Innovation and technology wins on Senior Design Day – NIU Today

NIU’s College of Engineering and Engineering Technology (CEET) congratulates two teams that were presented with awards from the Engineering and Technology Alumni Society on Senior Design Day on December 3, 2021.

The Senior Design program is a course that engineering and engineering technology students take before graduating where they embark on a capstone project that applies what they’ve learned throughout their education at NIU. The program provides a real-world learning experience that provides them with the chance to see how engineers operate in the workplace.

“The senior design program is a high point in our students’ education. They apply the knowledge they acquired in the classroom to bring together concepts, theories, and construct a prototype or process,” said Dean Donald Peterson, Ph.D. of NIU’s CEET. “It gives them the chance to hit the ground running on the job. Senior design projects are often viewed as a student’s first professional achievement,” he said.

The winning project in the Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISYE) Department was sponsored by Aurora Specialty Textiles Group. The project title was  “Improving Space Utilization and Material Flow in Chemical Mixing Area.” The team members, Allie Schneider, Argyle O’Leary, and Samuel Vilmeus, were given the challenge to evaluate the chemical mixing area and corresponding storage at the company’s facility in Yorkville, IL. The students recommended a layout that would decrease unnecessary travel between the mixing area and the production floor, and improve space utilization.

The ISYE department had two additional senior design projects this semester sponsored by Motorola Solutions Inc. and SKF USA.

In the Engineering Technology Department, students Brandon Antonio, Chorey Burgess, Allen Melzer, and Griffin Ozog won for their project, “Vertical Farm Sensor Array” which can be used as part of a system to automatically detect and manage the health of plants in a vertical farming setting. This work is part of research being performed in Engineering Technology Professors Kevin Martin and William Mills’ Building Energy Efficiency, Ergonomics and Management (BEEEAM) Laboratory.

The BEEEAM Lab was established to research issues related to light and focuses on three primary areas of research: human-centric intelligent building control systems, reconfigurable lighting tests, and luminaire design and testing. BEEEAM is currently working with the Illinois Science and Energy Innovation Foundation (ISEIF) on a consumer outreach program to educate consumers about energy efficiency and electrical smart meters.

The senior design program is made possible by clients and sponsors, who present student teams with challenges faced by their organizations. CEET is currently seeking projects for the 2022-2023 academic year. For more information about the senior design program and how to present a senior design project, visit



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