All posts by ehgroth

D80 Conference 2015: Making Connections

d80-logo-v1The 9th Annual D80 Conference, Making Connections: The Past, Present and Future of Design, was held Saturday in the Dow Building.

As a dialog and celebration of student efforts to solve issues that confront the world’s poorest 80 percent, this year’s conference featured presentations by the following: Pavlis Institute, Engineers Without Borders, Peace Corps Master’s International, Efficiency through Engineering and Construction Enterprise and International Senior Design. In addition, a faculty panel discussed the history of appropriate technology and design.

View Pictures of the 2015 D80 Conference on Flickr Photo Gallery

  • Welcome: Dr. Lorelle Meadows, Dean, Pavlis Honors College
  • Into India 2015 (J. Barker, S. Curtis, J. Cavins, E. Fernandez, Pavlis)

  • Quebrada Pastor Water Distribution System (D. Benoy, C. Carbary, A. Crispo, M. Ziols, iDesign)
  • Water Supply for Guatemalan Communities (R. Dougherty, EWB)
  • Water Sources in Valle Escondido, Panama (K. Blodgett, H. Henderson, K. Jung, D. Oldani, iDesign)

  • Our Experiences in Ghana and Tanzania (M. Cromie, J. Seaser, Pavlis)
  • Bridge Design for Quebrada Caracol, Panama (S. Lopez, J. Mathieu,, A. Romenesko, J. Schmitt, Y. Zeng, iDesign)
  • Houghton County Energy Efficiency Team (K. Abbott, L. Artman, ECET)
  • Keynote Panel: How Does Change Happen? Cases in Technology and Design

    • Sarah Fayen Scarlett – Introduction
    • Jonathan Robins – “175 years of Appropriate Technology: The West African oil palm industry in historical perspective”
    • Steve Walton – “The Rise and Fall of Appropriate Technology? How the social impacts the technical”
    • Laura Walikainen Rouleau – “Designing a Public Privacy: The Social and Cultural Construction of Public Restrooms in the United States”
    • Kari Henquinet – Comments and Q/A
  • Clean Water for Quebrada Caracol, Panama (M. Cherng, N. Rademacher, S. Stoolmiller, iDesign)

  • Water Supply in Quebrada Pinzón, Panama (J. Mack, R. Sachar, S. Thakur, N. Wienold, iDesign)
  • Workshop: Drill, Baby, Drill: Water Wells in Developing Contexts (E. Kunik, A. Wohlgemuth, PCMI)

Lorelle Meadows, Dean, Pavlis Honors College with David Watkins, CEE
Lorelle Meadows, Dean, Pavlis Honors College with David Watkins, CEE

Jonathan Robins, Kari Henquinet, Sarah Fayen Scarlett, Steve Walton,  Laura Walikainen Rouleau: D80 Keynote Panel: How Does Change Happen? Cases in Technology and Design
Jonathan Robins, Kari Henquinet, Sarah Fayen Scarlett, Steve Walton, Laura Walikainen Rouleau: D80 Keynote Panel: How Does Change Happen? Cases in Technology and Design
Workshop: Drill, Baby, Drill: Water Wells in Developing Contexts (E. Kunik, A. Wohlgemuth, PCMI)
Workshop: Drill, Baby, Drill: Water Wells in Developing Contexts (E. Kunik, A. Wohlgemuth, PCMI)

View Pictures of the 2015 D80 Conference on Flickr Photo Gallery

Videos of the 2015 D80 Conference

Visit online more information.

An archive of past D80 Conferences
2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007


Rail Day Expo at Michigan Tech

IMG_5208450The Rail Day and Expo is an awesome opportunity for both students and industry! Railroad companies and consultants have the opportunity to showcase the industry and the career opportunities available. This is also a targeted recruiting opportunity for the industry … students who attend already have some interest in railroading. For students, this is an opportunity to have focused discussions about the rail industry and what it has to offer.

Railroad Night is a networking opportunity for both industry representatives and students. The event features a relaxed evening of dining and conversation.

Mr. Art Guzzetti, Vice President-Policy of the American Public Transportation Association was the keynote speaker and provided a personal touch and insight into the rail industry.

