Specialized Herding Engineering Project (SHEP)

This senior design project aims to manage herds by monitoring their behavior as it pertains to the environment for optimal care options. They seek to achieve this goal by building an automated smart gate, developing a communication network, and exploring alternative and renewable energy sources.


SHEP is a LeTourneau University Senior Design Project comprising twelve students and one faculty advisor. The team's goals are to create, develop and build a smart gating system that allows optimal care for the herd while still considering the environment, power usage, and any damages that happen while the gating system is in use.


Pastural Rotation is a ranching technique that involves rotating herds through different pastures to allow for grass regrowth. Allowing the grass to regrow ensures Cows and sheep are getting the best nutritional value from the pastures.

Project Story

God connected HerdX and LETU by LETU Alumni and HerdX R&D engineer, David Schroder and LETU faculty Dr. Hoo Kim with His divine meeting while David Schroder visited LETU during LETU Alumni week. This meeting led to this partnership not only with the sponsor company but also with God Himself. We believe God calls us to bless ranchers and people through this technology and solution.


Goal/objective of the project

The goals of the team are as follows: 

The goal of the SHEP team is to design, build, and test a working smart-gate for pasture rotation for both cows and sheep to be used by HerdX in ranches around the world. Our team, working with HerdX, is developing an automated smart gate that works for pasture rotation so that ranchers can manage their herds, and monitor herd behavior in the environment for optimal care completely autonomously.

  • Build an automated smart gate prototype.
  • Avoid any damage from weather or livestock.
  • Develop a communication system using a network.
  • Create an API and GUI for the system.
  • Distribute power efficiently.
  • Explore alternative renewable energy. 



The SHEP team will apply electrical engineering, biomedical engineering, mechanical engineering, civil engineering and computer science design and build techniques in order to design, build and test a working smart-gate for pastural rotation for cows and sheep. This technology will be used by HerdX on ranches around the world.


Professional sponsors:

CEO and Founder of HerdX, Ron Hicks

"The world is looking for answers. We can work with R.G. LeTourneau's team to see through unique aspects..."


Team members (major, roles in the team, advisor)


Dr. Hoo Kim, Faculty Advisor

Carissa Zwerg, BME, Team Lead, Abbie Turner, BME, Engineering Lead, Brittany Gualtieri, EE & IoT Team Lead, Michael Claypool, EE, Power Systems Lead, Bryan Burkdoll, ME, Actuation Lead, Gabe Johnson, CE, Environmental Lead, Parker O' Donnell, CE, Daniel Guilzon, MET, Junior EE, Hardware Team, John Rudy, ME, Jessica Nelle, CS, Ochir Sanjaadorj, CS.

Here is your chance to learn from the best, work on the cutting edge of technology, and get that dream job. Come join us at LeTourneau University. Interested in applying to LeTourneau University click here, for an admission application or contact admissions at 1 800.759.8811.

If you are interested in learning more about this senior design project contact: 


Contact information:

Dr. Hoo Kim

Carissa Zwerg

If you would like to donate to help support this team please donate at. Donate to LeTourneau University