AGEN Senior Capstone Design


Agricultural Engineering


Quarter Scale Sled

Quarter Scale SledTeam Members: Casey Wallin (AGEN, Madison, NE), Austin Bollacker (AGEN, Springfield, NE), Jacob Harms (AGEN, Fremont, NE), Ian Schuster (AGEN, Martell, NE)
Faculty Consultant:Dr. Roger Hoy
Client:-
YearSpring 2015

The current UNL pull sled that the Quarter Scale team uses does not give results consistent with the pulling sled used in competition. Our goal is to determine what is causing the problem and redesign the issue component to better represent the competition sled. This includes comparing previous competition pull profiles and observing where the current sled’s profiles vary. After completing this, we will go forth with the information and deduce what a cause of the issue may be. When that is done, we will make the adjustments and come up with a final design that could be implemented depending upon the amount of time allotted to complete the project.TOP


Quarter Scale Tractor IVT Transmission

Quarter Scale Tractor IVT TransmissionTeam Members: Jake Walker (AGEN, Morse Bluff, NE), Caleb Lindhorst (AGEN, Lindsay, NE), Robert Olsen (AGEN, Lincoln, NE), Luke Prosser (AGEN, Crawford, NE)
Faculty Consultant:Dr. Roger Hoy
Client:-
YearSpring 2015

Our project is to design and build an Infinitely Variable Transmission (IVT) for use in the Quarter Scale Tractor for the ASABE student design competition.TOP


Improved Draper Head

Improved Draper HeadTeam Members: Dylan Smith (AGEN, Eddyville, NE), Nick Christensen (AGEN, Beatrice, NE), Tyler Manning (AGEN, Fairmont, NE), Kevin Pulec (AGEN, Pleasant Dale, NE)
Faculty Consultant:Dr. Joe Luck
Client:-
YearSpring 2015

Our senior design project through CLAAS in Omaha is to make the Draper head of a combine self-adjusting, improving the previous head that had to be changed by removing and replacing hardware.TOP


CLAAS Max-Flo Header

CLAAS Max-Flo HeaderTeam Members: Wyatt Stubbs (AGEN, Elm Creek, NE), Shane Manning (AGEN, Fairmont, NE), Shane Forney (AGEN, Lincoln, NE), Luke Stevens (AGEN, Fordyce, NE)
Faculty Consultant:Dr. Joe Luck and Dr. John Gilley
Client:-
YearSpring 2014

For our project, CLAAS gave us a task to improve the design of a guidance wheel on their MAX-FLO combine headers. In the current design, two wood blocks must be used under the wheels while lowering the head –to provide enough leverage to overcome the force from a single acting hydraulic cylinder. Once the force is over come a pin is locked under the frame, and it can then be rotated toward the back of the header where it is placed on a trailer when it needs to be transported. Our goal is to create a design allowing a person to place the guidance wheel into the transport position easily. There are several different approaches to accomplish it: by changing the geometry, creating a mechanical advantage for the user, or using a hydraulic approach. Special thanks to to Jason Benes from CLAAS in Omaha as our contact.TOP


UNL Quarter Scale Tractor

UNL Quarter Scale TractorTeam Members: Aaron Vancura (AGEN, Elyria, NE), Kye Kurkowski (AGEN, Grant, NE), Zach Wacker (AGEN, Wayne, NE), Joe Timmons (AGEN, Scotia, NE)
Faculty Consultant:Dr. Joe Luck
Client:-
YearSpring 2014

Our project is to design, build, and test a ¼ Scale Tractor that is capable of winning the International Quarter Scale Competition in May. The tractor will be judged by industry experts on maneuverability, serviceability, safety, testing and development, maneuverability, noise level, and pulling performance.TOP


Inter-Row Ripper

Inter-Row RipperTeam Members: Joshua Tomjack (AGEN, Ewing, NE), Jayk Wilson (AGEN, Austin, TX), Keith Prothman (AGEN, Albion, NE), Mark Hilderbrand (AGEN, Gothenburg, NE)
Faculty Consultant:Dr. Paul Jasa
Client:-
YearSpring 2014

