Past Senior Design Projects

Past Senior Design Projects

Each semester we have the pleasure of working with local companies on projects as part of our Senior Design Program. These projects are an opportunity for companies to use student resources to have new concepts and fresh ideas injected into their real-world projects. This sponsorship is rewarding for both the project sponsor and the student team. We would like to thank all our past sponsors for their participation in the program.

Spring 2021

Advance Auto Parts Logo

Advance Auto Parts

Student Team: Sidney Allen, Rebecca Rowen, Rachel Sykes, Gabrielle Tonsay and Nathan Woelfel

Advance Auto Parts wanted to improve its marketing efforts towards its commercial customers and optimize its inventory management.

The senior design team analyzed four years of customer data to determine any buying patterns. Once the data was cleaned, they discovered seasonal buying patterns across all matches. They placed the vast majority of the customers into eight pervading clusters, improving customer relations, decreasing inventory costs, and increasing revenue.

Biogen Logo


Student Team: Maks Bezruchko, Jackson Holt, Nicole Quesinberry, David Rowland and Christine Wilkins

Biogen wanted to determine the feasibility of using an alternative supplier for critical filling line parts to save time and money in the event of a part failure.

The student team researched local suppliers to find the one best-equipped to help determine the feasibility of part replication. Working with a new supplier, the team quantified and demonstrated how a new supplier could replicate the parts.

Bosch Logo


Student Team: Warren Babb, Alissa Boggs, Jake Castelino, Sarah Gerkin and Rupen Singer

The Bosch Dish Care manufacturing facility in New Bern, NC, wanted to reduce its high vehicle traffic caused by material demands and delivery cycle times.

The student team analyzed the current schedule and created a simulation model to determine the optimal program based on the decision matrix, which reduced each vehicle’s time in the system.

City of Raleigh Logo

City of Raleigh – A

Student Team: Rana Farawi, Connie Feinberg, Tess Garrison, Matthew McMillan and Samantha Nagle

The City of Raleigh added License Plate Recognition Software (LPR) to its parking enforcement operations. But, it lacked the procedures for the drivers of its LPR-equipped vehicles to maximize their LPR usage.

The senior design team created dynamic routes to optimize parking enforcement around NC State University and Downtown Raleigh. The team also streamlined communications between the department and the LPR technology provider, Genetec, to significantly improve the enforcement process. Lastly, the team made recommendations on how to measure and incentivize driver performance.

City of Raleigh Logo

City of Raleigh – B

Student Team: Jessica Berlin, Hannah Koszegi, Katja Mansdoerfer and Connor Patterson

The City of Raleigh wanted to add new stations to its Citrix Cycle Bikeshare Program in two feasibility-studied areas, Five Points and Mission Valley. But, it lacked a tool to select locations for the new bike-sharing stations in those areas, which wastes time spent on the station siting process.

The senior design team created a dynamic decision matrix that incorporated data from various sources to produce the optimal station locations in the predetermined areas.  City planners can reuse this tool in the future to increase the process’s efficiency.

John Deere Logo

John Deere

Student Team: Troy Bowman, Tiger Kaovilai, Andrew Martin, Ryan Winz and Tina Yang

John Deere wanted to improve its data collection and analysis process to determine safe lifting standards and protect workers from musculoskeletal injuries.

The senior design team researched possible solutions and decided a web-based ergonomics assistance app was the best option. They also made recommendations for future improvements to the software and process itself.

Manhattan Associates Logo

Manhattan Associates

Student Team: Daniel Cockson, Emily Cooke, Rahul Dhawan, Matt Izzo, Anthony Szanfranski

Manhattan Associates wanted to improve client satisfaction and performance of its trucking supply chain division. They needed a tool that was compatible with its Profit Analyzer Tool and would reduce the time spent on cost model creation and maintenance process by 15 percent.

Using Microsoft Excel, the student team built a template with five built-in VBA macros that automated the cost modeling process. They reduced the cost model initialization time by more than 50 hours and the monthly maintenance time by more than five hours per week. Their efforts led to a 25 percent time reduction and $50k in potential new client income.