Art Guzzetti, Vice President - Policy, American Public Transportation Association and Pasi Lautala, Director of Rail Transportatio 11th Annual Railroad Night at Michigan Tech
Art Guzzetti, Vice President – Policy, American Public Transportation Association and Pasi Lautala, Director of Rail Transportatio 11th Annual Railroad Night at Michigan Tech

According to the APTA website, Guzzetti is a 32-year veteran of public transportation at the local, state, and national levels.

Among other things, Guzzetti is responsible for APTA’s extensive policy research agenda, policy analysis and development, transportation information, and statistics. He and the APTA team work with the legislative and executive branches of all levels of government and with other national associations, think tanks, and interest groups to cultivate the ideas, relationships, and advocacy initiatives that will propel public transportation forward.

Prior to coming to APTA in June 1997, Guzzetti spent 16 years in management at two of the nation’s leading public transportation systems—New Jersey Transit Corporation and Pittsburgh’s Port Authority of Allegheny County—along with two years at New Jersey DOT. His duties focused on transportation policy, government affairs, capital programming, grants development, and grants management and advocacy. In short, the focus of his career has been on generating support for public transportation and the benefits it provides to communities and regions. Guzzetti has a political science degree from Edinboro State University and a master of public administration from the University of Pittsburgh.

Railroad Night is a networking opportunity for both industry representatives and students.  The event features a relaxed evening of dining and conversation.
Railroad Night is a networking opportunity for both industry representatives and students. The event features a relaxed evening of dining and conversation.

Michigan Tech Rail Industry Panel at Rail Day
Michigan Tech Rail Industry Panel at Rail Day

11th Annual Railroad Night at Michigan Tech:  Railroad Engineering and Activities Club at Michigan Tech,  Aaron Dean, Webmaster, Alex Lakenen, President, Derek Owen, Marketing Chair
11th Annual Railroad Night at Michigan Tech: Railroad Engineering and Activities Club at Michigan Tech, Aaron Dean, Webmaster, Alex Lakenen, President, Derek Owen, Marketing Chair

Michigan Tech Rail Industry Alumni at the 11th Annual Railroad Night
Michigan Tech Rail Industry Alumni at the 11th Annual Railroad Night

See more photos at the Rail Day Gallery

MORE INFORMATION

Videos of 11th Annual Railroad Night and Rail Expo Day


Civil and Environmental Engineering Joint Graduate Seminar

oct15cee2Civil and Environmental Engineering Joint Graduate Seminar
Thursday, October 15, 2015,
4-5pm, Dow 642

Title: A Tale of Two Careers in the Same Field

By: Dr. Kerry J. Howe, P.E., BCEE

Abstract

Completing a graduate degree in civil and environmental engineering opens the door to a variety of career paths: government agencies, consulting firms, universities. Dr. Howe has worked extensively in two of these arenas. First, as a design engineer for the engineering firm that is now Montgomery Watson Harza. After a 12-year stint there, he completed a PhD degree and starting working as a professor at the University of New Mexico, where his research has focused on membrane technologies, desalination, and water reuse, including the use of reverse osmosis and ozone/biofiltration to treat wastewater for water reuse applications. This presentation will use case studies from his career to describe a typical design project done by consulting engineers and a typical research project at a university. The presentation will then describe the skills needed by civil and environmental engineers in both career paths, and describe the similarities and differences between consulting engineers and academicians.

Biography

Dr. Howe is a professor and regents’ lecturer at the department of civil engineering, University of New Mexico. Dr. Howe is also a registered professional engineer (P.E.) and a board certified environmental engineer (BCEE) by the American Academy of Environmental Engineers. Prior to studying for his doctorate degree at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Environmental Engineering, Dr. Howe worked for environmental engineering consulting firms for more than 12 years. During his time in consulting, he worked as project engineer or project manager on a wide variety of projects related to water treatment engineering, including treatability studies, regulatory compliance evaluations, facility evaluations, master plans, pilot studies, predesign, detailed design, construction management, and plant startup. His practical engineering experience has a strong influence on his research and teaching activities. He is a co-author of the textbooks Principles of Water Treatment and MWH’s Water Treatment: Principles and Design. Dr. Howe is a director for Center for Water and the Environment from the National Science Foundation Centers for Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST) program.


