Sustainable Transportation Project Wins at Engineering Design Day

A student team working on a sustainability-focused project about Wolfline bus routes won NC State’s Industrial and Systems Engineering Design Day for the Fall 2022 semester. 

Taking place in Fitts-Woolard Hall, the annual event showcases solutions created by senior design program students in the NC State Industrial and Systems Engineering program. It serves as both a senior capstone showcase and a platform for students to demonstrate the value they bring to local companies and campus organizations by solving real-world problems. It is also a competition, with students presenting their research posters to judges, faculty and the public.

This year’s winning team worked with NC State Transportation to analyze the Wolfline campus bus system in order to improve sustainability and rider satisfaction. With over 2 million passengers boarding the Wolfline last year, the team’s systems approach helped identify that switching to a biodiesel fuel alternative could significantly decrease Wolfline emissions by 73%. The team also identified optimized routing software and proactive maintenance that could further reduce the Wolfline’s environmental impact. 

“We hope that our project will serve as a basis for creating software or models that can optimize the Wolfline’s routes, stops and overall efficiency, while also being mindful of environmental impact,” said team member Mallory Padgett.

Jessica Bast, a program coordinator in the University Sustainability Office, served as a staff liaison for the semester-long project, which was part of the Campus As A Classroom initiative that offers students applied experience in projects that improve on-campus sustainability.

“While the Wolfline provides inherently sustainable services by promoting an alternative mode of transportation and reducing single-occupancy vehicles on campus, through this project, Mallory, Nick, and Colin were able to evaluate strategies to allow the Wolfline to further reduce NC State’s environmental footprint.”

Engineering Design Day at NC State demonstrates the ability of Wolfpack students to tackle real-world challenges now. With their unique perspectives and wealth of knowledge, students can create impactful solutions, a testament to NC State’s Think And Do ethos.

1st Place Team Colin Lawler, Mallory Padgett and Nick Berinson showcase their winning solution, The Wolfline Improvement Project.