2022 Research Projects

Projects are posted below; new projects will continue to be posted. To learn more about the type of research conducted by undergraduates, view the 2021 Research Symposium Abstracts (PDF) and search the past SURF projects.

This is a list of research projects that may have opportunities for undergraduate students. Please note that it is not a complete list of every SURF project. Undergraduates will discover other projects when talking directly to Purdue faculty.

You can browse all the projects on the list or view only projects in the following categories:


IoT for Precision Agriculture (2)

 

Design of an IoT4Ag Robotic Sensor Deployment System 

Professor:
David Cappelleri
Preferred major(s):
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Computer Engineering
Desired experience:
US citizens/permanent residents only Mechanical design, mechatronics, 3D printing, electronics, robotics, programming experience preferred.

The goal of this project is to design an IoT4Ag sensor deployment system for autonomous agricultural ground robot. Two types of IoT sensors must be deployed by the robotic platform. Chaff sensors need to be distributed on the surface of soil at locations with designated spacing to ensure appropriate spatial coverage for the field of interest. The second type of sensors similarly need to be spread about the field but require them to be inserted into the soil at a depth of approximately 3” deep. Thus, the developed sensor deployment system should be able to 1. Store the sensors that need to be deployed; 2. Distribute sensors at a designated spacing above the soil; and 3. Insert the sensors into the ground at a designated spacing in the soil; and 4. Log the type of sensor that has been distributed, its sensor ID, and its placement location. This project will require the mechanical design of the deployment systems, mechatronic system design for operating and controlling the systems, and integration and interfacing with the agricultural ground robot for execution and tracking of sensor deployment locations. Field tests will be conducted at the Purdue University Agronomy Center for Research and Education (ACRE) facility.

More information: https://iot4ag.us/

 

Low-cost user-friendly biosensors for animal health  

Professor:
Mohit Verma
Preferred major(s):
  • Biochemistry
  • Biological Engineering - multiple concentrations
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Agricultural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
Desired experience:
Relevant skills for the project: • Wet lab skills and experience with molecular biology • Autodesk Fusion 360 for 3D Modeling/Printing and Laser Cutting • Python Programming Language for image processing and graphical user-interface using Raspberry Pi (or any other single board computer) To be successful at this position, you should have a GPA>3.5, prior experience working in a lab, and the ability to work in a team.

Infectious diseases are a leading cause of economic burden on food production from animals. For example, bovine respiratory disease leads to a loss of ~$1 billion annually. Current methods for tackling these diseases includes the administration of antibiotics by trial-and-error. This approach leads to failure of treatment in up to one-third of the cases. In addition, it also leads to a proliferation of antibiotic resistance in pathogens.
Our research project focuses on developing a low-cost user-friendly biosensor based on paper that can detect which pathogen is causing the disease and whether it exhibits antibiotic resistance. Such a biosensor would provide a readout to the farmer or the veterinary physician and suggest which antibiotics are likely to be successful.
Lab members working in the team have three objectives: i) design, test, and optimize primers for detecting pathogens and genes associated with bovine respiratory diseases, ii) build and field-test a paper-based device for conducting loop-mediated isothermal amplification, and iii) build and field-test a heating/imaging device for conducting the paper-based assay in the field.
The SURF student will work on one of the objectives depending on their background and experience.

More information: www.vermalab.com