Lake Superior Water Festival

IMG_4231aby Joan Chadde

Nearly 500 high school students, in 19 classes from 11 schools in Houghton, Baraga, Gogebic and Ontonagon Counties will flood Michigan Tech’s Great Lakes Research Center today. The GLRC will be a hopping place on from 8:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. today for the Fourth Annual Lake Superior Water Festival. More than 15 different sessions will be offered throughout the day, presented by Michigan Tech faculty, staff, students, community organizations, government agencies, authors, artists and photographers.

The Water Festival provides an opportunity for students to learn about and celebrate our most precious natural resource – clean, fresh water. The Festival also serves to inspire interest in STEM careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

The 2015 Water Festival is made possible with funding from Earth Force, Michigan Tech Center for Water & Society, the Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative, and Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative.

See the 2015 Lake Superior Water Festival Photo Gallery

Lake Superior Water Festival Sep 30, 2015 at Great Kajes Research Center at Michigan Tech
Lake Superior Water Festival Sep 30, 2015 at Great Kajes Research Center at Michigan Tech

Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar: Air Pollution in Iran; A Case Study

sep21Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar: Air Pollution in Iran; A Case Study
Monday, September 21th; 202 Great Lakes Research Center

Hossein Tavakoli, PhD Student, Michigan Tech Department of Environmental Engineering

Biography – I am a PhD student in Environmental Engineering with focus on air pollution. studying Environmental Engineering, I could see how air pollution had surrounded millions of people and it seemed policy makers were incapable. Picturesque Alborz hillsides, in which Tehran (Capital City) is located, were lost in smog. In the last 3 years, up to 7000 deaths in Tehran are caused by Airborne Particles. As a part of my research I have investigated the effects of air pollution of a steel complex -a case study- on surrounding area using air pollution dispersion modeling (AERMOD and CMB8.2); I have then investigated concentrations of PM10 in ambient air and Arsenic in air, water, soil, rice and meat downstream of the steel plant. In addition, I have studied lifetime risk assessment of Arsenic due to inhalation, ingestion and dermal exposure for residents.
Environmental issues regarding air pollution in Iran include, especially in urban areas, vehicle emissions, refinery operations, huge dust swirl from Iraq and industrial effluents which contribute to poor air quality. Industrial nature and the status of its environmental issues, regulation and management in Iran will be presented to expand the world vision of a developing country.
========================================
A regularly updated seminar schedule and download capabilities for Roundtable Discussion papers is available on CANVAS under ENVE5991 R01 Fall 2015.

sep21v

sep21w


Environmental Engineering Seminar: Environmental Systems Biology of Marine Oil Biodegradation

sep14Environmental Systems Biology of Marine Oil Biodegradation
Monday, September 14th 3 pm
202 Great Lakes Research Center

Dr. Stephen Techtmann , Assistant Professor
Michigan Tech Department of Biological Sciences

Biography – I am an environmental microbiologist who studies microbial communities in diverse ecosystems. Microbes (Bacteria and Archaea) are ubiquitous in the environment and play essential roles in the cycling of elements. These environmental microbes are capable of catalyzing a wide array of chemical reactions, many of which may have industrial applications. I study how complex microbial communities can cooperate to perform functions of industrial interest. The majority of microbes in the environment are difficult to grow in the lab. Furthermore, many industrially-relevant pathways are found in microbes not yet grown in the lab. I seek to employ both culture-based and culture-independent methods to understand how these microbial communities respond to anthropogenic activity and environmental change and how we might leverage these microbes for a biotechnological application. In the past, I have investigated how microbes from hot springs and geothermal vents could be used for biofuel production. Most recently, I have focused on microbial communities that respond to and aid in the clean up of crude oil contamination. I am also interested in engineering environmental microbes and microbial communities for enhanced biofuel production. I employ a combination of geochemical techniques, next-generation sequencing and other ‘omics approaches, with microbial physiology and biochemistry to better understand these microbial systems.


