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Ingenuity 2014

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Russ College of Engineering and Technology at Ohio University

Text of Ingenuity 2014

  • IngenuitySTUDENTS P.4Creating for Good in Ghana

    AWARDS P.25Faculty join Engineering and Science Hall of Fame, National Academy of Inventors

    ALUMNI P.8Married alumni face future as one

    FACULTY P.24Bringing big innovation to nanotech

    SHRINKINg FRACKINgS FooTpRINTJason Trembly and Russ College researchers focus on solving the challenges facing fracking and its future

    the russ college of engineering and technology 20132014


    Senior civil engineering student Sarah

    Koska jumps for joy as The Yellow

    Submarine, the Russ Colleges student

    concrete canoe team, floats back up to

    the top of Clevelands Hinckley Lake at the

    first round of the Ohio Valley Regional

    American Society of Civil Engineers 2013

    Concrete Canoe Competition.

    For more great student news, see pages 67.








    16 | OUR CULTURE




    26 | CLASS NOTES

    28 | CO-OP PROFILE


    Editorial CrEdits

    ExECutivE Editor Colleen Carow, BSJ 93, MA 97, MBA 05

    assoCiatE Editor Adrienne Cornwall

    WritErs Colleen Carow Adrienne Cornwall Kaitor Kposowa, MA 14 Arian Smedley

    PhotograPhErs Jill Bateman, MA 13 Rebecca Miller, MA 14

    dEsign Ologie, Columbus, Ohio




    What happens when two Engineering

    Ambassadors find true love? For Russ College

    alumni Daniel and Sadie Evans, its a journey

    that started in Stocker Center and created

    their future together.


    Claire Hall, BSChE 14, digs in with her fellow

    Russ College teammates on their recent service

    trip to Ghana, helping bring better education

    to a rural village and building relationships

    with its people.

    Share your comments, feedback, and

    memorable Russ College moments by

    writing us at [email protected] or INgENUITY MAgAzINE, RUSS CoLLEgE, SToCKER CENTER 177, 1 oHIo UNIvERSITY, ATHENS, oH 45701.

  • From TheDeans DeskWelcome to our tenth issue of Ingenuity magazine!

    We thought it only fitting to re-engineer the magazine in celebration of this anniversary

    and our new creative identity, which we call Create for Good. You may have encountered

    it on our website, in our halls on campus, in Ohio Today magazine, or at one of our alumni

    events. We think it captures our values about improving the human condition (the words

    of our namesake, Fritz Russ, BSEE 42, Hon 75). Or, in other words, it means educating

    young engineers and technologists to work toward good in both societally beneficial and

    sustainable ways.

    You may shudder at the notion of an engineering and technology college developing a

    creative identity. Thats for corporations, right? But we always knew there was something

    unique about this place. And because academic institutions are facing greater competition,

    and also because were proud of who we are, we thought it was time to figure out how to

    talk about who we are.

    I hope this issue is a fresh surprise for you. With a new look and feel, more in-depth stories,

    more news about students and faculty, and beautiful photography, we listened to you. Thank

    you for responding to our survey with clear and candid feedback, so we can better articulate

    Russ Colleges strengths. Youre welcome to share more thoughts at [email protected]

    I hope this issue also makes you stop and think. As thought leaders, we want to evoke and

    inspire. In last years letter, I said that our role in the shale oil and gas area would be one

    of research, support, technology development, and educational offerings. We come to you

    now with an in-depth look at what we offer. I couldnt be more proud, and whether youre

    an alumnus, a student, a former or current faculty member, or a Russ College friend, I hope

    you are, too.


    DENNIS IRWIN, pHD, pE Dean moss Professor of engineering education Thomas Professor of engineering Fritz J. and Dolores h. russ College of engineering and Technology

    02 03

    Ingenuity | Spring 2014

    Russ College learning community students played puppetmaster for Athens 2013 Halloween Block Party. As part of the collaborative Honey for the Heart art project led by local artists Patty Mitchell and Robert Lockheadalso a mechanical engineer20 pre-engineering students brought their budding technical know-how to the production, helping build oversized, wearable puppets for a parade. Students got a professional development boost and experienced a creative application for engineering while also growing their teamwork and communication skills.

