Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) Projects

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This is a collection of papers written for the M.Eng. (Master of Engineering) professional degree.


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Now showing 1 - 10 of 131
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    Recombineering for Precise Genome Editing in Shewanella oneidensis
    Li, Linda (2022-05-17)
    With the rapid growth in renewable energy systems to fulfill the increasing global electricity demand, we must establish methods for low-cost and large-scale electrical energy storage. The key to solving our energy storage problems may lie in biological systems, and we could use these systems to our advantage. One such system of interest is the extracellular electron transfer process in Shewanella oneidensis, which could potentially be used for electrosynthesis and allow for electrical energy to be converted and stored as microbial fuel cells. Genetically engineering microbes such as S. oneidensis may help address the lack of energy storage solutions, and we can study and engineer these systems using molecular and synthetic biology tools. This paper explores a method that allows us to knock out genes quickly and precisely using recombination-mediated genetic engineering, or recombineering, as well as discusses possible areas for future research in S. oneidensis.
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    Adapting a CRISPR/Cas9 System to Study Electron Uptake in Shewanella oneidensis: Experimental Analysis and Proposals for Future Study
    Jaidka, Sonia (2020-06-01)
    Though renewable energy production technologies have been improving over the last decade, energy storage technologies are still not up to par, hindering the widespread shift away from harmful fossil-based fuels. Biological processes like electron uptake can be repurposed for energy storage through rewired carbon fixation. One organism of interest for this task is Shewanella oneidensis, but the molecular mechanisms of its electron uptake pathway are not fully characterized or understood, and it lacks a robust genetic toolkit to enable the full illumination of its potential. This paper explores a system capable of generating single-gene knockouts quickly and precisely in S. oneidensis by using single-stranded DNA oligonucleotide recombineering coupled with CRISPR/Cas9 counterselection. This paper also explores future possibilities involving the scaling up of this system to multiple genes and the addition of this system to a genetic toolkit for S. oneidensis.
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    Technical and Economic Potential of Demand Response
    Mitchell, Grace (2017-11-22)
    DNV GL, an international company that offers engineering consulting services, was approached by three utility companies in New York: New York State Electric & Gas, Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation, and National Grid plc, to complete an analysis titled “New York Technical Potential Evaluation Study.” DNV GL approached the Anderson lab group to complete sections of the study, which spans the years of 2017 to 2027. The analysis includes the technical and economic potential of energy conservation measures that have been considered promising for New York: energy efficiency technologies, renewable energy, and Demand Response programs. This Design Project includes only the results of the analysis responsible for the technical and economic potential of the DR programs. For each utility, commercial programs are economically viable for every year. Residential programs had varying results across the three utilities, and should only be implemented going forward with consideration of recommended improvements.
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    A Comparison of Economic Dispatch Simulations with Differing Stochastic Wind Power Models
    Halloran, Evan (2019-12-10)
    With the threats of climate change, increased penetration of renewable energy on the electricity grid is a crucial method to reduce fossil fuel emissions. One of the main issues with renewable energy sources, such as wind, is that they produce intermittent power. There are many statistical distributions that are used to represent wind speed in a given location. These distributions can be used to develop stochastic models of wind power in a power flow simulation. This paper seeks to develop a framework for generating stochastic models from four wind speed distributions and begin to understand the effects of using a certain model in an electricity grid power flow simulation. Results demonstrate that the choice of stochastic wind model can have a noteworthy impact on the amount of additional traditional generation required in the system, and therefore great effort must be made to ensure that any model used is an accurate representation of the wind resources in the study area.
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    Li, Kevin (2018-12-08)
    In recent years, hydrogels have found applications in a number of fields. One area where hydrogels have been extremely influential is biomedical applications. Hydrogels can be utilized in cell and drug delivery systems, tissue engineering matrices, and as absorbers of toxins. Hollow-structure hydrogels are especially attractive in drug delivery applications due to their faster diffusion dynamics and the capability to encapsulate greater amounts of drugs. Hydrogels can also be composed of DNA and due to the biological origin of DNA, these hydrogels are biocompatible and biodegradable, an aspect that can be challenging for synthetic hydrogels. In this work, we fabricated hollow-structure DNA hydrogels through electrospray ionization in combination with a bath solution containing bicine and aluminum ions (Al3+). We then optimized the DNA concentration and bath solution to produce hollow-structure hydrogels with minimal shape deformation. Afterwards, we fabricated hollow-structure DNA hydrogels that contained particles of interest and hollow-structure hydrogels composed of predominately carbon nanotubes. Lastly, we attempted to encapsulate particles of interest through the usage of a coaxial needle. The results from this work provide a preliminary investigation into the fabrication of hollow-structure DNA hydrogels and motivation for further study into hollow-structure DNA hydrogels.
