2024 COES Design and Research Conference

Mechanical Engineering Senior Projects

Green Session: Integrated Engineering and Science Building 112.

Moderator: Dr. Shafiqur Rahman

1:00 p.m.

Manufacturing Facility Ventilation System

Team Members: Brandon Boudreaux, Brandon Mitchell, Jordan Stultz, Clayton Tibbit

Sponsor: Bobby Horton, Senior Director of Engineering and Product Development, Clement Industries

Advisor: Dr. Shafiqur Rahman

Clement Industries, a dump truck manufacturer operating out of Minden, Louisiana, has approached us with the task of designing a new ventilation system for six specific warehouse buildings. During the summer, temperatures within the facility have been manually recorded as high as 115 degrees Fahrenheit. Additionally, smoke buildup occurs within the facility from their welding stations, and there is nothing besides minimal cross-ventilation airflow from open doors in the facility to solve this. Our goal with this project is to reduce the severity of these problems. The conditions of the facility limit us, as the many open doors of the warehouse and the lack of pre-existing thermal insulation prevent air-conditioning and HVAC systems from being effective. Therefore, our project aims to create airflow within the facility that helps expel hot air and smoke from the facility. To achieve this, we have positioned fans at both ends of five of the six buildings we have decided to work with and along the interior of some buildings at specific intervals to support airflow along the length of the building.

1:30 p.m.

Carbon Capture Flow Modeling System

Team Members:  Hannah Babin, Devin Claridge, Josiah Perez, Brandon Phillips

Sponsor: Jeremy Brimer, P.E. Engineer IV- Corporate Development, CLECO Support Group LLC

Advisor: Dr. Yun Chen

CLECO’s Brame Energy Center is a power plant in Lena, Louisiana, that produces energy for over 24 parishes. In order to produce a cleaner form of power, CLECO has decided to implement a carbon capture system known as Project Diamond Vault. This is a device that injects carbon into the soil to reduce CO2 emissions produced from burning coal. Our group is constructing a piping network to display water pressure and potential vacuums that may form within the cooling system. This scale model will help our sponsor make decisions for future design iterations before Project Diamond Vault breaks ground in 2025.

2:00 p.m.

Low Current Crack Arrest Treatment Electrode

Team Members:  Ryan Fincher, Dalon Moore, Gracie Wooden, Nathan Wright

Sponsor: Brice C Daniel, Engineer, AEP

Advisor: Dr. John Matthews

Our project is sponsored primarily by American Electric Power (AEP). One of the critical components in AEP’s process for making power is boiler systems. These systems are utilized in the transfer of large amounts of heat. The process that the boiler tubes undergo can cause large amounts of stress and corrosion over time, leading to the formation of cracks. To counteract this effect, Dr. Henry Cardenas and his team of researchers have been researching and perfecting the electroplating process that will be applied to the boiler tubes and arrest the cracks before propagation. Our team was tasked with designing and updating a system to implement this electroplating process. This design needs to be flexible enough to traverse the boiler tube bends while impervious to breaking apart. The design also needs to be able to treat 10 feet of tubing within 5 to 10 minutes while keeping the treatment fluid above 50℉ if the ambient temperature is below freezing. Our design successfully met all of these requirements. The impact of our project can be the extension of boiler tube life by a significant factor, meaning AEP would need to replace these tubes less often.

2:30 p.m.


3:00 p.m.

UV Coating Aerosol Collection System

Team Members:  Stephen Bovia, Lucas Drake, William Drake, Cameron Heiden

Sponsor: Robby McReynolds, Graphic Packaging

Advisor: Dr. Prabhu Arumugam

Graphic Packaging, the sponsor of this project, is a large, fiber-based packaging manufacturer; it is their lithographic printing press responsible for creating the labels on the packaging products that our project revolves around. Specifically, our project aims to solve the aerosol ink mist created by Graphic Packaging’s printing press. Due to the high speeds at the press runs, the friction causes a portion of the press’s ink to leave the system as a mist. This mist spreads throughout their facility and creates a problematic environment for workers and products. Our project is a steel tray of rotating brushes that models a possible solution Graphic Packaging could implement within their printing press to collect the ink mist as it settles. The device can capture 50% of added aerosols, similar to the ink mist when testing under recreated conditions to those at their facility. The project is intended to enhance workers’ quality of life and limit contact with the potentially harmful ink mist. Additionally, collection of the ink mist will prevent numerous packaging products from being ruined due to problems caused by lingering ink mist later in the product’s life.

