Tag Archives: class projects

Construction Estimating

Robert Parker

Robert Parker,
Junior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 29 November 2015

The air is becoming cooler and crisper and the days are much shorter. I cannot believe that we are done with November and moving in to the last month of the year. The semester is coming to a close and the project deadlines are approaching. There is nothing more that terrifies me than project deadlines and finals. Even though I am terrified to think of what is in the near future, I am still ready to tackle them head-on. I have found that I work and learn best when I am under a little pressure.

One of my favorite classes of the semester is CE 4160, Construction Estimating & Equipment. In this class, I have been working on roadway construction projects all semester. In this class we are divided up into groups and we are given a set of plan drawings to which we need to make an estimate of how much the project will cost to build. I like this class the most because it is most applicable to what I want to do once I graduate.

Another benefit of this class is that is directly related to one of the organizations that I’m in. The Civil Engineering Estimating Team does exactly what my class is teaching me. We get a set of plan drawings and we need to bid the project during a competition.

I find that I tend to like classes more that I can directly relate to outside of the class room. I am what they call a “hands on” kind of person.

Project in Industrial Computer Simulation

Melinda Nelson

Melinda Nelson,
Senior, Industrial and Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 19 November 2015

The semester is quickly winding down, and for a lot of courses, that means projects are quickly coming due as well. Some classes and projects are definitely more enjoyable than others, but one class that has pleasantly surprised me is ISE 4130, Industrial Computer Simulation.

As ISE’s we study processes and how people and parts interact with them in different situations. The great thing about this is that it is super interactive. The downside to studying processes is that you cannot always be on location somewhere watching and recording what’s going on. This is where simulation comes in.

Simulation is a tool that can be used to model processes of all kinds on the computer. It can model anything from construction sites to package delivery centers to hospitals. The usefulness of simulation does not just exist in the fact that we are able to model processes and events on the computer; the real key is that we can predict outcomes based on changing events like unexpected order arrivals, patient emergencies and changes in demand.

There are several simulation software packages that model things with different capabilities. In my class we use Arena and Simio. Arena is a 2-D simulator while Simio has 3-D animation and 360 degree viewing capabilities. It’s cool how customizable it can be. Below is the animation of a transporter simulation I modeled; as you can see, you can have a lot of fun with the animations!

Transporter Simulation

Most models we have simulated thus far have introduced us to modeling operators, manufacturers, parts and different types of services like restaurants and banks. Most recently, we learned how to model transporters (operators or vehicles that actually carry parts or products).

Our final project for the class is in Simio and for that assignment we are modeling a real-life assembly process of an automobile headlight manufacturer and experimenting with operator job assignments. Though it can be challenging at times, I said before that simulation surprised me; the surprise is that I really enjoy it a lot!

Project in Sustainable Construction

Nick Sparks

Nick Sparks,
Senior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 19 March 2015

When we got back from spring break, my Sustainable Construction class got assigned a project that is going to extend until the end of the semester. Our problem statement is to work with Ohio University to see what it would take to get various buildings around campus to a LEED Silver standard. LEED is the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED is one of the leading green building standards used throughout the country and parts of the world.

The group I am working with has been assigned Siegfred Hall, it is currently used as the Arts building. During this past week we have been taking multiple tours of the building to understand different parts of the energy use, transportation, environmental, and a few other components. Our group is tasked to see what it would take to in order to obtain the LEED Silver Certification.

LEED takes into account six major aspects:

  • location and transportation
  • sustainable sites
  • water efficiency
  • energy and atmosphere
  • materials and resources
  • indoor environmental quality

These six categories have different numbers of points that you can achieve and total up to 110 points for the highest certification of Platinum. For our project we have to reach a minimum of a Silver certification which is between 50 to 59 points. Our professor is challenging us not to just stop there at silver but to really see what it would take to get an even higher certification of Gold or Platinum.

Our professor also surprised us with the fact that once our projects are complete our report with be shared with the university along with a presentation to the sustainability department. They will be able to use our project as a starting point when it is time for a major renovation.

Electronics and Microcontrollers

Steve Toth

Steve Toth,
Junior, Engineering Technology & Management

Athens, OH 9 November 2014

No… I am not an electrical engineer. But being an Engineering Technology and Management student, I receive a good taste of electronics and programming. In the final project for my electronics and microcontrollers class, we are creating a robot that is completely autonomous. The robot will drive forward until it reaches an obstacle which is sensed by an ultrasonic sensor. At this point the robot will reverse and the ultrasonic sensor will turn left and right, using a servo, sensing for more obstructions and determine which direction to turn and continue forward.

