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Senior Designs

Senior designs are also called capstone projects, which are

  • Intensive and comprehensive,
  • Require teamwork,
  • Involve real-world problems, usually supplied by companies and entrepreneurs,
  • Follow the Systems Engineering principles and processes,
  • Require integration and application of IE knowledge and tools, and
  • Involve interactions with users, clients, and other stakeholders with effective written and oral communication.

The projects span two semesters:

First Semester (IE 404): Beginning with the development of a project plan, whereby students define end-user needs, client needs, requirements and constraints, and performance measures. Proceeding through concept design.

Second Semester (IE 422): Conducting preliminary design and detailed design  (system- and component-level), testing, evaluating, and validating the design, and delivering designs to clients.

Each team ultimately produces a working prototype or system design that is tested and refined to meet the project objectives. The project could be for any system but should be comprehensive. The design should follow the Systems Engineering principles and procedures.

2019/2020 Projects


Knoxville Transfer Center

Wendolyn Davis, PhD
Transfer Center Director
UTK currently receives about 3,000 requests from students wanting to transfer to UT. The current process takes about 5-weeks. The belief is that they are losing potential transfer students due to the excessive lead-time required for approval. They are asking for an IE team to analyze their process and make recommendations that will reduce this lead-time to 3-weeks.


Clayton Homes

Will Love, continuous Improvement Manager
1765 Genesis Rd., Crossville, TN
Design JIT process to ship window assemblies to home building factory (Rutledge), Model will be designed to scale to other internal supply components.


Ronald McDonald House Charities

Sue Beverly
1705 W. Clinch Ave., Knoxville, TN
Ronald McDonald House is run primarily through volunteers. While many processes are documented, actual work instructions are lacking. In order to achieve consistency and reliability of service, work instructions are required for each process. The student team will focus on documenting work instructions for all the standard processes. This will assure that each volunteer performs the tasks in an approved manner.
Additionally, Ronald McDonald House has several Maintenance, Repair, Operating Supplies (MRO) that require management. The student team will design and implement a replenishment system for these items. (Some kitchen staples may be included 



Josh Garvey
Plant Operations Manager
200 DeBusk Ln, Powell, TN
Analyze and optimize the picking process for product assembly. Current process is four steps with about a 3-5-day total cycle time. The goal would be to reduce the cycle times and optimize the process. The business case will be increasing total throughput for the facility, the reduced cycle time will result in improved flexibility and response time, and reduce costs. The students will establish baselines for these metrics.



T&T Scientific

Nima Tamaddoni, PhD
Chief Executive Officer
201-203E Moody Ave, Knoxville, TN
Design/Implement Quality System to comply with ISO 9001 and GMP Requirements for FDA Certification



Oak Ridge Tool-Engineering Inc.

Howard Hendershott
VP/General Manager
1000 Clearview Court, Oak Ridge, TN
Develop value stream map of order/scheduling process and design scheduling system to optimize machine capacity and customer service.



Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center

Rick Foster
Sr. Management Engineer, Lean Six Sigma DMAIC Black Belt
Refine and improve ED model developed by the 2018 Sr. Team and implement plan.



Knox County
Designing building permit process for Knox County to enhance economic growth and meet compliance



England Furniture Co.

Improve assembly line operation to include material flow from cut/sew department in order to achieve a 5% improve in total assembly line output.


UT Medical Center
The project is to evaluate the current labor inducement scheduling process and recommend/implement an improved system that will adjust as follows:

  1. Cancel appointments if the system detects that natural birth occurs prior to the inducement appointment.
  2. Allow outside Doctors’ offices to schedule inducements.

Additionally, UT is asking for a capacity analysis to help optimize scheduling. There is data that can be used to develop a profile of the patient and UT would like a machine learning system to help predict how long the patient will be in labor, thus determining the required room constraints.