Project 1 (Crawfish Robotic Arm Harvester): Work involves design, fabricating, and testing new crawfish traps in LSU AgCenter’s Benhur Research Station. This project also involves field-testing of crawfish traps. Furthermore, student will assist LSU/LSU AgCenter faculty on the development and testing of a robotic arm for crawfish harvesting. Expertise on robotics is preferred, but is not mandatory. We have an in-house robotic expert faculty member who will oversee the automation aspects of the project. Experience or ability to write technical articles and journal articles will be considered favorable. Students with good mechanical aptitude and machine shop/fabrication experience will be given special consideration. A driver’s license is also required.
Please click on the video link below to assess the scope and potential of the project.
Project 2 (Total Nitrogen Treatment): Current wastewater treatment for ammonia involves biological nitrification, a two-step process carried out by two autotrophic chemolithotrophic microorganisms. However, the end product is nitrate, which has been known to cause eutrophication and pollution problems in the receiving waterbodies. This project focuses on incorporating a secondary anaerobic denitrification process in the treatment train to covert the nitrate to inert nitrogen gas. The denitrification step is greatly benefitted by the use of solid carbon (such as bioplastics, Poly Hydroxyalkanoates or PHA’s, wood pellets, etc.) as a carbon source for the microbes. This project involves experimental testing on PHA pellets blended with several low cost biomass (such as sawdust and rice hulls). Student is expected to work with pelletmills and plastic extruders to produce the needed blends. BAE faculty and staff will provide all necessary training. Experimental testing may be at LSU or at a local wastewater treatment company in Baton Rouge. A driver’s license and machine shop skills are preferred.
Students with engineering background will be preferred.
Selected students will receive tuition waiver and a graduate assistantship at LSU. More details are available at: https://www.lsu.edu/graduateschool/funding/assistantships.php
Due to impending deadlines, interested applicants are encouraged to seek additional feedback from Dr. Chandra Theegala before applying to LSU BAE. Students seeking feedback should email: resume, a short statement indicating why you think you can/wish to undertake the work, and names of two or three references (who can vouch for your dedication, reliability, and if applicable any mechanical aptitude). All email correspondence should be addressed to:
Chandra S. Theegala, Ph.D., P.E.
Scott & Ruth Bergeron Professor
Louisiana State University & LSU AgCenter
Biological and Agricultural Engineering
161 EB Doran Bldg.
Baton Rouge, LA 70803