2013 Senior Design Projects

The projects are for BSEN 4310 Spring Senior Design. Six student design teams participated in the Biosystems Poster Session this spring.

Hill Dorm Rainwater Reuse

Team 1 Poster

Project Statement

In an effort to meet Auburn University’s goals of reducing water usage 5% by 2020 (compared to 2010 usage), the Office of Sustainability has expressed an interest in the renovation of the Hill Dorms to collect and reuse rainwater. The purpose of this project is to provide the Hill with a rainwater catchment system that will be used for irrigating approximately 3.7 acres of planned green space. This system will capture and filter rainwater from the roofs of the twelve Hill dormitories which account for 2 acres of rainfall area; the water will be stored in four underground storage areas. A connecting valve to city water will be

included in the design for when the storage tanks are unable to supply sufficient amounts of water for irrigation. Calculations will be performed to determine the decrease in runoff that will result from the collection of rainwater and the additional infiltration from the pervious green space. This will allow for the analysis of the environmental impact the project will have on Parkerson Mill Creek and Town Creek. All costs will be weighed against the potential savings in water usage by determining the payback period of the project. An educational public display will be created in order to promote the ecological benefits of rainwater reuse.

Jordan-Hare Stadium Rainwater Capture and Utilization System

Team 2 Poster

Project Statement

Auburn University currently has a goal to reduce its municipal water usage by 5% by the year 2020. The challenge associated with this goal is the rapid growth rate that Auburn University is experiencing. Besides the increasing demand for municipal water that this growing population is creating, one needs to consider that the Jordan-Hare Stadium is, and has traditionally been, a major consumer of municipal water on Auburn’s campus. To decrease the stadium’s water consumption the University’s Office of Sustainability and Facilities Management Department are considering a rainwater harvesting system on the stadium. Pat Dye Field currently requires 58,000 gallons of water each week for irrigation during the dry season. The bowl surrounding Pat Dye Field has a seating area of 315,700 ft² that offers the possibility of harvesting 10,000,000 gallons of rainwater each year. The upper deck alone has a seating area of 99,000 ft² and has the potential to harvest 3,000,000 gallons. In order to find the optimum rainwater harvesting system design, and solve this engineering problem, the objectives of the process are to: design three systems to capture rainwater at Jordan-Hare stadium, incorporate reuse possibilities of irrigation and bleacher cleaning for harvested water, and to have the designs be an educational tool to raise awareness for good and sustainable water management practices.

Corley Terrace

Team 3 Poster

Project Statement

The Biosystems Engineering Department is in need of an outdoor space to allow students, faculty and staff a meeting place for relaxation, meals and other departmental events. The location of the existing walkway will be repurposed as a functional second story terrace. The terrace will be a self-supported structure that will be flush with the existing stairwells. The design will incorporate limited seating areas with outdoor tables and chairs as well as various shrubs, small trees and flowering plants for aesthetic and privacy reasons. A rainwater catchment system will be devised to meet the water requirements of the greenery planted on the terrace. A budget of $75,000 dollars has been provided to complete the project. Sustainability and using green building materials and practices will be an integral part of this design. This proposed multi-purpose space will be a source of pride for the department, as well as a teaching tool for future Biosystems Engineering students and faculty.

Ag Heritage Stormwater Wetland

Team 4 Poster

Project Statement

Ag Heritage Park is a popular venue for student, alumni, and community events and also serves as a quiet and welcoming green space.  The goal of this project is to design a constructed wetland which effectively treats stormwater, adds aesthetic value to the park, and provides educational opportunities to university students and members of the larger community.  The wetland will treat water draining from the existing pond as well as runoff from the surrounding slopes.  To achieve this, a mixture of shallow channels, deep pools, and temporary inundation zones, along with a variety of native wetland plants, will be utilized. A maintenance schedule will be created to ensure maximum biodiversity and mosquito control.  The area will include accessible walkways with interpretive signage to encourage visitors to safely explore the wetland without disturbing wildlife or treatment features. This design will be restricted to a budget of $25,000.

North Auburn Tract Stream Crossing and Low-Volume Road Design

Team 5 Poster

Project Statement

The North Auburn Tract is a forested area six miles north of Auburn, AL owned by Auburn University and managed by the Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences (SFWS). Until recently, the tract has been passively managed and timber was cut for income only in times of need, but now the school has decided to begin active management of the tract for timber and income for the SFWS. The tract is gently to moderately rolling terrain, and is bisected by a 2nd order tributary of Loblockee Creek. At present, the only vehicle crossing of the creek is over exposed granite bedrock. The crossing is not suitable for log trucks due to the steepness of the bank on one side of the creek, which causes safety issues and sediment delivery concerns. The goal of this senior design is to provide client Dr. Robert Tufts of the SFWS a design to improve the forest road system on the North Auburn Tract for timber management and recreational uses. Specific objectives include design of a pipe arch stream crossing or portable bridge installation at a nearby site on Flat Rock Creek suitable for low-volume, timber harvesting traffic within $20,000 while adhering to Alabama Best Management Practices for stream crossings. The second objective is to design a one-lane road from the stream crossing to the landing at “Stand A” suitable for in place clay soils and low-volume, timber harvesting traffic. Constraints imbedded in these objectives are the $20,000 budget for the stream crossing, the bank conditions of the stream, the peak flow for a design storm of 25 years, and the heavy clay soils prevalent on the tract.

Industrial Design and Capital Cost of Fish Skin Gelatin Facility

Team 6 Poster

Project Statement

Currently the catfish industry in the United States, and particularly in Alabama, is in a state of decline. Unless changes are made, the catfish industry in the United States will remain uncompetitive as a food source as compared to foreign industries. The value of catfish in the United States can be increased by producing a profitable by-product from catfish so that producers are no longer selling their catfish at a loss. This project intends to design a facility that produces gelatin from previously underutilized catfish skin. Because gelatin is utilized in many different industries, it is a valuable product that will hopefully bolster the catfish industry in the United States. The first objective of this project is to design a facility that converts seven tons of catfish skin into one ton of dry powder gelatin per day, and the second objective is to perform an in-depth cost analysis of this facility that includes capital and operating cost values and a profit analysis. The design of this facility will be based on a fifteen-step process developed by Dr. Wang and his colleagues that optimizes the extraction of gelatin from catfish skin, and market insight will be provided by the client, Dr. Chappell

Last Updated: Aug 16, 2013