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Business Study of Alternative Uses of Brewers' Spent Grain

Industrial Technology and Management Project

Collaboration with Brewmasters of Rock Bottom Brewery, Naperville Brewery, Kramer Tree Specialists, Inc.

(IPRO 340 Summer ’13)

INTM Faculty Advisor: Phil Lewis

INTM Specialization: Industrial Sustainability

Micro-breweries are asking "What to do with their spent grain?” Students in this IPRO were challenged to develop a creative solution. Keeping in mind that most individual micro brewers do not produce enough spent grain to merit reusing it, the team began with the idea of creating a micro-brewery cooperative, and working with urban farm cooperatives of similar volume and size that use spent grain as compost.

Team members became familiar with the uses for spent grain and the businesses that acquire it. They examined the barriers prohibiting small volume, and proposed ways to address some of their specific concerns. They evaluated business practices, logistics, costs, storage, packaging, and partnering options in order to produce a final report.

This video link: highlights the many things that the team learned about business models involving spent grain.

SmartLab Student Projects

The purpose of this project is to improve the current state of security devices. Today, most security companies use several guards for different tasks, but at least one guard has to monitor the cameras or other systems.

A smart mirror is a two-way mirror with an electronic display behind the glass. The display can show the viewer different kinds of information in the form of widgets, such as weather, time, date, and news updates.