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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.


2022/2023 Projects

Value Stream Map & Simulation

OPEM Flagged Filter

 There were two teams working on KDP projects. 1) Locate bottlenecks of the production facility. Connecting the three departments into one whole simulation. Improve resource allocation and help improve overall understanding and future decision making. 2) Aid Keurig Dr. Pepper in reducing waste within the k-cup packaging lines. This will generate productivity savings by lowering waste rates on high volume packaging lines.


John Deere

ER Optimizer Project

MFG Analytics

Paint Improvement Project

Hood Decal Project

There were 4 teams for John Deere, each with a different task at hand. 1) Improve the process of applying the John Deere logo and model number decals to the hood of lawn tractors. 2) Reduce the paint system’s downtime by finding a more efficient way to clear parts from the tank and reduce the number of falling parts. 3) Track individual operator performance to determine ways to improve overall efficiency and productivity of a new production line to create their Z500 Series ZTrak Mowers at the Greeneville facility. They want a system that will track individual operator performance to determine ways to improve overall efficiency and productivity. 4) Improve efficiency in assigning shifts to hourly employees by moving from manual data entry to an automatic tool that will assign employees to shifts and departments.


UTK Reliability & Maintainability Center
Dr. Klaus Blache
Create a functioning factory that enables teaching key reliability & maintainability techniques by setting up a mini facility to simulate different industry 4.0 practices with all related business decisions.
Patient Discharge Process Improvement Enhance patient discharge process that will lead to fewer costs/delays in discharge center while still maintaining excellent patient care.



Real Alloy Process Improvement Project
Analyze and then improve the flow of information and materials at Real Alloy’s Loudon Plant.


Hemp Production for the Paper Industry
Determine the effectiveness of using industrial hemp for producing pulp as an alternative to trees in the paper industry.
Inventory Management Process Improvement
Improve inventory management process by expanding the use of Epicor. Make the minimum stockout rate decrease from once a month to once every 6 months. Utilize SOPs, basic coding skills, inventory management and inventory tracking.


Coats Industries Internal Drive Process Improvement
Improve direct drive motor shaft assembly at COATS that requires skilled, time-intensive labor which is no longer adequate to meet market demand or sustainable for the future.

MHF Services Lean Manufacturing Project
Reduce material handling and improve the current process flow in order to increase safety and decrease product lead time.

Inventory Management System Design & Implementation
Create more inventory visibility and traceability. Raise inventory accountability from 40% to 85%. Develop methodology for serialized inventory.