The graduate and undergraduate research collections share, archive and preserve research from University of Southern Indiana students. Collections include theses, and dissertations, in addition to capstone and other specialized research and presentation topics.


If you have questions about items in these collections, or are a faculty member who would like to provide students in your program an opportunity to showcase their research, please contact the Scholarly Communication Unit scholcomm@usi.edu with questions about items in these collections

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Sub-communities within this community

Recent Submissions

  • Prevalence and Intensity of Occupational Stress Sources and Manifestations in Southwestern Indiana Teachers

    White, Erin
    Occupational stress for teachers has created an environment where the prevalence and intensity of teacher stress sources and manifestations of depression, anxiety, and burnout have become a focus in research. While researchers have oftentimes identified specific areas of concern, a gap exists in research where similar geographical regions and district groups are studied and analyzed together. Researchers from peer-reviewed journal articles have presented various sources of stress that exhibit themselves in internal or external forms. These stressors can cause physical, behavioral, and mental symptoms in educators. This research study used the Teacher Stress Inventory (TSI) and demographic survey to collect data from 183 teachers in Southwestern Indiana. This data was collected and analyzed to identify the total stress score, prevalent sources, manifestations, and correlations between demographics and the TSI results. The data revealed that only gender was a predictor of TSI total stress scores, prevalent stress sources, and manifestations. The data also identified higher than average prevalent stress sources from work-related stressors and time management, as well as higher than average manifestations in emotional and fatigue manifestations. The impact of this research should be used to help districts identify areas of stress to support teacher retention, reduce stress, and promote a healthy work environment in Southwestern Indiana educational leaders.
  • An Exploration of the Relationship Between a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist’s Level of Self-efficacy to Serve as a Preceptor and Prior Preceptor Training.

    Young, Beth
    A substantial amount of research has identified the barriers and limitations to serving as a dietetic preceptor and the specific training and educational needs. However, there is limited research on how effective these preceptor training programs are in improving the self-efficacy of RD/RDN's skills and knowledge for serving as a preceptor. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between a registered dietitian’s (RD/RDN’s) level of self-efficacy to competently serve as a preceptor and the amount and type of preceptor training. The sample population (N = 145) consisted of RD/RDN’s who currently serve or have ever served as a preceptor. Participants were recruited through the Nutrition and Dietetic Educators and Preceptors, Indiana Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics membership, and through social media groups on Facebook and Twitter, whose memberships consisted of dietitians that may have served as dietetic preceptors. A web-based survey consisting of demographic questions and a 13-item Preceptor Self-Efficacy Questionnaire was distributed using Qualtrics. Findings indicated a statistical difference in self-efficacy scores between preceptors that had completed the ACEND preceptor training versus those that did not. Most participants felt that the ACEND training was moderately effective at preparing them for the preceptor role. Participants reported that the most beneficial topics in the ACEND training included preceptor roles and responsibilities, evaluation of students, managing student objectives/expectations, teaching strategies, and learning styles. Participants reported the highest levels of self-efficacy in the construct of communication skills, the next highest was management skills, and the lowest levels of self-efficacy were reported for teaching/mentoring skills. The specific skills with lower levels of self-efficacy that were identified in each construct should be incorporated into future preceptor training programs to aid in improving a preceptor’s level of self-efficacy. These skills include the ability to provide verbal feedback, assist interns with problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, conflict management, the ability to assess an intern’s learning needs, and, lastly, the ability to adapt their teaching to meet an intern’s learning style. Based on the literature review and the findings from this study, it would be beneficial for the dietetics profession to have a standardized curriculum for preceptor training that provides a minimum or baseline level of skills and knowledge taught to preceptors.
  • Major Shaming in Undergraduate Students

