Tag Archives: Ambassador Activities

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.

Experience Engineering Day

Steve Toth

Steve Toth,
Junior, Engineering Technology & Management

Athens, OH 13 October 2014

Ahh, the Experience Engineering & Technology Days, I remember five years ago when I was the same shoes as the 40 high school students were today–exploring my college options by taking campus tours. I remember what really drew me to Ohio University was the warm atmosphere created by Athens and definitely interacting with the faculty and students of the Russ College of Engineering and Technology. These qualities that drew me in at first are the same that have kept me satisfied with my education and on track for graduation.

Today, the high school students and their parents were able to hear from students directly and see what we engineers do at the Russ College. It provides insight as to what each major delves into and seeing the facilities where they may spend many hours helps in shaping their ultimate college decision.

During the tours of Stocker Center and the Academic and Research Center, parents and students were not only able to see the facilities. They also were also able to see some of the projects that Russ College students are working on; such as: road material testing in a civil engineering lab, interactive circuits in a computer science lab, metal machining in an engineering technology and management lab and senior capstone projects where students interact with companies in a mechanical engineering lab. No matter where one goes within The Russ College of Engineering, students will be learning practical, marketable skills with the use of the latest technology to “Create for Good”.

Lunch with Dean Irwin

Natasha Norris

Natasha Norris,
Junior, Electrical Engineering

Athens, OH 19 September 2014

This past Tuesday, the Engineering Ambassadors and several student organization representatives had the honor to attend a luncheon hosted by Dr. Dennis Irwin, the Dean of the Russ College. This was not only my first formal meeting with Dean Irwin, but this was the first for several of the other new ambassadors as well.

The Dean started off the meeting with a variety of stories all emphasizing the purpose of the meeting and of the ambassadors. All of the Ambassadors are students, so we experience all the classroom settings that every student experiences. The Dean emphasized that ambassadors are added eyes and ears for Russ College.

The purpose of the luncheon was to relay the concerns of Russ College students to the Dean. He wants the students to be able to reach out to him and express their ideas for improvements and new technology. It was evident that student ideas and contributions are vital to the success of the Russ College.

Some of the ideas the ambassadors brought to the meeting were improvement of lab equipment, discussions on the atmosphere in classrooms, and the technology available in the computer labs. Even smaller things, such as replacing the erasers in the ARCM/a> were mentioned.

I have already seen some of the suggested improvements appear around the Russ College since the meeting. As a Russ College student, I fully believe that the ambassadors and the Dean have the student body’s best interest at heart.

Ohio University Challenge Course

Lance Jackson

Lance Jackson,
Senior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 8 September 2014

Beginning this semester as an Engineering Ambassador has truly been an enjoyable experience. Being surrounded by fellow students who all are involved in a number of engineering-related organizations has opened my eyes to how many diverse groups the Russ College has to offer. With ambassadors representing all of our different engineering and technology disciplines, there were a number of us who were unfamiliar with each other. In order to break the ice, a challenge course activity was scheduled this past weekend at The Ridges at OU.

The Ridges Challenge Course

We participated in a number of fun activities as a group and also had some down time that allowed us to get to know each other a little better.

Challenge Course

The first activity we did once we arrived at the Ridges was a name game where everyone had to state their name along with a motion that starts with the first letter in their name. In addition, there were a couple of timed activities where we had to work collectively as a team to complete the activity while trying to beat the time we set in the previous trial.

Challenge Course Run

There were also a couple of activities where we were split into two teams and competed head to head during the activity, which got pretty intense.

Challenge Course Race

All in all, I feel like our day at the challenge course was a success. We were able to get to know each other a little better and being forced to work in teams to complete an activity enabled us to develop a trust that we can take back and apply to our ambassador tasks during the year.

