Tag Archives: engineering orgs

Tau Beta Pi National Convention

Leigh Ann Tumblin

Leigh Ann Tumblin,
Senior, Chemical and Biomolecular engineering

Athens, OH 4 November 2015

Last week, I was able to attend the Tau Beta Pi Convention in Providence, Rhode Island. Tau Beta Pi is a National Engineering Honor Society representing the entire engineering profession, and I am President of Ohio University’s chapter, Ohio Delta.

Tau Beta Pi is a great organization to be a part of because it is run by students from all 244 collegiate chapters across the United States! The purpose of the convention is to act as the governing body for the organization. We were separated into committees to focus on topics important to the organization. I was on the Resolutions committee, and one of our jobs was to make a skit for the end of convention to act as comedic relief. Who knew engineers could also act as playwrights!

One of the best parts of convention was meeting other engineering students and professors from all across the country and learning about their diverse experiences.

My second favorite part of convention was exploring the city of Providence. Providence is home to Brown University, and it is always a lot of fun to go and see a place unlike any you have been to before. I am thankful for the opportunity to network with other engineers and explore cities I may never have visited otherwise.

Providence, RI

On the Woonasquatucket River in Providence, RI.

Summer Aviation Plans

Gavin Whitehead

Gavin Whitehead,
Junior, Aviation

Athens, OH 2 May 2015

Summer is here! I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I got all of my hard classes out of the way and next year is going to be a breeze.

Overall this semester wasn’t too difficult. I only had three finals and I have to admit they were challenging, but manageable. All I can think about now, though, is no finals, no midterms, no homework, and no more classes for 4 months. What am I going to do with all of this free time! Travel to every continent, see the world. Endless possibilities.

Actually, this summer I will be staying here in Athens flight instructing. I have to build those flight hours somehow! I am pretty excited, though, because I have 10 students. That’s like a full workload and I am going to enjoy every moment of it. I’m going to be out at the airport Monday through Saturday 8:30 am to 6:30 pm. It’s a lot of work, but this is what I signed up for and I’m really looking forward to it.

Another thing I’m really looking forward to this summer is I signed up to volunteer for OBAP’s (Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals) ACE Academy. The ACE Academy is a way for students from 14-18 to get a taste of aviation. During the time there, they learn leadership skills, the history of aviation, and even have a chance to fly an airplane for the first time. I love being part of people’s first experiences with airplanes. I love seeing how excited they get and it reminds me of my first time in a plane.

NSBE National Conference

Lance Jackson

Lance Jackson,
Senior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 30 March 2015

Every year in the last week of March the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) host a national convention that includes all of the NSBE chapters across the nation. This past week I, along with 16 others, were fortunate enough to attend the 41st annual NSBE national conference, which was held in Anaheim, California.


During these conferences, students are able to take part in plant/site tours which are given by nearby companies. There are a number of different professional development workshops that range from ones that help to refine interviewing skills to others that give tips on effective leadership.


On top of this there are two career fairs that NSBE members may go to in search of potential employment with one of the companies that attend along with hospitality suites, which are held by the companies and allow students to get to know employees of the company in a slightly more personal setting. In our leisure time, we were able to explore the city; some went to Disneyland while others decided to spend their time relaxing on Huntington Beach.

Before it was all over, we ended up having 8 of our members receive interviews from the career fair and one member receiving a $500 scholarship. All in all I would say it was a great trip and personally enjoyed being surrounded by so many driven and passionate engineers.

Tau Beta Pi Supports the Polar Plunge

Courtney Sterrick

Courtney Sterrick,
Senior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 15 February 2015

This year, Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society, sponsored six members to jump into Lake Snowden on February 14th. The Polar Plunge is a fundraising event during the winter months which, in Ohio, sponsors Special Olympics Ohio. Prior to the event, participants must raise at least $50 for the cause.

At the day of the event, each participant runs into a body of water…and freezes! Besides running into the lake, there is also a costume contest, where fellow onlookers and participants cheer for their favorite costume. While I was too chicken to take the plunge, I supported fellow Tau Bates as they jumped.

