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University of Nebraska, Lincoln - 2017

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Engineering Information

Student Projects

Student Design Projects Description

Biological Systems Engineering

Team Number Project Info
Team 1 Project Name:
Monitoring Heat Illness using Core Temperature and Heart Rate Sensors

Project Team:
Anastasia Sanderson
Jacob Lenz
Mitch Misfeldt
Kat Dudley

Project Description:
Outdoor workers, who are often subjected to hot, humid environments and strenuous work, commonly suffer from heat illness. Heat illness encompasses a variety of heat-related conditions, including heat exhaustion (37˚C 40˚C), which are detrimental to workers’ health. The goal of this project is to non-invasively monitor the core temperature of outdoor workers in order to prevent heat illness. To measure core temperature non-invasively, a Kalman Filter is used to ‘filter’ noisy data to provide a more accurate estimation of core temperature. The final design includes a double sensor that will be used to approximate an initial core temperature and an optical heart rate sensor that will acquire continuous heart rate data. The continuous heart rate data and initial core temperature data will be input to a Kalman filter. Both the double sensor and the Kalman filter will be integrated into a LabVIEW program. If the estimated core temperature from the Kalman filter reaches a specified threshold core temperature, the LabVIEW program will notify the user to modify his/her behavior in order to reduce core temperature and prevent heat illness.

Team Number Project Info
Team 10 Project Name:
Pivot Panel for Patient Handling in the VA Radiology Department

Project Team:
Kristina Zvolanek
Merrill Brady
Yukihira Naoe
Douglas Rowen

Project Description:
At the Veterans Affairs (VA) Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System in Omaha, Nebraska, staff in the Radiology department often assist patients to and from the X-ray table. Most commonly, patients require assistance when moving from a supine position to seated at the edge of the X-ray table. The technique used by technicians to aid this movement involves pulling the patient from a supine to upright position in conjunction with a 90 degree rotation of the patient’s lower body. Often, this maneuver is performed without mechanical aid. Most patients requiring assistance are obese, and the force required by technicians to move these patients can lead to injuries and exhaustion. Data from the VA hospital reports numerous lower back and shoulder injuries among the Radiology staff as a result of the physical exertion required in these procedures. The implementation of a patient lift device will minimize the need for staff intervention and reduce the number of patient handling injuries in the VA Radiology department. To this end, our team designed the Pivot Panel, a patient lift which consists of a motorized, rotating panel fixed to a stationary base. When the panel is aligned horizontally on the X-ray table, the patient rolls to his or her side and rests on the device. A 90 degree rotation of the panel assists the patient to a seated position at the edge of the X-ray table. Our final deliverable includes a CAD prototype of the Pivot Panel, a cost analysis, and list of materials and parts.

Team Number Project Info
Team 12 Project Name:
Immobilization of the Fiducial Spatial Marker for the X-Nav Technology Dental Implant System

Project Team:
Freshta Baher
Kevin Vakilzadian
Emily Thrailkill
Calin Kachek

Project Description:
Dental implants are commonly used to replace lost teeth, restoring both form and function. The success of dental implants relies on the accuracy of their placement, as they are placed in narrow bone with slim margins. Due to the importance and challenges of accurately placing a dental implant, computer assisted surgery has been developed to guide implantation. One guidance system is the X-Nav Technologies dental implant system. The system is a dynamic guidance system that gives real-time positioning guidance and feedback to the oral surgeon to achieve higher accuracy. The X-Nav System uses three radio-opaque fiducial markers that are attached to the patient’s mouth via the X-Nav x-clip. These three markers serve as a reference point for the drilling that occurs in the mouth so that the virtual system can provide feedback. The x-clip contains these three markers on the top face, while the bottom face consists of a thermoplastic, which holds the x-clip in place on the patient’s teeth during imaging and again during the implant procedure. The x-clip is placed along the same arch, but on the opposite side of the mouth as the tooth that is being drilled. However, the x-clip is prone to movement during surgery, and the location of the x-clip during surgery prohibits the use of a bite block to keep the patient's mouth open. To solve this problem, an adjustable stabilizing guard made out of polyether ether ketone (PEEK) was designed to fit around the x-clip. The stabilizing guard keeps the clip stationary, while also serving as a bite block to keep the mouth open.

Team Number Project Info
Team 14 Project Name:
Simulation of the Lower Respiratory Tract with Obstructions for Bronchoscopic Navigation

Project Team:
Katie Meiergerd
Hannah Christian
David Lillyman
Courtney Kinser

Project Description:

Within the medical realm, bronchoscopy procedures may pose a serious challenge for even the most skilled professionals. The greatest difficulty arises in navigating past obstructions and anatomical irregularities found in the lower respiratory tract that restrict airway diameter. Some examples include tumors, mucus plugs, and foreign bodies. Structures including the vocal cords, cricoid cartilage, and bronchial branches may also be challenging. Training of physicians in this area currently relies upon on-site training or expensive computer-generated models that lack any sensory perception aspect. Current methods of training are suboptimal in learning such arduous skills because it forces a physician to learn and perfect their bronchoscopy technique on live patients. To combat this, we designed a modular simulation prototype that can provide physicians-in-training an opportunity to improve their tracheobronchial navigation ability in multiple hypothetical patients through various configurations of the model. Included in our prototype design is the fabrication of the trachea, upper and middle bronchus, and obstructions. Use of computer aided design coupled with 3D printing technology provides the consumer a product with unlimited customizability for a robust and innovative simulation. Such a product would provide a safe environment for physicians to work toward performing more arduous bronchoscopies.

