IPF helps advance student engineers 

Design Day logo with IPF logo

Anthony Yuhasz

June 2, 2020

Infrastructure Planning and Facilities once again sponsored several student teams, providing them access to our expertise, equipment and resources in completing their capstone projects for MSU’s College of Engineering Spring 2020 Design Day

The students gained real-world experience by helping solve technical challenges and making recommendations that will have a positive effect on IPF operations and the campus community. 

The spring 2020 semester student capstone projects included: 

  • Mobilize the Maintenance Stockroom – a sponsorship between IPF Materials and Logistics and Building Services. The AESC 410/SCM 472 team explored ways to improve the efficiency of getting materials to IPF tradespeople at worksites. Their recommendation included implementation of a student-delivery model that will leverage current mobile device technology for parts ordering, preparation and transport. 

aerial view of msu campus

  • Carbon Sequestration and Carrying Capacity of MSU Trees – a sponsorship with IPF Sustainability. The AESC 410/SCM 472 team collected data and designed a system that will allow IPF Landscape Services to manage the carbon sequestration capacity and biodiversity of the campus arboretum using a tree scoring system. They also mapped canopy coverage, identifying potential areas where new trees can be planted. 

  • Reduction in Consumption of Plastic Bags – a sponsorship with the MSU Recycling Center. The ME 481 team worked towards a goal of standardizing a new system to reduce the waste of plastic bags and increase the efficiency of the material collection process throughout campus. 

  • Pallet Recycling Initiative – a sponsorship with the MSU Recycling Center. The ME 481 team identified safe, cost-effective and efficient ways to disassemble and repurpose unusable pallets, diverting them from the landfill. 


graphic showing the lifecycle of a pallet


photo of the WHIZ robotic vacuum in action

  • Robotics Workforce Analysis – a sponsorship with IPF Custodial Services. The AESC 410/SCM 472 team analyzed current robotics use in IPF Custodial Services and provided a framework for future integration that will help mitigate the high turnover rate in staff and aid in deploying available staff to the most essential tasks. 

  • Food Waste Collection Cart Redesign – a sponsorship with the MSU Recycling Center. The ME 481 team continued this multi-semester project to identify food-safe, anti-stick coatings that can be applied to food waste collection bins, allowing them to be emptied more efficiently and with reduced resources. 

  • Intelligent Defense System (IDS) – a sponsorship between MSU Bikes and the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities. The ECE 480 team continued this multi-semester project to create a system to alert bicyclists to potential dangers from vehicles. This semester's team created a distance sensor using light to reflect the area around a bike that is lightweight, portable and inexpensive.  
Working collaboratively with students on their research/capstone projects helps us fulfill MSU’s land grant mission of solving tomorrow's problems with today's resources. Through these solutions we provide real world experience for our Spartans, and IPF benefits from new ideas and the satisfaction of instilling knowledge.
Sean Barton, MSU Recycling Center