Spring PLC Project

Andrew Noll

Andrew Noll,
Senior, Engineering Technology & Management

Athens, OH 18 March 2019

PLC stands for programmable logic controller, which is a type of ladder logic code that is used in industry to control robotics, and other machines, mostly for manufacturing processes such as conveyors. I am taking the PLC class currently here at Ohio University, and am very interested in the application of this technology.

While I was at Toyota, I did some PLC modifications to the assembly line machines in order to decrease the WIP (work in progress) stock on the line. Now for my PLC project I will not be working with anything quite as advanced, but I am designing and building an automated ball launcher.

My requirements were that my dog can trigger it himself so while I am working full time he can still burn off some steam, and that it is enclosed and safe to him. The device includes a spring powered arm driven by an electric motor. It will have a sensor to determine if the ball is loaded, a limit switch to shut off the motor, as well as two relays.

The mechanical aspect of the ball launcher is as follows: the free swinging “launch” arm is pulled around by the motor. Once the arm gets parallel with the base of the device, the spring will bring the it around and hit the ball sitting in home position.

I currently am scrapping most parts from other projects or random materials I find laying around, so I know I will need to revisit this project and make a more robust and hopefully more efficient ball launcher this summer!

AirVenture

Sarah Bailey

Sarah Bailey,
Junior, Aviation

Athens, OH 17 March 2019

Last summer I was able to go to Oshkosh, Wisconsin for the annual EAA Airventure Fly-In Convention. It is the world’s largest fly-in and for that week the Wittman Regional Airport becomes the busiest airport in the world.

There is something there for people interested in all branches of aviation, including military aircraft, seaplanes, amphibious planes, vintage aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aerial systems, and more. The event featured hundreds of exhibitions with everything from repurposed airplane parts to building your own engine. There were air shows several times a day and hundreds of airplanes to look at on the ground.

While I was there I volunteered with the Seaplane Pilots Association, a nonprofit organization that protects, promotes, and advocates for seaplane aviation. I have always been very interested in seaplanes. When I turned fifteen I got a seaplane ride for my birthday, and it is actually what inspired me to pursue a career in aviation.

Volunteering with the SPA was a great opportunity for me to learn more about the history of seaplane flying and to meet people in that community. I was also fortunate enough to win a scholarship to get my seaplane rating at Kenmore Air in Seattle, Washington! Becoming a seaplane pilot has been a dream of mine for years now so I’m very excited to do that at the end of spring semester.

“Moving” to Texas

Veronica Ammer

Veronica Ammer,
Junior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 10 March 2019

When I left my home state of Pennsylvania and went off to college, I made my parents “empty-nesters.” It was tough in the beginning. My first semester, I cried when my parents dropped me off and again when the they left after a weekend visit halfway through the semester.

When I finally went home for the first time for Thanksgiving, I was so relieved to see that home had stayed the same. We had the same orange couch with the down feathers and the Pittsburgh Penguins playing on the television. I thought that while college was a new experience and I was growing into a new person, home would always be home: constant and unchanging. This has not been the case.

Looking back, it seems silly that I expected life in Pennsylvania wouldn’t move on without me. Amid all the changes, the biggest has been my parents’ relocation to Texas. This spring break, instead of returning to the familiar, I got to adventure to the unknown.

Dallas, Texas

When I landed in Dallas, my parents knew they would need to feed and water their daughter. I expected them to take me to a burger joint or maybe a steakhouse, because, well, it’s Texas. I was pleasantly surprised, albeit a little confused, when they took me to get sushi instead.

Sushi

At this restaurant, the sushi passed by our table on a conveyor belt. I was entirely too amused and ate far too much.

Sushi

Sushi

After dinner, we went to a Japanese supermarket featuring Hello Kitty udon and some tasty free samples. Visiting Texas astonishingly came with a brief tour of Japan.

Afterwards, we went to my parents’ new apartment where we watched the Penguins at Bluejackets game. Overall, my first day in Texas was well spent and I am looking forward to some more new adventures this spring break. Go Pens!

A Concert before Break

Jelena Mrvos

Jelena Mrvos,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 6 March 2019

As the spring break approaches, I have found my work load is steadily increasing, as per usual. Most professors are cramming midterms in before the halfway point of the year, and senior design is in full effect. Often, this time of year can be very stressful, so I think it’s important to take a mental break every once in a while. This time, I went to a concert last Saturday night in Columbus!

