Preparing for Life after Graduation

Gavin Whitehead

Gavin Whitehead,
Senior, Aviation

Athens, OH 13 April 2016

The final stretch of my last semester. All I have to do is pass my last 4 classes and graduation will be awaiting at the end of April. It didn’t really hit me that I actually have to move out of Athens until I talked to my dad last week about moving my stuff out of my apartment.

I’m still trying to push off the thought and completely ignore the fact that I will have to start packing soon. I remember when I moved in my freshman year and could fit everything into one car load. I don’t know when I acquired all of this extra stuff, but it’s definitely going to take a decent sized SUV and a car to maybe get my stuff back in one trip.

I have been fortunate enough to get hired at PSA Airlines this past month! They flew me down to Charlotte, North Carolina over spring break for an interview and I got hired on the spot!

My first day is the second week of May, so I will be rolling right into a job the week after graduation. I’ll be in training for a few months between Dayton, OH, Charlotte, NC, and Cincinnati, OH then I will be out flying the jets. Not too many people go straight to the airlines after college but this shows that OU has the tools necessary to make it all the way to the dream job!

Summer Approaches

Robert Parker

Robert Parker,
Junior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 13 April 2016

Spring in Athens is my favorite time of the year, but it also is the busiest time of the year. It seems that all of your projects, homework assignments and exams all fall on the same due date. With that being said, I find a way to get through it and make it to summertime, and for this summer I cannot wait for it to get here.

This summer I will be working for E.S. Wagner Company as a superintendent. They are a heavy highway, heavy excavation company that works in Ohio, the surrounding states and in South Carolina. I will be working out in the field supervising the different crews on the job site. For my location this summer, I have not heard the finalized decision but I’m still very excited either way.

This opportunity may have never presented itself if I had gotten involved with organizations during my time here at Ohio University. My organizations have broadened my professional network exponentially and I continue to improve my relationships with professionals daily.

For this particular co-op. I have my organization, The Ohio University Estimating Team, to thank for getting me in contact with E.S. Wagner. Without being involved in that organization I would have never talked with the company. Summer is right around the corner and I cannot wait for it to arrive!!

Optimization in Senior Design

Melinda Nelson

Melinda Nelson,
Senior, Industrial and Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 8 April 2016

The biggest project of many senior engineering students is Senior Capstone. This is a course where all your knowledge and experience are tried out in a real world scenario. Each group has an industry client and is assigned the project the client chooses. I knew that this could be a challenge and a great learning experience for life after college. It has definitely met both of those expectations!

The team I am on was assigned a project with Exel/DHL. They run warehouses for customers in various consumer industries. Our task was to create a model that could be used to evaluate existing and new, custom box sizes for packaging their customers’ products.

We created a model to take into account the size of products, boxes and costs involved in using different variations of box sizes. The model consisted of multiple equations that describe the different aspects of the situation we were studying. We set it up to choose optimal box sets based on making the void (empty space) when packing products as small as possible.

This project incorporated so many skills that I had been building throughout my time in college! Not only were skills in software and coursework utilized but also soft skills like presenting ideas and logistics and time management skills for working on the project while continuing to take a full load of courses! It also challenged and helped me to build on my leadership and motivational skills when working in a group. It was definitely a challenge working with conflicting schedules, deadlines, client demands and having to learn on the job.

Our project was to search for optimal box sets but the biggest takeaway for me was learning to create optimal team work and time management when working. These are huge takeaways that can be used in everyday life for years to come! Even though it had its stressful times, overall Senior Capstone was a great learning experience I truly enjoyed.

Moving on to the Next Phase

Leigh Ann Tumblin

Leigh Ann Tumblin,
Senior, Chemical and Biomolecular engineering

Athens, OH 5 April 2016

April 2016 is the month I have been anticipating (and dreading) since I was a freshman; this month, I will graduate from undergrad with a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering.

If you would have asked me at the beginning of the school year if I was excited to graduate, I would have told you no and it might have brought a tear to my eye, but I have finally accepted this fate and am actually very eager to see what post-grad life has in store for me.

Upon graduating, I will begin my career as an engineer for General Mills at their Totino’s plant. I spent my last two summers as an intern at this plant and the company was a great fit for me.

My position is part of a rotational program. The first year, I will be a systems engineer where I will become the technical expert of a processing or packaging system. The next six months I will be a team leader where I will lead a group of operators, and the final six months of the program I will implement a capital project as a project engineer.

After completing the program, I will decide which role suits me best and I will continue my career in that position.

As if graduating, moving into my own apartment, and starting a new job weren’t enough changes for me in the next two months, I decided I would join the world of pet parenthood and get a puppy!

Puppy

Poppy is an eight-week old Golden Retriever who will be coming home with me next week! Anyone who knows me knows that I adore dogs, and I can’t wait to have one of my own! The next few months will definitely be crazy, but I am ready to see what’s in store.

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.

Lifelong Learning as an Engineer

Ali McCormick

Ali McCormick,
Senior, Electrical Engineering

Athens, OH 29 March 2016

With my decision to further my education after I graduate from Ohio University, came the thought on the importance of lifelong learning. And while lifelong learning is important for all people, I thought specifically about why it is imperative for engineers.

The world around engineers is ever changing. The beginning of engineering culture had an expectancy that engineers could dive into a specific area and remain there for as long as they desired. As technological advances accelerate, engineers are required to switch jobs more often. As a student at Ohio University, I have learned that the key to success lies in a solid foundation with a constant desire to build and apply. Specifically, in senior design, we focused on the engineering process.

Through change, the process stays the same but we must mold it to apply it properly to new situations. In the process of doing so, we are learning about the new and build this onto our foundation.

Through Ohio University, I have learned that in order to be successful, you must introduce yourself to new things often and apply them to the old. I have learned to never be afraid of the unknown, as the unknown often holds the key to professional and personal enhancement.

It’s said that the higher you reach, the harder you may fall. And of course you can never reach so that you never fall, but the reward for that is nonexistent. Change is imperative for self-improvement. A person must constantly evolve with the ever-changing world around her, otherwise she may inhibit her own success.

One Month to Go

Chris Delwiche

Chris Delwiche,
Senior, Engineering Technology and Management

Athens, OH 27 March 2016
In August it was “one more year” now at the end of March its “one more month”. I never expected college to go by this quickly. Ever since pre-school, it’s been the familiar cycle of school, summer, school, etc. But not this time. This time I will finally be entering the working world as my formal education comes to a close.

College went by as quickly as everyone told me it would. My freshman year and days of living in the dorms are now nostalgic memories, campus has changed geographically since I first got here in 2011 with the addition of new dorms and sports facilities. Boyd Dining Hall has gone from the place you ate because you were desperate and lived on West Green to the most impressive dining hall on campus.

Everything I was told to expect was true. You will meet some of your best friends, you will learn more in these 4 (or more) years of your life than ever before, you will learn about yourself, and you will work harder than you have before.

My advice to any nervous incoming freshman would be to try and relax as much as possible. You will make those new friends, you will figure out what you need to do to succeed, you will make your own memories, and you will leave here a better person than you came here as. But for you and me, take a minute every now and then to appreciate the position you’re in. Because your college years are the quickest years of your life😉.