2019 Senior Design Projects

The projects below are for BSEN 4310 Spring Senior Design.  There are ten design teams participating in this Biosystems Engineering course for the 2019 Spring Semester.


Design for Climate Controlled Hatchling Transport Trailer By A Chick & Some Broods Design Co.

chickTeam Poster

Robert Darden, Alysa Gauci, Trevor Mitchell, and Stewart Teal

Problem Statement:

In order to support and promote additional research efforts for the Auburn University Poultry Science Department, efficiency of the transport of chicks from the hatchery to Auburn has been investigated. Currently, large tractor trailer trucks traveling up to four hours from the hatcheries to Auburn, AL are being used for transport. Availability of the tractor trailers is a growing issue and extremely inefficient due to the small load size. The goal of this project is to design and construct a more efficient, smaller scale way of safely transporting the chicks from hatcheries to Auburn, AL to aid in research initiatives for the Poultry Science department. Design objectives consist of the following: (1) Design a climate controlled system, including HVAC and humidity control systems, that provides even airflow across all trays and consistent temperature and humidity throughout trailer, (2) design interior cargo mechanisms that allows trays to be locked during travel and then removed easily when needed for loading/unloading or other purposes, (3) design a system that provides sufficient and reliable power to climate controlled and humidity components, and design a housing for the generator to be protected from the elements, (4) design control system to monitor and control environmental factors from inside the vehicle being used to tow the trailer, and (5) design interior that allows for washing and cleaning of trailer to aid in disease prevention.
These objectives will be met by considering the following constraints. The environment for the 6,000 chicks being transported will be climate controlled, including a temperature of 95° and a relative humidity of 70%. The chicks will be transported 100/each tray in an industry standard tray. A standard cargo trailer will be purchased and then will be retrofitted to the needed specifications. A budget of $60,000 will not be surpassed during design and construction.


Biggio Drive Stream Enhancement and Construction of Multi-Use Path By Sultans of Streams (S.O.S)

Team Postercas

Julie Cox, Nick Kellenberger, and Harris Pride

Problem Statement: 

A tributary of Parkerson Mill Creek along Biggio Drive has been not only an environmental concern, but also an aesthetic concern. The stream bank suffers from erosion and sediment problems and contributes to Parkerson Mill Creek’s poor water quality. Auburn University has targeted various streams around campus with the intention to restore them to a more natural state. Restoring urban and developed streams provides numerous advantages such as enhancing water quality, controlling erosion and sediment problems, and creating a more natural-looking area. The goal of this project is to design improvements to the stream bank and the road shoulder for an approximately 1,000-foot section of stream from the intersection of Coliseum and Biggio Drive to the culvert running under West Samford Avenue. These improvements to the road shoulder include a multi-use pedestrian path, which will run alongside the creek and will allow pedestrians and bikers to safely travel between West Samford and South Donahue. The stream bank improvements will help to reduce erosion within the stream and control the rate of runoff of the water entering the stream. Design objectives for the road shoulder include lighting and educational elements incorporated into the multi-use pathway. The objectives for the stream will consist of enhancing drainage pathways for the stream by designing improvements for the existing storm water structures and reducing erosion using best management practices such as stream buffers or bank stabilization. Pre and post development hydrology analysis will be conducted on the site. Project constraints include the following: a budget of $350,000, no interference with the Auburn Football facilities side of bank, and making design and environmental standards comply with the Auburn Office of University Architects standards.


Controlled Site for Pre-Consumer Food Waste Composting By CSC Sustainable Solutions

Team Posterpre

Hayley Anderson, Trent Arney, Sydney Harris, and Samuel Tatum

Problem Statement: 

Due to the increasing amounts of animal litter, food waste, and other left-over materials, waste generation is associated with harmful environmental impacts and economic inefficiency; however, a significant portion of discarded material may be repurposed and utilized. Our team’s goal is to design and propose a sustainable solution that reduces the financial burden and large quantities of waste produced by Auburn University dining halls. We plan to accomplish this task by designing an in-vessel composting system that is capable of breaking down the pre-consumer food waste and converting it into good quality organic material. The composting site is located near the Auburn University Beef Unit off Shug Jordan Parkway in Auburn, Alabama. The produced compost is intended for immediate application to promote and sustain plant growth in landscaped areas on campus.
In order to facilitate the composting process and reduce waste, site design and composting components were considered for the design of the system. The site design objective is to maximize the area within buffers positioned around the test wells and the 303(d) impaired stream. The remaining area should accommodate the composting unit(s), on-site storage, and a route for the transportation of materials. The design would ensure the site does not contaminate surrounding areas via runoff or further impair Parkerson Mill Creek. The composting component objectives will require the compost to be mature (i.e. homogeneous composition, earthy smell, and low respiration [2-8 ppm CO2/g Organic Matter/day at 135 oF]) and safe (i.e. fecal coliforms should be <1000 MPN). These objectives should be completed within budget of $100,000 and not require additional land area than what is provided by the property line and the buffers associated with the wells and the impaired stream.