The show was Vince Staples, with JPEGMAFIA opening. I went with two friends and fellow ambassadors, Lydia and Quinn! We drove up Saturday evening, and came back later that night. Lydia has friends in Columbus, so we met up with them and attended the concert all together. It was fun to be able to hang out with her high school friends!

Both Vince Staples and JPEG make hip-hop/rap music. The concert was very high energy, and a great way to take my mind off of school! For its entirety, we did not stop dancing. Vince Staples ended the concert by playing an old performance of a fellow rapper and his late friend, Mac Miller. Mac is from Pittsburgh, like me, so I have always had a soft spot for him and thoroughly enjoy his music. It was a little bit of a sad way to end a concert, but I appreciated Vince’s gesture. Overall, it was a really fun night, and I’m glad I attended the concert with friends to take my mind off school for a few hours.

Habitat for Humanity

Mia Wilson

Mia Wilson,
Senior, Electrical Engineering

Athens, OH 4 March 2019

Habitat for Humanity is one of my favorite organizations that I have worked with over my life. Volunteering each Friday is a way for me to take my mind off of classes and to do something rewarding with my my free time.

Habitat helps support an event called Ohio University Move-OUt, a coordinated effort each year to reduce the waste of reusable items during finals and move-out week. This link illustrates the program’s collaboration between the city, university recycling, the region’s thrift stores, the SEO food bank, and Rural Action: https://www.ohio.edu/recycle/move-out.cfm

We find a lot of items that can be donated get wasted for many reasons during that weekend, but the largest reason is that students don’t know about their options for donation. All the organizations involved have a concentrated amount of time and resources for Move-OUt weekend. Things could improve if students had access to information about donating and had it earlier. This could reduce the amount of work that weekend entails for the students moving out, their families and the Move-OUt team. Plus, we could reduce waste and help those in need right here in Athens with the donated items. Who doesn’t want to do that?!

During the past couple of weeks, I have been a part of plans to reach out to other colleges including the Russ College, to spread the word about this event. So far, we have plans to flyer and table specific dates across campus. Our hope is that we can start changing the culture of move out and finals weekend- to really get people thinking about how they can prepare to leave the city and do it in the most responsible and sustainable way possible!

Spring Break is Coming

Melissa Kuchta

Melissa Kuchta,
Junior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 3 March 2019

Spring is finally almost approaching! I can’t believe how fast this semester is flying by. This time of year is one of my favorites and I bet you can guess why. We have spring break of course! I love hearing about everyone’s spring break traditions and thought I would share a little bit about my own.

Every year since I was a senior in high school, I have gone to Fort Myers, Florida to visit my boyfriend’s grandfather. Because he lives so far away, it is a real treat to get to see him this time every year. It’s also great that we know someone who lives in such a warm place, as we are able to go to the beach, the pool, and the outlet malls in March—a month that is typically still freezing here in Athens. We also save money because we don’t have to book a hotel or beach house!

There are so many fun activities to do in the southwest Florida area. Last year, we got the chance to take a riverboat tour of a section of the Everglades. It was so amazing to see the different wildlife—including jaguars, crocodiles, and dolphins!

I am looking forward to heading back to one of my favorite vacation spots in one short week, and to see what new adventures this year will bring. Hopefully we don’t miss our departure flight this year, as it is at 6:00 in the morning.. I’m sure the excitement of vacation will guarantee my getting out of bed at 4:00 am.

I hope everyone has a great spring break—whether you are going on a vacation or just relaxing at home.

Enjoying my Last Semester

Nicholas Burton

Nicholas Burton,
Senior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 25 February 2019

I never thought I’d say it, but I don’t have enough to do this semester (knock on wood).

Turns out, when you’re a fifth-year, the last half of your victory lap is very chill. On top of that, with the job hunt being out of the way, there is a lot of free time and nothing really mandatory to be done. I’ve never had a semester that has had less than 16 credit hours, and the classes I am taking this semester don’t have a lot of homework that is involved, so there really isn’t anything pressing most of the time. Please don’t see this as me WANTING to have a busy schedule by any means. I kind of look at it more as my reward for the past 4-1/2 years before I enter the grind of a consistent 40+ hour work week.

I am really looking forward to the upcoming warm weather, as hopefully this will get me out of my apartment and off of Fortnite more. My final Fest Season is in the near future, so I am looking to take full advantage of these weekends with the all of friends I’ve made here. In addition to this, March Madness will be in full swing following spring break. This is usually one of the best times of the year, so there is plenty to look forward to.