Category Archives: News

Research News from CEE

Associated Press wire service published an article about Professor and Chair David Hand’s (CEE) research on using recycled tires to improve road asphalt. Newspapers and broadcast media outlets, including the Detroit News, ran the AP story.

Tim Colling and John Kiefer (CEE/MTTI) have received $99,345 from the Michigan Department of Transportation for “TAMC Activities 2015.” Tim Colling (CEE/MTTI), Gary Schlaff and Nick Koszykowski (CEE) received $264,351 from the Michigan Department of Transportation for the two year project “Implementation of Roadsoft for MDOT Safety Services Unit.”

The Graduate School is pleased to announce that the following students have earned the Doctoral Finishing Fellowship: Rasika Kishor Gawde, PhD candidate in Environmental Engineering, Ruiqiang Song, PhD candidate in Civil Engineering, Yunzhu Zhao, PhD candidate in Environmental Engineering. More information

Undergraduate student Lacey Kaare (CEE) won third place in the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) World Congress Student Essay Contest with her essay titled “Attitudes and the American Way: Barriers to Fully Automated Vehicles.” The essay contest was sponsored by the Southwest Research Institute. Kaare’s winning essay was featured in the final program, and her registration fee for the 2014 ITS World Congress in Detroit was funded by the Southwest Research Institute. In addition, the Michigan Tech Transportation Institute provided Kaare with funding for travel and expenses during the convention. Kaare entered the contest as part of the requirements for an ITS course offered last spring at Michigan Tech in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Zhanping You (CEE) has received $41,308 of $855,680 from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality for the first year of a two-year research and development project, “Low-Emission Asphalt Pavements with Crumb Rubber.”

Martin Auer and Pengfei Xue (CEE) have received $21,052 from Battelle Memorial Institute-US Environmental Protection Agency for a research and development project titled “Lake Erie Phosphorus Modeling.”

Alex Mayer (CEE), Rupali Datta (Bio Sci) and Rod Chimner (SFRES) have received $144,710 from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality for a research and development project titled “Huron Creek Watershed Improvements Phase 1: Reducing Copper Loads from Stamp Sand Deposits in the Keweenaw Peninsula with Permeable Reactive Barriers.”

PI Daisuke Minakata (CEE) was awarded $330,000 from the National Science Foundation for his project, “Coupling Experimental and Theoretical Molecular-Level Investigations to Visualize the Fate of Degradation of Organic Compounds in Aqueous Phase Advanced Oxidation Systems.”

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Rail and Intermodal Transportation Program Begins this Week

5985253957_f178f2acac_oThe Rail and Intermodal Transportation Program (RTP), a one-week course for outstanding high-school students, is taking place this week, July 28–August 1.

The program’s 24 participants will spend the week exploring many aspects of intermodal transportation–from high-speed passenger train systems to international container shipping.

Students will have technical, hands-on tours of rail and intermodal facilities in Ishpeming/Marquette and Duluth/Superior as well as classroom and lab courses on Michigan Tech’s campus.

“This program gives students a really good intro to the field,” says David Nelson, RTP coordinator. “It introduces them to both engineering and workforce jobs in transportation. The students we see run the gamut from just getting introduced to the field to already being trainspotting and train history experts.”

Participants will also get a taste of college life on two college campuses (Michigan Tech and UW–Superior) by staying in residence halls, eating in university dining halls, exploring campus and meeting diverse peers.

Michigan Tech at MI Construction Career Days

Last week the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department and the School of Technology participated in the MI Construction Career Days in Howell MI. This is an event sponsored by FHWA, MDOT, Mita, Operating Engineers Union Local 324 as well as others. According to the event web site , “MICCD is Michigan’s premiere construction career exploration event. Based on the National Career Day model, MICCD provides Michigan’s young people a chance to experience construction up-close, getting the chance to use real tools, materials and heavy equipment under the direct guidance of construction professionals from all sectors of the industry.”

On Thursday morning Governor Snyder visited the event and had his picture taken with our MTU students that were meeting with the high school students attending the event.

Governor Snyder with Michigan Tech students at Construction Career Days
Governor Snyder with Michigan Tech students at Construction Career Days

CEE Alumni News

Flint-based Rowe Professional Services selects new president: Leanne Panduren, a 1993 Michigan Tech University graduate hired by Rowe as an assistant engineer in its Flushing office, is set to take over as CEO in January 2016. More details

Engineering & Surveying Excellence Awards Gala recognizes top projects and honors individuals
On February 22, 2014, the American Council of Engineering Companies of Michigan (ACEC/M) honored firms for engineering and surveying excellence during the association’s 49th annual Engineering and Surveying Excellence Awards ceremony at the JW Marriott in Grand Rapids. Outstanding Michigan engineering and surveying projects from the past year, as well as engineering professionals who have significantly contributed to the profession, were honored.

Great Lakes Engineering Group – ACEC Small Firm of the Year
Great Lakes Engineering Group (GLEG) is the 2014 Small Firm of the Year and specializes in bridge inspection – one of only three firms in the state to obtain MDOT prequalification for underwater bridge inspection. The firm’s founder and principal, Amy Trahey PE, a 1994 civil engineering graduate of Michigan Tech University, was instrumental in obtaining this prequalification. Mrs. Trahey has served on the ACEC/Michigan Board of Directors since 2009. She was Treasurer for two years and will become ACEC/Michigan’s first female president in 2015.