    Dunn, Cara
    Undergraduate college students face stigmas when selecting a college major. These stigmas stem from stereotypes about each major which leads to shaming, a cycle that is identified and discussed in this research. Smith's (2007) Stigma Theory and Meisenbach’s (2010) Stigma Management Communication were used to examine what the stigmas surrounding certain college majors are and how these ideologies impact students. This research specifically focused on the stigma communication cycle of stereotyping, spreading stigmas, and shaming. Undergraduate students in an introductory communication course were asked to complete a Qualtrics survey and focus group where they explained their college decisions and how they have encountered major stigmas. Research was analyzed using thematic analysis and a qualitative examination of findings followed. Future research regarding this thesis should identify additional resources for educators to overcome the stigma cycle in university culture.
  • Run for Your Life: An Autoethnography

    Tharp, Kyle
    This thesis is an autoethnographic analysis of congestive heart failure and recovery. Everyone gets sick, and sickness becomes a central part of the ill person’s identity. Illness is a fundamental part of being human. Advancements in medical techniques and technology allow more and more people, people who would have otherwise been dead or unable to function, to enjoy living in the world of the healthy, even if their health may be fleeting or fragile (Frank, 1995). Congestive heart failure and severe cardiomyopathy are such illnesses and are a perfect ground for a narrative approach to medicine due to their fluctuation between periods of clinical stability and exacerbation (Volpe & Testa, 2019). Arthur Frank (1995) establishes the narrative genre of automythology as a medical journey and highlights the importance of storytelling in medicine, develops the idea of the body as a text - and that of the sick body as a story to be told in order to heal - and that the story of the sick is worth telling. Medicine is organized and communicated through storytelling events (Hunter, 1991) and through medical narrative, humans can come to better understand themselves, their illness, each other, and the world around them (Cousins, 1979). Volpe and Testa (2019) state that storytelling is a pivotal tool for healing in many cardiovascular conditions such as heart failure and cardiomyopathy (2019). Through trials and tribulations, death and eventual rebirth, a transformation can occur that provides a new approach to living. Through an automythology composed of journals, lived experiences, stories, and analysis applied to the structure of Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey, I utilize the healing power of narrative. Through the reclamation of my identity as a runner, I come to better understand my own condition and journey while assisting others on theirs.
  • Design and Implementation of an Automatic Let-Down System for an Archery Draw Board

    Harris, Ross
    The objective of this project was to design, test, and implement an improved archery draw board system. An archery draw board is a device that allows the user to draw and analyze characteristics of a compound bow. The bow is placed in the device and a winch mechanism is used to draw the bow string for analysis of bow parameters such as cam alignment, cam timing, and draw weight. Analysis of these parameters can allow the user to tune the performance of the bow. A new feature, the Automatic Let-Down System, was designed, tested, and implemented to achieve this goal. The design objectives for the Automatic Let-Down System were to improve the ease of use, speed, and safety of the draw board. The system allows the bow string to safely come to rest from full draw at a reduced speed without manipulation by the user. This improves upon current draw board designs that require the user to manually turn the handle of the winch to return the bow to a state of rest. The device was successfully designed, implemented, and tested with the design objectives in mind.
  • Vision Guided Robotic Work Cell

    Cullison, Jesse; Chandler, Blake
    Vision Guided Work Cell which utilizes a vision system, and Kawasaki Robot
  • Rapid Prototyping with Robotic Milling

    Ramsey, Jacob; Sherman, Kaylee
    The purpose of this project was to further develop and improve upon a previous group's senior project of robotic milling by utilizing the Kawasaki robots in the Applied Engineering Center. This project implemented rapid prototyping with the use of 3D scanning to create a prototype of an object with no previous CAD model or specifications. The project also improved the already existing robotic milling system and its workstation. Designing and fabrication of mounting hardware for the spindle motor was necessary. Development and understating of 3D scanning was necessary to create proficient scans of objects in order to create a solid model to implement a cutting path for the milling process
  • Power Regeneration for BLDC Bicycle Motor