The world of agriculture needs to gain efficiency in every new design. Sometimes this requires improving efficiency on existing design. In the past a shear bolt was used on inter-row rippers to protect against any in field obstructions causing damage to the machine. Today, replacing shear bolts slows efficiency. Out client, Orthman Manufacturing, currently has a shear bolt design for an inter-row ripper and wants to improve their product line with something more efficient and effective. The auto-rest inter-row ripper is a design to allow for high speed, high efficiently subsoiling. We are designing a row unit that will allow for the subsoiler to het obstacles and pass them without having the producer stop the operation and get out of the cab to change shear bolts. The auto-rest is accomplished using a closed hydraulic circuit and allows for the shank of the subsoiler to release completely out of the ground to pass the obstruction and then reset back to its original position using hydraulic power. Investigation and research into soil variability and forces, competitor design, geometric constraints, and cost analysis provided the basic framework for design constraints. Exploration and solution of optimal geometry, impulse and momentum, cylinder force balance, and finite elements analysis, allow for prototype design to be manufactured and tested. Our design will improve field efficiency and allow the producer to cover more acres with less labor and therefore give more time to those that produce our world’s food. Our design will be an agriculture row unit on a show stand.TOP


Quarter Scale Tractor

Quarter Scale TractorTeam Members: Austin Zimmerman (AGEN, Beatrice, NE), Noel Menard (AGEN, Savannah, MO)
Faculty Consultant:Dr. Roger Hoy
Client:American Society of Agriculture and Biological Engineers (ASABE)
YearSpring 2013

In the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, an annual student competition is to design and compete with a quarter scale sized tractor that meets their rules and guidelines. In the early part of summer our team will travel to Peoria, IL to compete with our tractor against several different universities in several different competitions. We will compete in a tractor pull, maneuverability course, design judging, manufacturability judging, serviceability judging, safety, ergonomics judging, a written report, and an oral presentation. To compete successfully, we must design an efficient tractor that maintains a high engine to wheel torque output. To ensure this, our pre-competition preparation is vital; we must do sufficient testing on our tractor prior to competing with it. Our project includes management duties, including fundraising and money management, team management and responsibility disbursement, and other department fulfillments.TOP


Fountain Wars

Fountain WarsTeam Members: Adam Emanuel (AGEN, North Bend, NE), Sarah Gardels (BSEN, Columbus, NE)
Faculty Consultant:Dr. Dean Eisenhauer and Dr. Derek Heeren
Client:American Society of Agriculture and Biological Engineers (ASABE) -Alan Boldt
YearSpring 2013

Fountain Wars is a student design competition sponsored by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE). The fountain we design must be capable of accomplishing the two technical tasks for this year’s competition. The first task is to keep a standard racquetball in motion for 3 minutes. The racquetball must travel at least 6 feet vertically and 4 feet horizontally from its original placement point during its travel. The course must also allow the racquetball to have one free fall of at least 3 feet. The second task involves elevating a 16 pound bowling ball to a release point where the ball can then roll to strike bowling pins. Energy used to move both balls must originate from a pump system. All fountain components must fit within the provided reservoir which is approximately 6 feet in diameter with 15 inch high walls. All materials provided by the team including parts, equipment, and tools must fit into 5 cases. Each case must have the sum of linear dimensions less than 62 inches and weigh less than 44 pounds including the case and all packing. Teams are given 120 minutes to assemble their design once at competition.TOP


Post Hole Digger

Post Hole DiggerTeam Members: Ian Schuster (Freshman, AGEN, Lincoln, NE), Wesley Schaardt (AGEN, Steinaver, NE), David Lindquist (AGEN, Papillion, NE), Travis Wieser (AGEN, Columbus, NE)
Faculty Consultant:Dr. Michael Kocher
Client:Duane and Sam Brockman
YearSpring 2012

