Tag Archives: winter break

Chemical Engineering is Useful for Homemade Cider

Nathan Arnett

Nathan Arnett,
Senior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 19 January 2018

One of the biggest reasons I went into Chemical Engineering nearly four years ago was due to the versatility of the field. The 3 main tracks Ohio University offers—materials sciences, biological, and environmental—cover such a wide range of areas that with a Chemical Engineering degree, you could find yourself developing new, stronger steels; more eco-friendly fuels, or even making hard cider with your parents over Christmas break!

At my house, we have 2-4 apple trees that produce LOADS of apples each year, and my grandmother also has a well-producing tree. Typically, we just bake the apples into pies or can it as apple butter or apple sauce, but with a large harvest this year, we decided to try our hand at some hard cider.

My Chemical Engineering degree is on the Biological Track, which means I have a fair amount of experience with things involving yeasts, proper sanitation, and the mathematical know-how needed for various types of concentration calculations.

As it turns out, all of these skills came in quite handy when it came time to make some cider. While my father had some experience with brewing from his younger years, I myself had none. However, through the relevant things I had learned in my time at Ohio University, I was able to jump in and help him right away.

It was a really interesting dynamic—my father knew some tricks-of-the-trade but doesn’t have the engineering background, while I knew essentially none of the steps but had the engineering background. Between the two of us, we could learn what the other one did not and from there we could work together to come up with more efficient and different methods to try out.

All in all it was a great experience and a very enjoyable activity over my Christmas break. Also, it was certainly a fun application of various Chemical Engineering theories I have learned over the years, and just another example of the wide range of areas that Chemical Engineering can touch our lives.

Ohio Snowcats Take On Keystone

Daniel Riordan

Daniel Riordan,
Senior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 16 January 2018

Wintertime in Athens is always visually striking—the trees are bare, snow is everywhere (unless the sporadic 60°F day comes around)—and there’s always plenty to do outside within walking distance. However, Ohio University’s location in the hills of southeast Ohio also places it within driving distance of ski resorts Snowshoe Mountain and Seven Springs Mountain as well as a couple
hours away from Columbus’s Mad River Mountain.

When it comes to snow sports, my trip into the white snow and high elevation this winter was not to one of those places, but with many of my friends and peers to Keystone Resort in Colorado, facilitated by the local ski & board club, Ohio Snowcats.

Many Ohio University students take advantage of this Athens-area club to spend a week of our winter break in the mountains of a world-class ski resort somewhere in the United States, and I surely enjoyed the choice of destination this year.

Snowcats

For a heavily subsidized cost, my friends and I, as well as about 200 other Ohio University students had the opportunity to ski down some black diamonds and enjoy the views from 10,000 ft. up at this scenic mountain range two hours west of Denver.

Snowcats

Athens is a great place to be, but the opportunities Ohio University has presented me to travel to places and with people I would not otherwise have had the chance to take advantage of are the source of life-changing experiences and many fond memories for me.

Snowboarding in Colorado

Quinn Mitchell

Quinn Mitchell,
Junior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 3 December 2017

Around 5:00 pm on Friday, December 15, the last day of finals week this semester, my friends and I will start the 21-hour drive from Athens, Ohio to Keystone, Colorado. One of these friends is a fellow engineering ambassador, Dan Riordan.

Once we get to Keystone, we will be skiing and snowboarding in the Rocky Mountains. This will be the third year that we take such a trip. It will also be the third year that I spend much of November and all of December impatiently waiting to be in Colorado. Although it does make it slightly harder to concentrate on studying for finals, this snowboarding trip is a great way to end fall semester.

I learned to snowboard in eighth grade, and since then I have tried to spend as much time on the mountain as possible. This became especially important once I got to college; spending a day or two where I’m only concerned about how much snow is falling each day is a great stress relief.

Snowboarding trips like this one are also rewarding because I get to notice myself getting better every year.

If the past two paragraphs have not already convinced you that I’m a big fan of snowboarding, I suggest you ask any of my friends, roommates, or classmates if I have offered to teach them to snowboard. I doubt you’ll get too many “no” responses.

Travel Home for Winter Break

Jannat Al Barwani

Jannat Al Barwani,
Junior, Aviation Management

Athens, OH 16 January 2017

If you were far away from your family, believe me when I say: you will take the advantage of each long vacation to go back home.

Over winter break, I went back to my lovely country, Oman. It takes a whole day to reach there, but seeing my family is worth it. I really love Oman during the winter season because people can go to a lot of entertaining areas where they have an outdoor breakfast followed by having lunch. In contrast, summer is a very terrible season in Oman; no one can go outside because it is extremely hot. The weather does not matter to me as long as I get to see my family.