Casey and Nick Blindfolded

Russ College First-Year Welcome Dinner

Justin Lumbard

Justin Lumbard,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 4 September 2014

Earlier this evening, freshmen of all engineering and technology disciplines were able to explore some of the very diverse offerings available to them as a student in the Russ College of Engineering and Technology. I was able to escort a group of undecided engineering freshmen through several excellently prepared stations to introduce them to engineering majors that they had been interested in as well as some that they may not have considered before.

One stop on our tour brought us to the ASME design project. The students were able to see the robot that the Mechanical engineering students had designed for the previous year’s Battle Bots competition. The group that I led was able to listen to Tyler Lucas as he explained the design process while Dylan Rhodes drove the robot around and answered specific design questions the students came up with.

Finally, we moved to the ballroom in Baker Center. Outside the ballroom, several engineering organizations were there to introduce themselves to the freshmen and welcome them to the college. Inside, we were served a surprisingly good dinner of lasagna and salad which let the students eat and get to know one another better. After dinner, Dean Irwin welcomed all of the new students to the Russ College and congratulated them for their talents and wished them all well with their studies.

Welcome Weekend at the Russ College

Casey Davis

Casey Davis,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 27 August 2014

This year’s Russ College Welcome for new students was such a successful event–thanks to all of those who came! We had quite the turnout this year, with around 280 freshman engineering students here to learn a little bit about what the Russ College has to offer.

Mechanical Engineers

At the Welcome Session, there were Engineering Ambassadors from every major of the Russ College including Mechanical, Chemical, Computer Science, Electrical, Industrial and Systems, Civil, Engineering Technology and Management, and Aviation. After arriving, the new students scrambled to find the room for their major.

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineers

In my room of future Industrial and Systems Engineers, the majority of students were female (all with a great sense of humor), something that pleasantly surprised me, as there is not always an equal distribution of both sexes in engineering. It was good to see that my future profession will offer diversity and future perspectives in the field.

Industrial and Systems Engineers

All of the majors started their session with an informal student-to-student presentation. This allowed for them ask real questions from current students including job potential, best dining hall, and how hard physics actually is here.

Welcome Weekend

After the presentation, my group took a small tour of the ISE department as well as the computer lab where they will spend many hours. After the official ending of the tour, students seemed to be much more comfortable asking detailed questions about classes and engineering in general. This orientation was something I did not get to attend when I was a freshman and wish I had, for the sake of having a better idea of what life was going to be like for the next four years. I met many new faces and personalities of the future and I must say I like where it is going.

Visiting TTX

Sarah Anderson

Sarah Anderson,
Senior, Industrial and Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 12 March 2014 – Earlier this week, the Engineering Ambassadors went on our annual professional development corporate trip. This year, we went to Chicago for a couple of days and visited different companies and met several OU alumni. The companies ranged from a fry grease regeneration and processing facility to a civil engineering firm that inspected the structure of some of the city’s iconic skyscrapers.

One of the places we visited was TTX, a railcar pooling company. This company fills a unique niche in that it rents its iconic yellow railcars to the major railways for as long as they are needed, and then the cars are transported short distances to the location to where they can be used next, similar to a rental car company.


This was one of the most interesting companies because it appealed to the broad range of engineers present, and we were all able to see real-life applications of our own discipline as well as the other engineering disciplines. The mechanical engineers were able to see how the cars themselves were designed and retrofitted to meet the changing demands. The aviation majors drew parallels between the railcars and airplanes in the amount of time the vehicle could stay in use as well as required inspections. As an industrial engineer, I was interested to learn about the logistics of the railcar movements as well as the way this method was more efficient than the individual railways buying their own cars. We all benefitted from seeing the business side of engineering required in finding what the market requires and negotiating with clients.

All of the employees we talked to at TTX were very hospitable and more than willing to answer all the questions that we had. All the engineers who went enjoyed the trip; it was enlightening, showing us how much more applications there are in the engineering field than anyone realizes. It was encouraging to get outside the classroom and see real-life applications, especially seeing the work that OU graduates were doing in the years after leaving Athens.