Calculus Class and Multi-Engine Flying

Gavin Whitehead

Gavin Whitehead,
Junior, Aviation

Athens, OH 14 February 2015

I’ve been planning out my senior year class schedule since freshman year. My plan was to take the harder classes before my senior year to make my last year here a breeze. One thing I didn’t quite plan out was that all of those harder classes were going to be compiled all to this year.

One of the classes I have been putting off till this semester is calculus. The thing about calculus is I haven’t taken anything math-related since high school. Going into this semester I was pretty nervous and for some reason the word “derivative” scared me. As it turns out, the class isn’t all that bad and the worry and stress I gave myself dreading over this was for nothing. One of the big things that is helping me though the class is the Student Connect software (the access code that comes with textbook that no one enjoys buying). It gives step-by-step instructions on how to do everything we learn in class and I would look over it the day before. This gave me a lot of confidence and I ended up scoring one of the highest on the first exam!

My favorite course by far this semester is the Multi-Engine Airplane certification course which is my last flight course I will take before graduation. The plane we use for this class is a Baron 55. Comparably, other flight schools usually train in a Piper Seminole that only puts out 180 hp on a side. The Barron 55 is a monster and it puts out 300 hp each engine for a total of 600 hp! This plane actually puts you back in your seat on takeoff and it is a blast. I regularly break 200 mph and like I always say, the faster the better! This is definitely the capstone class for me and I can’t wait to jump back in it for next time.

Campus Jobs

Jordan Sapp

Jordan Sapp,
Junior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 10 February 2015

Something to consider when thinking about being a college student is whether you want to get a job or not. For me, I didn’t want a job during my first year in school because I wanted to establish a foundation in the transition from high school to college and focus mainly on my classes. As my sophomore year rolled around, I decided that I was capable of working a few hours a week so I got a job at parking services.

I really enjoy working, it gives me some time away from the classroom and homework and allows me to do some physical labor. My current position as event manager is quite a diverse job in that my role is never the same from day to day. One day I could be moving barricades another day I could be dealing with a customer who had their car towed. The ever-changing job tasks keep me on my toes and give some challenges outside of labs and projects.


As a junior now, it was imperative that I have a job so that I could buy groceries and pay for rent. I actually picked up a second job this semester driving a shuttle bus for Ohio University’s Transportation Services. I currently drive the purple loop CATS bus which is a free shuttle service offered to Ohio University students. Working two jobs has helped me in the ability to manage my time and ensure that I am getting all of my work done. Work is not always a bad thing, I would suggest if you can manage your time well work in college could be for you.

Flying Experience as a Bobcat

Josh D'Urso

Josh D’Urso,
Senior, Aviation

Athens, OH 3 February 2015

As an Aviation Flight major you go through many flight courses that help you attain different licenses and certificates. I am now in my final semester at Ohio University and taking my last flight course: Multi-Engine Flight. There are many major milestones throughout training as a pilot such as initial private pilots license, an instrument rating, or finally attaining your CFI (Certified Flight Instructor license). Multi-Engine Flight is the one flight course that I have been looking forward to completing since I began my flight courses.

During my time at Ohio University I’ve flown four different airplanes: Cessna 152, Cessna 172, Piper Warrior III, and a Piper Arrow. Of those four, the Piper Arrow was the fastest, most powerful, and most complex aircraft. It was 200 horsepower and would cruise around 130 mph. The Baron 55, which is the multi-engine plane, has 300 horsepower on each engine and cruises around 190 mph. It is a big jump in power and speed in any plane that I’ve ever flown. It also requires a lot more focus and attention than anything I’ve ever done. After an hour flight, I can feel more mentally and physically exhausted than any sports practice I’ve been through. This challenging course will help me get ready for the industry and the real world.

Online Job Searching

Casey Davis

Casey Davis,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 03 February 2015

These days everything you want to find out about or are interested has information online. As a university student how can you use this to benefit you? Should you just use Google and look up engineering jobs? Is there a possibility to narrow down your search to specific areas of interest?

Here at Ohio University there are many different avenues for those of you that don’t exactly know where you are going to work and apply your education. These tools are effective in gaining access to areas of the world that before the internet would have been much more difficult.

For example, there’s the CLDC (Career and Leadership Development Center) and Bobcat CareerLink. For those of you that have never created a resume before college (or a good one at least) the CLDC will go over your resume give you helpful hints and give you the tools to highlight your quality talents and accomplishments. When your resume is improved and looking good you can post it on Bobcat CareerLink. This is a job web site that students and employers can find jobs and candidates that they believe will fit their needs.