3:30 p.m.

Turbine Shaft and Bearing Vibration Irregularity Modeling System

Team Members:  Hayden Brass, Tyler Thibodaux, Harrison Say, Jacob Baudean

Sponsor: Bentley Nevada, Michael Titone

Advisor: Dr. Arun Jaganathan

Sponsor Bently Nevada, a division of Baker Hughes, specializes in machinery diagnostics across various industries. Recognizing the need to simulate anisotropic bearing stiffness and asymmetric rotors, we designed an asymmetrical shaft and anisotropic bearing supports for the rotor kit used in their training programs. Our solution allows the sponsor’s students to observe and understand split critical speeds, which are vital for diagnosing machinery faults. Successful implementation met educational objectives, enhancing training effectiveness. Anticipated impacts include improved machinery maintenance practices, potentially reducing downtime, enhancing industry safety, and fostering a more robust and efficient infrastructure.

4:00 p.m.

Natural Gas Well Radiative Cooler

Team Members:  Sully Copas, Elizabeth Crawford, Harrel Thompson

Sponsor: Joe Anderson, Executive Vice President, Nadel and Gussman. Mitch Antony, Production Engineer, Nadel, and Gussman. Arjun Saroya, CEO, SkyCool Systems. Eli Goldstein, CTO, SkyCool Systems

Advisor: Dr. Hisham Hegab

The sponsors for this project are Nadel and Gussman, an oil and natural gas drilling and production company with a branch located in Ruston, LA, and SkyCool Systems, a cooling technology company located in Mountain View, CA that produces power-independent radiative cooling panels. Natural gas wells can reach 160°F, but gas must be cooled under 120°F to meet Federal Energy Regulatory Commission saleable requirements. Nadel and Gussman seek compatibility with the passive SkyCool Systems technology to reduce the cost of the current cooling process while maintaining the desired maximum cooling load of 43,000kW. Our scale model design sends natural gas to a shell and tube heat exchanger, cooled by water to the desired 120°F. In exchange, the heated water is pumped through copper tubing inlaid in a milled aluminum panel overlaid with SkyCool dual-mode reflective and radiative cooling film. The heat is then emitted as infrared radiation at a wavelength that bypasses Earth’s atmosphere while 97% of sunlight is reflected, similar to frost forming overnight. We anticipate an annual savings of $25,000 for the next five years.

5:00 p.m.

Combined Session and Barnwell Awards

Safety Session: Integrated Engineering and Science Building 114.

Moderator: Dr. David Hall

1:00 p.m.

Miniaturized Water Desalination Kit

Team Members:  Michael Plaisance, Matthew Taylor

Sponsor:  Brett Burchfield, Master Sergeant, Air Force Global Strike Command

Advisor: Dr. Henry Cardenas

The sponsor for our project is the Air Force Global Strike Command or AFGSC. AFGSC is responsible for the nation’s three intercontinental ballistic missile wings. Due to size and weight restrictions in the emergency kits of their bombers, we were tasked with miniaturizing one of the kit’s essential elements: a manual reverse osmosis device (MROD). Our design is a reverse osmosis device built similarly to the original MROD. It maintains the same functionality as the original MROD while being 60% lighter and 53% smaller. AFGCS wanted a design that fit within a space of 5.5” x 3.5” x 1.75” and was lighter than 2 lbs. Our design comes in at 5.5” x 3.5” x 1.75” and weighs in at 1.3 lbs. We also met AFGSC’s requirements that the design would have a salt rejection rate of 96% and a clean water generation rate of 0.5 liters per hour. This smaller design will free up space and weight inside the emergency kit, allowing AFGSC to place more essential items.

1:30 p.m.