Team Number Project Info
Team 15 Project Name:
Device for Air Entrainment Reduction in the Hydraulic System of a John Deere Tractor

Project Team:
Aaron Steckly
Luke Johnson
Bennett Turner
John Nielsen

Project Description:
In the hydraulic oil system of an 8R Series John Deere tractor, large air bubbles are created by the cavitation of a hydraulic pump within the system. These air bubbles can cause damage to a paper element oil filter located downstream of the pump, which decreases the lifespan of the filter and reduces the efficiency of the tractor.

The goal of this project is to reduce these air bubbles in the oil and prevent the paper element filter from being damaged by large slugs of air. The team was cautioned to avoid electronic parts and to limit the size of any new device, as the solution would need to be easily incorporated into the existing hydraulic system. In order to solve this problem, the team designed a device to reduce the amount of air in the system. The device, which was fabricated using 3-D printing and machined aluminum, uses centrifugal motion to separate the air from the oil and return only pure oil to the filter. The effectiveness of the device was tested using various pressure drop measurements at specific points throughout the system.

Team Number Project Info
Team 16 Project Name:
Stormwater and Erosion Control at Roger's Memorial Farm

Project Team:
Anna Petrow
Mara Zelt
Samuel Hansen
Megan Gren
Patrick Woldstad

Project Description:
Over the last 5 years, the Rogers Memorial Farm has experienced an increase in flooding, resulting in significant damage to crops and arable land. The increase in flooding is due to greater observed rainfall intensity and amassed runoff due to land use change upstream. This project is to design a low maintenance stormwater management system to control the runoff from at least a 10-year, 24-hour storm event. The project designed a retention pond with controlled outflow to decrease the volume of water and soil entering the existing stormwater control system. Four variations for pond design volume were developed to account for potential changes in upstream land use. The alternatives were created because the neighboring farm has just been sold to a seeding company, which may add terraces to their land, reducing the peak flow of water onto Rogers Memorial Farm. The alternatives allow the client options to choose the best retention pond lifetime for his desired investment. The design would also include recommendations for reshaping and regrading the waterway downstream to prevent water overflow onto the cropland and sedimentation. The waterway is being reshaped because over time, the waterway has developed a non-uniform slope and has created depressions and places of steep slopes. These steep slopes increase the velocity of the water, creating more erosion along the waterway, and the depressions disrupt the uniform movement along the grassed waterway.

Team Number Project Info
Team 17 Project Name:
Steering System for Go Baby Go!

Project Team:
Emmie Johnson
Jordan Verplank
Zainab Alsughayer
Hannah Jones
Ravi Raghani

Project Description:
Go Baby Go! is a national movement that works to increase the mobility of children suffering from various physical and cognitive disabilities by modifying commercially available child ride-on cars (e.g. PowerWheelsTM). These modified cars are targeted for children ages 1-3, due to their ineligibility for power wheelchairs. Through increased mobility, these cars promote cognitive and social development analogous to their peers. Currently, modifications include implementation of additional safety features and rewiring of the steering system to allow for kids with lower limb disabilities to operate the car by pressing a large button on the steering wheel instead of a foot pedal. While these cars have been successful in increasing the mobility of children suffering from disabilities, the current modifications make it difficult for these children to push the large button while steering. The objective of our design project is to improve the current vehicle design to allow for more effective steering without compromising the current safety features. Our design team has innovated a joystick based steering mechanism for the Go Baby Go! cars. This system involved programming a microcontroller and electronic circuit design in conjunction with a mechanical rack and pinion steering system and second motor for right/left turning. This system allows for 360 degree movement by simply moving the joystick in the desired direction. With this updated steering system, Go Baby Go! cars are able to better serve children of a wide range of disabilities and allow for more independence and an increased cognitive and social development.

Team Number Project Info
Team 19 Project Name:
Fiber Optics and 4D Ultrasound for Intracardiac Catheterization

Project Team:
Bailey Helmink
Anna Toner
Robert Moore
Dillon Wordekemper
Juan Rodriguez

Project Description:
Congenital heart disease is the most common birth defect and the leading cause of death in the first year of life. Cardiac catheterization procedures typically use hemodynamic catheters, a minimally invasive and effective tool to diagnose and treat heart conditions. However, the current imaging modality used for monitoring the position of the catheter within the heart is X-ray, which uses radiation and radioactive contrast agents. Both of these have long-term health consequences, particularly for pediatric patients who will need many of these procedures in their lifetime. A secondary health concern of hemodynamic catheters is the increased risk of an air embolism due to the administration of contrast or the disconnection of the catheter from the transducer for the manual withdrawal of blood samples. We propose to eliminate these risks by designing a catheter that continuously measures blood pressure and oxygen saturation, two common metrics in catheterization procedures, with optic fibers monitored by 4D Ultrasound. Our catheter will be 2 mm in diameter and contain three fiber optics: one multimode fiber in conjunction with a fabry-perot interferometer to measure blood pressure and two multimode fibers using pulse oximetry to measure intracardiac oxygen saturation.

