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Capstone Design Spring 2017

Project Sponsor: Partnership with TDOT
Team Members: Lila Fisher (lead), Bryan Agee, Curtis Broadbent, Jackson Padgett, Chris Smith, Shelby Smith

Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) provided an opportunity to evaluate an intersection in a growing area of Knoxville, Tennessee. Citizens and TDOT employees noticed an increase in traffic volumes and possible excessive queue lengths at the intersection of Strawberry Plains Pike and Interstate 40 (I-40) near the westbound entrance ramp of I-40. TDOT noted that due to recent growth within the area the traffic volume may have increased beyond the capacity of the intersection.

This increase in traffic volume produced a concern for the safety of vehicular and pedestrian traffic. Therefore, the cooperative agencies involved in this project defined two primary objectives for this project: 1) analyze the existing vehicular transportation conditions in order to determine the level of service (LOS) at the intersection and 2) provide a design improvement if the LOS did not satisfy the standards expected by TDOT. Secondarily, pedestrian infrastructure and access was to be analyzed and evaluated in a similar manner. Through comprehensive review and innovative design, this project aims to expedite the process of soliciting state and federal funding to better ensure the safety of all commuters.

Project Sponsor: Partnership with TDOT
Team Members: Alex Christie (lead), Andrew Dacus, Ryne Denton, Robin Hood, Malachi Rosenfield

The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT), DENSO Manufacturing, and local agencies have agreed to develop a State Industrial Access (SIA) road to improve transportation access to the DENSO Manufacturing industrial site. This agreement was made in conjunction with the SIA Act, which was implemented to promote the growth of industry in Tennessee by providing efficient transportation access to industrial sites at no cost to the local businesses. These SIA roads are built free of charge to the business in agreement that the business continues to expand and stay located at the given site, thus bringing tax revenue to the state.

TDOT has partnered with students and faculty from the University of Tennessee’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering to design the completion of the access road. TDOT conducted a preliminary engineering review where they proposed a 0.5 mile-long road to be constructed in Maryville, Tennessee at the Blount County site.

Students from UT’s Senior Design team have designed the new road with respect to TDOT standards and the preliminary design suggested by TDOT. Inclusive of this effort, the team has performed design for the necessary culvert and bridge to cross two waterways along the road route, performing complete water resources, geotechnical, and structural engineering analysis and design.

Project Sponsor: Partnership with the City of Maryville
Team Members: Claire Schmidt (lead), Clayton Barron, Bobby Bell, Oliver Moore, Kaity Patterson, Jacob Taylor, Gus Wilson

The City of Maryville is seeking to improve its current system of urban connectivity. The city has an existing system of trails, greenways, and sidewalk networks that provide a network for pedestrians and cyclists to use, however, urban connectivity issues within this network persist. Specifically, our company has been asked to address issues pertaining to greenway disconnection, existing infrastructure not meeting suitable standards, and general serviceability of the existing network. This includes evaluations of existing infrastructure for new connections and overall improvements in order to better accommodate pedestrian and cyclist traffic.

Although Maryville has multimodal infrastructure throughout the entire city, the area of study will be focused in the region bordered by Montvale Road, Highway 321 (W. Lamar Alexander Parkway), Tuckaleechee Pike, and the woods behind Maryville College. Within this region exists a portion of the existing Maryville-Alcoa Greenway and key locations of interest for improving connectivity including Maryville College, Blount Memorial Hospital, the historic College Hills neighborhood, and First Baptist Maryville. These sites align with work performed by a fall 2016 Senior Design team, such that the infrastructure improvements recommended by their engineering design are related to the extended work performed this term.

Project Sponsor: Partnership with City of Maryville
Team Members: Race Allen (lead), Jason Chai, Max Davis, Taylor Farrar, Scott Kimbro, Fangyi Tang, Zach Wallen

Pistol Creek in Blount County, Tennessee has a watershed that encompasses nearly all of the city of Maryville. The city wishes to investigate the cost for design and construction of a stream restoration project to improve the existing condition of Pistol Creek at Sandy Springs Park.