The clients presented a novel idea that would make inserting fence posts faster, easier, and more efficient, while also improving the sustainability of the post material through the use of recycled material in the construction of the post. In order to design a post out of “green” material, the forces applied to the post during rapid installation need to be determined. There are currently no standards available for design of posts made of recycled material for rapid installation. The objective of this project was to design a mechanism for testing and to write a standard for determining the forces applied to a test specimen resembling a post during rapid installation into the ground.TOP


Water Pumping Facilities Lab Design

Water Pumping Facilities Lab DesignTeam Members: Cameron Cunning (AGEN, Lincoln, NE), Becky Dornbierer (AGEN, Deshler, NE)
Faculty Consultant:Dr. Dean Eisenhauer
Client:Alan Boldt, Biological Systems Engineering, UNL
YearSpring 2012

The design group was tasked with selecting new pumps for a teaching lab for the purpose of demonstrating pumping fundamentals, such as in-series and in-parallel operation. Additionally, a variable speed drive was installed for demonstrating the pumping affinity laws, and computer control of the system was implemented.TOP


Quarter-Scale Tractor

Quarter-Scale TractorTeam Members: Kurtis Charling (AGEN, Oakland, NE), Jared Speichinger (AGEN, Malmo, NE)
Faculty Consultant:Dr. Roger Hoy and Dr. Deepak Keshwani
Client:American Society of Agriculture and Biological Engineers
YearSpring 2012

The team’s objective was to design a quarter-scale tractor weighing no more than 800 pounds. The tractor must be powered by a 31-hp Briggs and Stratton Internal Combustion engine. The design must satisfy a set of rules laid out by ASABE for its annual Quarter-Scale Tractor competition. The tractor will be place in a pulling competition, where it will have to pull 1000 and 1500 pounds at two different hitch heights. The tractor will be judged on multiple criteria including, but not limited to, puling amount, safety, marketability, manufacturability, and maneuverability.TOP


Design for the 2008 Quarter-scale Tractor

Design for the 2008 Quarter-scale TractorTeam Members: Grant Janousek (AGEN, Leigh, NE), Mark Tieszen (ME, Canistota, SD), Will Corman (AGEN, Hardy, NE)
Faculty Consultant:Dr. Roger Hoy
Client:American Society of Agriculture and Biological Engineers
YearSpring 2008

Team members spent the fall semester on the conceptual design of the tractor. The goal was to have a fully designed tractor on paper before any construction began. The spring semester involved the actual construction of a garden-sized pulling tractor. ASABE sponsors an international design competition held in Peoria, IL, in which the tractor team competes against teams from other universities. This competition gives members a chance to incorporate their engineering skills into practical design experience. It also allows members to learn machining and fabricating skills as they construct their design. The experience from the Quarter-scale Tractor Design Competition is invaluable as members move into the engineering workplace.TOP


Economic Feasibility of Zein Extraction from Ethanol DDGS

Economic Feasibility of Zein Extraction from Ethanol DDGSTeam Members: Peter Larson (BSEN, Sioux Falls, SD), Ben Carlson (AGEN, Genoa, NE), Laura Podany (BSEN, Clarkson, NE), Isaac Mortensen (AGEN, Curtis, NE)
Faculty Consultant:Dr. Curt Weller, Dr. Yiqi Yang
Client:Jake Johnson, UNL OTD, Dr. Yiqi Yang
YearSpring 2008

Dry mill ethanol production leaves a by-product called Dry Distillers Grains with Solubles (DDGS). Zein, a protein in corn, is left in the DDGS. There are many applications for zein—from food coatings and films, to fibers—with the added bonus that zein is a natural and biodegradable alternative to synthetic materials. Removing the zein from DDGS, could increase the supply of this protein available for commercial uses. Dr. Yiqi Yang has developed an acidic extraction method of zein from DDGS. The project of this team was to scale up Dr. Yang’s process into a commercial-sized operation.TOP


Maximization of Tire Traction

Maximization of Tire TractionTeam Members: Max Porter (AGEN, Columbus, NE), Zach Alger (AGEN, Ravenna,OH), Brad Salber (AGEN, Albion, NE)
Faculty Consultant:Dr. Roger Hoy
Client:Bart Coffman, UNL Quarter-scale Tractor Team
YearSpring 2007

