Inside AME: The AME Shop

Today we welcome guest blogger Billy Mays, AME Shop Supervisor.

One of the most popular labs at AME is the AME Shop.  Facilitated by shop personnel Billy Mays and Greg Williams, the AME Shop not only provides students with hands-on engineering experience, but also supports AME’s teaching labs, class projects, capstone projects, faculty research initiatives and competitive teams.   

Billy and Greg

Billy Mays (L) and Greg Williams (R) run the AME Shop.

By Billy Mays

We at the AME Machine Shop invite AME students to stop by and learn more about us.

The AME Shop is a fully functional machine shop with a diversified group of equipment: manual lathes, manual mills, welding equipment, sheet metal equipment, a CNC lathe, mills and router, and other supporting equipment.

We help students take their projects from computational simulations to a finished product, while creating hands-on, project-based learning opportunities for you.  We want to get to know more about you and your projects.

When students work with us, they have a safety net of experts standing by to help if they run into trouble, and we train students with the necessary safety and operation of the equipment they will use for building projects.

Students who make use of the AME Shop during their time at AME graduate with a greater understanding of the design processes and have experience with manufacturing.  Their project completion times from computer to product are generally shorter, and once they start a job, their time between training and becoming a productive engineer is less.

Along with working with students, the AME Shop supports experimental projects for undergraduates and graduates students, class room projects, senior capstone projects, graduate research projects, faculty research, and AME’s four competitive teams – Design/Build/Fly, Sooner Off-Road, Sooner Powered Vehicle and Sooner Racing Team.

We help with everything from design challenges and equipment capabilities, material procurement, to the necessary cutters and tooling needed to successfully complete the project.  We also help with a test run of the project.

The AME machine shop is truly a student use shop.

Students and alumni, let us know how working in the AME Shop has impacted your work as an engineer!


Students in Dr. Siddique's Pre- Capstone course test their projects in the AME Shop.

Dr. Gollahalli Named AIAA Fellow

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics recently announced that S.R. Gollahalli, AME professor, Lesch Centennial Chair and former AME director, was selected to become an AIAA Fellow in 2012. He will be honored at a Gala in Washington, DC later this year.

This distinction, among the highest honors that can be bestowed upon an aerospace professional, places Gollahalli in a small and elite group of aerospace professionals throughout the world selected for their notable and valuable contributions to the arts, sciences, or technology of aeronautics and astronautics.

“Sub Gollahalli is a wonderful ambassador for the engineering profession and the OU College of Engineering. His technical expertise in the field of combustion is vital to aerospace propulsion systems. He led the School of Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering during a very important period of research, teaching and technology innovation. His students are in many technical and managerial leadership positions around the world,” said Tom Landers, dean of the College of Engineering.

Gollahalli came to the University of Oklahoma in 1976. He is an internationally recognized authority in the fields of energy and combustion, and from 2001-2009, he served two consecutive terms as AME director.

In 1991, Gollahalli was named a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). Among his notable achievements are the 2005 George Westinghouse Gold medal by ASME for his life time contributions to the power area, and the 2001 Energy Systems Award from AIAA for distinguished contributions to education, research, professional service and advancement of the field of energy and combustion. He is also a recipient of the university’s top teaching award.

Dr. Gollahalli in his combustion lab

In his role as a full-time teacher for 45 years, Gollahalli has mentored 80 graduate students and dozens of undergraduate students in his research lab. He has also mentored several post-doctoral fellows and junior faculty members involving them in his research.

“Dr. Gollahalli taught me not only combustion, but how to be a responsible researcher. Whatever success I have is because he trained me,” said Ahsan Choudhuri, chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Texas at El Paso who studied under Gollahalli for his master’s and doctorate degrees.

Dr. Gollahalli remains a favorite professor at AME, and continues to influence the field of combustion, clean energy and power, while also influencing the lives of his students.

AME Student Attends Engineering Entrepreneurship Trip in Austin, Texas

By Maryam SabeghiAustin Trip

I am a senior studying mechanical engineering. In the past years I focused on my classes and grades. Although being a top student is a dream come true, just as important is being prepared to step into a company or business and use my academic knowledge.

This semester I was honored to be an Entrepreneurship Austin trip attendee along with 15 other students who were either business or engineering majors. This trip was four days long and arranged by the College of Business and the College of Engineering. In this trip, we visited many companies, some well-known such as Dell, IBM and National Instruments and other small, but magnificent companies like AcademicWorks, TVA Medical and Blue Avocado. This trip helped me to not only find my role models for my future career planning, but also improve my self-confidence as a female engineer.

“I realized that engineering and business are tied into one another. Many engineers who hold top positions in big companies have great knowledge of marketing, business and financing.”

The most important question I had before going to this trip was, how did these people got to where they are now?  Most of the company owners told us that they started from scratch and failed a couple of times before they got to where they are now.

We were invited to the house of Mike McConnell, president of Jones Energy. He introduced us the book, Who Moved My Cheese.

“If you want to be successful in business, you have to like change,” said Mike. He told us how he failed in his career, but he did not give up and started over again.

This to me is a true success and passion, where you do not give up, even though you have failed badly and lost everything. In another visit to AcademicWork, the co-founders were four young engineers and businessmen. They described the first place where they started their company.  It was very small and mice ran all over the place, and even then, the founders were kicked out and had to start over. I learned that I can be one of them if I am passionate about what I do. Nothing should stop me, not even an old office with mice running all over it, or even lack of money.

As a female engineer, I have always wondered how to become successful and hold high positions in companies. I met very successful women who are great leaders and who motivated me to be one.  Blue Avocado was founded and is led by three women.  The company makes bags from recycled plastic bags. These businesswomen started the company and grew it to perfection. I also met an entrepreneur female, Carrie Arsenault, who established her company, Accountability Resources, which was ranked the top five in the Austin Business Journal’s Best Places to Work. She is successful and a great mother of two. Anyone would be proud to see these passionate and successful businesswomen and engineers who have transformed the characteristics of women in society.  Being confident, determined, willing to try, fail, and try again are factors that they all emphasized as important bridge to success.

Phil Gilbert, IBM vice president of business process & decision management, told the female students, “We need more female engineers, we need you here.”

I learned a lot in this trip and I was proud to attend as a mechanical engineering student.

I would like to thank Dr. Farrokh Mistree for nominating me and the College of Engineering committee, Mr. Brooks and Mrs. Hughes, who selected me to be part of this trip. It was a great experiment for me and I will never forget it.