Tag Archives: russ college orgs

Safecon 2018

Sarah Bailey

Sarah Bailey,
Junior, Aviation

Athens, OH 28 October 2018

Earlier this month, I went to the National Intercollegiate Flying Association Safecon 2018 regional competition in Columbus, Ohio, a regional flying competition that hosts schools from all over Ohio and Michigan.

Competitors face off in many different ground and flying events, including computer accuracy, aircraft recognition, ground trainer, simulated comprehensive aircraft navigation (SCAN), short field landings and power off landings.

I myself competed in a few events. There was the ground trainer event, where you are given a pattern with constantly changing altitudes, air speeds, and headings. You then fly the pattern in a simulator and are scored based on how precisely you are able to perform the pattern.

I also competed in SCAN and landings. The goal of landings is to land the plane as close as you can to a specific point on the runway, called the “Zero Line.” We do this two different ways, one being power off landings in which you pull the aircraft’s power to idle to simulate an engine failure, and the other being a normal short field landing, which is a standard power-on landing aiming for the zero line.

The Flying Bobcats, Ohio University’s flight team, had a great week and placed
fourth overall! Regional competition is a really great way to get to know aviators from schools all over Ohio. This is my second year attending competition and it has been a great way to get involved in aviation and get to know other students who share my passion for flying.

Renaissance Engineers

Alexis Lanier

Alexis Lanier,
Junior, Electrical Engineering

Athens, OH 21 October 2018

Going into this school year one of my goals was to get more involved by joining more clubs and organizations. With this goal in mind, I went to the Ohio University annual involvement fair at the beginning of the semester and walked through the endless rows of student organization booths. While fighting through the crowd of students, one organization caught my eye—the Renaissance Engineers.

After going to the first meeting and learning about what the Renaissance Engineers do and their mission, I decided this was a group I was eager to be a part of. The Renaissance Engineers are a fairly new student organization that work under four pillars: technical projects, educational outreach, engineering professionalism, and infrastructure.

Each year the group comes up with various hands-on engineering projects for its members to be a part of, while also focusing on planning outreach events for students from local high schools and middle schools. Coming from a small-town school of 60 to 70 students per grade and having no engineering experience prior to college, I was extremely enthusiastic to become a member of an organization whose goal is to reach students who haven’t had much exposure to engineering.

The Renaissance Engineers hold events such as Engineering Day where students from local high schools come to the Russ College to learn more about engineering, and also go to local libraries to allow kids of all ages to take part in engineering projects.

Along with the educational outreach, the Renaissance Engineers also break into groups to work on engineering projects such as a designing and building a hovercraft, robotics projects, designing and building a bridge, and many more. This year, we are also planning on creating a website, reaching out to other colleges, and working with professionals in the field in order to grow the
organization.

After only a few meetings, I am so grateful I saw the Renaissance Engineers’ booth and became a member. If this sounds like something you’d like to get involved in, the Renaissance Engineers meet the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of each month @ 7pm in ARC 312.

Hearing from Experts in Industry

Andrew Videmsek

Andrew Videmsek,
Junior, Electrical Engineering

Athens, OH 24 November 2016

As a student in engineering, I feel it is sometimes hard to see how everything we are learning is applied to the world around us. Luckily there are always plenty of opportunities to hear talks from experts in industry and research about how engineers are moving the world forward.

Just last week, the local chapter of IEEE hosted Jim Watson, an IEEE National Speaker, for a talk at their weekly meeting. Jim gave insight on what an engineering degree allows you to do after graduation, and what you can do during school to better prepare yourself for the future. In addition, he touched on the ways we as students can transition the skills we have learned in a university setting to challenges we will face on the job site.

Another talk I got the opportunity to attend recently was by Dr. Zak M. Kassas from the University of California, Riverside. Dr. Kassas runs the ASPIN Lab (Autonomous Systems Perception, Intelligence, & Navigation Laboratory) and focuses his research on collaborative and opportunistic navigation and optimal information gathering in stochastic environments. His talk went into great detail about his research in ways to complement, or completely replace, GPS biased navigation with the radio waves that are constantly being projected in the world around us.