I was glad that I got the opportunity to visit the Royal Opera House in Muscat, Oman. I went there with my sister since she enjoys watching ballet shows as do I.

We watched the show Anna Karenina which was performed by the Eifman ballet of St. Petersburg. They play was based off of the novel of the same name that was written by the Russian writer Leo Tolstoy. The novel basically talks about a married aristocrat and her affair with an affluent man. The show was emotional and breathtaking, it was a tragic story. I find the joy in trying to understand what those ballet movement meant and how they relate it to the novel.

The show was not the only thing that was breathtaking—so was the design of the Royal Opera House. The structure of the building resembled a western design and the indoor decor of the opera house had an Arabian theme. I found that was a really spectacular combination.

My winter break was not only in Oman, I also visited Britain and met up with my sister who currently works for BAE systems in the U.K. We both enjoyed the New Year`s Eve in London.

I made new friends there and we spent quality time together that will never be forgotten. I visited Manchester, Liverpool and Blackpool as well. It is my third time visiting Britain, but every time I visit, I get the same excitement as if it was my first time there.

Research over Winter Break

Nathan Arnett

Nathan Arnett,
Junior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 12 January 2017

Christmas break always seems to come at the perfect time—after 15 weeks of classes and more immediately after a mentally-taxing finals week, the break always seems much needed. Going home to see family and spend the holidays with them is something I look forward to every year, and this year was no different.

However, this year’s break wasn’t all relaxing. I have been a member of an on-campus molecular biology lab since Fall 2015, working under the close supervision of a postdoctoral fellow in the lab. For some time, we have been planning a large ‘mouse study’ looking into the link between Growth Hormone and melanoma cancer, and the study was to take place in early January following winter break.

However, over break, the postdoc I work with took advantage of one of her free times of the year and took a vacation with some friends—leaving me in charge of cell culture preparation for the study.

Living only an hour and a half away, the multiple visits I made to the lab over break were well worth it. It was great experience to take on serious responsibility in such early stages of a large project such as this, and it also gave me a small dose of seeing Athens (albeit, a nearly empty Athens) when I otherwise would have been missing it!

All in all, my break was very enjoyable, and being able to still further my experience while helping out on large project made it that much more enjoyable.

Quiet Campus

Rob Parker

Rob Parker,
Senior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 15 December 2016

If you were to take a walk through campus during the winter break, the place would remind you of a ghost town from a movie. The buildings are empty, the courtyards are quiet and people are able to drive around without getting held up at a crosswalk.

Less than a week ago, though, the scene on campus was far different. There were large amounts of people wearing sweatpants and sweatshirts, coffee shops couldn’t keep enough coffee brewed and people had forgotten what a bed was. Don’t fret though, every year the students make it through to see another semester and this past week was another example of this.

So what am I doing over break? For the most part I’m working on campus for the Department of Housing and Residence Life and I’m also relaxing. But the thing that I’m looking most forward to is skiing! Through my multitude of years here on campus I have picked up some new hobbies and skiing is one of them.

I was introduced to the sport my freshman year by one of my friends and I’ve loved it ever since. I’ve been to Mad River and Snow Trails multiple times but I enjoy the longer trips that we get to take to Holiday Valley, Snow Shoe and Seven Springs. Liking to ski or snowboard comes with another perk–making winter bearable, because the more snow we get, the better the skiing gets!

Ready for Winter Break

Alyson Meister

Alyson Meister,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 13 December 2015

The end of fall semester comes with great anticipation for the holidays and time with family. My family has a tradition of driving around my hometown of Springfield, Ohio, to look at the Christmas lights. It began my senior year of high school and has continued to my senior year of college. The tradition started with my immediate family and some of my second cousins, and I was the youngest participant. Who says adults can’t have fun looking at Christmas lights?

Springfield Christmas Lights

Over the years, our group has expanded to include spouses, finances and babies, but we never fail to make a trip to the Christmas tree downtown to take a picture, see the lights at the Clifton Mill or stop for hot chocolate.

Springfield Christmas Lights

There is never a dull moment with my family and after the stress of finals it was just the refresher that I needed. I am looking forward to the rest of our holiday traditions, including a themed Christmas party with my mom’s family, a huge Christmas Eve get together and pork and sauerkraut on New Year’s.

In between all of that I will be heading to an interview in Wisconsin, working on completing graduate school applications, and working on my own projects.

I’m excited for this time off of school to spend time with my family and to prepare myself for my last semester of college and whatever is coming next.