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Interactive Bottle Recycler: A “Green” Senior Design Project Case Study

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Capstone Design Courses and Tools in support of Systems Engineering Education

Tagged Division

Systems Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.792.1 - 23.792.18



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Paper Authors


Ertunga C Ozelkan University of North Carolina, Charlotte

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Ertunga C. Ozelkan, Ph.D., is Director and Associate Professor of Systems Engineering & Engineering Management, and the Associate Director of the Center for Lean Logistics and Engineered Systems at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Before joining academia, Dr. Ozelkan worked for i2 Technologies, a leading supply chain software vendor and for Tefen USA, a systems design and industrial engineering consulting firm. Dr. Ozelkan holds a Ph.D. degree in Systems and Industrial Engineering from the University of Arizona. He teaches courses on supply chain management, lean systems, decision analysis, designed experimentation, and systems design and optimization. His current research interests include on the education side development of simulations and cases for active learning, and on the modeling side supply chains and logistics management, and production systems planning and optimization, and applications in different industries.

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Peter L Schmidt P.E. University of North Carolina, Charlotte

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Peter L. Schmidt received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Louisville, a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and his doctorate degree in mechanical engineering from Vanderbilt University. He is currently an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He has served as a research associate and as an instructor at Vanderbilt University. He has also worked at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Crane, Indiana; at Precision Rubber, now part of Parker Hannifin in Lebanon, Tennessee; for CDAI in Atlanta, Georgia and at UTC / Carrier in Lewisburg, Tennessee. Dr. Schmidt is a member of the ASEE and a licensed professional engineer in Tennessee and Georgia. He is also a member of ASME, ASHRAE, ASA and INCE. Dr. Schmidt’s research interests include aeroacoustics and ultrasonics, and has authored several journal and conference papers on these subjects.

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Devin Hatley UNC Charlotte

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Devin Hatley currently works as a Communications Specialist at UNC Charlotte. His role is to educate the campus community about sustainability and integrate sustainable initiatives on campus. He is an adviser to the Charlotte Green Initiative, and UNC Charlotte Earth Club.

Devin received his B.A. degree from East Carolina University in Public Relations and Business Administration and has worked in the Environmental Field for more than six years.

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Kathleen Ann Boutin-Pasterz UNC Charlotte

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Kathleen Boutin-Pasterz is the Recycling Coordinator UNC Charlotte, chair of the CRA’s Collegiate Recyclers Council, and advisor to UNC Charlotte’s EARTH Club. She received her degree in Environmental Education from the University of Michigan. In 1983, while working on her Master’s in Environmental Education at Michigan State University, she helped co-found a non-profit recycling program in Lansing, Michigan and served on the Board of the Michigan Recycling Coalition.

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Interactive Bottle Recycler: A “Green” Senior Design Project Case StudyAbstractAs sustainability and being “green” becomes more and more main stream by the end of the firstdecade of the 21st century, universities are also incorporating more sustainability into theircurriculum. The purpose of this paper is to present an innovative “green” senior design projectcase study in which engineering students were asked to design an arcade style interactive bottlerecycler at the University of X.University X has a very comprehensive engineering senior design program managed by a collegecommittee and an Industry Solutions Lab (ISL) director. At the beginning of each semester,students are presented with various project options provided by companies, grants and nationalcompetitions. Each project description is carefully crafted through interactions with the projectsponsor, which are then reviewed by the senior design committee to tag the project with therequired engineering skills from different degree programs. A project assignment is made tooptimize success (skills matching) and to fulfill students’ preferences. Interdisciplinary projectteams can vary in size depending on the scope but typically averages about 4-5 people andmentored by a faculty advisor. The projects last for two consecutive semesters where thestudents do conceptual design during the first semester and build prototypes during the secondsemester. The final deliverable is a poster presentation at the Senior Design Expo with theirprototypes.This paper discusses a recycling project that was initiated by the SIFE (Students In FreeEnterprise), a student organization in 2011, to create a fun and interactive recycling system forthe university community. The project received sponsorship from the CGI (Charlotte GreenInitiative) after winning the CGI Challenge (a green initiative proposal competition). Twointerdisciplinary teams of engineering students from systems, mechanical, electrical andcomputer engineering were assembled to tackle this project during the 2011-12 academic year.Each team was led by systems engineering students, who acted as the principle engineer and theproject manager, and mentored, by a systems engineering and an engineering managementprofessor. After evaluating various design alternatives, both teams came up with very innovativebottle recycler designs. Both teams were selected as finalists (top 9 out of 50 projects) in the BestSenior Design Project Competition. In this paper, we will present the educational approach howthese projects were conducted and assessed, and discuss the findings.

Ozelkan, E. C., & Schmidt, P. L., & Hatley, D., & Boutin-Pasterz, K. A. (2013, June), Interactive Bottle Recycler: A “Green” Senior Design Project Case Study Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19806

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