The final of the talks I heard in November was by Dr. Arvind Thiruvengadam, a research assistant professor at West Virginia University. Dr. Thiruvengadam is probably best known for being one of the researchers who broke the recent news about the Volkswagen emissions tests. In his talk, Dr. Thiruvengadam went into depth about the research areas and future engine technologies that could lead to lower emissions and higher operating efficiencies.

Chili Cook-Off

Becca Sedlak

Becca Sedlak,
Junior, Aviation Flight

Athens, OH 11 November 2016

For three years now, every Dad’s Weekend my dad and I go to OU’s Women in Aviation annual Chili Cook-off. My Freshman and Sophomore year, my mom would make a pineapple chili and my dad would bring it down and we would enter it in the non-traditional category. This year I have my own apartment, so my dad and I made the pineapple chili. To be honest we just threw everything in the crockpot then looked at the recipe that we didn’t even follow.

Throughout the night the chili cooked and we went and entered it into the cook-off on Saturday. Since, we have made this chili for two years and never won I didn’t think that we actually would win this year too.

Chili Cook-Off Prize

When the results came back, the pineapple chili I made with my dad won first place for the non-traditional chili category. I couldn’t believe it–for the past two years, this chili was never close to winning and when we don’t follow the recipe it won. Now my dad and I hold something over my mom: the fact the year we made the chili and we won. I think that was the best the highlight of the weekend besides my dad coming down to visit.

Theta Tau: Professional Engineering Fraternity

Quintin Fettes

Quintin Fettes,
Senior, Computer Science

Athens, OH 6 November 2016

My tie was 3 inches too short, I noticed as I looked down to re-button my shirt. I rushed into the front of the room and sat down with 3 other candidates for our group interview for Theta Tau: The Co-ed Professional Engineering fraternity. That was nearly 2 years ago, and today my continued involvement with the group has impacted my undergraduate career more than I ever could’ve hoped.

This semester, I’m serving my last term as an executive member of Theta Tau; as a result, the nostalgia of my journey with my fellow engineers has set in.

From day 1, I knew that I had joined a special group. I wasn’t suffering over long homework assignments alone in my dorm anymore, I was suffering with my friends. I wasn’t wasting all of my free time, sitting around and complaining of boredom, I was organizing and participating in community service, fundraisers, professional development, and social events. The whole time, I was making lifelong friends.

Theta Tau

As my love for the group grew, I chose to help by taking leadership positions. Believe me, there is no group more difficult to lead than your friends. None of them will be afraid to tell you that the idea you pitched was terrible; on the other hand, no group will ever be more enthusiastic, and willing to take risks on good ideas.

Considering every triumph and every headache of leadership, if I could go back I wouldn’t change a single thing; the experience was priceless. It was in this group that I began to realize the rewards of being involved, and improving myself within student organizations on campus. Any Engineer looking for a home on campus would benefit by checking Theta Tau first.

Women in Aviation

Becca Sedlak

Becca Sedlak,
Junior, Aviation Flight

Athens, OH 27 October 2016

I have been apart of OU’s Chapter of Women in Aviation International for 3 years now. My best friend is the president and I am the Vice President and one of the most rewarding feelings we get is when we introduce other girls to aviation. One of my most favorite activities is Girls in Aviation day, which is hosted by OU’s Chapter of Women in Aviation. Girls from all over the Athens area come out to the OU airport for the day and learn about flight.

The girls range from kindergarten to high school but their reactions are the best. Four short years ago I was in their shoes and was just learning about aviation. So much information was thrown my way and I fell in love with how amazing flight is. I also enjoyed how the female pilots added a little feminine flare in a prominently male field with their pink lanyards, lip-gloss and airplane inspired shoes.

This year a female helicopter pilot from the National Guard flew in with her crew from Charleston. I don’t know who was in more awe the parents, the girls or us college kids. My favorite questions one of the little girls asked was why she had so many pockets on her uniform. The Lieutenant then explains she keeps her phone in one pocket, her credits cards in another and then she keeps her lip-gloss in another pocket.

The best part of the day was the end because I saw how each one of the girls left amazed. The girls left thinking that they can be anything their little hearts desire and I know that I helped to achieve that.