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High Impact Learning: Engaging Students Beyond the Classroom

Instilling our students with a passion for engineering and computer science happens every day inside our small, intimate classrooms. But it goes beyond that at ONU’s Smull College of Engineering. We also believe in engaging and empowering our students through an abundance of experiential learning opportunities that happen outside our classrooms.

We like to refer to it as high-impact learning – where students have the chance to roll up their sleeves, apply the knowledge they’ve gained, and actually solve challenges and develop solutions in a team-based environment. It’s our hands-on “classroom of real life” philosophy, and we build it into the engineering experience in a variety of ways: through our Cooperative Education Program, our Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICs) Program, Spotts Lecture Series, and our many exciting national design competitions.

Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS)

Through our EPICS program, student learn firsthand the crucial role that engineering plays in the community – by actually designing, building and deploying much-needed systems that solve important challenges. It truly is a win-win situation for everyone. Only 21 universities in the world are part of the EPICs University consortium. At ONU, past domestic projects have included building a replica of the Mars rover Curiosity for the Armstrong Air and Space Museum in Wapakoneta, Ohio; refurbishing a concrete base for historical Civil War cannons in Forest, Ohio; and upgrading the village of Ada’s website. Our previous international projects have also promoted the greater good – impacting the global villages of Kenya, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Civic Engineering

EPICS program gives Ohio Northern engineering students an opportunity to help a local community honor its past.The cannons in the village of Forest, Ohio, have reminded the townspeople of sacrifices made in the name of... more

Cooperative Education Program

All of ONU’s engineering disciplines provide the opportunity to participate in our Cooperative Education Program, which combines classroom studies with supervised paid work experiences.

Our co-op employment opportunities begin in the second semester or winter of a student’s junior year and last for one year, with a wide variety of employers participating – from Marathon Petroleum, Battelle and Wright Patterson Air Force Base, to American Electric Power, Kokosing Construction, Honda and Rockwell Automation.

Dream Job

The rocky road to smooth sailingFor many people, career paths are full of ups and downs and bumps in the road. But for Austin Moyer, BSME ’11, rough terrain proved to be just what he needed to land his dream job.Moyer, a native of... more

Reaching for the stars: Holbrook co-ops at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

As a child, ONU junior mechanical engineering major Eric Holbrook stared at the stars, hoping to someday visit them. Through a recent co-op experience with Caltech/... more

Dream Internship Series: Sharon Snyder

A great summer internship can launch a career, reinforce classroom skills, and inspire students to work hard in pursuit of their goals. The following feature series highlights five ONU students who... more

From classroom to classified: ONU's top-secret FBI intern

One of Northern's own has infiltrated the FBI, but she's sworn to secrecy about her mission. Melissa Else, senior computer engineering major, has gained entrance into the bureau... more

Engineering Design Competitions

Weaving fun into learning is always a rewarding experience, and that’s exactly what our student competitions are designed to do. They expand and support classroom knowledge, they promote leadership and teamwork, and they give our students a chance to really shine with top rankings.

2014 Spring Competitions

Spring is competition season for the College of Engineering. Scroll down to view Facebook posts documenting our Concrete Canoe, Steel Bridge, SAE Aero, Robotic Football and Human Powered Vehicle teams in action... more

Pedal Power

Starting from the bottom left and moving clockwise, the people in the picture are: Ryan Brune, Jason VanAtta, Allan Muzilla, Ken Wachtel, Kent Utterback, Garrett Maple, Dr. Rider (Advisor), Lauren Brohard, John Garlitz, Judson... more

Rock-em, Sock-em

Engineering students gain educational experience with combat robot

  Pop culture has always been fascinated with robots. From to R2D2, to Optimus Prime, to the Terminator, robots have saved our homes, won our... more

Human Power

In their first-ever appearance at the American Society of Mechanical Engineering (ASME) Human Powered Vehicle Challenge, Ohio Northern University engineering students placed third against tough competition.On May 7-9, the “Wanna... more

Pure Science

ONU engineering students seek a simple solution to a very complex problem. 

Right now there are more than three quarters of a billion people on the planet without daily access to clean water. 1 While it may not seem... more

Charles Leader

Faith in our LeaderWhen Charles Leader, BSME ’60, founded Leader Engineering Fabrication back in 1984, he did so on a strong foundation of faith. Since then, his beliefs have fueled most every action of the company.Leader is... more

All Aboard!

Engineering students get an introduction to the railroad industry from a special guest. 

This month, the T.J. Smull College of Engineering welcomed home a very special guest to speak to its students on campus, Ohio... more

130 Years


The T.J. Smull College of Engineering is celebrating 130 years of excellence in engineering education and the 40th anniversary of the Order of the Engineer this fall. To honor this occasion, all engineering... more

Field Testing

Overview All mechanical engineering majors at Ohio Northern University are required to complete a year-long senior capstone project, where we take a project from idea to implementation. This past summer, we met with Dr. Bonyo... more

Energy From Algae

The quest for inexpensive, renewable, clean energy has become a metaphorical Holy Grail for scientists and engineers the world over. At Ohio Northern, a team of senior mechanical engineering students accepted the challenge... more

Engineering Global Service

Often lost in the competitive and busy atmosphere of higher education is the responsibility to use one’s learned passions and skills to benefit others.This was not the case, however, for three senior civil... more

Saving the Whales

Typically, one doesn’t equate marine biology with mechanical engineering. And a year ago, recent Ohio Northern University graduates Julie Bing, BSME ’09, Austin Black, BSME ’09, and Alex Johnson, BSME ’09, would not have... more

Faculty Focus: Reid blazes trail as ONU’s first director of freshman engineering

Kenneth Reid has developed an interest in firsts. He just completed his first academic year as ONU’s first director of freshman engineering. He’s also just... more

ONU's Bob Peterson '83, is Director for Pixar's UP (See the Video)

Certainly one of today's visionaries, Bob Peterson graduated from Ohio Northern University with a degree in mechanical engineering. He is now a director and... more