COES senior design projects impact, assist local industry

May 7, 2013 | Engineering and Science






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Louisiana Tech College of Engineering and Science Dean Stan Napper says, “The Senior Projects Conference is designed to permit our seniors to demonstrate a part of what they have learned in their curricula and to afford seniors in all undergraduate programs an opportunity to sharpen and demonstrate their professional skills.”

The 2013 Senior Projects Conference, held last Friday on the Louisiana Tech campus, provided a platform for senior students to showcase their skills and their collaborations with community and industry partners.  Napper says that these projects also offer substantial, tangible, and economic advantages to the area companies and organizations which sponsor them.

In the Mechanical Engineering Division, the “Bag Validation Team,” comprised of Jason Reich, Andrew Lewis, Sangeet Shrestha, Jake Eppehimer and Colin Carver, worked with ConAgra Lamb Wesson in Delhi, La. to design an automated bag validation system which would use thermal imaging to detect irregularities in the bags’ seals on the production line.  The company representative says the design is projected to save over $400,000 per year in lost bags.

The inspection system designed by the “Bag Validation Team” has never been done before.  The project has even caught the attention of ConAgra Lamb Wesson’s CEO and has been funded for full implementation in the plant.  The project will allow the company to gain a significant economic advantage.

Seniors Anthony Assoko Mve, Emily Breaux, Richard Hargis and Mark Pellittieri worked with SEMCO LLC in Lafitte, La. to design a self-powered platform capable of moving workers and equipment vertically along the legs of a lift boat and provide a safe working space that would be modular for easy storage.

Second place projects included one which modified a heat treating station for Plymouth Tube in West Monroe and another that designed and built a manual clutch for the record-setting Louisiana Tech Eco marathon Car Team.

Students in the Senior Projects Conference worked with over a dozen area companies to assist them in correcting deficiencies in current operations or designing new solutions to problems.  The companies included Plymouth Tube, St. Francis Medical Center, SEMCO, NASA Kennedy Space Center, Alltech Plumbing,  Farmerville Motors, LSU Health Sciences Center, the city of Ruston, the Louisiana Department of Transportation, Haynes International, General Electric, Alliance Compressors, Hunt Guillot and Associates, and ConAgra Foods.

Dr. Mel Corley, director of mechanical engineering, says the Senior Design Projects provide students with the last challenge needed to prove they’re ready for the workplace.

“Senior capstone projects are primarily rich educational experiences that require students to integrate all of the topics they have studied in their college careers,” said Corley.  “Successful completion of a year-long design project experience prepares students to enter the professional ranks confident of their ability to guide a real-world project through to a successful completion.”

To learn more about senior design or how your company could be a part of the 2014 conference, contact Catherine Fraser at
Written by Catherine Fraser –