This team worked with the Quarter-scale tractor team to help achieve optimal traction from the tires to aid in competition. Research was done by analyzing the tire cut that provided the highest traction on a given track condition. Design members recorded the pulling force and the wheel slip of each tire design under a variety of track conditions, leading to a recommendation for the team.TOP


Biosecure Livestock Trailer

Biosecure Livestock TrailerTeam Members: Christina Knapp (AGEN, Fremont, NE), Dan LeMaistre (BSEN, Round Rock, TX), Jason Schafer (AGEN, Half Moon Bay, CA)
Faculty Consultant:Dr. Richard Stowell
Client:Dr. Stephen Pohl, Agricultural Engineer, Brookings, SD
YearSpring 2007

The goal of this project was to design a trailer to carry breed-stock swine between locations without the threat of infection. The trailer incorporates cleanable surfaces, a waste collection system, pressure and moisture controls, stable footing surface, and heating and cooling capabilities to keep the swine healthy and disease-free during transit in all seasons.TOP


Design of the 2006 Quarter-scale Tractor

 Design of the 2006 Quarter-scale TractorTeam Members: Chris Junck (AGEN, Carroll, NE), Bart Coffman (AGEN, Hinton, IA), Kevin Tacke (AGEN, Greencreek, ID)
Faculty Consultant: Dr. Leonard Bashford
Client: American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, MI
YearSpring 2006

The 2006 Quarter-scale Tractor team developed and implemented a tractor design to compete in pulling competitions. The tractor includes a forward operating station, a joystick steering system, a selectable 2- or 4-wheel drive, and a continuously variable transmission. The design is evaluated in the context of producing 3,000 units and had a per-unit-cost of $3,200.TOP


Throttle Bushing Protector for a Vertical Turbine Pump

 Throttle Bushing Protector for a Vertical Turbine Pump Team Members: Isaiah LaRue (AGEN, Omaha, NE) and Clayton Bramble (AGEN, Hastings, NE)
Faculty Consultant: Dr. Mike Kocher and Dr. Derrel Martin
Client: Mid-America Pump and Supply, Tom Bramble, President
YearSpring 2006

Vertical turbine pumps in newly developed wells are subject to excessive wear due to increased sand abrasion and damage in the throttle bushing. The objective of this design was to develop a method to deliver and maintain lubricant in a way that will displace the abrasive sand, while maintaining unrestricted water flow. The solution provides a spring-loaded lubricant reservoir that provides adequate lubrication over approximately 600 hours of operation.TOP


Pull Behind Scraper Hydraulic System Revision

 Pull Behind Scraper Hydraulic System RevisionTeam Members: Brandon Wyant (AGEN, Kearney, NE), Austin Story (AGEN, Gallitin, MO), Tyler Saatmann (AGEN, Ohiowa, NE)
Faculty Consultant: Dr. Mike Kocher
Client: Fasse Valves, Brandon Luke, Vice-President, Engineering
YearSpring 2006

A Nebraska-based, land-leveling company that uses pull behind box scrapers was having difficulty with its box scrapers. The heavy scrapers and the irregular terrain where the equipment is operated, created a very “rough” ride for the operator and damage to the hitch pin. The design objectives were to reduce the “rough” ride and to limit damage to the hitch pin. These objectives were accomplished by adding hydraulic accumulators to the existing hydraulic lift cylinders on the scraper, creating a spring and shock affect which helps smooth the ride and decrease the impact loads on the hitch pin.TOP


Insecticide Applicator for Pronghorn Antelope

 Insecticide Applicator for Pronghorn AntelopeTeam Members: Chris Artz (BSEN, Hastings, NE), Loran Zumbrunn (AGEN, Humphrey, NE), Shannon Bates (AGEN, Ogallala, NE)
Faculty Consultant: Dr. Rick Stowell
Client: Lee G. Simmons Conservation Park & Wildlife Safari, Gary Petitt, Superintendent
YearSpring 2006