Team Number Project Info
Team 24 Project Name:
Motion Tracking of Neonate Activity

Project Team:
Sarah Heindl
Allison Porter
Kevin Real
Victoria Bart

Project Description:
Movement disorders are neurological conditions that influence speed, fluency, quality, and ease of movement. Scientists and physical therapists conducting research concerning pediatric movement disorders have noted that newborn preterm infants, compared to newborn full term infants, are at a higher risk of developing of motor and movement disorders; corresponding with a decrease in movement as these preterm infants age. Currently, it is unknown whether preterm infants move less immediately after birth, or if the decline in movement begins at a later age. In order to determine if a decrease in movements increases the likelihood of developing movement disorders, the goal of this project is to design a device that is able to track the movements of infants, both the intrinsic, movement done by the infant itself, and extrinsic, movement done upon the infant from an outside source, movements, to determine when a significant decline in movement occurs. Our final design solution consists of an infrared camera video tracking system that utilizes MATLAB code to distinguish and record notable changes of centroids of an infant’s body to provide a representation of overall infant movement. The infrared camera is oriented in an aerial viewpoint, and clothing color and sheet color of an infant’s crib are adjusted as needed to provide adequate contrast, which allows the MATLAB code to distinguish between the infant and the background, increasing tracking accuracy. This solution provides an affordable, reliable, and safe method of motion tracking without contacting the sensitive skin of infants.

Team Number Project Info
Team 25 Project Name:
Fountain Wars: Scrambled Eggs

Project Team:
Anthony Zach
Trevor Hinn
Max Hjermstad
Jeff Ostermiller

Project Description:
ASABE’s Fountain Wars is an intercollegiate design competition where members are tasked with assembling their projects on-site after giving a brief marketing promotion. Our group is tasked with designing a system that uses water in a swimming pool and energy supplied by a pump to transport an egg repeatedly across the swimming pool and which meets the competition rules and regulations established by ASABE.

To win the design competition, we designed a system that can move multiple eggs at one time, cycle eggs multiple times, move eggs through a larger net path, and be easily decorated for optimal scoring. Our design includes a triangular-shaped water wheel with three fixed buckets at each vertex to transport 3 eggs at once in a circular net path. A trough is used for the egg path at the bottom of the wheel, and a catch system that funnels into the trough is placed to catch the egg after the bucket passes vertical. A turbine is attached to the wheel to rotate the wheel when water is pumped onto it. A wooden support system with metal braces is used to anchor the entire system in the bottom of the pool.

Team Number Project Info
Team 27 Project Name:
Tumbleweed Mitigation for Eastern Colorado Solar Farms

Project Team:
Spencer Myrlie
Mitchell Frischmeyer
Lindsey Hollmann

Project Description:
Tumbleweeds pose a major problem to solar arrays in Eastern Colorado. A buildup of tumbleweeds on top of solar panels have a potential to cause shading and decrease energy output and profitability of the solar farm. Tumbleweeds can also cause increased wear, misalignment, and malfunctions that require maintenance. Accumulation of tumbleweeds also present a potential fire hazard. Using a fluid dynamic approach, we designed a wall system to divert the tumbleweeds. A curved wall design redirects surface winds, and with it the tumbleweeds, to travel around the solar farm. By utilizing past wind rose data, we were able to optimize our design to have the least impact on the encompassed solar farm. This approach reduces costs created by tumbleweeds while maintaining constant solar farm operation.

Team Number Project Info
Team 30 Project Name:
2017 ASABE Robotics Competition - Development of an Agricultural Based Robotic System

Project Team:
John Shook
Alec Fuelberth
Purity Muhia
Karlie Knoepfler

Project Description:
For the 2017 ASABE Robotics Competition, BSEN 470/480 Senior Design assigned four members to assist the University of Nebraska " Lincoln ASABE Robotics Team in designing a robot to compete in the ASABE Robotics Competition held in Spokane, Washington, on July 16-17th, 2017. The competition this year was to design a robotic system that could locate simulated raspberry canes on a white competition board and remove them cleanly from that board. There are additional constraints and criteria listed in the 2017 competitions rules and regulations that would need to be analyzed and accounted for. Our team was tasked with creating the chassis, intercommunication between chassis movement and robotic arm, and lastly the line-following ability of the robot. The chassis would need to be able to withstand multiple forces from the motors, robotic arm, and receptacle tasked with discarding the cut canes. Furthermore, the communication between where the robot is located on the board and where the robotic arm must go to cut the correct canes needs to be seamless, and was completed using Arduino software. The line-following ability of the robot was completed using an infrared sensor placed on the bottom of the chassis. The competition board is outlined in a black line for which the sensor uses to keep itself in line with the board and canes. These three tasks were completed with the help and guidance of two faculty members and several UNL ASABE robotics team members.

