Preparing for Summer

Brandon Mahr

Brandon Mahr,
Junior, Engineering Technology & Management

Athens, OH 27 March 2017

The cherry trees are blooming, the birds are singing, and fest season is upon us, which means one thing: summer is right around the corner. This semester has absolutely flown by, and my plans for this summer are finally starting to come together. This summer, I plan to study abroad in Italy for six weeks studying business, hopefully intern for a couple of months, and also spend some time relaxing with friends and family.

This summer I have to travel abroad in order to fulfill a scholarship requirement. After months of planning, I finally decided to go to the Santa’Anna Institute in Sorrento, Italy to study business in the European Union. The Office of Global Opportunities (OGO) here at OU is top-notch, and they helped me throughout my search. I eventually came upon the Sorrento program through OGO, and I never looked back.

As an engineering student, it is often times difficult to find an abroad program that caters towards your program, but studying abroad can be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and has many, many benefits. Think outside the box, and think of taking classes abroad that could perhaps help you achieve a minor or certificate.

I am also hoping to co-op with Toyota for a couple months before I travel abroad. I am in communications with them currently, and am trying to work out a position that lasts for only two months. Remember that intern or co-op terms typically last 3-4 months, so keep this in mind for summer plans.

Also, don’t forget to relax and spend some time with your family and friends over the summer. You only have 4 summers until you are thrust into the “real world”, so enjoy them.

Getting Outdoors Around Athens

Matt McKenzie

Matt McKenzie,
Junior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 25 March 2017

With the warm weather of spring just around the corner, I look forward to spending some more time outdoors when possible. Anytime I find free time between classes and my work in engineering extracurriculars, I like taking some time to get outside and enjoy some fresh air. Whether I go play soccer, hike, or donate my time to organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, being outdoors to me is relaxing and sometimes needed with the pressure of school.

One of the recent activities I was able to enjoy was exploring Sells Park. I had never been there before and I ended up hiking around for about two-and-a-half hours, exploring all the neat outcrops and hilltop views. Growing up in Pittsburgh, I am quite used to hilly terrain and I have always liked climbing my way to the top of the hills, and just looking out over everything below.

The other thing that I try to get involved in at least once a week is intramural soccer. I grew up playing soccer and had played all through high school, but it was something I had to give up coming to college, so I enjoy the times I am able to get back out on the field for a little.

As I was an intramural soccer referee my freshman year, I met many people who still contact me to play with them to this day. The best part about that is I don’t have to worry about starting a team or whether enough people will show up to the games, if I’m able to I can just show up and play.

For me, just getting outdoors is fun and relaxing so with the warmer weather to come, I look forward to spending a little more time doing things outside without having to worry about freezing while I’m at it.

Relaxing with Yoga

Emily Morello

Emily Morello,
Junior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 23 March 2017

One of my favorite hobbies is yoga. I have been practicing yoga since my junior year of high school and do not see myself quitting any time soon. I started going to yoga after I had many knee issues from running track in high school. I had to go to physical therapy for my injuries.

As a long term solution, my therapist recommended that I start stretching more often to relieve tension in my knees. After doing yoga for a month straight, I noticed a huge difference in my flexibility and my knee pain was gone! From then on, I have made it a point to stretch every day and do an actual yoga class at least once a week.

Yoga not only has many physical benefits, it has mental benefits as well. When I am overloaded with school work and start to stress out, yoga always helps me calm down. The main thing I love about it is that it can be as easy or as hard as you want it to be. No matter what the difficulty, I always feel rejuvenated after.

My favorite type of yoga is Vinyasa, which means “to flow”. It is a series of movements that flow together. I particularly like power vinyasa, especially when the room is hot. Hot yoga helps increase flexibility since it warms the muscles. At first, I thought I would not like being stuck in a hot room doing hard yoga poses, but it is actually incredible. I definitely recommend giving it a try if you want a good workout. I also love gentle yoga. This type is great if I need to destress and get a good stretch in.

Finally, yoga is meant for any age group and is a great go-to work out when traveling. Adding this in even once a week can make a huge impact on balancing out stress levels.

The Stamp Situation

Jacob Motts

Jacob Motts,
Senior, Engineering Technology & Management

Athens, OH 19 March 2017

What many people may not know about me is that I am currently carrying out an engineering design internship within the Innovation Center at Ohio University. The Innovation Center has many purposes, but one is to serve as a nest for startup companies in the Southeastern-Ohio area and provide many fantastic resources to transform peoples’ ideas into reality.

When an individual has a new idea or new design they bring it to us to be turned into a reality. My job is to transform those ideas into CAD models and produce high-quality 3D-printed prototypes utilizing our Stratasys Objet 3D-printer. Sometimes those prototypes even serve as a functional final product, as is the case with one client of ours named Susie Abramovitz.

Finished Mug

Susie is a local artisan who does absolutely amazing pottery work. One of her mugs can be seen above. One of the characteristics that sets Susie’s work apart from the rest is her use of 3D-printed stamps to imprint the clay. This is where I come in.

