biosystems Engineering Design

What is engineering Design?

BSEN 4310 (Spring 2019)

     Engineering Design is a capstone course for graduating seniors. The course puts an emphasizes on the importance of teamwork, communication, safe engineering practices, and economic component involved in the completion of a design project.  The primary objective of this design project is to address a real-world issue. In order to insure that a tangible problem was solved, projects are acquired from various client groups. Under the guidance of faculty advisers, the project is driven to completion, presented, and reviewed by engineering professors. 

What are the objectives of this course? Upon the completion of this course, seniors in the biosystems engineering program are expected to apply engineering principles learned over the tenure of their undergraduate education to solve the problem presented by their assigned project. This course is also intended to emphasize the importance of soft skills in the engineering field. Ethical behavior, professionalism, respecting intellectual property, team work, and effective communication are among the individual and team skills focused on in class. 

Engineering Design Project

     Within the Biosystems Department, there were four options to choose from for the final design project. I was assigned in a team in the Design of an Environmentally Controlled Site for AU Food Waste Composting.  This design project is a feasibility study assessing the ability for Auburn University Dining Services (Tiger Dining) to integrate a fully-operational composting program with the on-campus dining halls. 

     It is projected that Tiger Dining disposes of about one metric ton of waste every day. Three teams of students were assigned to this particular study, with one of them being our team- Alpha & Omega Engineering. This study would assess the ability of a composting program to transport raw food waste from dining halls to the composing site, store raw and composted materials in a storage facility, create a recipe of food waste and chicken litter for the compost, and the allocation of processed materials back to the AU Main Campus for stakeholders.

    Although similar programs around the country work at comparable universities, there are constraints to consider while designing this composting program. Environmental concerns surrounding water quality in the greater Lee County area is of paramount importance. Keeping the composting site 50 feet away from utilities and test sites is imperative. Ensuring that there is no further contamination of the nearby Parkerson Mill Creek is one of the most important constraints in the composting program’s design criteria. 

    The senior design project is intended to put students in groups with other up and coming engineers that they would not otherwise do group-work in. By bringing a long-term senior design proposal to fruition, graduating students are able to combine analytical skills with professional skills to wholly solve a real-world problem. 

 

Proposed Composting Site

The proposed composing site is located at coordinates: 32°35’07.6″N 85°30’03.3″WThe closes nearby location is the old Auburn Wastewater Treatment Plant. This site is where the storage of raw food and litter materials, the storage of composted organic materials, and the composting machine would be located in the event that the composting program was deemed feasibile and implemented at Auburn University. 

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