Tag Archives: campus jobs

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.


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.

Zamboni Driver

Adam Robertson

Adam Robertson,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 15 March 2016

With so many exciting things happening this year, one of the most fun things I have done is to work at Bird Ice Arena as a Zamboni driver. Like every young boy playing hockey, I always wanted to get the chance to drive the Zamboni around the ice rink. Even as a senior at Ohio University, driving the Zamboni was still on the life bucket list.

Luckily for me I was able to pull a few strings and become an official Zamboni driver here at school. As a Zamboni driver, it is my job not only to maintain and repair the ice, but also to repair any hockey or ice equipment that needs it.

Even though engineering is a difficult degree that can be time consuming, I would highly recommend doing some part time work in college. I wish I had this job my freshman year because it is not only a good way to get some extra money, but it is also a good way to meet some new people. I have personally made some great friends at Bird, and it hasn’t even been a year since I started!

Whether you are doing research with a professor or working as a Zamboni driver at Bird, having a part time job at school is great experience!

Alexa Hoynacke

Alexa Hoynacke,
Junior, Industrial and Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 22 February 2016

An activity that I have been very involved in at Ohio University since coming here as a freshman 2-1/2 years ago is Ohio University Outdoor Pursuits (OUOP).

Two weeks before starting freshman year I participated in the OUOP New Adventures program. Along with 7 other freshmen, I went on a 4-day rock climbing trip in the Red River Gorge. I had rock climbed a little bit in high school, but this was my first time on real rock. This experience was absolutely amazing and I met one of my best friends in college on this trip. I recommend that every freshman look into this program.

In this picture I am belaying my friend Charlie on a route in the Red River Gorge. This was a trip we took last summer.

Rock Climbing

Since participating in New Adventures I have had some awesome experience with OUOP. I have gone on kayaking, backpacking and caving trips. I currently am an OUOP rock wall supervisor. I am very lucky that I found a job doing something that I love.

This past weekend was the Spring Climbing Competition. About 40 people from around the state participated which was an awesome turnout. I worked the competition so I help judge our intermediate division and helped run the event. OUOP offers something for every student and I am so happy I got involved my freshman year.

A CE in a ChemE Lab

Mira Cooper

Mira Cooper,
Junior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 13 September 2015

As a civil engineer, I don’t have to take very many chemistry classes. Which is sad, because I LOVE chemistry. So, when I found an opportunity to work in an environmental lab that combined my interests in chemistry and water quality engineering, I was so excited. I sent some emails, talked to a few professors, and wound up with the job!

During the semester I work 10 hours a week at the
Institute for Sustainable Energy and the Environment
(ISEE), which is part of the Ohio Coal Research Center. I started out working on a project with a goal of finding a chemical method of treating the wastewater from hydraulic fracturing natural gas extraction. I was in the lab, working directly with the chemicals, calculations, and analytical machinery needed to make progress on this project. I worked on that project for about a year, including winter break and over summer, where I would work 30-35 hours a week. It was awesome! I was involved every step of the way, from the writing of the standard operating procedure documents all the way to the analytical testing of the final product.

But, frankly, the best part of working at ISEE is the support that I get from everyone else who works there. There’s an amazing sense of teamwork and camaraderie–everyone is willing to help out in any way they can. We’re constantly learning from each other, and we’re learning things that typically aren’t taught to engineers in our respective specialties. I’m a CE essentially doing ChemE work, with a sprinkling of ME tasks here and there. I’ve learned to use power tools, which was a VERY big step for me because I’ve always been afraid of big, scary machines that could rip your hand off without a second’s delay.

I’m really glad that I ended up working at ISEE. In about a year and a half, I went from Undergraduate Research Assistant to Analytical Lab Lead. Now I have much more responsibility relating to the lab itself, rather than the individual projects that come through. It’s really uplifting to see so much growth in myself from when I started to now. It reminds me about how fluid education is, and how you’re always learning and always growing.

Summer Work in Athens

Chris Delwiche

Chris Delwiche,
Senior, Engineering Technology and Management

Athens, OH 28 August 2015

Fall semester is here which officially marks the beginning of the end of my time here in Athens! It’s time to start applying for jobs and preparing for the next chapter. While I’m sure I’ll miss Athens, I was able to spend one last summer here doing some really enjoyable stuff.

Ohio University hosted the International Space University (ISU) summer program here this summer. It’s an event where people who aspire to work in the space industry come from 31 different countries for a fast paced summer degree program to learn various skills, and network.

I helped transport people back and forth to the Columbus airport, which turned out to be a lot more fun than it sounds. I had the opportunity to meet people from all over the world, 3 different astronauts, various distinguished professors and entrepreneurs, and NASA engineers. I loved hearing all of their stories about space and work, and getting different perspectives from those who aren’t from the United States.

As well as helping out with ISU, I did some CAD work for the Innovation Center here in Athens. Using Solidworks, I recreated some old plastic Porsche 944 parts (as well as a few other things) and 3-D printed them out for a client who modifies this particular vehicle. This was especially cool for me since I’m a car enthusiast. I’m hoping to make my final year as enjoyable as this summer was!

Porsche 944