ohio University Inn. The atmosphere was inviting, and the buffet-style menu included many options such as bacon, French toast, potatoes, and muffins.

Over breakfast, the students asked questions of the guests and facilitated an open discussion. We discussed topics such as the start-up of their company, research and testing methods, the number of people that have been helped by the technology, and how widespread the technology has become across the world. We also talked about the variety of backgrounds of the employees working for MED-EL. Of the 1,500 employees, many are engineers from disciplines such as mechanical, electrical, biomedical, and chemical. It was interesting and encouraging to hear how many fields of engineering are needed for even a focused technology like the cochlear implant.

Institute of Industrial Engineers Regional Conference

Casey Davis

Casey Davis,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 25 February 2015

This past weekend there was a very exciting event going on at Purdue University. Every year, IIE puts on regional conferences across the country; ours is appropriately named the Great Lakes region. Schools with IIE chapters in this region include Ohio State, Purdue, Western Michigan, Wayne State, and many others.

This conference was a great opportunity to network and meet others from the same field in order to see what is occurring in academia and in the real world relating to industrial engineering. The theme of the conference was “rethink IE”, in reference to our ever-expanding and changing major. There was a push for the students and faculty to reflect upon how our major has developed from simple work design and time studies, to complicated genetic algorithms and neural networks. There was much optimism for the Ohio University students as we attended lectures and sessions pertaining to everything in the IE professional world such as Health Care to Supply Chain Management to consulting IE.

In addition to the professional development we also attended a career fair with big companies such as Whirlpool, Halliburton, Disney, GE, and many others. Purdue also set up a plant tour for the visiting schools at the Subaru manufacturing plant near campus. This plant consisted of over 4000 employees, a massive assembly line, and well-designed material handling system. This plant had yearly output of about 310,000 cars just to give you some idea of the sheer size of this facility.

These events and opportunities are a huge leg up in the professional and personal world as you can discuss things with potential employers, faculty, and peers. In addition to the professional side we also had a few socials with the schools that attended, which allowed people to bond on a more personal level with students from other schools that attended. (OU’s students were the best dancers…).

One of the greatest aspects of this trip is that the Russ College essentially paid for everything–a nearly all-expense paid professional trip before you are in the working world definitely shows OU’s commitment to its students and their development.

OU Students at the IIE Conference

I am extremely happy I attended this conference and due to the fact I will be here next year for graduate school next year I will be at the next conference for sure and for prospective and current students, I advise them to the same.

Working as Part of a Team

Erin Tracy

Erin Tracy,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 24 February 2015

As a senior engineering student, I am no stranger to working in a team environment. There are few things I do in a normal day that do not involve other people in some way. From being a member of the marching band and leader of a Bible study to working with my Senior Design group to giving high school students tours as an ambassador, other people are always involved.

Engineering students are taught right off the bat freshman year that the discipline requires learning to work well with a team. The first project I can remember my freshman year was in ME 101 where we were randomly assigned teammates to complete a design problem. I recall having moments of frustration as well as gratitude with members of my group, and I learned the necessity of patience and perseverance. If something went wrong (and things definitely went wrong), we had to work together to figure out a solution. These group projects continued every year in classes such as Controls, Machine Design, Computer Aided Design (CAD), and especially Senior Design.

I’ve grown a lot in my ability to function as a team member and to be a leader within the team. Although working with other people to accomplish a goal is hard work and can be frustrating at times, it is an essential skill to master for life as an engineer after graduation. The experience I’ve gained during my time here at Ohio University will serve me well not only in my career, but in life as well.