BE Projects – Spring 2022

About the Program

Graduates of the MSU Biosystems Engineering (BE) undergraduate program are expected to succeed in diverse careers where they integrate and apply principles of engineering and biology to a wide variety of globally important problems. MSU Biosystems Engineering graduates are expected to attain that success by:

  • identifying and solving problems at the interface of biology and engineering, using modern engineering techniques and the systems approach;
  • analyzing, designing, and controlling components, systems, and processes that involve critical biological components; and
  • demonstrating vision, adaptability, creativity, a practical mindset, effective communication skills for technical and non-technical audiences, the ability to work in diverse, cross-disciplinary teams, and a commitment to sustainability, continuing professional growth, and ethical conduct.

BE 485/ BE 487 Courses

Biosystems Engineering student teams, enrolled in the two-semester biosystems design capstone experience, BE 485/487, develop, evaluate, and select design alternatives in order to solve real-world problems. Projects are diverse, but each reflects systems thinking by integrating interconnected issues affecting the problem, including critical biological constraints. The engineering design process is documented in a detailed technical report. Teams present project designs to engineering faculty and a review panel of professional engineers for evaluation. Each BE 485/487 capstone design team prepares and presents a design solution in report, poster, and oral formats to industry, faculty, peers, and the public that:

  • Requires engineering design
  • Combines biology and engineering
  • Solves a real problem
  • Uses a holistic approach
  • Interprets data
  • Evaluates economic feasibility

2021/22 Projects

Full descriptions, short videos, and project posters are at:

Sterilization of male sea lamprey with Bizair

United States Geological Survey (project under Non-Disclosure Agreement)
Team USGS – Madalyn Allen, Catherine Christenson, Ryan Snyder, & Jacob Soullier
Faculty Advisor – Dr. Ilce Medina Meza 

Ingham County Fairgrounds and Potter Park Zoo organic waste management

Ingham County
Team The Red Pandas – Brian Bilan, Sidney Fenton, Erica Peer, & Alex Seybold
Faculty Advisor – Dr. Dawn Dechand 

Nitrogen stripping and ozonation columns for wastewater treatment at remote army bases

Department of Defense
Team DOD – Skijlar Howerzyl, Arun Kammanadiminti, Jack Kivi, & Melanie Stoughton
Faculty Advisor – Dr. Wei Liao, PE 

Reducing labor with an improved red swamp crayfish capturing device

Michigan Department of Natural Resources
Team InCraysive – Adam Harris, Michael Kaven, Alayna Peterson, & Brenna Tiernan
Faculty Advisor – Dr. Wei Liao, PE 

Whey protein and lactose recovery

Tillamook (project under Non-Disclosure Agreement)
Team Whey Stream – Peyton Carroll, Hannah Craig Malich, Stephanie Starr, Zach Tonnerre, & Sierra Veenkant
Faculty Advisor – Dr. Bahar Aliakbarian 

Residual product recovery from manufacturing tanks for Unilever

Unilever (project under Non-Disclosure Agreement)
Team Unilever -Yassah Bah-Deh, Julie Celini, Aubrie McCleery, & Tyler Stump
Faculty Advisor – Dr. Yan “Susie” Liu 

Mobile decentralized treatment system for domestic septage utilizing innovative aeration

Greener Planet Systems (project under Non-Disclosure Agreement)
Team Greener Planet Systems – Conor Crennell, Annaliese Marks, Jacob Mears, & Molly Robles
Faculty Advisor – Dr. Steve Safferman, PE 

Microscale biogas plant design

Goloka Ecology Model
Team Goloka – Trenten Beemer, Zachary Buhro, Kaitlin McHenry, & Jordan Neal
Faculty Advisor – Dr. Dana Kirk, PE 

Optimizing an ozone processing system against E. coli on whole-muscle beef

E W Grobbel (project under Non-Disclosure Agreement)
Team Grobbel – Tala Abdulqader, Ian Klug, Andrea Ma, & Kase Nelson
Faculty Advisor – Quincy Suehr 

BIGGBY® COFFEE store-level environmental assessment: Data analysis and visualizations

BIGGBY® COFFEE (project under Non-Disclosure Agreement)
Team Go BIGGBY® or Go Home – Emily Ajemian, Taryn Hanses, Ashley Hestad, & Chris Wentworth
Faculty Advisor – Dr. Christopher Saffron 

Sterilization analysis of evaporator coil using UVC light for industrial food processing freezers

John Bean Technologies (JBT) Foodtech (project under Non- Disclosure Agreement)
Team JBT – Nyilah Congress, Shreyas Ramachandran, Nick Saba, & Ashley Xu
Faculty Advisor – Dr. Sanghyup Jeong, PE 

Improved hydraulic-powered plastic mulch removal implement for MSU Student Organic Farm

MSU Student Organic Farm
Team Student Organic Farm – Ian Chesla, Kristin Danz, Brenden Kelley, & Lisa Zou
Faculty Advisor – Dr. Ajit Srivastava 

Packaging line improvement using Arena simulation software at a pharmaceutical plant

Perrigo (project under Non-Disclosure Agreement)
Team Perrigo – Chehak Arora, Katie Blouin, Maryam Ezz, & Nicolas Scamardi
Faculty Advisor – Dr. Kirk Dolan 

Industry Advisory Board & Project Evaluators

The purpose of the Industry Advisory Board is to facilitate the exchange of ideas between Board members, faculty, and students of the BE program. Its function is to improve continuously the BE program quality by keeping it current and relevant to industry needs. Regular and adjunct board members also serve as external project evaluators.

Janelle Boosi ~ Kellogg
Holly Bowers ~ Consumers Energy
Jessica Bruin ~ Nestlé Nutrition
Lisa Buchholz ~ Corteva Agriscience
Matt Burtt ~ AbbVie
Shelley Crawford (Chair) ~ Jiffy
Michelle Crook, PE ~ MDNR
Laura Doud, PE ~ MDARD
Cassaundra Edwards ~ Tillamonk Creamery Gene Ford ~ Standard Process
Jeremy Hoeh, PE ~ MEGLE
Eric Iversen, PE ~ LSG Engineers and Surveyors
Kevin Kowalk, PE ~ EA Engineering, Science, and Technology (MI) PLC
Jeffrey Mathews, PhD ~ PepsiCo Global Beverage R&D
Mitch Miller ~ General Mills-Yoplait
Steve Radke, PhD ~ John Bean Technologies ( JBT)
Nate Wood, PE ~ Perrigo
Rob Yoder ~ BDI, Inc. 

Board (Ex-officio)
Todd Forbush, Techmark, Inc. (ASABE MI Section) 

If you are interested in sponsoring a BE 485/487 capstone project for the 2022/23 Senior Design teams, please contact Dr. Dana Kirk at or Dr. Luke Reese at