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Recent Capstone Design Projects

Chemical Engineering Capstone Design Projects

  • 2022-2023
    Ray Gerner (ChE ’23) and MacKenzie Moore (ChE ’23) were recognized for the best senior year major presentation for 2022-2023.  They each received an Apple iPad for their accomplishment.  The award is sponsored by Dow Chemical.

    Chemical Engineering Senior Design Projects
    There were two ChE Senior Design projects for 2022-2023. One project was titled " Technical Evaluation and Comparison of Direct Air Capture (DAC) Technologies for the Appalachian Region” and was led by Chief Engineer Dean Sweeney. The group was tasked by CO2Tek, Inc. to perform a series of techno-economic studies to evaluate the design of potential DAC technologies. The other project was titled " Wastewater Treatment (WWT) Process Design for Development in Appalachia” and was led by Chief Engineer Lillian Bischof. The group was tasked by WaterFutureTek, Inc. to perform a series of techno-economic studies to evaluate the design of potential WWT technologies.  Final presentations were held on April 18 and April 20, 2023.

    Technical Evaluation and Comparison of Direct Air Capture (DAC) Technologies for the Appalachian Region”
    The world has turned to DAC in the pursuit of net-zero carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 2050. Although DAC exists as a novel technology, there are 18 plants worldwide, using sorbent and solvent based adsorption processes to capture a total 0.01 million tonnes of CO2 per year (0.01 MtCO2/yr). In the continued development and expansion of the technology and at the request of CO2 Tech Inc., Mountaineer DAC Tech (MDT) started a multiphase project to investigate the feasibility of DAC technologies within the Appalachian region. At the conclusion of phases 1 and 2, MDT analyzed and modeled three processes for capturing and regenerating 1 MtCO2/yr. Process 1, Adsorption with Tetra-amine-appended Metal Organic Frameworks (TEA-MOFs), comprises a dynamic adsorption model using a dual site sips isotherm for the TEA-MOF, which has been evaluated in literature only at lab scale. Process 2, Potassium Hydroxide (KOH) Wet Scrubbing with Calcium Looping Regeneration, is constructed using the methodology of Carbon Engineering, which employs traditional industrial equipment, such as KOH air contactors, a calcium carbonate pellet reactor, a calciner, and a steam slaker. However, MDT employs comprehensive modeling techniques to generate more accurate statistics for the performance of the complex adsorption and fluidized bed systems. Process 3, KOH Wet Scrubbing with Bipolar Membrane Electrodialysis (BPMED) Regeneration, adapts the CO2 adsorption from Carbon Engineering but utilizes a novel bipolar membrane for the KOH and CO2 regeneration.

    “Wastewater Treatment (WWT) Process Design for Development in Appalachia”
    The team investigated WWT technologies to treat wastewater streams from various industrial sources, particularly suitable and attractive to the Appalachian region. Phase 1 involved the comprehensive literature review of wastewater treatment technologies and processes to treat industrial wastewater from the four dominant contributors in the Appalachian region – chemical industry, natural gas/fracking industry, power plant industry, and mining industry. Analyses were conducted to evaluate each technology studied in literature regarding seven categories including modeling capability, economic practicality and profitability, and novelty of design. At the conclusion of the literature review, further investigation of the following units was requested: Unit 100 − Clarifier, Unit 200 − Filter, Unit 300 − Activated Sludge, Unit 400 − Reverse Osmosis, and Unit 500 − Multi-Stage Flash (Thermal Distillation) along with pH treatment. Phase 2 resulted in the creation of models and base case simulation of the mentioned wastewater treatment technologies and validation with literature with less than 10 percent error. During Phase 3, topological and parametric optimizations were performed following the completion of the base case with the objective of minimizing each unit’s equivalent annual operating cost. Likewise, optimizations were conducted with the integrated process to increase overall water recovery and reduce the overall equivalent annual operating cost. Finally, all units completed equipment sizing and costing, and selected units generated a hazard and operability study, a piping and instrumentation diagram, and a sustainability analysis, respectively.

  • 2021-2022
    • Hydrogen Production and Storage Process Design (Chief Engineer: Jackie Arnold)
  • 2020-2021
    • Hydrogen Utilization Process Design (Chief Engineer: Kevin Donnelly)
    • BTX Production from Shale Gas (Chief Engineer: Madelynn Watson)
  • 2019-2020
    • Process Design for Alternative Uses of Gasoline (Chief Engineer: Daniel Beahr)
    • Fuel and Energy Production from Renewables (Chief Engineer: Garrett Smith)
  • 2018-2019
    • Investigation of Various Plastic Waste Reduction Strategies(Chief Engineer: Soofia Lateef)
    • Design and Optimization of a Polygeneration Plant Producing Activated Carbon, Ammonia, Formaldehyde, Heat, and Power from Shale Gas, Coal, and Biomass Feedstocks (Chief Engineer: Caitlin Morrow)
  • 2017-2018
    • Feasibility of Producing Value-Added C-3 and C-4 Fuels and Chemicals from Shale Gas (Chief Engineer: Yacine Feliachi)
    • Feasibility of Modular Scale Process Intensification for Shale Gas Upgrading (Chief Engineer: Ahmed Haque)
  • 2016-2017
    • Feasibility of Producing Value-Added Fuels and Chemicals from Heavy Cuts of Petroleum (Chief Engineer: Katie Reynolds)
    • Designs for Producing Vinyl Chloride Monomer, Ethylene, Polyethylene, Acetic Acid, Ethylene Oxide, and Ethylene Glycol from Ethane (Chief Engineer: Jacob Ivey)

The text-book " Analysis, Synthesis and Design of Chemical Processes," written by faculty members of the CBE department at WVU, is used nationwide for the sequence of capstone design courses.