    Lopez Moreno, Luis Miguel; Fleming, Evan
    The purpose of this project was to design and build an electric bike conversion system capable of self-charging. The inspiration for this project originated with the idea of further empowering those in Third World countries who are not able to afford expensive means of transportation. Bikes are the most affordable personal transportation and using the power regeneration system with an e-bike conversion system will allow the user to use the system as a whole without the need to connect to an electric grid for recharging of the e-bike’s batteries. We achieved this by using the e-bike’s brushless DC motor in connection with a rectifier, boost converter, and a recharging integrated circuit to monitor and control the output of the energy created from utilizing the motor as a generator.
  • Designing a Fixed-Wing 3D Printed Aircraft

    Knackmuhs, Joel; Mayer, Landon; Rouch, Glen; Whitehead, Isaac
    A 3D Printed Aircraft Competition hosted at the University of Texas Arlington challenges students to design an aircraft while employing the advantages and considering the constraints of 3D printing. This allows students to explore the capabilities of 3D printing in prototyping and fabrication uses as an alternative or supplement manufacturing method. This report presents a review of research in the field of aircraft design, an analysis of conceptual designs, and features the designs for a 3D printed fixed-wing aircraft. The objective of the project discussed in this report is to design and construct a 3D printed fixed-wing aircraft to compete in the 6th annual 3D Printed Aircraft Competition hosted at the University of Texas Arlington. With the goal of designing an aircraft for maximum flight time, numerous design tradeoffs were considered. Similar designs from engineering teams that competed in past competitions were reviewed and learned from. The aircraft design was largely constrained by the capabilities of 3D printing and by the competition requirements. After designing the aircraft, a working prototype that met the requirements of the competition was constructed. The aircraft was operated in test flights, and each design was improved upon for the next iteration.
  • Photoelastic Effect Demonstration Device

    Carpenter, Blaine; Rexing, Brant
    The purpose of this project was to design and build an affordable device to demonstrate to engineering students stress patterns in loaded samples of different geometries using the photoelastic effect. These devices use light and polarization filters to demonstrate the photoelastic effect in transparent materials and show their stress patterns. This project aims to improve upon existing designs of similar devices and create a functional device that professors can use to educate students with a visual real-life example. This paper focuses on the research done, design considerations, final decisions, and what was learned. Also, this paper discusses conceptual ideas for designs. First, research was done for the team to get a better understanding of similar devices. After this, research had to be done to better understand the fundamentals of optics relevant to this project. Then, once there was a better understanding of the problem and a better engineering background, some conceptual designs and one final design project for the device was designed. With our education we were able to design a device that meets the requirements and will function as intended. We were also able to provide more detailed information about what photoelasticity is and how polariscopes work. Also, we were able to simulate stresses on the device and ensure that the device will not fail under the intended amount of load. The team looked at each design and decided upon a final design to build for the final project. The team chose 10 unique geometries for the Lexan samples that will be tested in the polariscope, most of these geometries can be found in engineering textbooks used for talking about stresses. One design choice the team made for the project was to build a device that can fit on an overhead projector so the polariscope can be used in classrooms and projected onto a wall. The team had to cut a piece of square aluminum tubing that is about 5 inches long so the arm holding the head of the projector could be extended upward allowing for the projector to focus further from the base of the projector giving the team more room to build the rest of the project a little taller. The team built the polariscope so that it can be used as a linear or circular polariscope. The filters and mechanism used for applying tension are also easily adjustable up or down to allow for the sample to always be in focus.
  • The Automated Vertical Carousel Storage System

    Sizemore, Jack; Starr, Adam; Wilson, Lyndon; Zieg, Nick
    The goal of this project is to design and implement a vertical carousel storage system that is small enough for tabletop usage in a classroom setting. It can be used in manufacturing classes to be studied and analyzed in lectures or labs. This will bring greater knowledge towards the younger generation of engineers to eventually help with organizational issues in the future. Another focus for the carousel storage system is to keep the electrical components for labs (resistors, capacitors, etc.) organized and easy to locate.
  • Punching Bag Trainer