NC State College of Veterinary Medicine Logo

NC State College of Veterinary Medicine

Student Team: Ben Boyd, Sohil Doshi, Julia Peters and Toofan Salahuddin

The NC State College of Veterinary Medicine used long, time-consuming Google Forms to capture requests from their principal investigators. Also, the investigators could not duplicate, make minor changes and resubmit requests when they were completing a project again. Adding to the inefficiencies was a general lack of communication and awareness of the Lab Animal Resources (LAR) website.

After completing a thorough voice of customer analysis, the student team created a Vet Services Form Prefilled link that saves 30 minutes per submission. They added drop-down menus and redesigned the Forms page, which increased user-friendliness by 32%.

Pfizer Logo

Won 1st Place

Pfizer – A

Student Team: Rachel Bricker, Catherine Chirichillo, Annemarie Marshall, Matthew McGovern and David Trombley

Pfizer’s instrument management and acquisition process in its Rocky Mount quality laboratory was disjointed and lacked a digital data management platform, wasting time and money and risking violating Good Manufacturing Practices.

The senior design team recommended key data metrics based on Pfizer’s goals, proposed a data collection method to track these metrics and suggested an accessible visualization method for the data.

Pfizer Logo

Won 3rd Place

Pfizer – B

Student Team: Georgia Burgess, Nicole Gorrell, Madelaine Hiriak, David Labrador and Jackson Proctor

Pfizer wanted to reduce the costs and eliminate the non-value-added time of its manual pH data collection process at its Rocky Mount facility.

The student team developed programs to automate the data collection process and store the information in a centralized database. Additionally, they provided an SOP and rollout plan to ease the transition from a manual to an automated process.

Root Causes Logo

Root Causes

Student Team: Jack Halasz, Joseph McConnell and Kate Moore

Root Causes wanted to improve its fresh produce delivery program to meet the higher demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The senior design team created an app that reduced data entry time by 25 percent, decreased weekly shopping time by more than 82 percent and increased the program’s food production efficiency by more than 100 percent.

Senior Design Sponsor | Vanguard Furniture

Won 2nd Place

Vanguard Furniture

Student Team: Harrison Johnson, Chris Pennella, Steven Rehard and Taylor Seeling

As part of its 5-year automation plan, Vanguard Furniture wanted to add new machinery and design an ideal future state layout using lean methodologies.

The senior design team conducted a root cause analysis to determine the shop areas most affected by waste. They then created a simulation model to support purchasing a new CNC router and validate machinery and shelving relocation. The model also gave valuable data on reducing non-value-added travel, improving worker utilization and increasing profits by adding the new machinery.

West Pharmaceuticals

Student Team: Ahmad Awamleh, Dennis Estevez and Karl Soliman

West Pharmaceuticals wanted to increase its production of components for distributing the COVID vaccine to meet the high demand. But, it needed to determine where additional resources would have the most significant impact on their production rates.

The senior design team created current state value stream maps to identify bottlenecks in the top five running product lines. Based on their analysis, the team proposed solutions to balance the production lines and decrease non-value added time across the manufacturing process.

Fall 2020

Senior Design Sponsor | Ashley Furniture

Ashley Furniture

Student Team: Taylor Ellis, Kierra Simmons, Vittorio Lagnerini

Ashley Furniture produces 675,000 units a year and must protect these products during distribution, transportation and delivery. They currently use 12-14 associates across five main process steps to manually pack these products. This process creates bottlenecks that increase downtimes during high volume and afternoon production.

The senior design team increased capacity while using the same or less labor. It also streamlined the process by looking at automating critical steps along the way.

Duke Manufacturing

Student Team: Kelsey Delauter, Brendan Geideman, Gabriel Murazzi

Duke Manufacturing is an aerospace machine shop that currently uses a time-consuming “guess and check” scheduling system and relies on one employee. They want to develop a more systematic scheduling method to understand their capacity better.

The senior design team created an Excel scheduling tool that would consolidate vendor order information to one sheet and created schedules by due date and prioritization.