Team Number Project Info
Team 31 Project Name:
Robotic Cover Crop Planter

Project Team:
Jacob Will
Michael Kirstein
Austin Hines

Project Description:
Current methods to plant cover crops involve broadcasting seed either with a highboy sprayer or aircraft. Both methods have issues penetrating the corn canopy and establishing seed to soil contact, delaying emergence. The seed needs to be dispensed under the corn canopy and into the soil. The current solution is to pull a ground driven broadcast seeder, similar to a fertilizer spreader used on lawns, through individual rows. This task is fatiguing for the person who has to pull the broadcaster. In addition, this solution does not place the seed into the soil but rather on top. Cover crops can emerge up to three weeks earlier if positively displaced into the soil using a no-till seed drill. Some of the issues involved with using a no till seed drill is the accessibility or space between rows. Another is the high draft force required to pull a seed drill through the soil. Our team overcame these challenges by designing a narrow tractor unit with power to pull the seed drills. The vehicle is designed to be operated with remote control, with the intent to be fully autonomous in the future. The vehicle was designed to be upgradeable and modular for the planned upgrade to fully autonomous operation. The vehicles pump in the hydrostatic transmission, the valves for steering, and the three-point lift are all electronically controlled, allowing the full control of the unit without any operator control.

Team Number Project Info
Team 33 Project Name:
Heart Rate Monitors for Crisis Intervention in Grain Handling

Project Team:
Kari Heck
Austin Helmink
Breck Ostrander
Joey Stapleton

Project Description:
Grain handling is a labor-intensive job with many daily hazards including a high risk for falls, entrapment, and overexertion. As a result, improved safety is a necessary to protect the lives of grain handlers. While improving infrastructure and safety guidelines could reduce disaster risk and improve worker safety, doing so will take years and would be economically burdensome. Therefore, an inexpensive and more immediate solution is needed. We hypothesized monitoring the biometric data of workers could improve workplace safety by providing an effective crisis intervention system. In recent years, wearable devices that collect biometric data, particularly heart rate, have become popular in the consumer market. Heart rate is an excellent biometric data point to measure for grain handler safety because it directly correlates with many of the risk factors grain handler's face on the job like overexertion, heat stroke, and dehydration. In addition, heart rate can be an indirect indicator of a variety of dangerous situations, such as falls and entrapment, due to the nature of the body’s intrinsic crisis response system, the sympathetic nervous system. Although current devices are suitable to provide insight into heart rate data trends for the average consumer, a customized device is needed to increase workplace safety for grain handlers. Thus, we proposed and designed a prototype heart rate application and hard hat-integrated-heart rate sensor system to enable the acquisition and presentation of heart rate data, as well as trigger emergency alerts in response to dangerous heart rate levels and trends.

Team Number Project Info
Team 36 Project Name:
Processing Nigerian Tomatoes: Rural, Community-Based Production of Tomato Paste

Project Team:
Clayton Blagburn
Tafla Al Ruzaiqi
Grant Zebold
Mandy VanSant

Project Description:
Nigeria is Africa's second largest producer of tomatoes with over 1.5 million tons harvested; but a majority of rural tomato farmers lack consistent access to a market and due to the short storage life of tomatoes, over 80 percent of them go to waste. Nigeria is concurrently the world’s largest importer of tomato paste, leading to large economic losses. Our designed small scale tomato paste plant would provide a method for the farmers to reduce the portion of their crops wasted and encourage them to expand their current operations and adopt best management farming practices. By locally producing tomato paste, farmers become more profitable and use tomatoes that would otherwise rot to make a value-added product and contribute beneficially to the growing global and local food crisis. Our design solution includes equipment recommendations and associated costs for the production of 4000 kg of tomato paste per day during the three-month period corresponding with local tomato harvest. Dr. Joseph Akpan, our client and international business consultant, intends to take this information and conduct an economic feasibility and plans to implement the design to help the women and other rural farmers of Makurdi, Benue, Nigeria.

Team Number Project Info
Team 37 Project Name:
Bench Scale Bioseperations for Conversion of Cellulosic Biomass

Project Team:
Deidre Sandall
Emily Bender
Bryan Brunson
Alexandra Wallin

Project Description:
The remaining corn stalks and cobs (cellulosic biomass) that are typically a waste product from harvest can be broken down into usable components. Methods have been developed to use this biomass and break it down into fermentable sugars and residual solid biomass using enzymes. The goal of our project was to separate the three components--sugars, enzymes, and residual solid biomass--on a laboratory scale without destroying their properties. From the designed two-step system, our client will be able to further his research in the area of biofuels, which is a growing field of study in renewable energy. The separated components can be analyzed to understand the processing steps needed for biomass, potential reusability, and possible byproducts associated with the breakdown of cellulosic biomass.

Team Number Project Info
Team 40 Project Name:
Design of Ergonomic Device for Sonographers at the VA Hospital in Omaha

Project Team:
Erica Hedrick
Chris Cunningham
Madison Burger
Marissa Nitz

Project Description:
Sonographers, or ultrasound technicians, at the Veterans Affairs (VA) Hospital in Omaha have been experiencing musculoskeletal injuries that result from continually applying force during long ultrasound scans, which is required to obtain a high quality signal and image. The sonographers typically suffer injuries of the wrist, elbow, bicep and shoulder. In order to solve this pressing problem, we have designed an ergonomic solution for sonographers at the VA, which includes functional prototypes of a device that will aid them in their scanning procedure. Our design, the Exoskeleton Elbow Brace, assists the sonographers by applying an adjustable load that reduces the amount of force the sonographer has to contribute. In order to quantify the risk associated with the sonographers’ scanning procedure and evaluate the success of our prototype, we used a postural analysis called the Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA). Our design reduces the RULA score by 20%, indicating the device provides 3 ft*lbs of assistance for the sonographer during the scan.

Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Team Number Project Info
Team 2 Project Name:
Process Model of Chelating Agent for Wastewater Treatment

Project Team:
Hannah Evans
Cing Hawm Lian
Imad Albulushi
Zachary Van Ede
Devin Westerman
Joseph McCright

Project Description:
The design team will create a scheme to produce 1,500,000 pounds per year of potassium butyl dithiophosphate as to sell as a chelating agent for heavy metal elimination in wastewater. This amount of agent could help remove heavy metals from 250,000,000 gal of wastewater. With greater than 99% removal of heavy metal ions achieved by potassium butyl dithiophosphate, toxicity of wastewater sludge will be reduced and use of sludge as agricultural fertilizer would be possible. Unlike traditional methods of heavy metal removal, potassium butyl dithiophosphate also offers a more effective and pH-friendly removal process. To reduce emissions and minimize environmental impact, the production process will incorporate organic synthesis, carbon capture, and continuous chlorination.

Team Number Project Info
Team 3 Project Name:
Nebraska Biogas Upgrading Refinery​

Project Team:
Meryl Bloomfield
Heather Newell
David Hansen
Kevin Hafer

Project Description:

Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) has a goal to reach 10% of their total energy supply from renewable resources by 2020. Biogas as a renewable energy source is anticipated to be the fastest growing energy sector over the next two decades and Nebraska ranks number one in manure resource potential. Biogas is a fuel produced from organic waste materials (such as cow manure) through a process called anaerobic digestion. Our team has designed and evaluated the economic viability of a complete biorefinery located in Broken Bow, Nebraska capable of adding 60 MW capacity to the NPPD system. The biorefinery includes an anaerobic digester followed by an upgrading process where contaminants such as carbon dioxide are removed from the biogas to produce 620 SMCF of purified natural gas with 90% methane content. A solution of aqueous potassium carbonate in combination with an enzymatic catalyst, carbonic anhydrase, is used as the solvent in the biogas upgrading process. Through a drying process, any remaining water is removed and the resulting pipeline quality renewable natural gas (RNG) is fed to NPPD’s Canaday Station. Finally, the carbon dioxide is captured and then converted to 19 tons per day of 99% methanol using renewable hydrogen produced through electrolysis with energy from a nearby NPPD wind farm.

Team Number Project Info
Team 6 Project Name:
Project Helios: Solar Power Plant

Project Team:
Drew Allgood
Adil Alsiyabi
Cody Vavra
Conor Tomac
Matt Gregoire

Project Description:

Our project is to design a net zero carbon footprint solar power plant with no reliance on fossil fuels. It will be capable of storing thermal energy for use during periods of low solar radiation output with a two-tank heat storage system. The plant will be able to operate at full capacity (10 MW, 50 MW, or 100 MW) at all times of day. Solar collectors combined with a power tower will heat a molten salt heat carrier fluid loop which will transfer energy to a water/steam working fluid loop and power a turbine paired with a generator to create clean electricity. The molten salt composition was optimized based on thermal properties to maximize thermal storage and heat transfer efficiency. Aspen simulations will be used to verify literature data for both loop fluids. The plant will create a slight excess of energy to account for energy usage in the process, thus achieving our goal of net zero emissions.

Team Number Project Info
Team 13 Project Name:
Co-production of Ethylene and Acetic Acid from Ethane

Project Team:
Joshua Mueller
Jon Duerschner
Henry Kutilek
Mark Sauer

Project Description:
Our project explores a new way of producing and separating ethylene and acetic acid using a more economical and less energy intensive method.

Team Number Project Info
Team 18 Project Name:
Algae to Biodiesel

Project Team:
Ranil Joshua Philipose
Erica Schneider
Abdullah Al Balushi
Sangwon Bahng
Chau Bui

Project Description:
Our team is working to produce 1000kg/batch of high-quality, cost-effective biodiesel from a high lipid production, renewable algal source. This will be achieved by employing an innovative method of cultivation, combining both open and closed systems. These methods also include utilizing a recycled wastewater stream of 380,000kg/batch, as well as an extra 10.2kg/batch nitrogen and 320kg/batch phosphate to positively influence algal growth and reduce overall cultivation cost. Additionally, processing steps to obtain and convert triglycerides to biodiesel will include mechanical disruption, a method that reduces dewatering costs by up to 80-85%. In terms of waste reduction, used algal biomass will be co-digested anaerobically with wastewater sludge for bio-gas production. This allows energy production to lean towards a self-sustaining process, while exhaust gas is re-utilized as a carbon dioxide supply for algal growth.

Team Number Project Info
Team 20 Project Name:
Waterless Biodiesel Production from Waste Cooking Oil

Project Team:
Hannah Hassenstab
Nick Mulinix
Mark Casper
Fatimah Barnawi

Project Description:
Traditional biodiesel production plants use large amounts of water for the removal of impurities from the product. Our team will focus on designing a sustainable, waterless process for the production of biodiesel to avoid these issues. Our design will utilize waste cooking oil as a feedstock and a magnesium silicate adsorbent will be used to purify biodiesel to meet U.S. standards.