A typical process has Susie’s graphic designer make a 2D sketch of the picture and send it to me. I then convert the Adobe Illustrator files into a linear CAD drawing and later construct a 3-dimensional stamp form in Solidworks to be printed. In the past, no issues were happening as Susie used the stamps in her work. However, with the new School of Nursing stamps to be made, that was a different story.

No changes were made in the process, but for whatever reason, these stamps were just not pressing deep enough into the clay. We knew it wasn’t the design because it was made in the same way as prints had been in the past. Many attempts and several redesigns later, we were still no closer to getting a good stamp into the clay. To make matters worse, the due date for the mugs was fast approaching.

At 9:00 pm on a Friday night it hit me mid conversation. Chemistry. Chemistry was causing the stamps to fail. Susie uses canola oil as a releasing agent for her stamping. In the past there was never a problem because we had printed the stamps using the Vero plastic material. However, this set of stamps were being printed in ABS plastic.

Stamps

In a flurry I went online to confirm my suspicions and sure enough; vegetable oils chemically attack ABS plastics. In other words, the canola oil was eating away all the details off of the stamp and leaving the clay surface marred. However, after a simple change in releasing agent to WD-40, it all fell into place. The stamps imprinted perfectly (pictured above), the mugs came out great, and the deadline was met. Another happy client.

Spring Break Road Trip

Rob Parker

Rob Parker,
Senior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 17 March 2017

As most people know, when spring semester rolls around every student is thinking of their spring break plans. Students tend to gravitate towards a destination in Florida or somewhere south, with the main stipulation being that the location has to be warm and sunny. Many of these spring break trips are planned far in advance and some not so much.

This was the case for my most recent and final spring break of my college career. Myself and five of my best friends decided on a whim (2 weeks before spring break) that we were going to take a cross country trip in just 8 days with the turnaround point being the West Coast.

Spring Break Trip

We traveled a total of 5,100 miles, passed through 9 states and saw some of the most breath taking sites along the way. We started from Athens, Ohio and made it to the Santa Barbara Boardwalk at the end of the historic Route 66.

Spring Break Trip

Along the way we stopped in Denver, Colorado; Pike’s Peak, Four Corners, The Grand Canyon, Los Angeles, Hollywood and Beverly Hills. On the way back we saw The Hoover Dam and stopped in Las Vegas for a night.

Spring Break Trip

I got to see things in person on this trip that I’ve only ever seen in pictures and to me that was awesome. We traveled many miles and spent a lot of hours cooped up in a minivan and surprisingly enough, we never got tired of each other’s presence. I’ve been fortunate enough to have met some great people with my time at school and I’m glad that I can take random trips with them.

Spring Break in San Diego with RLI

Kevin White

Kevin White,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 14 March 2017

My last Spring Break as a college student was definitely the best one. This fall, I was a member of the Robe Leadership Institute. This was a course that focused on building leadership skills to a small group Russ College seniors.

To conclude the course, we were fortunate enough to have to opportunity to take a trip out to San Diego, CA to meet with various CEOs while they give us a tour of their companies.

This trip could not have been possible without Russ College alumnus, Dan Squiller. Dan arranged for us to meet with these CEOs throughout the week.

It was so fascinating to hear the CEOs’ stories and career paths. After going a semester learning about leadership, it was so beneficial to see it in action. These CEOs are very successful and they told us their keys to becoming successful.

If you told me at the beginning of my freshman year that I would be spending my Spring Break meeting 6 CEO’s while allowing me to pick their brain, I would have called you crazy. This was honestly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I would like to think I took full advantage of it.

My favorite company that we saw was HM Electronics Inc. This company designs and manufactures the headsets that you see in fast food restaurants such as McDonalds and Starbucks. They also deal with many other electronic solutions in their market.

RLI in San Diego

Their CEO is Chuck Miyahira. Chuck gave us some great insight on how to succeed both early and later in our careers. Joining Robe Leadership Institute was one of the best decisions of my college career and I will take so much away with me as I begin my full-time job in June.

Spring Break in NC

Mollie Whitacre

Mollie Whitacre,
Senior, Computer Science

Athens, OH 14 March 2017

I went to Asheville, North Carolina for four days to visit my aunt and uncle in the mountains. My expectations were pretty low because it isn’t a town I’ve heard many people talk about. The drive was lengthy, but it was surrounded with mountain tops and gorgeous scenery.

North Carolina

I arrived to find that Asheville was a larger version of Athens. It was very laid back and most of the food was locally grown and organic. The best meal I had was locally made French toast stuffed with sausage and cheese. My mouth is watering just thinking about it! I learned very quickly that Asheville is also known for its craft beer because you cannot drive a mile in that town without seeing a brewery!

My hands down, favorite part of the whole trip was zip lining. I was scared to death looking down and thinking that I’m trusting my life with a cable and a few clips, but it was the best feeling in the whole world. It felt like I was a bird flying in the wind, looking down 300 feet at trees, and trying to spot something below me. Once I relaxed in my harness, I enjoyed the wind in my face and the adrenaline rushing through my body.

My spring break wasn’t on a beach, but it was a very enjoyable couple of days.