Biomedical Engineering Capstone Design Projects

  • 2022-2023

    Biomedical Engineering Senior Design Presentations were held on Tuesday, April 25. The design groups presented elevator pitches by the chief engineers and poster presentations and open discussions followed.

    During their senior year, biomedical engineering students work on projects to solve problems that have clinical or translational relevance. These open-ended projects are developed by clients in collaboration with Robin Hissam and Srinivas Palanki, and students work in small teams with faculty mentors and the clients to design and produce prototypes. This experience allows students to show their creativity in design concepts while working within the constraints set by the client or the team. In 2022-2023, ten design teams were mentored by faculty, including Margaret Bennewitz, Stephen Cain, Robin Hissam, Moriah Katt, David Klinke, Srinivas Palanki, Alexander Stolin, and Soumya Srivastava. These groups worked with clients John Hollander, Raymond Raylman, Ghassan Ghorayeb, Katie Gregg, Joel Palko, and Brijesh Patel (School of Medicine); Stephen Cain, Moriah Katt and Srinivas Palanki (CBE); and Abigail Mann (Omnia Medical).

    Design teams presented their final prototypes and posters during an in- person symposium held on April 25 to faculty, students and external visitors including industry representatives, family, and friends. The projects were judged by Viswanath Bandaru (Viatris), Karlee Lobban (Medtronic), and Valeriya Gritsenko (School of Medicine). Abstracts of two examples of clinical and translational projects are given below:

    Design and Evaluation of a Low-Cost Piezoelectric Device for Remote Diagnosis of Respiratory Diseases

    Lung diseases are prevalent health issues experienced by millions of individuals in the United States. There are several chronic lung diseases that require frequent doctor’s office visits for adequate lung function testing, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

    (COPD) and asthma. Lung functionality testing is performed using a spirometer, which costs anywhere between nine hundred dollars and three thousand dollars, depending on the type of spirometer and do not leave healthcare facilities. Therefore, patients with chronic lung diseases are subject to the costly inconvenience of traveling back and forth from their home to a healthcare facility to get the testing necessary for proper disease management. A device that could both measure daily lung function at home and send this information to the patient’s healthcare provider would ensure better disease management for the patient while also benefiting healthcare providers by limiting the need for patients to come to their facilities, allowing for more efficient allocation of time and resources. In this project a low-cost piezoelectric device was designed and fabricated that was capable of remote monitoring and simple diagnosis of chronic lung diseases to provide more access and monitoring to those suffering from chronic lung conditions. The device operates remotely by emailing testing results directly to the primary healthcare provider of the patient, eliminating the need for the patient to travel to a healthcare facility.


    Multimodality Imaging Approach to Predict Antineoplastic Therapy Induced Cardiotoxicity

    Cardiotoxicity, which is heart damage arising from chemotherapeutic cancer treatment, is the second leading cause of death in cancer-surviving patients. Typically, cancer patients undergo a series of extensive tests throughout their cancer treatment and beyond. Integrating existing data of available biomarkers from these routine tests can be cost-effective and prognostically important without burdening patients with additional invasive testing. This projected developed a software tool that can predict cardiotoxicity risk in cancer patients from existing CT scans to reduce the testing burden on patients while maximizing the utility of existing imaging data. Using image analysis techniques within python, the aortic wall was automatically thresholded and isolated by eliminating the aortic lumen and surrounding tissue from the mask for contrast CT scans. The resulting masks were then analyzed using PyRadiomics’ feature extractor. This radiomic data can be utilized to develop an artificial intelligence tool for detecting important biomarkers on the aortic wall that can be used to assist cardiologists in identifying cardiotoxicity indicators.

  • 2021-2022
    • Preclinical Bench Testing of an Innovative Lead for an Auditory Prosthesis – Client: Loren Rieth, WVU MAE (Chief Engineer: Michael Looker)
    • Next Generation Transport Vehicles of Non-coding RNA for Improved Therapeutic Outcomes – Client: John Hollander, WVU SOM, Exercise Physiology (Chief Engineer: Victoria Dean)
    • Dielectric Characterization of Human Red Blood Cells Under Microgravity – Client: Soumya Srivastava, WVU CBE (Chief Engineer: Hunter Cottrill)
    • Investigation of Small Lesion Detectability of a Dedicated Breast PET-CT Scanner – Client: Raymond Raylman, WVU SOM, Radiology (Chief Engineer: Savannah Hayes)
    • Development of a Prototype Wearable System to Quantify Shoulder Kinematics during Free-living – Client: Stephen Cain, WVU CBE (Chief Engineer: Madewa Adeniyi)
  • 2020-2021
    • Impact Analysis of Cased Intraocular Lens Handling at Manufacturing Site – Client: Stefan Goff, Alcon (Chief Engineer: Makenna Slack)
    • Investigating Atypical Eye Movement in Autism – Client: Shuo Wang, formerly WVU CBE (Chief Engineer: Thomas Ogershok)
    • Next Generation Transport Vehicles of Non-coding RNA for Improved Therapeutic Outcomes – Client: John Hollander, WVU SOM, Exercise Physiology (Chief Engineer: Sidney Mai)
    • Desktop High-resolution CT Scanner for Imaging of Various Damaged Tissue Samples – Client: Alexander Stolin, WVU SOM, Radiology (Chief Engineer: Danielle Larrow)
    • Computer-based Interfaces for Drug Efficiency Predictions – Client: John Twist, Viatris (Chief Engineer: Ethan Meadows)