Establishment of a Composting System and Site Design By CSI Composting System Innovations


Team Poster

Caitlyn Collazo, Nathan Ibanez, and Josh Starling

Problem Statement:

Every year, Auburn University Dining Facilities (AUDF) spends approximately $100,000 in disposal of pre-consumer kitchen waste, resulting in thousands of pounds of un-utilized organic waste that could be biologically converted into organic mulch through the use of aerobic composting. The client, Glenn Loughridge, prefers an in-vessel composting system, with either an automated auger or a rotary drum. The goal of this project is to repurpose disposal fees to construct a more viable food waste management program, which will present a potential long-term benefit for Auburn University.
The first design objective includes the efficient sorting and transportation of organic waste from AUDF to the proposed composting site area. The second design objective for the project is to identify a composting method that is economically viable and feasible to construct given the site boundary and constraints. The feedstock composition will consist of an assumed 1,000 pounds of wet pre-consumer kitchen waste generated per day from AUDF, poultry litter, and a carbon source, all on a volumetric basis. The third and final design objective is to design an off-campus site that will allow Auburn University to sustainably compost pre-consumer food waste generated on campus. The 1.86-acre site design will be constrained by a 303(d) impaired stream, a decommissioned wastewater treatment plant, multiple test well locations, and a preliminary construction budget of $25,000. A minimum buffer of 60 feet must be maintained from all sewer lines, utilities, or wastewater structures, with a 50-foot buffer from any monitoring or test well.


Net-Zero Energy Retrofit By PRS Consulting

Team Posternet

Trent Potter, Bailey Rathmann, and Parker Satterfield

Problem Statement: 

Net zero energy is defined as using only energy that is produced with renewable energy sources on the site and drawing no energy from the electric grid. As global energy demand rises, carbon emissions that contribute to climate change continue to rise with it. This project aims to determine the economic and technical feasibility of converting a residential home in Auburn, Alabama to a net-zero energy home utilizing two renewable energy sources such as solar energy for electricity production and biomass burning for heating. This project has been divided into two objectives: reducing the energy requirements of the house and using onsite generation methods to support the remaining energy load. To reduce consumption, the high energy appliances such as the HVAC unit, washing machine, and water heater will be replaced with renewable energy methods or energy efficient models. To further reduce the home’s energy burden, standard light bulbs will be upgraded to LED bulbs, and thermal blinds will be installed on larger windows to reduce inefficiencies in air conditioning. Once energy consumption has been reduced, the remaining demand will be met by utilization of renewable electricity production such as solar panels installed on the south facing portion of the roof. The electricity generated by the renewable sources will be stored in commercially available batteries to ensure energy is available for all hours of the day. The renewable energy collection is restricted to the area of the property. In addition, the design of the renewable energy sources must be compatible with the existing structure of the home and have a seven year return on cost of initial investments and installations through energy savings.


Feasibility of an Expandable Composting Facility and Program By A&ΩE 

expTeam Poster

Austin Brown, Rosia Rowe, and Aubrey Sharp

Problem Statement:

Composting is a bioxidative process that leads to a highly stabilized organic product with the potential to contribute to soil conditioning and fertility. Stakeholders at Auburn University are becoming more aware of the impact that their waste has on their immediate environment, and the benefits of integrating a composting program into the university. Alpha & Omega Engineering will conduct a feasibility study assessing the university’s ability to establish a fully operational composting program that will operate alongside Auburn University Dining Services (Tiger Dining). If feasible, this design would enable Tiger Dining to optimize pre-consumer food waste by converting it into serviceable organic materials. This scope of this program would include transportation, storage (of raw and composted materials), on-site composting, and the reallocation of composted materials. Considering pre-consumer wastes from the Village Dining Hall are approximately 1000 lbs/day, the accessibility onto the former Auburn Waste Water Treatment Plant (AWWTP) site to food waste loading trucks is an important design consideration. Tiger Dining spends approximately $50,000 on haul-away costs for Village food waste, and could save up to 40% on annual haul-away costs with an established composting program. The organic material generated would be upcycled within the university, supplying Facilities Management, campus construction projects, and varied academic departments with economical compost. There are several constraints to consider in order to gain approval for a sizable composting program. Keeping the composting site at least 60 feet away from utility, sewer, and wastewater facilities prevents the declination of Auburn’s water quality. To avoid further contamination of Parkerson Mill Creek, the site must remain at least 50 feet away from established test well sites and the creek itself. Creating a storage structure limiting pollution and hindering wildlife from accessing raw materials is a crucial environmental constraint. The composter must be sized large enough to manage food waste, not including additional chicken litter. The project design must be one that creates a quality composting mix that is distributed to university stakeholders in a timely manner post-production.


