Tag Archives: engineering classes

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!

Fall and Halloween

Gavin Whitehead

Gavin Whitehead,
Senior, Aviation

Athens, OH 7 November 2015

Just past that halfway point of the semester, it’s starting to get a little cooler and I’m going to be wearing a jacket not too long from now. The temperature got up to 78 degrees last week which I feel never happens after Halloween.

Speaking of Halloween, this past one was awesome. It stayed around 50 degrees throughout the night and it felt great. My last 2 Halloweens were in the low 40’s so I was pumped about the temperature this year.

My tip is always plan your costume for the weather. Let’s just say I was very prepared this year for low temps. I turned out being a banana along with my 3 roommates and people got a kick out of it. I saw some very creative costumes–seeing some people’s creativity makes me feel like I should have been more creative than just getting a banana costume. My favorite one I saw was Shia LaBeouf and he yelled at me saying, “Just Do It!”

My “Transition to Industry” class is still the most exciting class this semester. Yesterday, we went to Port Columbus International Airport to visit Lane Aviation and L-Brands. They were pretty awesome and both companies told us some cool inside things about how the company is run and how to get into similar businesses. We even had a chance to go in some of the private jets such as the Global 6000 which cost $60 million. The cabins of those planes are amazing and it was very cool to get that opportunity.

Another cool thing was the people that worked there. They told the story of how they got there and mentioned how they wish they had opportunities in college like we have here at OU to visit different corporate flight departments. Sometimes in the business world it comes down to who you know and we have a lot of alumni that are out there in the industry.

Transition to Aviation Industry

Gavin Whitehead

Gavin Whitehead,
Senior, Aviation

Athens, OH 20 October 2015

Senior year is here. I can’t believe it is, but if I look back at my time here…it’s believable. These past three years I met a lot of people and have had a lot of memorable experiences. I will miss this place, but I am going to focus more on the two semesters I still have and I am going to enjoy it while it’s here.

So far my class schedule is extremely easy. I’m only taking 3 classes–tough right? That’s called “planning ahead” and getting the tough classes out of the way before the inevitable senioritis kicks in. Spring semester is going to be similar: 3 classes and an online class. I’m loving senior year already.

One thing I really like about my classes is that they are focused more on transitioning from college out to the workforce. The classroom setting feels more like a discussion amongst everyone rather than a lecture which I really like.

My favorite class by far this semester is called Transition to Aviation Industry. The title pretty much says it all. We are learning how to build a resume, practicing interviews, learning how to network, and actually doing a little networking as part of the class. How do you think we go about networking? Field trips!! I haven’t been on a field trip since high school and it was about time for one!

This year we have been visiting airlines and different companies. We even visited control towers. My favorite so far was visiting PSA airlines. I really would like to work for an airline and that was a great way to get my foot in the door and I really liked their facilities. We have four field trips and 15 different guest speakers coming in to talk to us. I’m liking this whole senior year thing.

Applied Cellular and Molecular Biology

Leigh Ann Tumblin

Leigh Ann Tumblin,
Senior, Chemical and Biomolecular engineering

Athens, OH 18 October 2015

Now that we are more than halfway through the fall semester, our engineering classes are becoming more challenging, but also more interesting and exciting. One course I am taking this semester is Applied Cellular and Molecular Biology, which is a chemical engineering class. Biology concepts have never been my strong suit, but I am really enjoying this class and all the things I am learning in it.

In this class, we are learning about things such as the fluid behavior of blood, immunology, diagnostic and therapeutic techniques, and flow cytometry, just to name a few topics. One of the main purposes of the class is to apply basic biology and biomedical concepts in learning how to develop large scale processes to produce the much needed diagnostics and therapeutics that keep us healthy.

My favorite part about the class is that we get to conduct a flow cytometry experiment in the research lab of our professor. Flow cytometry helps characterize the size and complexity of cells, and can be used to determine if cancer cells are present or not.

I’m really glad I decided to take this course because it gave me a perspective on medicine that I never would have had otherwise. I also enjoyed the fact that it pushed me outside of my comfort zone and allowed me to learn new things.

Mechatronics Projects

Katie Logue

Katie Logue,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 18 October 2015

One of my favorite classes this semester has come as a real surprise to me because I honestly didn’t think when I signed up for it that I would enjoy it at all. However, Mechatronics is a required course for mechanical engineering, so I didn’t have much of a choice.

One reason I really like the class is because we’re only in lecture for one hour each week, but we have four hours for lab, and I’ve always been a fan of the more hands-on classes anyway. So far, we’ve done a series of lab activities that have taught us how to use microcontrollers called Arduinos. We get to write the programs on the computer, wire up the circuits, and test our devices.

Now we’re getting to the more interesting part of the class where we get to use what we’ve learned in lab for an actual project. The first project we are doing is an individual project that we were able to choose. For my project, I am creating a jack-o-lantern that lights up and moves when it senses motion. I’m using an infrared motion sensor, color-changing LEDs, a servo motor, and an Arduino. I was able to write the entire program from scratch, and now that I have all of the components working, I just have to solder the connections, and get all of the parts in place before the end of the month.

Another really interesting aspect of this project is that we are collaborating with an ETM class to get some parts for our project created using 3D printing. For my project, my partner is modeling and printing the jack-o-lantern and a base to hold my motor and motion sensor.

I’m really excited to see the finished project and actually be able to take my engineering project and turn it into a cute fall decoration for my apartment. I’m also looking forward to the second project phase of the class, where we work in groups to build a robot and compete against the rest of the class in an obstacle course.

Geotechnical Engineering Lab

Mira Cooper

Mira Cooper,
Junior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 11 October 2015

One of my favorite things about being a junior is that I’m finally getting out of my general education classes and getting into my major-specific ones. For instance, this semester I’m taking Geotechnical Engineering, a staple for all CE students. Along with the lecture, this class comes with a lab requirement. I love lab requirements. Especially ones that let me just play with dirt for an hour!

In Soils lab, we test the various properties of different soils using the tried-and-true methods we talk about in lecture. It’s the perfect way to help remember the differences between procedures that tend to become indistinguishable after class lets out.

Geotechnical Engineering Lab

The best part about this class (other than getting to squish mud between my fingers every Wednesday afternoon) is that it’s so easy to see the applications of this work to real life. The things we do in lab are the things real geotechnical engineers do every day. The Proctor tests, the Atterberg limit calculations…It’s not like our professors are dumbing down complex concepts and giving us experiments that don’t apply to anything. They’re taking real life work and letting us have that hands-on experience that all engineers adore. It makes me feel like I’m working towards something real!