News Briefs from CEE

IMG_1376640

Michigan Tech’s Tribal Technical Assistance Program has won a Tribal Excellence Award from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. The award will be presented at the Wisconsin Tribal Transportation Conference on Nov. 3 in Green Bay. Award recipients are recognized for providing exemplary contributions and services to building and enhancing partnerships with the Wisconsin DoT and Wisconsin’s tribal communities. TTAP provides technology, training and information on tribal roads and bridges, tourism, recreation and related economic development to tribal transportation and planning personnel. It is part of a nationwide program sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Alex Mayer (CEE/CWS) is the principal investigator on a research and development project that has received a $599,590 grant from the National Science Foundation. The three-year project is RET Site: PLACE-Promoting Learning About Computational Tools and the Environment. Noel Urban (CEE) is the co-PI for this project.

John Velat (CEE) is the principal investigator of a project that received $18,000 from the Minnesota Department of Transportation. The public service project contract is for the 2015 Minnesota Tribes and Transportation Conference. Amanda Kerttu (CEE) is the co-PI on the project.

Martin Auer (CEE) is the principal investigator on a project that received $33,200 in additional funding from Ajax, Ontario. His team has been examining the nuisance growth of Cladophora, a filamentous green alga, in Lake Ontario.
The large quantities of rotting alga on the shoreline has been a growing concern for the community. Auer and his team have been studying the problem in Ajax since 2013. The project has totaled more than $320,000 in external sponsored funding. The primary objective is to identify and quantify the contributions of phosphorus from various sources to the nutrient environment that supports nuisance growth of the alga. Pengfei Xue (CEE) is a co-PI on the project.
Tess Ahlborn (CEE) was an invited key note speaker at the Fourth Asian Conference on Ecstasy in Concrete hosted by the Indian Concrete Institute and the 1st International Symposium of the Asian Concrete Federation on Ultra-High Performance Concrete, Oct. 8-10 in Kolkata, India. As a Fellow of the American Concrete Institute and the Chair of ACI 239- UHPC, she served as the ACI Ambassador.

Tim Colling (CEE/MTTI), is the principal investigator on a project that has received $446,685 from the Michigan Department of Transportation for the “2016 Michigan Local Technical Assistance Program.” John Kiefer (CEE) and Christine Codere (CEE) are Co-PIs on the project.

Colin Brooks is a senior research scientist for the Michigan Tech Research Institute. His background is in remote sensing and GIS, and his area of expertise is in satellite imagery analysis, aerial imagery analysis and integrating geospatial data. Read more at Roads & Bridges

The U.S. DOT first approached Brooks to do environmental assessments on highway bypasses and look at vehicle crossing times at international borders under the agency’s Commercial Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Program.

Michigan Tech Rail Transportation Program led the organization of 3rd Annual Rail Conference that took place in Grand Rapids in August. The event was supported by the Michigan Department of Transportation and the National University Rail Center (NURail). The event attracted a record-breaking 170 participants and 16 industry sponsors and included a half day of field visits to local rail facilities, followed by a full day of technical sessions and panel discussions. The keynote speech was delivered by Joseph Szabo, the executive director of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (past Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration). Pasi Lautala (CEE/MTTI) co-chaired the event and organization team was led by David Nelson and Amanda Kerttu. Two students, Sumanth Kalluri and Aaron Dean were also at the location to assist in the organization. Next year, Michigan Tech will bring the Michigan Rail Conference for the first time to the Upper Peninsula. The conference will take place on August 17-18, 2016 in Marquette. For more information, visit the conference website.

The Detroit Free Press quoted Pasi Lautala (CEE) in an article on a plan to create a special logistics and supply chain district near the new bridge to Canada and downtown Detroit.

A story “Michigan Tech project looks to improve U.P. roads” related to research work by Dr. Zhanping You appeared on TV6. Another story “Rubber to the road: Tech’s experimental pavement put down for testing” related to research work by Dr. Hand and Zhanping You also appeared on the Daily Mining Gazette.

WNWN-FM, WHTC-AM, WKZO and WVIC radio all covered the 3rd annual Michigan Rail Conference in Grand Rapids last week, hosted by Michigan Tech and the Michigan Department of Transportation.

