Tag Archives: engineering orgs

IEEE/HKN End-of-the-Year Event

Mollie Whitacre

Mollie Whitacre,
Senior, Computer Science

Athens, OH 22 April 2018

This past weekend, IEEE and HKN (Eta Kappa Nu) held a social event for the entire School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. This event welcomed all students and faculty to get together for a cookout.

In my five years, I was never aware of an event like this that took place for the whole department. It was a great experience to get to talk to professors outside of class and get to know them on a more personal level. Since all years of students were there, we also talked about the different classes people were taking. It was cool to see upperclassmen give advice on certain courses and talk to them about topics that they have already been through.

Attendance at the event was good with about ten faculty members and sixty students participating. The weather was great, and the burgers were even better! I hope they continue to hold this event in this future because it really brings the students and faculty closer together.

Creating for Good on My Coast-to-Coast Run

Illona Hartman

Illona Hartman,
Junior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 24 February 2018

While I am studying for my engineering classes and practicing for the field hockey team, I am also running around Athens in preparation for my summer plans. This summer, I am running with a team of college-aged runners from coast to coast: literally from San Francisco to Baltimore.

This 4,000+ mile journey in relay form will take us 49 days, which means I will run 8-12 miles on average a day. During this “4K for Cancer,” we will be raising money and awareness for cancer. The 4K is a program of the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults (UCF) and this will be the 17th time UCF is sending young adults across the country.

In addition to the physical aspect of this program it will be a mental challenge as well, as my 10 month old infant cousin is currently battling myeloid leukemia.

4K Run

Studying abroad has been challenging ever since she, Leighton van Leeuwen, got diagnosed with cancer at the age of 6 months (September 2017). However, I found support in running for her and in my family away from home: Ohio University.

4K Run

Last month, the coed professional engineering fraternity Theta Tau and the Russ College of Engineering and Technology helped me set up a fundraiser in the ARC Atrium. For two days, we sold Dutch baked goods for donations and we recruited 25 students to become part of the international bone marrow registry!

4K Run

On top of this, I organized a few other fundraisers such as an online Yankee Candle sale, selling Russ College T-shirts and flowers for Valentine’s Day through Tau Beta Pi, an online sale for engraved baking supplies, a “donate my hair” auction, and a Santa Fest birthday celebration at home before I came back to the States. All of this has contributed to my current donation status of $5,700!

4K Run

4K Run

In order to secure my spot on Team Baltimore, I had to raise a $4,500 minimum goal. Even after achieving this goal, it is not in my nature to stop spreading the word. Therefore, I have some exciting fundraisers planned for the rest of the semester to finish off with a personal goal of $7,000. For instance, Chi Epsilon and I will host a fundraiser at Tavolino, and I am planning on running my first half marathon in Athens this April…

4K Run

Thus, I am extremely thankful of the opportunities given by the Russ College and the ongoing support they have given me. Something I hope everyone to experience!

For more information on my 4K you can visit my personal blog and my fundraising page:https://ulman.z2systems.com/illona-hartman

Preparing for My Final Semester

Matt McKenzie

Matt McKenzie,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 18 December 2017

As my senior year is now halfway completed, one place that I am looking to spend a little extra time in my last semester is helping others become better equipped for success. In my time here there has been one organization, the Human Powered Vehicle Team, that has helped me build up my skill set, learn and apply vast amounts of information outside of the classroom, and has given me opportunities I likely would not have otherwise had.

The Human Powered Vehicle team was found at Ohio University when I was a freshman by two graduate students. Following the first year and competition in Florida, myself and another sophomore at the time took leadership of the organization. In the last two-and-a-half years, both of us have grown immensely, but it has come time to pass on the torch again. In order to set up the organization for the best chance of success long term, the team has set up a system in which the new leaders are transitioned in before the previous leaders have left the university. This allows them to act as a mentor and help their successors learn the ropes a little before being thrown into the deep end per se.

With the upcoming semester being the last of my undergraduate career, I am really looking forward to doing my best to build crucial skills in future leaders to make not only this year, but years to come successful for the team.

Renaissance Engineers

Veronica Ammer

Veronica Ammer,
Junior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 20 October 2017

My dad has an electrical engineering degree. I’m going for chemical. A lot of people that know us well usually say something along the lines of “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” I understand where they are coming from, but to me, chemical and electrical engineering are on completely different wavelengths. I’m living in the realm of fluid mechanics and heat transfer while my dad is surrounded by systems and circuits. While both are necessary and cool careers, they are total opposites. Like night and day, cats and dogs, or Squirtle and Charmander.

When it came time for me to take Basics of Electrical Engineering, I knew I was in for it. Thermodynamics and mass balance were more my cup of tea than circuit analysis and Ohm’s law. The first exam did not go well. At all. I remember trying to calculate my grade to see if I would still even be able to get an A for the class. From then on, I stepped up in that class. I went to office hours, did more than the assigned problems, and poured over the books. My professor noticed my effort and toward the end of the semester he approached my friend and me with an awesome idea about how we could create for good while still at OU.

He invited us to become founding members of an organization called Renaissance Engineers. Our goal would be to create for good in the Athens community by solving problems with the application of our engineering knowledge and skills. The more Professor Vouzianas told us about the organization, the more excited I was to see his vision come true.

When I signed up, I did not know what I was getting into. A lot of hours were spent deliberating about bylaws, meeting times, and how to get Renaissance Engineers out there as an organization. From planning the first meeting to making the poster for the Involvement Fair, I got to be part of the inception. It is sometimes hard to devote a lot of time into something before you have the chance to see the results.

