Students: Nathan harris, Jennifer Baker, Brandi Opsahl

Faculty Advisor or Community Project Lead: Alexandra West, Stephen Nuss, Osama Abaza

Client Organization: PND Engineering


The SeaWolf Engineering student team have worked throughout the semester to design a hydro powered fish waste disposal system that is to be placed in the Kenai/Russian River Confluence area in Cooper Landing, Alaska. As the popularity of the sport fishery has grown over time, improper disposal of fish fillet remains has led to an increasing number of human-bear interactions. Several methods of fish waste management have been implemented, but not widely accepted or used by all fishermen.

The purpose of this project is to provide a safe, efficient and convenient method for proper fish waste disposal to be utilized by the fisherman of the Russian River and reduce bear-human interactions in the area. The Hydro Powered Fish Waste Disposal System project is sponsored by the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA), U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

This capstone course allows students the opportunity to experience real projects in Anchorage while working closely with local professional engineers. The SeaWolf Engineering group simulates an engineering company with the class instructor, Dr. Osama Abaza, as the President and Steve Nuss, P.E. as the Vice President for Water/Waste Water Engineering. Alexandra West and University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) played the role of the client for the project. The project manager, Nathan Harris, assured timely progress, efficient team communication and leadership. Additionally, the project manager oversaw the technical teams for Hydraulics and Hydrology, Structural and Mechanical Design, and Environmental.

Each technical team leader was responsible for a set of tasks and completion deadlines. The Hydraulics and Hydrology team, consisting of Jennifer Baker and led by Brandi Opsahl, analyzed river and channel characteristics at the site location. With this data, both were able to design the water wheel to meet the power and dimensional requirements. The Environmental Team, also consisting of Opsahl and lead by Baker, investigated sediment transport and conducted biochemical oxygen demand and dissolved oxygen calculations. Additionally, Baker worked closely with USFS and USWFS to identify and initiate the process to obtain all required permits for the project.

The Structural and Mechanical Design team was led by the project manager Nathan Harris and Jennifer Baker. Harris and Baker designed a floating structural frame and anchoring system for the device while maintaining safety and accessibility. Harris also designed the chute and fillet tables that feed the filleted fish remains to the grinding system that eventually discharges the waste into the river. Both the client and the technical teams collaborated to select the appropriate materials for the design that met strength, power and environmental requirements.
The estimated cost of the HPFWDS is roughly $76,000.



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