Weatherproofing B-52 E/E Load Bank Test Set

Team Members:  Justin Searcy, Courtney Cowart, Nathanael Marino, Chaston Trichel

Sponsor: Hannah Beene, Project Manager, STRIKEWERX

Advisor: Mr. Michael Theodos

STRIKEWERX, the innovation branch of the Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC) Office of the Chief Scientist, sought a solution to enable the use of the B-52 E/E Load Bank Test Set during active rain and in standing water to eliminate weather-induced delays for pre-flight electrical testing, as the DAFMAN (Department of the Air Force Manual) restricts the use of the load bank in these conditions. The team worked to design and test a scale model for a modified trailer to weatherproof and insulate the design, allowing airmen to safely operate the load bank during electrical testing checks on the B-52 aircraft in all weather conditions. With this weatherproof trailer design, the United States Air Force will be better equipped to protect our nation and nations worldwide. Through rigorous testing, the modified trailer proved its ability to maintain its weatherproof nature when exposed to torrential downpours.

2:00 p.m.

Modified Cant Turner

Team Members:  Kakada Av, Henry Cottom, Nick Duncan, Elijah Ramsey

Sponsor: Mark Allen, Process Control Engineer, Weyerhaeuser

Advisor: Dr. Michael Swanbom

Weyerhaeuser is one of North America’s largest commercial lumber companies, owning over 12 million acres of timberlands in the U.S. and 14 million acres in Canada. In commercial lumber, logs pass through a series of bandsaws that cut and shape the material into boards. One of the intermediate steps produces a “cant” that must be turned on its side for the process to continue. One of Weyerhaeuser’s dimensional lumber mills, located in Dodson, Louisiana, implements a component called a “cant turner,” which continuously flips cants on the production line. This component, however, frequently experiences operational failures, including failure to flip cants and structural failures. By analyzing the operating conditions on the mill’s production line, our team determined that a new cant turner design must meet the following requirements to meet the mill’s needs: Failure rate at or below 0.05 percent. Last year with minimal maintenance. By meeting these requirements, our design is projected to save the Dodson Lumber Mill an estimated $70 per minute each day.

2:30 p.m.


3:00 p.m.

B-52 Refueling Vapor Management System

Team Members:  Jake Kopecky, Adam McCann, Max Waldweiler, John Wysocki

Sponsor: Hannah Beene, Project Manager, STRIKEWERX

Advisor: Dr. Yun Chen

STRIKEWERX, an innovation branch of the Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC) Office of the Chief Scientist, required a solution to solve fuel vapor venting challenges with the B-52 that prevented the aircraft from refueling while the engines were running. Due to the highly flammable jet fuel vapors venting, the aircraft engines must be shut off during grounded refueling. This causes delays in getting the B-52 mission-ready, as all pre-flight checks must be redone before takeoff. The team worked to design, build, and test (at full scale) an independent, modular vapor management system to be attached to the aircraft vents and transport hazardous fuel vapors away to a safe distance with zero leakage. With our design, the ground time for the B-52 can be reduced from six hours to just one hour, allowing for quicker response times and new mission strategies.

3:30 p.m.

Challenge Course Rolling Obstacle

Team Members: Ryan Aamodt, Allan Howell, Davareya Lester, Michael Stubblefield II

Sponsor: Dr. Emily Kane Allen, Director of Recreation, Louisiana Tech University

Advisor: Dr. Timothy Reeves

Aerojet Rocketdyne is an aerospace company located in East Camden, Arkansas, that helps manufacture propulsion systems, and the Lambright Sports and Wellness Center located in Ruston, Louisiana, is the recreational facility that maintains all campus park facilities, including Hideaway Park. Both companies were in need of a new team building activity that stressed the importance of communication and teamwork. We designed a rolling spool obstacle supported by two wooden posts and wires that spin when a team member is transported over the spool with the help of team members and communication. This design is able to withstand 600 pounds. The rolling spool is set up for a service life/performance of at least 20 years.

4:00 p.m.