Mini Electric Car

This project is based on an Arduino microcontroller which is a platform programmable in the C computer language. It can accept digital and analog input signals from components such as switches and sensors and then process this data to command outputs for components such as motors, servos and lights. All of this is powered by a pack of 4 AA batteries fed through a voltage regulator providing a constant 5V to feed the Arduino.

Although you could probably tell from my past blogs I am more of a mechanical than an electrical person, but I’ve really been enjoying this class and especially this project as I have been learning a lot about how many of the devices in our everyday life work that you don’t really think about.

Applying Lean Methods on Campus

Ross Lowry

Ross Lowry,
Senior, Engineering Technology & Management

Athens, OH 4 November 2014

One of the classes I’m taking this semester is ETM 4320 which is Lean Enterprise Methods, its main focus being Lean Engineering. For those of you who may not be sure what Lean Engineering is, it is essentially the practice of eliminating as much waste from a production process as possible. The lecture portion of this class is already complete; however, the remainder of the semester is going to be spent working on our group project.

We are assigned to choose any business in the Athens area and implement the Lean methods that we learned in class to the business, granted that we have the business’s approval. Our group chose The Front Room coffee shop in Baker Center; other groups chose Whit’s and a local body shop.

Some of the things we may try and change include anything from the layout of their equipment, how many employees they have per shift, what role each employee is going to take, and the line used to take the customers’ orders.

Work on the project is going to begin right away as there is a lot of data we must collect on the Front Room. One of the first things we are going to study is the process to make a cup of coffee. This may seem like a very simple task, but there are a lot of components that go into making one cup of coffee. We consider the beginning of the process right when the customer places the order; the process then concludes as soon as the cup is in the customer’s hand. We will be taking a look at all of the steps in between to determine where we can cut down on time to get the product to you quicker.

Hopefully by the end of this semester we will be able to work out all of the kinks in the operations so that the customer’s experience is improved. We should even be able to save them some money, which could mean lower prices for us?!?!?

Lean Enterprise Methods

Eric Abboud

Eric Abboud,
Senior, Engineering Technology and Management

Athens, OH 5 December 2013 – This fall semester I decided to take an elective within my major called “Lean Enterprise Methods.” The class curriculum revolved around the concept that a workplace can operate smoothly and more efficiently if all the waste is removed from the system. This waste is defined as anything within a system that doesn’t add value to the final product; it can be in the form of time, physical objects, transportation, over-processing, etc.

I know it sounds kind of dry, and it was at times, but it was one of the best classes I’ve ever taken. I really feel like I can go into my future job and add value to any process. This new-found confidence was largely in part due to the hands on group projects that were completed throughout the semester. Our first project was an in-class lab where we simply tried to improve the efficiency of a calzone production line. However, the other two labs actually required us to go out and find clients in Athens and remove waste from an actual work environment. One was in AutoZone and the other was Jackie O’s, a local brewery.

Jackie O's

The brewery was really cool! We had access to entire brewery and met with the owner and brew master on a weekly basis. They were unbelievably helpful and actually excited to work with us. By the end of the project my group had created a proper value stream map for the production of Mystic Mama, Jackie O’s famous IPA. The value stream map was merely one of the many documents that I will be adding to my portfolio!

Summer GCP Project in Greece

Daron DiSabato

Daron DiSabato,
Senior, Electrical Engineering

Athens, OH 18 September 2013 – This summer was a long and very busy one. Immediately following the completion of spring semester, I had the pleasure of spending the month of May in Northern Greece. Through the Ohio University College of Business’ Global Consulting Program (GCP), a group of OU students and I traveled to Thessaloniki to work on a joint business and engineering consulting internship with a local Greek company. Thessaloniki is the second largest city in Greece, home to just over 1,000,000 people, and is located along the coast of the Thermaic Gulf.

Our mixed team of Greek and American students was paired with an elevator manufacturing company that had an impressive fabrication facility and showroom located just outside of the city. We were assigned the task of researching new technologies in lift interior compartments as well as researching strategies for the company to expand their business into northern Baltic countries.

One of our most well received recommendations to the company was to integrate a touch screen display in the lift cabin to add an innovative touch to the lift experience. The purpose of the system would be to give elevator riders quick access to information such as local weather forecasts, stock figures, or news headlines. We suggested that the use of a Raspberry Pi microcomputer installed with the Android operating system would offer the easiest and most cost efficient method of system implementation. The company was very receptive to the idea because the use of Android software would eliminate the need to hire a full time software developer, and this type of system would set their products apart from competitors.

After completing our program, we left Thessaloniki to get some much-needed R&R in the Greek islands of Ios and Santorini. It’s one thing to see the islands in pictures and movies, but it’s an entirely different experience to see them in person. Between the breathtaking views, the crystal clear water beaches, the people and the food, I couldn’t find anything I didn’t love about Greece. The trip was truly extraordinary and I can’t wait until I can go back again!