2015 EEE Senior Design Projects

Phosphorus:  Compliance and Sustainability



Phosphorus is an essential element for all life on earth.  Phosphorus is mined, processed and used for many applications.  The primary use for phosphorus is the dissipative application on land for crop fertilization.  Economically viable phosphorus resources are finite and rapidly being depleted. As a pollutant in fresh surface water phosphorus is the primary cause of eutrophication.

Students will be looking at the removal of phosphorus from wastewater streams for Evonik and the West Lafayette Wastewater Treatment Plant.  These projects have two objectives: to look at the physical removal of the phosphorus and to explore the methods of recycling the removed materials back into the marketplace


CSO: Combined Sewer Overflows


CSOs are common around the country since historically water treatment systems combined the sewer and storm water flows into a single pipe creating a combined sewer system (CSS).  CSOs generally occur during wet weather periods when the CSS is hydraulically overloaded.  Eliminating CSOs and in particular the control of floatable material in CSOs is part of the US EPA’s policy that is being enforced throughout the country.  

EEE Students will be working with two Indiana consulting firms, CHA Consulting, Inc.  and Shrewsberry and Associates, LLC on their projects for the Cities of Terra Haute and Indianapolis, respectively.


Energy Efficiency: Analysis of Industrial Facility Improvements

Energy consumption for manufacturing sites has largely been dominated by fossil fuels; new regulations and upcoming technology have disrupted this market. Manufacturing investments are very long term and therefore robust financial and engineering models are needed to inform decision making. An opportunity exists to supplement fossil fuel consumption with more sustainable alternatives, while maintaining current financial goals.




General Motors has a manufacturing site in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  This site is responsible for the assembly of pickup trucks and large SUVs. The facility currently is serviced by Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) for its energy needs.  Because of the large fixed energy needs of the facility, GM has some market leverage in how it acquires energy. The design team will collect data first-hand on the energy consumption profile of the Fort Wayne facility in addition to market research data on energy costs for the state of Indiana for both traditional and renewable energy generation. This must include life-cycle costing to GM and a full sustainability analysis, including a scenario where GM is the owner of the renewable energy production.


Purdue’s Mollenkopf and Office Space Building Design


Heating and cooling operations have a very large energy footprint. Resources are wasted when buildings cannot be optimized for user comfort, which is impeded by inadequate infrastructure or poor building design. There are two overarching objectives for this project.  The most urgent short-term objective is to analyze the energy consumption and user outcomes for an indoor athletics practice space.  The second objective is to propose methods to increase energy efficiency for the indoor space. The client has the overall goal of minimizing energy usage and total operational costs while maintaining full building usability throughout the year.  The client has a long term goal of saving $1 million per year over the next ten years from increasing operational efficiency. This project is intended to contribute to that goal.