Katherine Messer

Student NameKatherine Messer
Faculty Mentor NameAnn C. Wilkie PhD
CollegeCollege of Agricultural and Life Sciences
MajorBiomedical Engineering
Research InterestsDevice Design, Computer Aided Design, Fabrication, Sustainable Technology
Academic AwardsUF Honors Program 2017-Present, University Scholars Program 2020
OrganizationsStudent Composting Cooperative, Society of Women Engineers, Generational Relief in Prosthetics, UF Computing Help Desk
Hobbies and InterestsRunning, Scuba Diving, Gardening, Biomedical Devices, Ebony Pencil Drawings, Intramural Sports

Research Project

Convenient Composting Inspires Green Practices

Backyard composting is an easy way to reduce one’s own carbon footprint and engage in sustainable gardening. However, preparing the fertilizer after it has decomposed can be time consuming and labor intensive. The aim of this project is to develop a semi-autonomous sifting device that would reduce the amount of time and labor required to prepare compost compared to the current method. An inexpensive hand-crank mechanism fabricated out of a corrosion-resistant material will use mechanical energy to both grind and sift compost. The device will be designed in SolidWorks and evaluated in SimulationXpress. After final construction, a survey will be administered to assess the effectiveness and ease of use of the design. This device will increase the convenience of the practice, allowing more households to engage in composting and benefiting community gardeners. As composting becomes easier and more accessible, public enthusiasm towards sustainability efforts will increase.