Senior Design Sponsor | GSK

Won 2nd Place


Student Team: Nicolas Leone, James Ma, Spencer Matthews

GSK is considering adding autonomous mobile robots (AMR) to their manufacturing facility in Zebulon to automate the delivery of finished goods to the warehouse. They want to simulate the use of AMRs to see if they can increase annual production by 50% by 2023.

The student team optimized material delivery and removal based on requirements and throughput rates. Using SIMIO simulation software, they identified 25 scenarios with different vehicle quantities and production volumes. The team picked an optimal utilization value that maximized payback and minimized risk.

Senior Design Sponsor | NC State Sports Medicine

NC State Sports Medicine

Student Team: Brooke Rubendall, Maria Garza, David Riggins

NC State Sports Medicine wants to evaluate further the electronic formatting, distribution, collection, assessment and management of their medical record documentation forms and data. They are considering moving to a new health management platform.

The ISE team worked with a new software platform that reduces the time taken for data collection and storage, saving trainers hours and giving them time to work with the student-athletes.

Senior Design Sponsor | NIOSH


Student Team: Charles Jacobson, Pratham Chhabria, Diego Hernandez, Charles Gras-Najjar

NIOSH wishes to reduce risk to workers within a shared human-robot workspace. Using a depth camera and regular RGB camera, they hope to develop a process that can distinguish between robot arms and human workers’ movements in a shared workspace.

The student research team integrated a sensor with existing and modified motion detection algorithms and developed a software interface for human workers’ motion detection.

Senior Design Sponsor | NIOSH


Student Team: Brandon Canfield, Dylan Hanser, Luke Bailey

NIOSH wishes to reduce risk to workers by developing a safe and ergonomic method (wireless or wired) for demolition robots’ remote control in the construction industry.

The student team researched the most intuitive design for human workers to operate the robot safely. Volunteers tested the controller configurations using an Arduino robot arm. The students recommended successful HMI studies to develop a controller and the guidelines to create a safer working experience for users.

Senior Design Sponsor | Root Causes

Won 3rd Place

Root Causes Food Bank

Student Team: Carolyn Drahuse, Sarah McConnell

Due to the spike in food-insecure patients from Duke clinics caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Root Causes’ Fresh Produce Program has struggled with organizational stability. This change has hampered the program’s ability to coordinate its weekly fresh food deliveries.

The ISE team created process maps and identified high impact areas for improvement. The students identified the patient data entry process as the operation’s bottleneck by analyzing these process maps. They automated this process and reduced cycle time by 96.7% each week.

Won 1st Place

US Air Force

Student Team: Samuel Cynamon, Mariel Jeffries, Carolyn Drahuse, Jason Wheeler

The US Air Force’s scheduling team must currently input all data for deployments and user information of their 524th Special Operations Squadron annually. The 150 person squadron maintains 40 deployed positions across the globe year-round.

To streamline the process, the senior design team delivered a Microsoft Access file that automated specific, everyday tasks and created a database for the data to be stored. The personnel scheduling and planning tool allows maximum stability and real-time analytic accuracy of personnel travel tempo.

Senior Design Sponsor | Vanguard Furniture

Vanguard Furniture

Student Team: Ethan Houser, Emily Thomas, Brenton Munana

Vanguard Furniture wants to submit an $8 million bid to a large potential customer. They need to determine if their current production line can handle the extra demand or if changes are necessary to their production process and inventory capacity.

The student team created a useful tool to forecast and justify taking on the potential client’s bid. The tool also allows Vanguard to see the current status of their seven production divisions.

West Pharmaceuticals

Student Team: Kayla Mumford, Jessica Prince, Claire Copeland

West Pharmaceuticals is concerned for its worker’s safety and wants to reorganize its Kinston, NC facility’s compounding and maintenance areas.

The senior design team implemented a flexible 6S system that could roll out to other facility areas. This system significantly reduced safety hazards in the target areas, and the team also reduced the amount spent looking for the required tools and materials.