Team Number Project Info
Team 22 Project Name:
Fuel Grade Ethanol from Genetically Modified Switchgrass

Project Team:
Steven Lesher
Jackson Bauer
Justin Wurgler
Colin Milos
Alexandra Mosquera

Project Description:

High energy density liquid fuels are an important commodity because of their ability to be easily and efficiently transported as well as safely handled. Certainly, gasoline has played its part in being an excellent liquid fuel candidate, but more sustainable and environmentally friendly alternatives need to be developed. Ethanol fuels are a prime candidate for future energy needs, but the current ethanol supply comes largely from corn and other food sources, putting a strain on the global food supply. Grasses like switchgrass can be grown in a wider variety of climates and soils, use less water, and their conversion cycle to ethanol and then energy nets less CO2 emissions. However, they require more work to turn into ethanol. By doing an economic analysis of a genetically modified variant of switchgrass, we hope to show that, through genetic research, switchgrass can be an effective source of ethanol and can move us toward a sustainable, high energy density liquid fuel supply.

Team Number Project Info
Team 34 Project Name:
Purification of Hydrogen Fluoride

Project Team:
Ryan Buettner
Jordan Glover
Zachary Bell
Nicholas Zuercher

Project Description:
Hydrogen fluoride is a toxic and corrosive compound that is produced from metal processing and fertilizer production plants. Current safety standards dictate that the compound is to be reacted with activated alumina to dispose of as a salt compound. Hydrogen fluoride can be reclaimed from the product waste stream by separation and purification process. Our process aims to collect Hydrogen fluoride from a given metal waste stream at a concentration of 70 weight percent.

Team Number Project Info
Team 41 Project Name:
Production of L-Lysine HCI by Fermentation of 2nd Generation Biomass

Project Team:
Elizabeth Boschult
Bree Drda
Shang-ah Han
Michael Le

Project Description:
Amino acids are the primary component of all proteins and thus the building blocks for the function of both humans and animals. L-lysine, specifically, is an essential amino acid meaning it is not synthesized biologically in the body so it must be added as a supplement to both human and animal food sources. It is most commonly supplied by red meats, fish, and dairy products. With population growth comes the increased need for larger production rates of this essential amino acid. While chemical synthesis has been shown to produce L-lysine, more environmentally friendly processes are desired to decrease the amount of harsh chemicals used while also using renewable resources throughout the production process. The use of second generation biomasses (switchgrass and corn stover) was explored to produce the carbon source needed for fermentation to ultimately produce 98.5% Feed Grade L-lysine HCl. A triple-effect evaporation scheme was also explored to decrease energy consumption during the separation and purification of the final product.

Civil Engineering

Team Number Project Info
Team 39 Project Name:
Westwood Heights Golf Course Rehabilitation Project

Project Team:
Michael Greufe
Austin Moran
Nate Morhardt
Dayton Maul
Jordan Vietz
Adrian Tarango

Project Description:
The Westwood Heights Golf Course Rehabilitation project will work to help reduce the flooding and channel degradation that is occurring in and around Hell Creek, in Omaha, Ne; while working to improve the natural habit and limit the impact to the surrounding wetlands. In this project ERSO Engineering will look at different alternatives to solve the various issues while limiting the impact to the golf course and surrounding area. We will also look at replacing the roadway drainage structure located at the south end of the project.

Electrical & Computer Engineering

Team Number Project Info
Team 4 Project Name:

Project Team:
Drew Wiseman
Terrill Murray
Brad Naughton
Andrew Tompkins
Zachary Kentner

Project Description:

The UkeBox’s goal is to teach new users how to play the ukulele by lighting up frets that correspond to various notes and chords. It will analyze the notes played to determine if they are being played correctly. This product will allow new ukulele players to learn how to play the ukulele faster and more independently than traditional teaching methods. The design of the instrument consists of a single board computer with a touchscreen, a digital signal processor, and a custom microcontroller PCB. The communication protocol for communicating between devices consists of both UART and parrallel GPIO. The system is powered by a battery bank consisting of 18650 Lithium Ion batteries.

Team Number Project Info
Team 5 Project Name:

Project Team:
Moustafa Aladawi
Anthony Mainelli
Jacob Weskamp
Avery Miller

Project Description:
The E-PDK is a wireless electronic control system for a grain auger hopper developed for PECK manefacturing to give the company a competitive advantage in their target market.

Team Number Project Info
Team 7 Project Name:

Project Team:
Josh Hansen
Steven Towne
Monroe Mallum

Project Description:
STEM educators can benefit from a method to get students more involved in their learning beyond solving problems on paper. Real world experiments are one way to achieve this goal because they provide an interactive way for students to apply the concepts they are learning in their lectures and homework. However, measuring the results of such experiments is not always easy and can be a barrier for younger students. The STEM-Meter provides a way for STEM educators and students to perform their experiments using just one device. The STEM-Meter achieves this goal by providing a base unit with four ports to which sensor modules can be attached. The types of sensors that can be attached to the base unit include, but are not limited to: accelerometer, gyroscope, altimeter, light intensity, magnetic field, temperature, and humidity. The function of the STEM - Meter is to collect data from the connected sensor modules and log that data to a SD card and/or wirelessly transmit the data to an Android application using where it can be viewed and analyzed.