There is a learning curve to starting a new organization and a lot of hard work required. Be that as it may, so many students and professionals have joined the organization and that has meant so much to me.

One of my favorite parts of the organization is its interdisciplinary and inclusive nature. We are a mix of students and professionals, with a range of degrees from journalism to business to engineering. In the infamous “real world” that is often alluded to by college graduates, most people will work with others without the same technical background. That is why I believe it is so valuable to be a part of an organization that is more than just chemical engineering. It has certainly been worthwhile to get involved and I am honored to serve as Vice-President for such an innovative, service-based engineering organization.

Robotics Club

Brandon Mahr

Brandon Mahr,
Senior, Engineering Technology & Management

Athens, OH 8 October 2017

I love my engineering classes, and I have learned a lot from them, but one of the best ways to cement what you have learned in class is to apply what you’ve learned in a student organization.

One student organization I am in is the Robotics Club, which is a new Russ College organization that focuses on developing and creating, you guessed it, robots.

As a club, one of our first projects is to create a robot to enter into the Association for Technology,Management, and Applied Engineering (ATMAE) Robotics Competition. At the completion, we will have to put our robot through several tests, including throwing a bean bag into a corn hole, lifting up a weight and grabbing an item underneath it, and removing an object from inside a tiny pipe.

In order to make the robot perform these functions, we have to make the robot, from scratch. I have taken several classes geared towards robotics, including a C# Coding class, an Electronics/Microcontrollers class, and a couple of others, but this is my first chance to truly apply what I have learned about robotics in class into a project.

I have learned and incredible amount of information about robotics from engaging in activities with this club, and is has really helped cement what I learned in class.

Not only has the Robotics Club helped me get involved in something I’m passionate about and helped me learn, but it has also helped me professionally. Employers love to see students who are active in clubs and students who have been involved in activities where they have had to solve problems. You can’t really go wrong with getting involved in an Engineering organization, and I know getting involved with the Robotics Club this fall has certainly helped me.

Professional Conferences: Funding and Value

Cami Jones

Cami Jones,
Senior, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 8 October 2017

As the president of an engineering student organization, one of the things I’m most thankful for that the Russ College provides is funding. Grants through the Russ Vision fund help individuals and groups of students looking to further their education outside of the classroom at design competitions, conferences, and the like throughout the country. Thanks to this funding, it is possible for us to travel to these events even if we don’t personally have the funds to do so—it breaks down barriers.

You might be able to guess why I have funding opportunities on the brain. If you’re thinking that I may be in the middle of filling out a conference proposal to request funding for a group of thirty-six industrial and systems engineering students to attend a conference in February 2018, you’d be right!

IISE logo

Our student group, the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE), has received funding to attend this conference for at least the last six years, and I attribute a sizeable amount of my professional network and employment successes to attending the event for the past four years. Now, it’s my turn to make sure that we secure funding again so that this year’s group of students can also benefit from the experience.

Award Photo with Past, Present, and Future IISE Presidents at IISE Annual Conference in 2016 (at Disneyland!)

The IISE Great Lakes Regional Conference is an annual event held on the campus of one of the universities in the region (Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and Michigan) that has an active chapter of IISE. In the past, I’ve attended this two-day event at Western Michigan University, Purdue University, and Wayne State University.

Ohio University IISE at Wayne State's Conference in 2016 (selfie by Faculty Advisor Dr. Yuan)

Last year, we even had the chance to host the event here at Ohio University!

IISE Great Lakes Regional Conference Planning Committee at Ohio University in 2017

This year, we will be traveling to The Ohio State University for the conference. The theme of this year’s conference is “Digital Transformations: Improving Systems Everywhere” and will focus on how technology and data are changing the role of industrial engineers in industry. I’m a big data nerd, so I am very excited.

Aside from being excited to hear keynote speakers and attend breakout sessions in line with the technology theme, I’m excited to see my IISE friends from the other schools in the region again. Having attended four regional conferences and three national conferences in the last four years, I’ve made some pretty good friends across the region and country. They are “my people” and many of them have helped me grow both as an engineer and as a person.

Thanks to these connections, I’m not worried about finding a job after graduation or knowing what to do with myself. The friends I’ve made at these conferences know my interests and my strengths and are already looking out for me to help start my career.

Now it’s time for me to do my part and ensure that our group can afford to travel to this year’s conference so that our students can continue to build these relationships and experience discussions on the current events impacting the futures of our careers. Thankfully, the Russ College believes in the value of these conference experiences and is always willing to lend a hand. Wish us luck!

Organizations Are a College Game-Changer

Gyasi Calhoun

Gyasi Calhoun,
Senior, Computer Science

Athens, OH 18 September 2017

Student Organizations are a game-changer because of the networking benefits and the travel opportunities, and because they force you out of your comfort zone.

When looking back at my college career I can honestly say that having the ability to meet like-minded individuals who are trying to overcome or who overcame similar—if not the same—obstacles, and going along the same academic path can be priceless, and unique. Being in the right student organization can allow you to travel the country if not the world if the opportunity presents itself and trust me, it will.

When I was a freshman I had never been on an airplane before, or to the state of California, but because of NSBE (The National Society of Black Engineers), I was given the opportunity to do both…for free! I attended the annual NSBE National Conference which was held in Orange County California and it was a time I won’t ever forget and will truly cherish.

I was able to meet other students in Computer Science and other engineering fields, interviewed with the CIA, networked with Google and Apple Recruiters, and even ran into someone I knew from high school. Moreover, if I hadn’t gotten out of my comfort zone and been involved with this organization and other organizations around campus, my college perspective, and experience would have been dulled to say the least.