I myself have been contacted by Epic (a healthcare software developer) and Honda without applying–employers contacted me, not the other way around. Trust me there is no better feeling than hearing from an employer they want you to interview. This makes job searches/getting an initial job much easier.

There is also a LinkedIn group that consists of Bobcat alums. You can see where they live, who they work for, and the category in which they work (education, consulting, engineering…). This allows for you to contact specific alumni and at the very least find out helpful hints about certain jobs/interview processes. All of these avenues give you a leg up from the competition and will allow you to make yourself stand out from the rest.

The Intimacy of Athens

Eric May

Eric May,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 29 January 2015

Athens is truly a college town. What I mean by that is you can thrive here using your own two legs. When prospective students are looking at where to go to college, I think that they often don’t consider whether or not they need a car or how close together the campus is. Coming from Columbus, Ohio, I drove everywhere. In Athens, I drive maybe once per week to get groceries. I love this because I get to exercise and I’m constantly running into my classmates and friends on Court Street and around campus. Not a single day goes by where I don’t run into somebody. This kind of intimacy allows for a very relaxed, inviting, fun, and creative atmosphere. Working on a project at a coffee shop, and perhaps somebody walks by and has a great insight or can help you at a point where you’re stuck–those kind of interactions that are common here.

But it’s not just work. Recently I was at the Cider House with a great friend. Some of the bars have board games and puzzles and things like that. What better way to spend an evening than sitting on a couch, not at home, and playing games and having fun and building friendships?

Jenga Tower

Of course you can do this anywhere, but in Athens you can do this casually, which I think is incredibly important. If I wanted to do this in a city like Columbus, it becomes an ordeal. I have to get in my car, drive somewhere, park, worry about driving, etc. In Athens, it’s just “Oh, hey, let’s go watch the Bobcat basketball game” or “Hey, let’s meet for breakfast at Casa Nueva.” These things don’t need to be planned well in advance. It feeds a student’s creativity and creates a much better atmosphere than I’ve seen in many other places.

Learning about Alternative Energy

Erin Tracy

Erin Tracy,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 23 January 2015

There will always be a huge need for energy around the world, which is why many companies are working to find alternative energy sources to meet the increasing demands. Coal and natural gas are most commonly used in the United States and will most likely continue to be for the near future. But these types of finite resources are dwindling, and for this reason there is an ever-growing need for renewables.

I have been studying renewable energy on and off for the past four years of college, starting with my ME 101 research paper on photovoltaic cells freshman year. I enjoyed learning about this topic then, and continue to expand on it now in my senior year with my Senior Design project and energy management technical elective class.

My Senior Design team has been working all year on a system to bring electricity to two schools in Cambodia to power laptops and a printer for teachers to write up lesson plans and worksheets for their students, using solar energy. Our hope is that the teachers in these schools will be able to provide a better educational experience for the students by the use of our system. We are thrilled to use our skills as mechanical engineers to develop a system that will bring technology to students who have never seen such.

The courses I’ve taken and projects I’ve been involved with during my time at OU have definitely heightened my interest in the field of renewable energy. I’m sure I’ll find the energy management class I’m taking this semester to be interesting. I hope to learn more about the current energy demands and how alternative methods such as solar and wind power could be utilized in the future.

Winter Break is Over

Steve Toth

Steve Toth,
Junior, Engineering Technology & Management

Athens, OH 13 January 2015

“What!? Break is over already? What do you mean classes start Monday?” I’m sure this same thought was running through the minds of many students (and professors) this past weekend. For those that stayed in Athens that probably means they have to start fighting for parking spots again. For those that went home that means no more home-cooked meals. Regardless, for all, it means back to the grindstone.

Although it may not be welcomed at first, spring semester does have its perks. Athens will not be as barren and lonely (for those that stayed in or visited Athens over break, you know what I mean). Friends will be reunited. You no longer have to live in your parent’s NEW closet / workout room / sewing room. (If your parents haven’t converted your old bedroom into something for themselves, trust me they are planning).

And most importantly, spring semester offers a new course load with new professors and new classmates providing new experiences, new friends and the opportunity to explore new interests. Well it’s back to homework for me; bundle up ladies and gents, it’s time for winter…