The reach of interest extends approximately 2200 feet between Best Street and South Cedar Street. Along this reach the banks of Pistol Creek are characterized by eroding stream banks with bank failures occurring through a combination of instability and hydraulic erosive forces. The existing condition of Pistol Creek along the subject reach reflects hydrologic changes in the watershed that have occurred as the City of Maryville has grown.

Restoration activities along this reach are intended to stabilize the stream banks as well as provide a dynamically stable channel cross section with minimal disturbance to the existing plan view alignment of the stream, to the extent practical. To address these concerns, two design options have been developed by the team of student engineers as potential restoration efforts. Estimates of construction costs and schedules have been provided with the engineering assessment so decision-makers can identify a suitable solution for construction.

Project Sponsor: Candidate for WEA Design Competition; partnership with LDA
Team Members: Kelli Grissom (lead), Katie Gipson, Sharon Counts, Christina Sanford

In 2000, Rush Strong Elementary School implemented a recirculating sand filter to treat their low-flow wastewater effluent. This existing wastewater treatment system continues to produce effluent that does not meet the regulations of Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) regardless of the recent modifications and operations efforts performed in the recent years.

Jefferson County School System requested that Rocky Top Water Solutions create a design that would bring the school into compliance with TDEC regulations in a cost-effective manner. In order to satisfy this request, the team developed multiple alternative designs. These designs consider the client’s preferences and employ a multi-criteria decision matrix that was used to evaluate the alternatives based on four criteria categories derived from a triple bottom line sustainability analysis: cost, operation and maintenance, efficient technologies, and feasibility.

This analysis yielded a recommendation of a 100% recirculation rate during low flows to account for summer breaks, where there is no influent flowing into the system. It was also recommended to add a modification filter layout so that the laterals can be continuously cleaned, as these systems are prone to such complications as clogging. With the proposed system improvements, it is believed that the school’s effluent will comply with state regulations and the system will work in an efficient manner.

WBIR Donation Box Story

Project Sponsor: Partnership with Friends of the Smokies; Funding through TCE
Team Members: Evan Rankin, Walker Trent (CEE lead), Caleb Brownfield, Jesse Johnson, Sam Medina, Audrey Linn

This University of Tennessee Tickle College of Engineering Senior Design group was tasked with designing an innovative donation box for the Friends of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This design needed to defend against several forms of vandalism experienced by the current donation boxes such as being broken into with cutting torches and fishing from the boxes.

Inspiration was taken from prison wall structures, and the new box was designed to incorporate reinforced concrete and steel walls. Drawings were developed in order to provide details for fabrication as well as construction. A complete bill of materials was created and parts were ordered from vendors and fabricators. The ordered materials were utilized in the construction of a representative prototype. This prototype was constructed using fabricated steel and custom mixed concrete. Design of the donation box was justified through experimental testing of resistance to impact, drilling, and torching.

Project Sponsor: Partnership with Spring City, SETDD
Team Members: Sydney Adcock (lead), Ed Adame, Lauren Barnette, Logan Elliott, Michael Shaw, Anna Sparks

Exemplar Engineering was requested by the SETDD, an entity that works with municipalities toward infrastructure improvement, to perform engineering calculations and prepare engineering documents in order to improve amenities at a city park in Spring City, Tennessee. Spring City has specifically requested the park design include a kayak launch that can hold small watercraft items such as kayaks, paddleboards, and canoes in order to promote lake tourism. Exemplar is proposing adding a pavilion, restroom facility, roadway, and greenway in addition to the kayak launch to enhance use of the municipal space.

Engineering analysis and design efforts for this project include geotechnical assessment with respect to foundation capacity and septic opportunities; water services for sanitary, sewer, and stormwater management; structural engineering design for various small structures; general site civil work; and construction engineering services. Ultimately, the team has developed the engineering documentation to support the development of amenities sure to attract users to the site.