Team Number Project Info
Team 8 Project Name:
Vibration-based Machine Health Monitoring

Project Team:
Nathan Nordbrock
Michael Weskamp
Neil Morrissette

Project Description:
Electric machines, particularly generators, produce small vibrations while in use. Most machines will have a resonant frequency at which the machine itself will vibrate when operating under steady state conditions. By monitoring these vibrations, it can be determined whether or not the machine is operating correctly. The device will monitor these vibrations, and send that data through email so that an engineer or technician can properly diagnose and rectify the issue.

Team Number Project Info
Team 9 Project Name:

Project Team:
Arthur Fischer
Eric Peterson
Samuel Wildman

Project Description:
We are retrofitting a 1964 Chevrolet Corvair with an entirely new electric drive system to research the difficulties behind designing an electric car system and building a low cost vehicle that will meet the need of most American consumers. The system will include a 96 Volt 3-phase AC motor and controller with 48 12-Volt Sealed lead acid batteries and charging system. The design goals of the car include a range of 35 miles with a top speed of 55 mph and be able to charge from any standard 15 Amp receptacle. The Corvair will also include a computer system that will be accessible via touchscreen within the vehicles dashboard that will output real time data and have access to change motor controller settings on the fly. This retrofit will take an old classic car and modernize it to make it more energy efficient and environmentally friendly.

Team Number Project Info
Team 11 Project Name:
Wide Range Property Monitoring System

Project Team:
Riyadh Al Hinai
Adam Knodel
Mohammed Albusaidi

Project Description:
This project will introduce a simple yet reliable low-cost wide range monitoring system. It will be an image capture devices that are triggered by motion sensors. These devices will be able to send the images for a distance up to a half a mile.

Team Number Project Info
Team 21 Project Name:
Recon Rover

Project Team:
Taylor Roan
Jonathan Williams
Sebastian Chang
Dylan Hall

Project Description:
The Recon Rover is a manually controlled, small exploration vehicle. The rover will consist of a wireless interface from a laptop that will communicate with a single board computer attached to the rover. The user will have control over forward, backwards, and turning capabilities of the rover. The rover will also stream a live video feedback to the laptop; this will allow the user to control the rover without physically looking where it is headed. The user will also be able to turn the direction of the camera to examine points of interest that may not be directly in front of the vehicle. A solar panel will be attached to the top of the rover that will provide charging for the batteries when the rover is not in use. The solar panel will find the optimum light intensity of the sun using a six-point tracking system.

Team Number Project Info
Team 23 Project Name:
Amateur Radio and Digital Messaging

Project Team:
Matthew Fritz
Nick Lang
Austin Koch
Ahmed Alserhani

Project Description:

This project was to design an amateur radio transceiver that communicates digital text messages. The transceiver operates in the 40 meter amateur radio band, which is in the high frequency range. The transceiver utilizes the PSK31 modulation scheme. PSK31 is a method to send and receive text messages at a slow rate using a narrow frequency spectrum. The device will include an integrated touchscreen display as part of the user interface. A standard USB computer keyboard will be used to type the text messages.

Team Number Project Info
Team 28 Project Name:
Environment Monitor

Project Team:
Vojislav Medic
Aaron Ediger
Angoua Konan
Matthew Hilfiker

Project Description:
Environment monitor built with low power, long life, and temperature/light measurement capability. Designed with a purpose of data collection for rural engineering projects by Engineers Without Borders.

Team Number Project Info
Team 29 Project Name:
Mueller Matrix Imaging Microscope

Project Team:
Alex Ruder
Brandon Wright
Becca Horzewski
Tyler Martin

Project Description:
Our project uses the concept of ellipsometry to measure spatially resolved optical properties of a microscopic sample. It probes the sample with various polarization states of light, measures the intensity and polarization of light passing through the sample, and then uses this data to determine the mueller matrix elements of the sample. The resulting images can then be used to provide marker-free enhanced contrast images of cellular samples, flow cells, thin films, etc.

What sets our mueller matrix imaging microscope apart from others is that it uses a new, patent pending technique to generate and analyze the polarization of light in the system. This new technique uses fewer parts, lower cost components, and allows for a folded optical path. All of these features combine to form a very small, incredibly affordable instrument. This will lower the price of entry for this type of research and lead researchers to new discoveries faster than ever.

Team Number Project Info
Team 38 Project Name:
Electronic Implantable Total Knee Replacement

Project Team:
Brenden Gatzemeyer
Owen Fike
Cassandra Sulski
Edgard Boko

Project Description:
The idea behind this project is to improve the recovery analysis of knee replacement recipients. Today’s advancements in the engineering field allow doctors and engineers to combine their efforts to provide better medical care to patients. The Electronic Implantable Total Knee Replacement of Group 105 is intended to simplify the after surgery range of motion measurement in the patient. The project involves two major components: a small printed circuit board (PCB) that goes into the femur end of the knee replacement and a hand-held device with an LCD display. The PCB in the knee replacement has an accelerometer that takes data measurements of the knee’s range of motion, then transmits this data to the hand-held device to be displayed to the user. This project will relieve stress on the patient and simplify the recovery process by eliminating the need to measure the knee’s extension and flexion by using x-ray images and a protractor.