    Czoer, Michael; Shan, Paul
    In this project, a trainer for a punching bag was designed to help a boxer improve their reaction time and recognize their punching force. This trainer consists of a wrap for the bag and a pair of wristbands. These modifications for a punching bag of any size improve how a punching bag can be used. The accelerometers used for this project will be in the wristband of the boxer to keep them from breaking. The display on the punching bag wrap will express to the boxer how they are doing through a graph that displays the average punching force and the boxer's reaction time throughout their training sessions. The purpose of this project is to design modifications for a punching bag that help the user independently train themselves at boxing by measuring the force of their punches and seeing how quickly they can throw a punch.
  • Deployable and Retractable Solar Array Mechanism for Satellite Applications

    Chesebro, Joseph (Joey); Frimming, Camden
    The following report presents the initial design, simulation, and construction of a deployable and retractable solar array mechanism for satellite applications. Most small satellites such as CubeSats, do not incorporate the use of deployable and retractable solar arrays, but these could add increased versatility while on mission. This report also discusses multiple other projects that are like the one that the team is going to design. These reports helped the team understand what is needed to have a successful project and where they went wrong in their designs and executions. First, the initial concepts are shown, and the final selection is discussed. Analyses of the two main subsystems, a compound gear train, and a scissor linkage mechanism are given. A prototype was constructed, and testing was attempted, however issues with the gear train were uncovered and attempted to mend with no success. The project resulted in a design that shows potential for success by calculation and simulation but was not implemented well ending in a nonfunctional prototype.
  • Concentrated Solar - Implementation of Small Scale Parabolic Trough Heliostat

    Tunny, Michael; Wester, Nicholas
    This project aims to create a small scale, low-cost concentrated solar parabolic trough system to further research into renewable energy technologies at the University of Southern Indiana. This system uses a reflective mylar film bonded to a Lexan substrate as a cost-effective solution to traditional glass mirrors. 3D modeling is used to develop a plywood base and parabolic frame. Computer aided manufacturing is used with a computer navigated control router to produce most of the components that are needed. The control system is a novel design that uses light dependent resistors, 3D printing, and an Arduino embedded system to track the sun throughout the day. Mechanical rotation is provided by a stepper motor and worm gearbox. The system was successful in automatically tracking the sun with an average tracking error of 0.655◦ ± 0.1◦. The system also had a maximum temperature of 394◦ F with an average temperature of 290.3◦ using air as a heat transfer fluid. However, these temperature results only provide a baseline, as a true thermodynamic analysis would need to consider fluid dynamics. Additionally, delamination of the reflective film is expected in this system in the future. More research and experimentation is needed to provide a better solution for bonding of the reflective mylar film to a substrate. This project was successful in providing a platform for other senior design projects in renewable energy systems for the future.
  • LInear Axis Rail System

    Englert, Samuel; Northener, Logan
    The purpose of this project was to design, fabricate, and implement a linear-axis rail system for use with the Kawasaki RS03N six axis robots located in the Applied Engineering Center at USI. After the rail system is completed, individuals can issue positioning commands to the motor-driven platform, which will move the platform to different locations along the track. This project was set into motion by a group of past students who were tasked with determining the proper specifications for the rails, slides, bearing and motor. Given that they had to research all that information their overall design portion of the linear-axis rail system lacked some of the qualities instructors were looking for. To design the rail system, significant CAD work was performed to identify the proper solution to the design to make it more robust and user friendly. Upon completion, this project will allow the Robotics (TECH 272) curriculum to expand, by allowing instructors to discuss the importance of motion control systems in manufacturing, and how to implement them. This is a design that instructors are interested in as well which involves implementing the linear-axis rail system for future use in their Robotics labs to further expand the capability of the robot and what the operator can do.
  • Design and Build of a Launching Mechanism for Space Debris Capture

    Choate, William; Cosby, Zachary
    In this project a launching mechanism for space debris capture was designed, built, and tested. Space debris capture mechanisms capture space debris and then deorbits with the debris. If the space debris issue is left unchecked, it will spiral out of control and pose a risk to infrastructure and astronauts. This project aims to create a prototype to test centrifugal force for spin deployed nets. This prototype was designed from the inside out starting with the net. Some FEA analysis was conducted to help with the design process. The prototype was then constructed and tested for deployment. The prototype was successful in spin deployment at roughly 12 rad/s. All requirements of the project were met except for the actuated linear deployment velocity of 1 m/s.
  • The Design of Mechanical Subsystems for USI's Solar Splash Team

