Archives—March 2014

Environmental Engineering Seminar: Nuts and Bolts of Unconventional Oil and Gas Development

Nuts and Bolts of Unconventional Oil and Gas Development
including all you might like to know about the technology and practice of hydraulic fracturing
Wayne D Pennington, Interim Dean, College of Engineering, Michigan Technological University
Mon Mar 24, 2014 3pm – 4pm, Dow 642

Over the past couple of decades, technology has been developed to produce oil and gas from geological formations that had been overlooked previously due to the lack of appropriate engineering techniques for those types of formations. As a result, the energy picture for the USA and for the world has been seriously modified, and the impact is being felt.
These “unconventional” deposits contain hydrocarbons in significant quantities, but they were locked up in microscopic pores that were at best poorly connected to each other, limiting or preventing flow through the rocks. Existing technologies, such as hydraulic fracturing (in use since 1948) and extended-reach horizontal wellbores were used independently, and then merged, for a highly successful, efficient, and safe method of oil and gas production.
The geologic formations, and the production techniques used in each, that are described in this presentation include: (a) “tight” gas sandstone deposits (produced through multiple-stage hydraulic fracturing in vertical wells); (b) coal deposits (methane produced by drawing down water pressure to release gas from the coal structure; also the source of many “flaming faucets” from domestic water-wells); and (c) shale deposits (generally using multiple-stage hydraulic fracturing in horizontal wells).

Michigan Space Grant Consortium (MSGC) Awards to CEE

Michigan Tech faculty, staff members and students received awards tallying $71,175 in funding through the Michigan Space Grant Consortium (MSGC) sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
Graduate students receiving $5,000 graduate fellowships are:

Daniel Cerminaro (Civil and Environmental Engineering): “Management of Geotechnical Features in Transportation Infrastructure Using Remote Sensing”

Bonnie Zwissler (Civil and Environmental Engineering): “Thermal Remote Sensing for Dust Susceptibility Monitoring of Mine Tailings Impoundments”

Faculty receiving a $5,000 seed grant is:

Zhen Liu (Civil and Environmental Engineering): “Phase Composition Curves in Frozen Porous Materials”

For other awards see Tech Today

NASA implemented the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program in 1989 to provide funding for research, education, and public outreach in space-related science and technology. The program has 52 university-based consortia in the United States and Puerto Rico. As an affiliate of the Michigan Consortium, Michigan Tech has been an active participant in MSGC for over fifteen years. For more information, please contact Robert Warrington or Paige Hackney in the Institute for Leadership and Innovation.

Steven C. Bower: “Michigan DOT Research Program Past Successes-Future Opportunities”

Civil Engineering Graduate Seminar: Michigan DOT Research Program
Speaker: Mr. Steven C. Bower, Engineer of Research, Michigan Department of Transportation
“Michigan DOT Research Program Past Successes-Future Opportunities”
This seminar was held on March 20, 2014. Mr. Bower reviewed some of the past research successes of the Michigan Department of Transportation as well as its research priorities for the next several years. Additionally, he outlined the process that is used to develop the State’s needs and prioritization for transportation infrastructure. He is a 1984 Civil Engineering alumni of Michigan Tech.
A social hour sponsored by the Michigan Tech Transportation Institute followed at the Great Lakes Research Center. Continue reading

CEE Alumni reception in Bay City

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering hosted an alumni reception in Bay City on March 18. The event was held in conjunction with a conference put on by the department’s Center for Training and Technology and was attended by close to 70 alumni from the conference and surrounding area.

Alumni reception in Bay City