    Photograph by David Hooker, BSJ '92

  • Being connected to a place like this village is different from classroom experiences, Giesey said. When youre not connected, you may care, but it is centered on you. Connections make our students care because they see how their work affects real people living around them.

    The rural villages goal? Attract and retain the best teachers it can, a project that started seven years ago to offer better education to the village children, who followed the obruni, or white visitors, through the village streets every day.

    The Ghanaian capital proved to be overwhelming, from the language barrier to the streets lined with stalls hawking a random assortment of wares.

    There were crabs being sold on the side of the road, childrens toys, water bottles, all these things you wouldnt expect, Sova said.

    one item they needed for the building project was geotech fabric for the septic system design they were planning. After striking out on this important filtration component, they began formulating a plan B on the 14-hour trip to maase, arriving just before midnight Friday.

    They were greeted by a small group of locals and a table set for dinnerincluding whole fish, which took the group by surprise.

    most of us hadnt eaten a fish like that, said Sova.

    04 05

    Sunday morning, which was mothers Day at home in the U.S. and also in maase, took the group to the village church for a birthday celebration and afterward, to a meal with the village elders of traditional peanut stew and rice.

    When students realized they wouldnt be using Western utensils, the elders demonstrated a more simple design by shaping the rice ball into a spoon with their hands.

    The messier you get, the better the food is, declared Sova.

    As the project continued, each day saw a massive amount of laborlike the two men who dug the massive hole for the tank in a day and a halfand each night saw the students adjusting their designs and plans for the following day.

    We had mass amounts of paper in front of us at the table, and we had all our ideas mapped out in front of us, hall said of the late nights, which also included chocolate and games of Uno. That was the point where I was like, Wow, this is what people do as engineers.

    The student engineers managed to complete the design and installation of the teacher housings septic tank, including an anaerobic digestion pit, a few days shy of their two weeks on site. With the help of village elders, they recruited labor for the digging, masons for the tank construction, and burlap coffee sacks to stand in for the geotech fabric they were missing.

    Their accomplishments are the most recent of several projects completed with the help of russ College students since 2004, when Giesey initiated the idea in coordination with the village chief, Nana K. owusu-Kwarteng, who at the time was director of the Institute of the African Child and a PhD student in education administration at ohIo.

    over the six trips Giesey has madeplus two more led by other russ College facultyservice teams have built a solar-powered water pumping system, analyzed the electric power distribution system in the village, and worked on the beginning stages of the teacher housing. russ Vision Funds, which support students as they pursue activities beyond the classroom that will develop their meta-engineering and meta-technology skills, made this years trip possible by helping cover the costs of the students travel and supplies.

    Since the groups departure, residents have put up the roof superstructure, which the next team of Bobcats Building a Better World will help complete with a rainwater collection system in may.

    hall hopes to return for this project because, as she discovered, the experience is about more than engineering: to celebrate their final night in maase, their hosts at the hotel prepared a dinner, bringing together all of the people who contributed to this work toward the future life of the village.

    All of a sudden, at the end of two weeks, I was surrounded by all these people that I was now close with, said hall. Im a sophomore from Tiffin, and here I am in Ghana, helping this community.

    For a closer look at more photos from the trip,


    Colleen Carow contributed to this story.

    When four russ College engineering students departed for maase in rural Ghana at the start of summer break, they admittedly had no idea what to expect.

    It was really intimidating, but it was still a sense of adventure, said Nicole Sova, a chemical engineering major from olean, N.Y., about her arrival in Ghanas capital, Accra.

    The group spent nearly two weeks building a septic system for teacher housing in the West African countryside, an

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