    Kurz, Melissa; Bittner, Lily; Dudas, Alyssa
    This is a University of Southern Indiana senior design report for the design of three of the mechanical subsystems for USI’s 2022 Solar Splash boat: the solar panel frames, drive train, and trim angle adjuster and propulsion system connection. Solar Splash is a collegiate solar boating competition that takes place annually, and USI intends to participate in the 2023 competition. This report discusses the benefits of design and development of different mechanical systems. It discusses lessons learned from past projects and how best practices found in literature and benchmarking can be leveraged to solve previous deficiencies. It discusses the engineering knowledge required to complete the project and presents conceptual designs with a final design selection. Final critical engineering designs are analyzed and presented for each subsystem. The report establishes the objective, deliverables, schedule, and budget for the project. It also includes a concept of operations, a system hierarchy breakdown, and a failure mode and effects analysis for the competition. The report details how the solar panel frames were designed and how the subsystem was built. It also details how the drive train, propulsion system connection, and trim angle adjuster were designed and how assembly and manufacturing instructions will be provided to the future team for development of those systems. The mechanical subsystems for USI’s Solar Splash team will improve the boat and team performance for the 2023 Solar Splash competition.
  • Slope Stability Flume

    Maddox, Nicholas; Hamzic, Amel
    The scope of this project is to continue building and designing a slope stability flume for the USI’s civil engineering department. A slope stability flume is a device used to simulate landslides, water erosion, evaporation, etc. The flume will be made by using steel bar stock, Lexan siding, and other materials. A floor jack will be provided to be able to tilt one side of the flume when used for testing, as well as casters for easy movement. The flume will also be able to support the weight of moist sand, along with easy cleaning solutions. The flume will also double as a storage bin and desk for students when it is not being used.
  • Drainage & Structural Design - Administration Building for the State Bank of Whittington

    Sturgeon, Madelyn; Owens, Justin; Bohlen, Paul
    The purpose of this project was to redevelop the site and build an administrative building for the State Bank of Whittington. The preexisting site consisted of five single-residential homes, one small commercial building, and two small parking lots. These structures were demolished, and the parking lots were removed. The proposed building is an 8,305 square foot, single story building that was designed to equip offices and conference rooms. The drainage system for the site collects all storm water runoff from the roof, parking lot, and surrounding areas into two detention basins that drain into the preexisting city storm sewer. In addition to the site design, the administration building was structurally designed. The post construction site will consist of one, steel frame, administration building, one parking lot, and a sufficient draining system. Collectively, the site and structural aspects were designed to meet the project and community’s needs.
  • Recycling of Compressed Air Within an Industrial System

    Havill, Kyler; Stoll, Mason; Kimmell, Aven
    Compressed air is used for a wide variety of manufacturing processes, including a thermoforming process at Berry Global which produces 30 ounce plastic cups. Currently, the machine used to produce these plastic cups uses a substantial amount of 80 psig air, roughly 1400 gal/min, which is being exhausted to the atmosphere. It was determined that the cost to provide the necessary air for this one machine is approximately $3.34 per hour. The objective of this project is to design a system that is capable of recycling some of the air that is currently being exhausted to the atmosphere. To begin the design process, previous solutions to this problem were researched. The three preliminary designs developed by the team were inspired by the previous solutions researched. The preliminary designs were all considered, and the final design was chosen. The design chosen for critical design captures a portion of the exhausted air and boosts the pressure back to 80 psig where it can be reused in the current system. This design was divided into three main subsystems, each of these subsystems was designed, and a model for the entire system was developed. The model was a key factor for determining the cost savings of the system and the specifications of the different system components. Next, the determined specifications were used to select the system components. These components, as well as the installation costs, were arranged into a budget. The final system cost was then divided by the cost savings to determine a Return on Investment period. Finally, future changes and improvements to the design were discussed.

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