Spring 2020

Senior Design Sponsor | Bosch

Won 1st Place

Student Team: Zach Arledge, Sarah Gidley, Kristine Kesling, James Pinson, Meredith Rhoney

Bosch is a large home appliance manufacturer in New Bern, NC. They want to shift its dishwasher manufacturing assembly line from lot sizes of 120 to 24 by 2023. This shift will provide more flexibility and increase customization opportunities. The project’s goal is to reduce product transfer times by 60 percent.

The student team first studied the requirements and then redesigned the mobile carts to hold parts in multiples of 24. Since Bosch’s vendors will be using the solution as well, the new carts had to meet their specs also. The new design not only met Bosch’s average weekly demand but was more ergonomically sound than the original.

Senior Design Sponsor | CVG - Commercial Vehicle Group

Commercial Vehicle Group (CVG) – A
Student Team: Caroline Baldauff, Bethany Colglazier, Aditya Patel, Spencer Hebert

CVG is a global vehicle supplier with production facilities in North Carolina. They want to improve on-time delivery and reduce freight costs due to inaccurate shipments. This project will provide CVG with a real-time production tracking system.

The student team improved the company’s shipping process by placing four scanners and a barcode reader in strategic locations. Along with an automated picklist generator, they were able to cut non-value-added time and reduce the risk of manual entry errors.

Senior Design Sponsor | CVG - Commercial Vehicle Group

Commercial Vehicle Group (CVG) – B
Student Team: Chris Hill, Scott Laing, Santiago Morales, Xiwen Xu

CVG supplies vehicle parts to the world from its production facilities in North Carolina. Their current shipping process and facility layout lead to mis-shipped and mislabeled items.

The ISE team provided a real-time production tracking system that provides data for key performance indicators (KPI). Using SIPOC, fishbone diagram and simulation, they identified bottlenecks as well as locations to provide KPI’s. The team recommended installing four 2D barcode readers within the production line for greater production control.

Senior Design Sponsor | Dell EMC

Student Team: John Casabonne, Farrah Jordi, Joseph Magnuson, Kyle Williams, Caroline MacDowell

Apex, North Carolina facility processes thousands of products each day for their Field Return Material (FRM) Disk Drive Return to Vendor (DDRTV) process. To process these components, the current layout of the facility needs to be more efficient.

The team conducted a work analysis and created a simulation to optimize the workflow of a specific cell. To accommodate the cell for a smaller headcount, the students reduced the queueing area size. This minimized the walking distances between stations. Through this simulation, they also removed unused equipment and inefficient work steps.

Won 3rd Place

Dispensary of Hope
Student Team: Lauren Arnold, Emma Moore, Claire Mayo, Emily Carberry

Dispensary of Hope is a non-profit pharmaceutical distributor that needs optimization models to provide information and develop a growth strategy.

Using their models, the ISE team generated three different lists. These each had ten communities on which the company should focus. This focused lists led to the most significant community impact and a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) algorithm. The MVP quantifies their service level to its current sites, the demand for their services across the country (broken down to the county level) and the National Provider Index’s list of non-profit pharmacies. This data analysis will allow the Dispensary of Hope to target non-profit pharmacy partnerships.

Senior Design Sponsor | KBI Biopharma - A

KBI Biopharma – A
Student Team: Jaiden Augustine, Aiden Berry, Abdullah Al Fadhil, Matthew Rholl

KBI is a biopharmaceutical manufacturing company. They produce batch pharmaceutical products for use in clinical trials and other testing. However, the scheduling of batches is a manual process without specific optimization criteria.

Using Orchestrate software, the student team could schedule 5 percent more batches based on the previous year’s historical data. They were also able to cost-justify the software expense. While analyzing nighttime cleaning schedules, the team was able to generate extra profit.

Senior Design Sponsor | KBI Biopharma - A

KBI Biopharma – B
Student Team: Lingchao Mao, Jacob Marek, Tara Martin, Noah Wenk

KBI Biopharma specializes in cell-line manufacturing, drug development and analytical and formulation development. Efficient process monitoring is critical as some processes can run for 14 to 20 days. Current software is unable to combine multiple data streams into one display.