Pronghorn Antelope are especially susceptible to diseases carried by mosquitoes and flies. In working with the Lee G. Simmons Conservation Park & Wildlife Safari, the team’s objective was to design a system to apply insecticide to pronghorn antelope daily, while protecting the applicator from the bison that also graze in the area. The design implements a 4-poster roller feeder surrounded by a circle of posts to keep the bison out while allowing the pronghorn to enter and feed at their leisure.TOP


Portable Two-wheel Linear

 Portable Two-wheel LinearTeam Members: Jonathon Piening (AGEN, Milford, NE) and Brett Reinboth (AGEN, North Platte, NE)
Faculty Consultant: Dr. David Jones
Client: Jake LaRue, P.E., Valmont Irrigation
YearSpring 2005

The purpose of this project was to adapt a single span of a Valley Irrigation two-wheel linear irrigation unit to make it transportable on local roadways. The design included steering modifications for both the front and rear axles of the unit. The benefit of these modification allows a farmer to irrigate multiple fields with the same unit, thereby reducing costs and increasing productivity.TOP


Design of a ¼ Scale Pulling Tractor

 Design of a ¼ Scale Pulling TractorTeam Members: William Naber (AGEN, Kearney, NE), Adam Huttenmaier (AGEN, Beatrice, NE), Scott Albrecht (AGEN, Thurston, NE) and Jason Podany (AGEN, Clarkson, NE)
Faculty Consultant: Dr. Leonard Bashford
Client: ASABE 2005 Competition Design Guidelines
YearSpring 2005

The project objective was to design a tractor to compete in the annual ASABE ¼ Scale Tractor Design Competition. The design incorporated performance, ergonomics, manufacturability, and safety to fulfill the requirements of a hypothetical company with the ability to produce 3,000 tractors a year for recreational pullers and specialty markets.TOP


Flywheel Reverser for a Big Square Baler

 Flywheel Reverser for a Big Square BalerTeam Members: Spencer Vorderstrasse (AGEN, Hebron, NE), Garrett Pommeranz (AGEN, Waterville, MN), and Austin Lammers (AGEN, Hartington, NE)
Faculty Consultant: Dr. Leonard Bashford
Client: Harvest Tec, Hudson, WI
YearSpring 2005

The goal of this project was to design a system to easily remove plugged or jammed hay in a baler. The system eliminated the need for the operator to manually reverse the flywheel using a mechanical device. This improves operator comfort and lessens down time by making the operation more efficient, and contributes to operator safety by eliminating the need for the operator to come into physical contact with the baler.TOP


Portable Cattle Euthanization Station

 Portable Cattle Euthanization StationTeam Members: Aaron Krafka (AGEN, Bellwood, NE), Curtis Hillen (AGEN, Leigh, NE), Jeremy Becker (AGEN, Scottsbluff, NE)
Faculty Consultant: Dr. Chris Henry
Client: Dr. Larry Williams, Nebraska State Veterinarian
YearSpring 2004

One of the most sensitive agricultural issues deals with disease in beef cattle. The discovery of a single cow with Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (Mad Cow Disease) has caused media frenzies worldwide and devastated agricultural economies. The United States Department of Agriculture, along with the Nebraska State Veterinarian and the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, has a need to develop the ability to quickly isolate and depopulate large herds of cattle should an outbreak of disease occur. A mobile-station system would handle the euthanization of the cattle and loading the carcass into a truck for transport to a disposal site. The design team produced drawings for such a device.TOP


Precision Corner Steering Drive Unit Design

 Precision Corner Steering Drive Unit DesignTeam Members: Kyle Hilgenfeld (pictured: ME, Stella, NE), Ivan Leaders (AGEN, Omaha, NE), Justin Millhouse (ME, Lincoln, NE)
Faculty Consultant: Dr. George Schade
Client: Dale Christensen, Senior Lead Design Engineer, Valmont Industries, Inc
YearSpring 2004

Reoccurring failures in the Valley precision corner drive power-steering system prompted significant engineering analysis and redesign. The team developed complete failure analysis of the gear and produced a redesign of the system. The design team consisted of students from both agricultural and mechanical engineering.TOP