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Prize-winning designs.

SDSU's 2015-2016 ABE senior design course had 15 students out of the 70 enrolled in ABE. This year's group was remarkably successful and took home three of the six awards at the annual Engineering Expo for the College of Engineering for their final design projects. One ABE team took first in the Non-Consumer Products category for their design of an air filter aspiration system for AGCO machines. Another team took first place in the Consumer Products category for their design of a position control systems for axle width on a Rogator for AGCO. Third place in Consumer Products was awarded for the design of a second-tier bale accumulator for Farm King.

Other senior design projects from the 2015-2016 academic year included an AGCO project for designing the mapping and analysis protocol to test the field performance of sprayer systems in a static mode and a USDA-NRCS project to redesign a sheep production facility and runoff management system. The final senior design project also involved working with the NRCS to redesign a beef feeding facility with a runoff management system.

The senior Capstone design experience is the culmination of an ABE student's educational experience at SDSU. Industry partners provide the design problems based on the needs and desires of their companies. These design problems are thus based on real-world problems that industry partners want solved. Senior ABE students work on these problems in teams of three to five students for two semesters.


Industry partners have a direct stake in their sponsored project. Each sponsor meets with the student design team multiple times per semester to ensure that the team is considering relevant issues such as safety, standards, and other constraints.

Students begin to assimilate design skills in their second year in the Engineering Properties of Biological Materials course and lab. Design skills are added and refined in subsequent courses, such as the second-year Project Development for ABE and the four core courses generally taken during the third and fourth years of study. Lower-level courses tend to focus on building skills and gaining experience with design problems while becoming fluent in the design process. Upper-level courses then focus on designing components, structures, or systems to solve specific problems. Examples include power takeoff (PTO) shafts, grassed waterways, and hydraulic drop structures.


The Capstone design experience integrates all the students' knowledge and experience into a two-semester project. ABE students begin during the fall semester and complete their design projects by the end of the spring semester. We have been fortunate to have excellent participation from machine industry partners in the recent past. Companies such as AGCO, Raven, and Bobcat consistently bring excellent Capstone design projects to the table for our students. Company representatives stay in communication with the design team and provide guidance to students while challenging them.

"The students did 3 great job with -their projects 3rd were able to work with industry groups to solve a "problem. The last few weeks of the spring semester are the best because all the teams are getting their "prototypes ready. My favorite experience: I accompanied the Amundson, Bakker, and Logeais team to the SDSU Dairy Farm to test the third-row stacking round bale trailer. When the lift arm System they desired easily raised the bale, they cheered with excitement 3rd high-fived. I smiled 3rd thought to myself how well this experience encapsulated all their coursework."

--Joseph Darrington

Assistant Professor

Jasmine Greene

South Dakota State University Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering
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Author:Greene, Jasmine
Publication:Resource: Engineering & Technology for a Sustainable World
Date:Sep 1, 2016
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