BTEC “capitalizes” on senior design project

Published May 23, 2014

Some might argue that nothing is free, but chemical engineering students at NC State have been disproving that maxim for years. This year, a team enrolled in the department’s senior design courses saved BTEC almost $25,000.

BTEC has sponsored senior design projects for chemical engineering students since it opened in 2007. Over the years, students have designed cell culture processes, continuous fermentations, downstream processes and even a concept for the BTEC Annex training and development facility. This year, team members Timothy Brantley, Tracy Hendrick, Andrew Kocot, Ryan Vest and Tyler Vogel developed a conceptual design for a retrofit to BTEC Annex that would enable GMP manufacturing of virus products and therapeutic proteins. The team gained valuable exposure to some typical engineering practices while receiving credit for completing the assignment, but BTEC made out too. BTEC now has a design document that will be useful in developing budgets for grants and other special projects – all for free! At typical engineering rates, the labor involved in this project would be valued at close to $25,000.

CHE 451 students with their poster

Team members Tracy Hendrick, Timothy Brantley and Tyler Vogel ready to answer any questions at the final poster session.

Future Projects

BTEC is always interested in partnering with local industry professionals to enhance its advisory capabilities. Some industry advisors have found the experience very rewarding and have branched out to develop their own senior design problems. For more information on collaboration, contact Rick Lawless at