Team Number Project Info
Team 43 Project Name:

Project Team:
Winston Larson
Eugene Kuznetsov
Manoupouguine Baniab
Vi-Awou Agbosse

Project Description:
Socket-Master provides an implementation to obtain information about, and better control over, the power usage in a home through integrating internet connectivity to a home’s power outlets. Socket-Master is a device that allows a user to wirelessly control the operation of power outlets in a home, regardless of distance from the home. This is accomplished by having user input commands communicated over the internet to a microprocessor located at a home, which will then communicate with a controller, or an array of controllers, installed on wall outlets via radio frequency transmission. Specified controllers can then be switched on or off according to the signal received, and will relay status updates to the user about current settings and power consumption.

Team Number Project Info
Team 44 Project Name:
The Bus Factor

Project Team:
Nate Pettepier
Remy Patterson
Chen Chen
DJ Steffensmeier

Project Description:
The bus factor is a system that allows students to track the location of a shuttle bus on campus and view the bus's estimated time of arrival. The hardware device placed inside the shuttle obtains GPS coordinates and transmits them wirelessly via GSM cellular network to a remote server. Anyone with an internet connection and a web browser can view the tracking information on the bus factor webpage. Currently a proof of concept which tracks one bus on one route, the bus factor could be expanded to track multiple buses.

Mechanical & Materials Engineering

Team Number Project Info
Team 26 Project Name:
Safe Balance Training System

Project Team:
Sean Dugan
Robert Brockhaus
Jason De Kock
Drew Reese

Project Description:
Our design is a balance training system that allow a platform to rotate about 2 axes. This is to help train people with balance issues to prevent them from falling when they are on an uneven surface.

Team Number Project Info
Team 32 Project Name:
Compliant Membrane with in-Situ Actuation

Project Team:
Scott Schenkelberg
Chandler Sandman
Nick Underwood

Project Description:
Deform-able surfaces are critical to many applications such as adaptive optics, but actuation range is limited by current technology to be on the order of microns. By developing a deform-able membrane that has a range of motion orders of magnitude larger than the state-of-the-art technology currently used, thus enabling novel applications ranging from micro-lander mobility systems to adjustable focal length telescope mirrors. To do this, a technique wherein a prescribed pattern is cut into a rigid 2D sheet of material, such as wood or acrylic, to make the material flexible in desired directions is utilized. Intelligently arrayed small surface mount actuators, such as shape memory alloys, are then be used to control surface deformation. The resulting device is a robust, compliant mechanism with multiple degrees of freedom, yet functionally only a single moving part. This platform could enable a single micro-vehicle on another world to perform multiple scientific measurements within a region or complete other useful tasks such as correctly orienting solar panels. This project builds on a previously established proof of concept with the goal of constructing a higher fidelity proof of concept prototype with innovative functionalities.

Team Number Project Info
Team 35 Project Name:
Fatigue Life of Shot Peened Aluminum 7075

Project Team:
Jacob Havranek
Austin Unseld
Kole Krueger
Connor Palic

Project Description:
We designed and built a rotating bending fatigue tester. With this we conducted research on the effect of shot peening of Aluminum 7075 T6 to see if the fatigue life was increased or decreased.

Team Number Project Info
Team 42 Project Name:

Project Team:
Zachary Bram
Isaac Fuhrman
Ty Rempe

Project Description:

The ISTAND mechanism, or Improved Stabilizing Transfer Device Aiding Neurological Development, is a device designed to lift rehabilitation patients from a seat, transfer them to a new location, and safely lower them back into a new seat. A common application would be to transfer someone from the bed to a toilet seat and back again. The ISTAND needed to assist rehabilitation by guiding the patient through proper kinematic standing and sitting motion. Currently, there are several commercial sit-to-stand models that are used in hospitals to lift patients, but they reinforce poor posture that hinders their rehabilitation progress. This project was assigned to us by Lincoln’s Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital with the goal of creating a prototype that is ergonomic for patients and simple to use by CNA’s. The project also involves a senior group of students from the college of Journalism and Mass Communication who helped survey, research, and advertise for the product.

Team Number Project Info
Team 45 Project Name:
Formula SAE Variable-Runner Length Harmonically Tuned Intake Manifold

Project Team:
Cody Voris
Nic Meyer

Project Description:

We have designed a harmonically tuned variable-length runner intake manifold for the Husker Motorsports HM-06 FSAE open-wheel race car. The new intake manifold has been tuned using Helmholtz resonance-frequency tuning to provide a wider, more usable power band in the Kawasaki 636cc engine. The variable-length runners allow for the plenum to be tuned to provide increased volumetric efficiency at 8,000 and 10,500 RPM. This will allow for a wider power band than is usually available from fixed-length runner intake manifolds that will result in faster acceleration and better fuel efficiency.

Team Number Project Info
Team 46 Project Name:
Formula SAE Carbon Fiber Wheels

Project Team:
Jonathan Berger
Steven Christy
Brady Pramberg
Jacob Quint

Project Description:
The UNL Formula SAE team (Husker Motorsports) competes in the International Formula SAE competition every year. This competition involves designing, fabricating, and racing a student-built miniature formula race car. The Husker Motorsports team is always seeking to design the best, fastest, and most importantly, coolest race car possible! The purpose of this senior design project is to design, manufacture, and test carbon fiber wheel rims. These carbon fiber rims are lighter, stiffer, and WAY cooler looking! Hopefully they will help the Husker Motorsports team to take home the gold this year!