Tau Beta Pi’s participants (from left to right):
Josh Johnson, Josh Frash, Eric Arnold, Greg Croxford, Zach Zwahlen, and Marshal Willet

Polar Plunge: Before

As if the concept of diving into an Ohio lake during February didn’t sound appealing enough, the day was particularly cold. On top of the lake was ice, which had to be removed so that participants could enter the water. At the time of the event kickoff, the wind chill made the already chilly 30-degree afternoon even colder. In fact, it started snowing while we waited for our group to jump in!

Running into Lake Snowden:

Polar Plunge: During

The water was cold!

Polar Plunge: After

Both the spectators and participants had a great time supporting such a great cause.

ASCE Steel Bridge Competition

Nick Sparks

Nick Sparks,
Senior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 19 November 2014

Every year the members involved in American Society of Civil Engineers participate in multiple competitions such as steel bridge, concrete canoe, environmental, and more. The competitions aren’t until March; however, we have to begin working now so that our teams will be ready for competition.

This year I am captain of our steel bridge team. For the steel bridge competition we have to design a 1/10 scale model of a steel bridge and every year the criteria are changed. This year we have to design a bridge that has an 18-foot clear span which means that the supports are only on the ends of the span. During the competition we are challenged to subject our bridge to various forms of loading.

To begin design we have to carefully read the rules. As a group we all suggest different ideas and begin to build off of them. This year we decided to go with a beam bridge design. As a group we are planning that we will use a built up T-member made from two L-members for the bridge decking. Our biggest challenge so far is to design the way to brace the bridge laterally. Lateral bracing is used to prevent side sway. After we decide what we would like to do for bracing our next step will be to make all shop drawings and then next semester we will begin fabrication.

Free Time for Engineers

Claire Hall

Claire Hall,
Senior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 18 November 2014

A very popular question from students thinking about going into engineering is “How much free time do you actually have?” Of course any engineering student will answer this a little differently because it varies for everyone. This question also goes along with the college myth of sufficient sleep, good grades, or social life: you can only pick two of the three.

Any college student is going to have to learn a little time management to balance classes, social life and taking care of yourself. But it’s certainly possible to have all three and some free time also. Free time is different for any student as to how they are involved on campus or in hobbies. It’s sometimes easy to get over-committed with a lot of organizations, but if it’s for clubs you really enjoy then it will be worth it.

I normally have about 3 to 4 hours of meetings every week for organizations, but obviously some students have more and some less. Outside of this I still find free time during the week to relax and have fun doing my own hobbies. It’s not impossible for college students, and even engineering students, to be involved, study hard, and have fun too!

Road Trip with Theta Tau

Casey Davis

Casey Davis,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 17 November 2014

For those of you who have not read my bio (which would be about everyone except my mom), I am a member of Theta Tau, the professional engineering fraternity on campus. This past weekend my fraternity took a road trip to visit the chapter at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. While a six-hour drive is not always the most fun thing to do on the weekend, this was a worthwhile trip. Meeting engineers from other places and from different cultures is always an exciting event.

While many things about the campus in Baltimore and Athens vary, the kids are very much the same. They enjoy hanging out with friends as well as touring the surrounding areas and finding those hole-in-the-wall spots to eat and drink. The trip included a tour of the inner harbor of Baltimore which has many fine restaurants/stores in addition to some interesting street entertainers as every big city does. We had a potluck dinner put on by the members of the JHU chapter and really got to know some of the people that went to school there what they liked/disliked about school and things of that nature.

Meeting engineering students from across the country you find out about some great up and coming things people plan on doing for example the “Hackathon” that my host was a part of. This consists of teams of students/companies that have 36 hours to write an application to perform a specific function. He had told me of many recruiters and companies that hire directly from this type of competition.

Overall the theme of Johns Hopkins was just the same as life here at Ohio University: get a great education and make a bunch of friends while doing it. I can honestly say that engineering has led me to make the friends I always envisioned having and I can even validate this by all the friends I met from a school I visited across the country.