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    The Effects of Organic Fertilizer and Vermicompost Extract on Baby Leaf Spinach in a Hydroponic System
    Powers, Meghan (2018)
    Controlled environment agriculture is becoming increasingly important in a world where climate change has made conventional farming uncertain. Hydroponic agriculture is an attractive option due to its efficient use of nutrients and water, but is still not quite sustainable. Organic hydroponics is a possible solution to this barrier. This experiment tested the effectiveness of organic fertilizer with and without vermicompost extract (VCE) on hydroponic spinach production when compared to a conventional fertilizer control. It was hypothesized that the vermicompost would promote growth of a microbial community, including nitrifying bacteria, that would be beneficial to plant growth. Growth chamber experiments using hydroponic ponds were conducted over three consecutive harvests. Yields increased over time in organic treatments with vermicompost extract, and the Organic + 10% VCE treatment was comparable to the control by the third harvest. The Organic + 5% VCE treatment had a similar positive trend over time but overall had lower yields than the control. Organic treatments without the vermicompost additive had significantly lower yields than the control throughout the experiment. Nitrogen analysis of the nutrient solution, temporal pH data, and rhizobiome microbial assays indicated the presence of a beneficial nitrifying community in organic treatments with the vermicompost extract. These findings show that vermicompost extract may help to make organic hydroponics a viable industry through encouraging the development of a beneficial microbial community in the system.
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    Combining Anaerobic Digestion and Hydrothermal Liquefaction in the Conversion of Dairy Waste into Energy: A centralized Case study for New York State
    This report examined energy recovery in the context of a centralized dairy bio-energy system. The system consists of a series of anaerobic digestion (AD) and hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) processes to treat dairy manure from New York State farms. The centralization of such an energy system was evaluated using geographic information systems. The spatial analysis showed that centralization was key in optimizing transportation logistics and benefiting from economies of scale. The feasibility of the bioenergy system was assessed by performing a techno-economic analysis. It has been shown that the feasibility depends on many factors, with system scale being the most determinant factor. The integrated AD/HTL system diversifies the bio-product slate, expanding the revenue streams. Other variables such as electricity selling price and government support in forms of tax incentives and subsidies also greatly impact the economics of the project.
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    Wiehle South Stream Restoration
    Chan, Cynthia; Duvall, Philip; Naidu, Tanvi; Afzal, Cameron; Kim, Ji Young; Zarecor, Mike; Rolband, Michael (2018-05)
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    Quantifying Escherichia coli Cross-Contamination Rates among Broccoli, Conveyer Belt and Glove
    Datta, Ashim; Wu, Yuezhi; Springer, Lindsay (2018-05-10)
    Our study quantifies the amount of E. coli transfer among broccoli, conveyer belt and glove material. The paper also examines contacting surface area between conveyer belt and broccoli when broccoli is naturally laying on flat polyester conveyer belt. We used GPF labeled E. coli (ATCC 25922) to make our inoculum in substitute of pathogenic E. coli. All inoculum used was at around CFU/ml. The mean E. coli transfer rate between broccoli and conveyer belt are 0.01% (E. coli transferred from broccoli to conveyer belt) and 0.2% (E. coli transferred from conveyer belt to broccoli). The mean E. coli transfer rate between broccoli and glove are 0.01% (E. coli transferred from both broccoli stem and crown to glove), 3% (E. coli transferred from glove to broccoli stem) and 10% (E. coli transferred from glove to broccoli crown). The mean contacting area of broccoli with conveyer belt is 3 per 25g broccoli on 100 conveyer belt. This is the first study of E. coli transfer rate between broccoli and various surfaces that broccoli would likely to encounter in a small farm harvesting setting. The results provide step stones for constructing quantitative food risk analysis model for broccoli harvest.
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    Effects of seeding density and cultivar on productivity of baby spinach grown hydroponically in deep water culture systems
    Janeczko, Daniel (N/A, 2017-01-01)
    Three spinach cultivars, Carmel, Space, and Seaside (F1), were evaluated in regards to their suitability for Deep Water Culture (DWC) hydroponic production according to the procedure presented in Cornell Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) Baby Spinach Handbook. Carmel consistently had the highest sprout count and produced the highest fresh weight (FW) among the three cultivars. Space performed moderately well; more data is needed for statistical robustness and verification under more typical higher-light conditions. With respect to Carmel, seeding fewer cells, but at a higher reduced sprouting rate and yield, but not severely. For all three cultivars, pericarps (seed coats getting stuck on cotyledons time of harvest) found in manually harvested baby spinach of marketable size were rare.