The ISE team used OSI Pi software to make dashboards that showed the upstream and downstream processes. These dashboards also track equipment effectiveness and product quality.

Senior Design Sponsor | NC State College of Veterinary Medicine

NC State Veterinarian Medicine
Student Team: Sam Bauers, Nolan Fischer, Marzanne DeLapp de Anaya

The NC State College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) Laboratory Animal Resources (LAR) and Central Procedures Laboratory (CPL) receives 1600 animal research requests yearly. LAR and CPL supply necessary services to the CVM. This system is a massive logistical challenge, and their current process is error-prone.

The student team was able to streamline activity at the facility by developing new versions of the LAR’s forms. The new processes provided the CVM team insight into all requests that are coming down the pipeline. The ability to forecast usage allows the clinic to plan for supplies and capacity, and it also allows for predetermined resource use.

Senior Design Sponsor | Novo Nordisk

Novo Nordisk – A
Student Team: Ross Bolla, Katherine Bygate, Tyler Conrad, Ben Janzow, Sarah Trinkle

Novo Nordisk is a Danish pharmaceutical company specializing in products for diabetes and obesity. The operators in their finished product department had significant idle times, and Novo Nordisk needed a solution. Solving this issue would avoid low product output per operator rates.

The ISE team was able to create a standard staffing and workforce plan for all seven assemblies. With their analysis, they also produced a perfect-state simulation and developed a standardized staffing schedule. The team was also able to create models that improved assembly line coverage as well as cross-training responsibilities for all future state possibilities.

Senior Design Sponsor | Novo Nordisk

Novo Nordisk – B
Student Team: Will Burns, Iman Fisher, Englyn Harris, Alana Oktay, Vishal Sharma

Novo Nordisk is a Danish pharmaceutical manufacturing company and is the largest producer of insulin in the world. Currently, their Clayton, NC facility’s onsite storage exceeded their target capacity. This excess led to the scrapping of production material and increased production costs.

The ISE student team used past data to create more onsite storage space for components of Novo Nordisk’s newest product. They also calculated the flow of products through the facility to account for the product volume cut overflow.

Senior Design Sponsor | Patch Rubber Company

Won 2nd Place

Patch Rubber Company
Student Team: Kathryn Barnes, Charles Blum, Johnny Davis, Eli Wilson, Kevin To

Patch Rubber is a leader in industrial rubber and traffic marking products. Production capacity, layout efficiency and product scheduling are areas needed to support Patch Rubber’s continued growth.

The ISE team was able to create several system improvements through data analysis. These included work standards and line layouts. It also included extra processing equipment as well as scheduling enhancements. Their solution lowered production times and increased throughput. This improvement led to significant capital investments in a 3-week ROI.

Senior Design Sponsor | Qorvo

Student Team: Tyler Anne Giglio, Mithila Khare, Logan Harris, Christian Ebhote, Chelsea Metzger

Qorvo provides the core technologies found in mobile, network infrastructure, and IoT. Their Greensboro, NC operations focus on the assembly of customer-driven prototypes. Accurate factory commit dates (FCDs) are crucial to the plant’s competitiveness and the success of its clients.

Using process-mapping tools, the senior design team built a simulation of a multi-scenario product build process. They then used their ISE skills to model Qorvo’s production system. The simulation tool allows company planners to predict FCDs with much higher accuracy. It also provides more benefits in job and resource scheduling.

Senior Design Sponsor | Ribbon Communications

Ribbon Communications
Student Team: Rachel Dilley, Khoa Huynh, Courtney Jones, Miriam Lavelle

Ribbon Communications installs custom communication infrastructure across North America. Each one of their projects requires close collaboration and communication in four areas. These are fulfillment, deployment, logistics, and the warehouse. Currently, too much time is being wasted sharing information via email. This waste also leads to low productivity.

The ISE students used surveys to understand the processes and their shortfalls. They designed a system that uses resident data and signaling capabilities to streamline and automate information sharing. Their solution has led to an 84 percent improvement.