Renewable Energy Retrofit By BAT Engineering

Team Posterrenew

Bethany Duvall, Adam Behr, and Tel Schieler

Problem Statement:

The most common way to produce electricity is through the burning of fossil fuels, a limited resource that releases greenhouse gasses, trapping heat and causing climate change. Energy consumption is consistently increasing with technology usage, population growth, and rapid urbanization. Due to the environmental concerns as well as the fact that fossil fuels are limited, renewable energy usage is becoming crucial. The goal is to significantly reduce grid energy consumption by our client in an economical way, such that the client can reduce his energy footprint with a reasonable investment, $30,000. The objective is to retrofit the client’s home with a system aimed to achieve net-zero energy consumption, including at least two renewable energy sources. Solar, wind, hydro, biomass, and geothermal energies will be considered. The system will take into account current energy use. Thus, the system will be able to provide for peak demand of 21.5 kW and have a means to provide energy for three low production days, equating to 339.45 kWh. Other constraints include spatial constraints, such as a 2356-square-foot roof and 0.42-acre lot. Meanwhile, the client wishes to have minimal yard disturbance. Finally, the client wishes for a ten-year payback period, which gives the approximate maximum budget of $30,000.


Stream Improvements Along Biggio Drive By Southeast Streamworks

Team Postersouth

Matt Ballard, Rachel Howell, and Dillon Taylor

Problem Statement: 

Parkerson Mill Creek and its tributaries run through the heart of Auburn University and serve as the main watercourse for stormwater runoff from the campus. After heavy storm events, this runoff has high volumes of water, eroding the stream banks and carrying sediment, pollutants, and trash. Segments of the stream have already undergone restoration projects that aim to improve the water quality and appearance of the stream and riparian zone. The goal of the proposed restoration project is to continue previous efforts, restoring approximately one thousand feet of a tributary of Parkerson Mill Creek between its intersections with Coliseum Drive and Samford Avenue. The design will improve ecological function by facilitating the removal of trash from the stream and the remediation of other pollution problems like sedimentation. The design will also be capable of handling a 25 year, 24 hour storm event just as well or better than the existing system. Furthermore, the design will integrate the stream into campus as an aesthetically pleasing natural feature, including a multipurpose pedestrian path along Biggio Drive. These objectives will be accomplished with proper landscaping and riparian management as well as instream structures, all while maintaining ecological integrity and operating within an initial capital budget of $350,000. Additionally, the project must fit in the available space, and the view of the adjacent football practice fields must remain obscured.


Net-Zero Energy Retrofit By Project Zero

Team Posternet

LeeAnn Johnston, Thomas Orzech, and Jon Auman

Problem Statement: 

The utilization of renewable, clean energy is expected to increase in the decades to come, and the client desires to be at the forefront of the movement. For this reason, he is interested in a net zero energy retrofit of his home in Auburn, AL for a payback on energy costs within 5-8 years. The objective of the project is to retrofit the 0.42-acre property and existing home with a combination of on-site renewable energy production systems, long-term battery storage, and energy efficient appliances with the goal of net zero energy purchased from the power company. The house is currently all electric so no compensation for gas systems is necessary. There are several major constraints to consider with this project. First, there is no net metering allowed, so energy storage on site is required. Additionally, the client recently had work done on the backyard, so no uprooting of the grassed area behind the house is permitted. The project is also not nearby a body of water, so a microhydropower system is not possible. Due to these constraints, the renewable energy alternatives utilized will consist of a combination of solar, wind, and biomass systems in order to eliminate the need to purchase power. The final design must comply with state, federal, and Homeowners Association (HOA) regulations and have a payback period short enough for an economic benefit for the client.


Restoration of the Parkerson Mill Creek Streambank and Design of a New Multi-use Pedestrian Path along Biggio Drive By EnviroSolutions

Team Postermill

Conner Pope, Roger Smith, and Cami Shands

Problem Statement: 

The stream adjacent to Biggio Drive on Auburn University’s (AU) campus is an approximately 1075 ft section of Parkerson Mill Creek that has been experiencing streambank erosion and become concealed behind extensively overgrown vegetation. As a result, AU Facilities/Office of the University Architect (OUA) has decided to restore the streambank to pre-developed conditions and remove some of this overgrowth in an attempt to bring aesthetic value to this highly-developed area of campus. The goal of this restoration and design project is to improve the hydrology of the stream to more closely emulate natural conditions and construct a multi-use pathway (MUP) – approximately 5 to 7 ft wide – designed for bicycle and foot traffic with improved lighting along the shoulder of the road between the streambank and Biggio Drive. The objectives are to improve streambank stability by reducing the impacts of scouring and slumping, grade the streambank to reduce the transport of sediments into the stream by stormwater runoff, and remove excessive vegetation from the upland area between the riparian zone and proposed MUP. The project site will be constrained to the area indicated on the attached project site map. Moreover, the football practice field and facility must remain concealed by vegetation cover from Biggio Drive. The project construction budget is $350,000, and a cost estimate analysis will be developed for the restoration and design plans. The proposal must be completed by the end of the spring 2019 semester. The effectiveness of the streambank restoration design will be determined by completing pre- and post-development hydrology and hydraulics analyses of the stream. 


Last Updated: 8/27/19 8:21 AM