2018 Senior Design Projects

The projects below are for BSEN 4310 Spring Senior Design.  There are eight design teams participating in this Biosystems Engineering course for the 2018 Spring Semester.

Yarbrough Elementary School Runoff and Erosion Management-Team A

Team Poster

Russell Mays, Jeffry Iskandar, Chaoran Zhang, Caroline Garsed

team aProblem Statement:

Yarbrough Elementary School in Auburn, Alabama was constructed in 1998 on donated land that was not ideal for construction. Portions of the property have steep slopes exceeding 10%, and the foundation is a rocky sub-layer, which substantially reduces the infiltration rate into the soil. Both aforementioned factors contribute to large volumes of damaging surface runoff. Effect of the runoff pressures the school to spend around $1,000 annually to replace wood chips that are dispersed from the playgrounds on the property. Additionally, the runoff is causing soil erosion around the staircase that leads to the upper playground. As such, this project aims to manage peak volume and flow rates causing the erosion and control the woodchip waste. Through the first phase of design, we will implement two Low Impact Development (LID) practices for 1.2 inches of rainfall, as recommended by the Georgia Stormwater Manual. In addition, we look to improve the perimeter of the lower playground, while reviewing alternate methods for managing drainage from the playground. The newly designed grass channels and playground perimeter will reduce the amount of runoff that often clogs the storm water drain and produce a sustainable erosion control measure. Finally, the client would also like to see an incorporation of environmentally-conscious education for students. A Non-Point Source Model can be used in combination with a narrative to detail the impact of runoff on a watershed, and teach the students about the importance of controlling stormwater. The school has offered the team a $5,000 proposed budget in order to implement a design that reduces the impact of uncontrolled stormwater on the property, while educating the students on the impacts of runoff mismanagement.

Yarbrough Elementary School Consultation for Energy & Water Consumption Reduction-Team B

Team Poster

Angela Carver, Blake Smith, Leyla Battista, and Tyanna Malone

Problem Statement:team b

Yarbrough Elementary School, a member of the Auburn City School System, accommodates 65 faculty and staff and 575 students from grades three to five. The school board recently sought assistance to minimize the school’s energy and water footprint as well as introduce complementary education initiatives for students. This project will propose a design solution to reduce water and energy consumption by 10%. The stormwater design solutions will utilize the current topography and practical landscaping to reduce excess outdoor water demand and eliminate erosion caused by runoff. Additionally, outdoor overhangs, fixture retrofitting, and utility replacement will decrease net energy consumption. In conjunction with the proposed design solution, STEM learning activities will expose students to relevant Biosystems Engineering topics. As the school’s project budget is approximately $5,000 per year, the project will propose a 5-year plan in order to achieve the intended results and stay within the school’s budget.

Yarbrough Elementary School: Expanding Water and Energy Efficiency Engagement-Team C

Team Poster

Casey Mullett, Katie Pepper, Logan Carlyle, and Matthew Preisser

team cProject Statement:

The Yarbrough Elementary School, built in 1998 in Auburn, Alabama, has expressed an interest in becoming more water and energy efficient through upgrades and repairs to their existing on-site infrastructure. This project presents the opportunity to educate students from a young age about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). The overarching goal of this project is to engage students in sustainable design practices while simultaneously expanding energy and water efficiency practices. Our design team will work towards this goal through the use of a three-component design that fits into the principal’s discretionary fund of $5,000 a year.

Component 1: Water and Energy Best Management Practices (BMPs) that can be applied broadly throughout the school to improve including but not limited to installing light timers and low flow faucets

Component 2: Conducting a Cost Benefit Analysis to school-specific areas of inefficiencies including upgrading to a centralized HVAC system and installation of a dishwashing system to reduce the 350 per day demand of Styrofoam trays

Component 3: Designing an Interactive Stormwater Collection System and plant education system with specific engagement focuses in urban gardening, use of greywater, and green infrastructure

Yarbrough Elementary School Green Initiative-Team D

Team Poster

Hallie Nelson, Emily Ong, Garrett Wates

Problem Statement:team d

Yarbrough Elementary School, located in the city of Auburn, Alabama, aims to become more sustainable through a partnership with Tree’s Company of the Auburn University Department of Biosystems Engineering. The school currently serves 575 students in third through fifth grades. Two environmental issues that are of most concern include the use of about 65,800 disposable polystyrene foam lunch trays per year and the stormwater runoff onsite resulting in continual replacement of playground mulch at a cost of approximately $1000 per year.

Through this design project, these two environmental issues will be addressed in ways that engage students in STEM education and sustainability initiatives. Students will be provided the opportunity to engage in waste reduction and stormwater management. Further, design solutions will advance efforts in pillars 1 and 3 of the Green Ribbon School Certification, respectively, to reduce environmental impacts and to provide effective environmental and sustainability education. Lunchroom tray economics will be analyzed and sustainable options such as reusable plastic trays or compostable trays will be considered. To accommodate the compostable tray option, an on-site composting facility will be sited and designed. Through these alternative options, waste produced by lunch trays will be eliminated. To prevent the loss of mulch due to runoff, two variations of  stormwater management solutions will be created, including underdrain and grass berm conveyance systems. The stormwater component will cost less than $10,000, so the payoff period will be designed for 10 years or less.

