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Undergraduate Program

Senior Design Projects

Chemical engineering seniors enroll in a laboratory course for their capstone design project. Over the progression of one semester, student teams identify, design and build a solution to real-world problems that integrate principles from the chemical engineering curriculum. Projects originate from local companies, the University of Rochester Medical Center, or our department, so that students experience authentic engineering challenges. These industry and academically sponsored projects provide students valuable experience in project management, teamwork and individual accountability, as well as research and development.

Past Projects

Characterization and Optimization of Spirits and Beverages Waste Streams

The wastewater stream produced by various products presents challenges due changing demands and presents significant financial cost. The excess biochemical oxygen demand and reaction kinetics were characterized, and the addition of Brewer’s yeast was determined to reduce biochemical oxygen demand. Sponsored by LiDestri Food & Drink.

Project Photos
Two students working in the lab.A group photo of the students working on the project wearing lab coats.

URMC Kidney Model Optimization Project

Development and optimization of polyvinyl alcohol-based polymers to mimic kidney tissue for medical residents to practice Percutaneous Nephrolihotomy surgery. Sponsored by Dr. Ahmed Ghazi, University of Rochester Medical Center Simulation Innovation Lab.

Project Photos
A student holding a kidney.A student holding a kidney.Students presenting their poster at the poster session.

Accelerated Gasket Performance Characterization for India Mark II Hand-Pump Used in Uganda

Design of an accelerated testing system to evaluate the durability of the new gaskets while mimicking field conditions in Uganda to characterize gasket deterioration. This project was in collaboration with the Department of Mechanical Engineering and sponsored by Harbec and the Ugandan Water Project.

Project Photos
Two students working in the lab.Two students working in the lab.

Characterization of Oxygen Mass Transfer in Viscous Fluids

The oxygen transfer rate (OTR) within inert fluids of various viscosities was characterized for the scale-up of bioreactors for organism proliferation. Sponsored by SPX Flow.

Project Photos
A student working at a computer.Three students working at computers.

Complete Separation of PDMS and Heptane from a Waste Stream

A solvent evaporation process followed by supercritical carbon dioxide extraction was developed to separate high viscosity PDMS and heptane to high purity. Sponsored by Xerox Corporation.

Project Photo
A group photo of students wearing lab coats.

Packed Bed Reactors for Academic Experimentation

This project aims to design and build a multi-channel reverse water gas shift reactor system that allows for exploration of heterogeneous catalysis. Sponsored by the Department of Chemical Engineering in collaboration with Prof. Marc Porosoff.

Project Photos
A student poses for the camera.A student working on the project.Two students posing for the camera.

Purification of LUV Dye Using Column Chromatography

A lab-scale chromatography process was developed to purify crude 3-(dihexylamino)allylidene]malononitrile (LUV) dye used in the production of photographic film. Upon scaleup at Kodak, the chromatography process would be able to purify 2 kg per day. Sponsored by Eastman Kodak Company.

Project Photos
A student poses for the camera.A student working on the project.A student posing for the camera.

Separating PFAS from Landfill Wastewater

Development of two methods for the removal of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from landfill leachate using foam separation and activated carbon adsorption. Sponsored by Waste Management, Inc.

Project Photos
Three students working in the lab.Students working in the field.