Mobile Squaring Press

Team Members: Wade Idom, James Gatewood, Colin Merchant, Garrett Nobles

Sponsor: DIS-TRAN Steel, Clayton Eagles, Executive Vice President of Business Development and Marketing

Advisor: Dr. David Hall

DIS-TRAN Steel is an engineering and fabrication company in Pineville, Louisiana, specializing in steel structures for substations and transmission poles. In the process of fabricating steel poles, the cross-section shape becomes deformed, causing the poles to have an elliptical shape rather than the intended circular shape. The cross-sections of the poles need to be circular to allow alignment and stacking of poles when making larger steel structures. Currently, DIS-TRAN has a stationary press that squeezes the poles into the correct shape. DIS-TRAN wants to replace this with a mobile version of the current press. Our design achieves this goal by transporting the press by a gantry crane and pressing poles while hanging. Additional goals desired from DIS-TRAN included improving the safety and time efficiency of the pole correction process. Our design excels in these categories as well, reducing the number of operator touchpoints from 10 to 2 and also achieving specific time goals given to us by DIS-TRAN. By reducing the number of touchpoints, the new design will reduce the number of possible injuries for DIS-TRAN and allow more products to be made daily.

5:00 p.m.

Combined Session and Barnwell Awards (Room 112).

Performance Session: Integrated Engineering and Science Building 122.

Moderator: Dr. Yun Chen

1:00 p.m.

Bernoulli Effect Experiment Station

Team Members: Ryan Downie, Samual Frazier, Riley Mahony, David Whitlock

Sponsor: Sci-Port Discovery Center, Dianne Clark, Executive Director

Advisor: Kelly Crittenden

Sci-Port Discovery Center is an interactive science museum in downtown Shreveport, Louisiana, that sparks curiosity and inspires a  passion for lifelong learning by utilizing hands-on, scientific discovery activities. The contributing sponsor is Aerojet Rocketdyne, a power system and propulsion device manufacturing and consolidation company. Our team was tasked with creating a new and improved exhibit for Sci-Port that focuses on demonstrating the Bernoulli Effect in its aerospace-themed area. The design is a crank-powered wind tunnel that simulates the lift gained by a plane wing during takeoff via the Bernoulli Effect. The participant turns a crank arm, which initiates the gearbox under the table to increase the rotation speed. Said rotation is then transmitted to three aluminum fans that will push air uniformly through the wind tunnel. The air flows over an airfoil, causing high pressure below and low pressure above, thus allowing the foil to move upward along two vertical poles. As requested by the representative of Sci-Port, the exhibit is interactive, easy to understand, and durable enough to withstand frequent use by the museum patrons. In creating this exhibit, we aim to add to Sci-Port’s mission to inspire joy in learning.

1:30 p.m.

Fabrication Table Transport System

Team Members: Sara DeMattie, Davis Floyd, Caleb Maddox, Mark Mangaoang

Sponsor: Griffin Schlamp, Engineering Lead, Clement Industries

Advisor: Oliur Rahman

Clement Industries is one of the leading manufacturers of trailers, offering a wide selection of trailers to suit any scenario. Using an assembly line setup, Clement Industries manufactures custom trailers to fit the client’s needs. Workers at Clement use elevated work surfaces called fabrication tables to hold any parts that need to go onto the trailer as the trailer moves through the assembly line. The problem presented to the Capstone program was designing a hand-steered transportation system that would allow fabrication tables to be transported throughout Clement facilities. The transportation system would also need to be able to handle uneven surfaces. The proposed solution is a lift cart designed to be placed under the fabrication tables and lifted from the bottom of the tabletop. The lift cart has a six-wheel configuration to accommodate uneven surfaces and uses a four-bar mechanism to lift the tables. Design parameters to support loads up to a ton and be safely operated on any inclined walkways throughout the facility were both accomplished with the presented design. The impact of this solution includes increasing production times by allowing workers to transport fabrication tables quickly. The proposed design also eliminates the need for forklifts, the previous transportation method used for moving tables, leading to less resource consumption overall and eliminating the risk of a forklift-related accident during table transportation.

2:00 p.m

Automated Powder Coat Patterning System

Team Members: Sam Dinnat, William Pankey, Brett Pennington, Joshua Raiford

Sponsor: Steven Shugarts, Product/Business Development Specialist, Gordon Inc.

Advisor: Dr. Timothy Reeves

Gordon, Inc. of Bossier City, Louisiana, is an award-winning manufacturer widely known throughout the architectural metals industry as a leader in custom architectural specialties. Their catalog of custom architectural and engineered solutions includes powder-coated metal panels. Gordon’s current process for providing custom textures to powder-coated panels is highly manual. Our project automates this texturing process. By adapting a previous senior design project, our team implemented a rolling mechanism driven by springs and stepper motors that provides consistent textures across panels as they travel through the mechanism. These textured panels will be graded using a template developed by the team at Gordon that compares the panels to real weathered steel. The ability to consistently produce a repeatable and realistic texture to powder-coated panels will allow the team at Gordon to take on more projects that involve custom textured panels.