Low Profile Tractor Design for Commercial Poultry Industry-Team E

Team Poster

Stephanie Childress, Connor Henderson, Justin Jones, Lauren Smith

team eProblem Statement:

There are approximately 12,000 commercial broiler poultry farms located within the southeastern US. The poultry industry has a need for a specialized tractor with a low profile and a relatively small turning radius. P & A Tractor Corporation will design a small-scale tractor that meets the needs of the broiler poultry industry by utilizing a hydraulic steering system and a hydrostatic transmission. A small-scale tractor will be defined by a maximum length and width of 8 ft. and 5 ft. respectively, a ground clearance of 8 in., and a weight limit of 900 lbs. The hydraulic steering system will be fabricated to turn within a 7 foot radius while employing a hydrostatic transmission. To help meet the height constraints of a typical poultry house, the tractor design will have a maximum height of 5ft. The tractor will also meet ASABE quarter-scale tractor design requirements.

Hydrostatic Multi-Purpose Golf Course Tractor-Team F

Team Poster

Samuel Di Rito, Kelly Goneke, Tripp Powers, and Josh Whiting


Problem Statement:team f

A typical golf course spends, $42,000 on average for power equipment each year. Power equipment is used for mowing fairways, roughs, and greens as well as blowing leaves from fairways and raking sand bunkers. The Talon Tech tractor will be designed for the golf course industry using a pre-assembled hydrostatic transmission system capable of pulling all necessary implements. Use of a hydrostatic transmission allows the operator to change speed and direction without using a clutch, making for a smoother transition and higher maneuverability. Maneuverability is strongly desired on a golf course as there are numerous obstacles and gradients to navigate. A toggle-actuated, skid-steering system will be designed to provide a turning radius of less than 16ft. A custom frame will be designed and fabricated no greater than 6ft wide and 8ft long while ensuring a compact, durable and lightweight bearing. The tractor will be designed with a user friendly operator station complete with concealed wiring harness for electric controls. The budget manufacturing price for this tractor will be under $3,000.

Residential Stormwater Diversion and Erosion Control-Team G


Team Poster

David Baker, Cal Fisher, Emory Nichols, Austin Pegues

team gProblem Statement:

Stormwater runoff is a problem for many residential areas. The client, Dr. Sushil Adhikari, is experiencing runoff that produces erosion and ponding water in his backyard area at 1858 Talcott Ct. in Auburn, Alabama. The erosion in the backyard leads to an instability of the fence behind the property, which is a concern for this family-oriented space. The ponded water impedes access through the backyard fence gate, creating difficulty for foot traffic and lawn equipment. Ponded water is detrimental to the growth of grass required by the client for family use. The goal is to assure the long-term value of the property, including the house foundation, through erosion prevention and control designs, while not increasing runoff to neighboring properties. About 30 percent of the 0.18-acre backyard area must be suitable for a family green space, while the remainder of the area is open to alternate design. Runoff entering the affected areas will be rerouted or utilized through infiltration, storage and/or irrigation. Low impact developments techniques (LIDs) will be used to minimize runoff effects of 57 gallons per minute (gpm) from the surrounding area. The designed facilities must fit within the backyard area or underground on the client’s property, while trying to avoid altering the existing utilities. The design will be developed within a $3,000 budget. As well as finding a solution for the client’s yard, a re-design of the Talcott Ct. area of the subdivision will be completed with the goal of reducing stormwater flow of a 10-year, 1-hour storm event by 10 percent, while maintaining the current number of residential properties. New grading and drainage plans will be developed to further minimize runoff to neighboring areas in the subdivision

Residential Stormwater Mitigation Using Low Impact Development Practices-Team H

Team Poster

Preston Waid, Natalie Schmitt, Kathryn Tucker, Arin Howell


Problem Statement:team h

Stormwater runoff often causes flooding and erosion resulting in residential property damage. The main objective of this project is to implement residential stormwater mitigation practices in a subdivision in Auburn, Alabama. Design objectives are to reduce runoff volume and flow in order to prevent water ponding, erosion, and grass death so that the outdoor space of the property is enhanced. Drains, swales, and grading will be designed upstream of eroded areas in order to disperse flow and redirect runoff to downstream detention structures. Detention structures will be sized to contain 10% of a 10-year, 24-hour storm for the 0.9 acre watershed. Mechanical reinforcement will be planned to protect erosion prone areas. This project will be designed to fall within a $3000 budget. The second goal of this project is to examine pre- and post-development for this subdivision and provide an alternative subdivision design that incorporates effective stormwater mitigation techniques. A combination of conventional and low impact development stormwater mitigation practices will be developed in order to reduce stormwater volume and flow by 10-50% to the 10 residences on the street.


Last Updated: May 10, 2018