Continue reading



STEM Immersion on Isle Royale

IMG_0702 (2) (1280x853)A group of 13 Keweenaw Bay Indian Community youth took part in an immersion experience in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education and careers, May 26 to 30, 2015 on Isle Royale. The program, entitled “MAAMAADIZI II”, was co-sponsored by the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, the Cedar Tree Institute of Marquette, the Isle Royale Institute and Michigan Tech’s Ride the Waves with General Motors Program. MAAMAADIZI, meaning “the Journey begins” in the Anishinaabe language, sought to immerse students in a wilderness environment rich in both scientific and spiritual content. A diverse community participated in the Journey, including spiritual advisors, artists, scientists, chaperones, graduate student mentors and KBIC drummers … a grand party of 32 travelers. Isle Royale National Park provided an ideal wilderness setting for this important work.

The Michigan Tech team of 6 members traveled to Isle Royale aboard the R/V Agassiz with Captain Stephen Roblee at the helm; the rest of the party came across on the MV Ranger III. Once on the island, the R/V Agassiz provided transport to campsites, ferry service for on-island field trips and served as a platform for STEM offerings. KBIC students, MTU graduate student mentors and chaperones camped for two nights at Daisy Farm, with the entire party moving to Tobin Harbor Cottages for the last two nights.

STEM Science was presented through water quality measurements (light and temperature sensors, Secchi disk transparency) and collections (plankton and bottom organisms) made in Moskey Basin and in the open lake from the R/V Agassiz. Samples were examined on board using microscopes and dissecting scopes. The STEM Science program was led by Dr. Marty Auer of Michigan Tech supported by graduate student mentors Varsha Raman, Aubrey Scott and Nathan Zgnilec.

STEM Math was presented within the context of mass and compass (on land, Jon Magnuson, Cedar Tree Institute) and vessel navigation (on the water, Stephen Roblee, MTU). Hikes to Mount Ojibway and an R/V Agassiz cruise around ice-encrusted Blake Point to a shipwreck site on the Palisades provided the venue for STEM Math offerings.

Students also participated in Art and Spirit Projects led by artist and illustrator Diana Magnuson of the Cedar Tree Institute. Ken Vrana, Director of the Isle Royale Institute, guided students on hikes and on field trips to Rock Harbor Lighthouse, Edisen Fishery and the Island home of the Isle Royale Wolf-Moose Project hosted by MTU’s Rolf and Candy Peterson.

The Journey was wrapped up with a Feast prepared by the Rock Harbor Lodge, a Ceremony hosted by the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Drum and an evening campfire with S’mores.

The KBIC, particularly Lori Sherman and chaperones Richard Wickstrom and Katrina Ravindran, deserves special thanks for logistical and financial support. The Isle Royale Institute contributed financial and made other contributions which greatly enriched the experience. The R/V Agassiz and Captain Stephen Roblee were made available through Ride the Waves with General Motors. Wilderness STEM experiences with KBIC youth were originated in 2013 by Jon Magnuson of the Cedar Tree Institute and Marty Auer of Michigan Tech and, with support from General Motors are now in their third year.

Group at Mott Island, Isle Royale National Park, Lake Superior
Group at Mott Island, Isle Royale National Park, Lake Superior
Group on board RV Agassiz, Isle Royale National Park, Lake Superior
Group on board RV Agassiz, Isle Royale National Park, Lake Superior
Group at the the Isle Royale Wolf-Moose Project hosted by MTU’s Rolf and Candy Peterson
Group at the the Isle Royale Wolf-Moose Project hosted by MTU’s Rolf and Candy Peterson
On board the RV Agassiz
On board the RV Agassiz

See More Photos of the STEM Immersion on Isle Royale


Working Together to Build Drought Resiliency

image122501-horizDrought in the southwest has left only a trickle running through irrigation ditches on farms outside El Paso, Texas. The Rio Grande — called Rio Bravo in Mexico — is what supplies that trickle, struggling to meet water demands in three US states and five in Mexico.

As drought continues, and demand grows, researchers like Alex Mayer from Michigan Technological University are looking to new models to improve the region’s drought resiliency. Mayer, a professor of environmental engineering at Michigan Tech, is part of a unique team looking at water resources along a section of the Rio Grande. The National Institute of Food and Agriculture, part of the US Department of Agriculture, has awarded the project a $4.9 million grant to study water shortage and climate change for the next five years in the region.

Read More about this