November 2007


IPC and NewsSteve on 16 Nov 2007 11:06 am

The Solar Scholars project team, working in conjunction with Dave Lupold and Brian Seip at Gannett Fleming, Inc., has recently submitted a permit application to Upper Allen Township for the installation of the Solar Scholars training facility. As the advisor to the project, I am excited to see months of hard work from our student team culminate in a set of very professional drawings (as required for the permit application).

For those who haven’t heard about Solar Scholars, here is a brief summary: the Solar Scholars project team is designing and installing a solar energy training facility at Messiah College. The facility will be used both to train engineering students in solar electric technologies and to educate our peers at Messiah, as well as the general public, about the possibilities for solar generated electricity. You can find a longer summary and more information on our Collaboratory wiki page.

Solar Scholars is just one project of several here at Messiah which demonstrate our commitment to the responsible use of the earth’s resources and proper stewardship of God’s creation. We want our facility to demonstrate those commitments in an active way, so we are approaching our facility’s small pavilion with the intent to make it earth-friendly. Towards that end we have enlisted the Messiah College Earthkeepers to help us find recycled or sustainable paving material for our walkway. (They have some leads, but nothing concrete yet.)

We also would like to use a green roof on the pavilion. “Green” as in living (yes, plants growing on the roof), not as in the color green. For one thing, it helps to minimize the footprint of the project in terms of loss of green space. Also, the green roof is an opportunity for the college as a whole to observe whether such a technology could be applied on a larger scale to future construction here.

For those (like me) who are intrigued by drawings and diagrams, stay tuned. Updated drawings of the project as well as a 3D rendering of the pavilion will be available in the coming weeks.

Have questions or comments about Solar Scholars? Post a comment or email us!

GeneralSteve on 08 Nov 2007 12:13 pm

If you are a student, you should be: an internship or summer job can fill in a critical piece of your educational career.

With our Integrated Projects Curriculum, Messiah engineering students already have the opportunity to get more hands-on within an area of expertise that both interests them and has a practical impact in the world. But even so, we can only do so much. With all the other activities going on at college, sometimes it is difficult to get an accurate feel for a real world work environment through the IPC (or any other project with a significant academic component). Some focused time at an internship can help you bridge that experience gap.

Internships provide an opportunity to see the “real world” in action, and to try out something that you think you could see yourself doing in the future. Also, they come in an incredibly wide variety of types and flavors. Perhaps the most common is the “typical” summer internship with an corporation or engineering organization. Others choose to intern with a missions agency or development organization, and from what I have heard those experiences were highly valued by the students that chose to pursue them. A few Messiah students have chosen to do an internship during the semester, dedicating several hours each week to work for a local company. (My advice: only try this if you have a light academic load.) In any case, the internship experience is a chance to get outside the “Messiah Bubble” and experience work in the real world.

For those who might not be aware, the Department of Engineering website has a resource page with many links to internship and summer job resources. Several of those links are new, including a link to a tech internship database and a government student job search. I would encourage you to take a look; there are many other resources listed as well. One thing we are short on are good links for engineering or technical internships with service organizations. If you have a link to a site like this which you think would be helpful, please let me know and we’ll get it up there!

NewsSteve on 05 Nov 2007 12:06 pm

“Remember, Remember, the 5th of November.” The well-known rhyme in reference to Guy Fawkes day is also the slogan for Messiah’s 2007 Career & Grad School Expo. If you are looking for a job, internship opportunity, or the next stop in your educational journey, stop by Brubaker Auditorium today (November 5, 2007) from 11:30 AM – 3:00 PM. Also, don’t forget to prepare!

NewsSteve on 02 Nov 2007 08:33 am

Well, you may not be excited, but I am: we have a new Department of Engineering brochure available. The new brochure reflects our recent change to the Integrated Projects Curriculum as well as highlighting our connection to the Collaboratory and our commitment to providing hands-on learning experiences for Messiah Engineering students.

NewsSteve on 02 Nov 2007 08:33 am

The Fall 2007 edition of our Newsletter, Engineering News, is here. In it you can find updates from Messiah Engineering alumni, a summary of last year’s Senior Design Projects, and a full article about the Light Sport Aircraft project. Continue Reading »

RandomSteve on 01 Nov 2007 04:49 pm

Over fall break, Dr. Tim Van Dyke dropped by my office to say hi, and I complained briefly about how boring it is around here on breaks without any students or faculty in the building. (Well, minus Dr. Van Dyke; he was here for at least a little bit.) So, I guess to take mercy on me while I was sitting alone in my office all day, Dr. Van Dyke sent me a link to the podcasts he has done for his Mechanics of Materials students.

These are funny.

To be fair, you probably won’t get much out of them unless you are an mechanical engineer or at least have a decent understanding of topics like statics and materials engineering. Also, to truly appreciate some of the humor you have to be an insider: you have to have taken Mechanics of Materials or otherwise seen the fabled Strain-O-Matic device which is referenced in some of the pocasts. I found them pretty funny anyway, even though as a graduate with a lowly electrical concentration I did not understand all the high and lofty ideas addressed. (It’s ok, we still build the computers that mechanical machines rely on to run.) My personal favorite was the Better Living through Mechanics of Materials Minute. Listen to the rest of them here.

The really great thing about these podcasts is that because they are funny, a lot of engineering students listen to them. And by listening, it actually helps (to a small extent) for them to retain information about the subjects covered. Which is a cool way to help students learn.