2:30 p.m.


3:00 p.m.

Semi-Automated Gasket Wash and Dry System – Step Ko Products

Team Members: Kennedi Darr, Madison Gomer, Tanner McIlwain, Eric Patrick

Sponsor: Step-Ko Products, LLC, Byron Stephens, CEO

Advisor: Dr. Henry Cardenas

The sponsor of our project is Step-Ko Products, located in Broussard, Louisiana. Step-Ko is a global provider of corrosion-protective products in the oil and gas industry, producing critical service gaskets and coated U-bolts. Currently, Step-Ko is working to increase the speed of its gasket production process, which involves cutting the gaskets with a water jet. This cutting process leaves behind water and residue, which Step-Ko must clean from each gasket by hand in order to move to the next step in the gasket production. Cleaning each gasket by hand requires considerable time and effort. Our team has been tasked with designing a semi-automated washing and drying system to reduce this production time. We have built an enclosed conveyor system that Step-Ko can use to automatically clean and dry the gaskets. Once a gasket is cut, it can be placed into our system, where the gasket will be automatically cleaned with water supplied by a pump and dried with pressurized air. Our automated conveyor will help Step-Ko reduce their production time by removing the need for hands-on cleaning and effectively cleaning each gasket placed onto our washing and drying conveyor system.

3:30 p.m.

Semi-Automated Tube Drilling System

Team Members: Keirsten Bryan, Harley Longstreath, Brentley Porter, Mary Spencer

Sponsor: Haynes International

Advisor: Dr. Michael Swanbom

Our project is sponsored by Haynes International Inc., a leading manufacturer of high-performance alloys designed for high-temperature and corrosive environments. Haynes produces bundles of titanium pipes in Arcadia, Louisiana, with varied diameters. These pipes must undergo a heat treatment process requiring a small hole to be drilled center through one end of every pipe. Haynes desired a system that would automate the drilling process to save time, limit human interaction, and increase the centered accuracy of drilled holes. Our design features an automatic, self-feeding drill to replace the current manual drill press. The pipe will be centered with v-blocks and a clamp that holds the pipe in place. This process achieves two measures of success: reducing the amount of human interaction involved and reducing the time it takes to drill each tube by 25 percent. The semi-automated drill system decreases human input, and the team has observed a 56 percent decrease in time required for the drilling process, exceeding the goal of 25 percent. Our project is anticipated to benefit Haynes financially by reducing the time it takes to complete this necessary step and reducing the number of warped pipes by ensuring holes are drilled in the center.

4:00 p.m.

Thermomechanical Design for Densely Packaged Chiplets

Team Members:  Ethan Dowell, Victoria Fontenot, Jace Peloquin, Grace Smith, Christian Smith

Sponsor: Institute for Micromanufacturing

Advisor: Dr. Arden Moore

This project is sponsored by the Louisiana Tech Institute for Micromanufacturing in collaboration with Radiance Technologies, a contractor for the Department of Defense that engages with various vital infrastructure markets. The core objective is to create a thermal solution to enable tighter integration of chiplets in modern packages. The advancement of integrated circuit technology correlates with the rising complexity and development costs. As such, modern manufacturing techniques aim to enhance communication between critical components by condensing multiple chips in one package using chiplets. This new technology, however, leads to challenges such as localized high-power thermal density and a high number of interfaces. In extreme cases of overload, issues such as delamination, cracking, performance slowdown, and reduced lifespan can occur. This project proposes a versatile, multi-mode hybrid solution with direct dielectric fluid-to-chiplet contact beneath a custom lid and cooling loop integration. This design can perform both single-phase and phase-change styles of cooling, depending on the package’s thermal load and dynamic needs. It can achieve a 50% mean-time-to-failure increase by cooling the central processing unit. This has potent applications for computer infrastructure through increased computational performance and component lifetime.


5:00 p.m.

Combined Session and Barnwell Awards (Room 112).