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Senior Design Projects

We are very proud of the significant work performed by our undergraduates as a result of the Senior Design course. Here is a small sample of past projects.

Creation and Analysis of Process to Produce Thorium Oxide from Monazite

Students: Makayla Hyde, Jaclyn Choate, Nikolai Regenold

Faculty Mentor: Robert Counce and J.S. Watson

Sponsor: Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)

Description: The objective of this project was to determine the most economic and feasibility process for extracting thorium oxide from monazite ore. Monazite consist of thorium phosphate along with several other rare earth phosphates. Another important component in monazite is radon, a daughter product in the thorium decay chain. Five different 4-person chemical engineering teams worked independently on this project; they were supported by a 2-person team form nuclear engineering. The predominate design utilized the baking of a mixture of monazite and H2SO4 producing thorium oxide, with byproducts of phosphoric acid and mixed rare earth oxides. An unusual feature of this process is a radon decay bed, designed to hold radon until decayed.

ExBEERiments: Craft Beer Production

Students: Jake Jolley, Jess Ossyra, Seth Anderson, Adam Soper, Justin Holladay

Faculty Mentor: Sankar Raghaven

Sponsor: Balter Beerworks Microbrewery

Description: This team’s task was to observe the beer making process and develop a mass balance for dissolved oxygen and yeast in different sections of the system. Improve the shelf life of the beer by optimizing the dissolved oxygen. Optimize the cost and time for the process by modifying the equipment and energy needs.

This project received the Most Creative and People’s Choice awards. Read the other 2018-19 projects that were recognized with a department award.