Great Lakes Engineering Group - ACEC Small Firm of the Year

GLEG employees hold memberships with ASCE, MSPE and MCA and actively participate in local schools and zoning boards, along with youth baseball teams. GLEG encourages students to pursue careers in engineering through mentoring, internship programs, and job shadowing. Employees serve on the Michigan Technological University Civil and Environmental Advisory Board and routinely support the ASCE steel bridge competition.

GLEG is a woman-owned civil and structural engineering firm dedicated to providing full engineering services to private and public clients primarily in Michigan. The company was founded upon the need for structural engineering services that specialize in the field of bridges.

Fleis & VandenBrink Engineering – Eminent Conceptor Winner
This year’s engineering Eminent Conceptor Award winner was Fleis & VandenBrink Engineering, Inc., Grand Rapids, for the West Bay County Wastewater Treatment Facility upgrades. A number of Michigan Tech civil engineering alumni worked on the project including: Rich Grant – 1984, Bruce Sabin – 1979, 1981, Eric Griffith – 2007, Gary Bartow – 1976, Steve VandenBrink – 1978, Bob Wilcox – 1999, Carey Bond – 1992 and also a couple of chemical engineering alumni: Elaine Venema – 2006 – ChE, and Brian Schanhals – 2009 – ChE

Fleis & VandenBrink Engineering - Eminent Conceptor Winner

The West Bay County Regional WWTP (WBC) provided wastewater service to six communities. In 2009, the City of Essexville and Hampton Township requested to connect to WBC and provide them with 2.3 million gallons per day (mgd) capacity. WBC would need to move quickly since they would have to have this capacity available before the wastewater service contract with another municipality expired.
While WBC wanted to accommodate these neighboring communities, WBC already needed to mitigate Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSOs) overflows for up to 25 year storm events. The added 2.3 mgd flow would complicate the solution. Before additional customers could be connected, MDEQ required WBC to create additional treatment capacity, mitigate both WBC’s SSOs, and the customer community Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs).
Critical project needs included significant WBC plant capacity expansion, add flow equalization, address odors and inadequate biosolids storage capacity, and improve on the chlorine contact time for disinfection.
Fleis & VandenBrink (F&V) completed a capacity study, design and construction engineering as part of an expedited schedule to complete the project within about 15 months. F&V also was the inter-community consensus builder while provided funding assistance, construction management, and start-up and operations assistance.

This year’s ACEC/M Vernon B. Spalding Leadership Award was presented to Melvin “Ernie” Orchard, PE, founder and past president of OHM Advisors, to honor his outstanding leadership roles in ACEC and several community organizations.

When Ernie Orchard became president of the consulting firm Orchard, Papke, Hiltz & McCliment, Inc. in 1972, he immediately engaged with ACEC/MI. Energetic in his support of ACEC, Ernie later held leadership roles at the state and national levels. In the mid-70′s, he helped to organize the first Political Action Committee in Michigan’s Chapter of ACEC and the first Legislative Day in Lansing to bring attention to issues impacting the design profession.

The ACEC/M Felix A. Anderson Image Award was presented to Richard Anderson, PE, of Somat Engineering, Inc. for his actions and contributions to enhance the image of the profession.

Mr. Richard O. Anderson, a 1971 civil engineering graduate of Michigan Technological University (MTU), is a Principal Engineer and former President of Somat Engineering, Inc. in Detroit, Michigan.

As a Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), he is a nationally known expert for his innovative and cost effective solutions to infrastructure projects and engineering education. During a distinguished career spanning over 42 years, he has worked on over 6,500 projects including airports, high-rise office structures, health care facilities, transportation facilities and many others.

Professor Tess Ahlborn hosts STEM opportunities

Professor Tess Ahlborn (CEE) hosted two “Bridging the Gap” workshops and a “Michigan Tech College Corner” at the Tech Savvy–Powered by AAUW event held April 26 in Gaylord. The event brought together 155 middle school girls and 55 caring adults to introduce and explore STEM opportunities, including concepts needed for designing and constructing bridges. Attendees also gained insight from women mentors who pursued degrees and careers in typically male-dominated STEM fields, and how persistence played a key role in success.

CEE Senior Design Colloquium

Senior Design Colloquium Civil and Environmental Engineering Department;
Friday, May 2, 2014: Presentations will be in Dow 641 and 642

The Civil and Environmental Engineering Department is pleased to invite the University community to attend the Spring 2014 senior design team presentations. This semester students in four sections have undertaken a wide range of interesting projects to fulfill the Department’s design project requirement. Refreshments will be served.

CEE Senior Design Colloquium Schedule PDF

Dow 641; 8:05 am
Digital As-Builts for the City of Houghton Pipe Networks
Instructor: Dr. Amlan Mukherjee
1. BNB Consulting
Bryan Daavettila, Brian Kernstock, Nathynn Mitchell
2. ADT Engineering
David Auricchio, Tyler Tomlinson, Ashley Smokoska
3. MED
Zhongyue Mao, Eric LaBelle, Duane Burfield
4. Three Star Consulting
John M Ferry, Derek Collar, Yubin Tan

Heavy Lifting Device (HLD) at Kiewit
Dow 642; 8:05 am
Offshore Services Yard in Ingleside, Texas
Instructor: Mike Drewyor
1. HLD Foundation Design by ACE Engineering
Tim Johnson, Project Manager
Dan Becker, Alex Philips, Lan Shi
2. HLD Mast Erection by Upright Engineering
Pat Spalding, Project Manager
Kyle Chouinard, Jiayi (Joe) Ding, Zack Weber
3. HLD Boom Load out onto Barge by BSF Construction
Evan Feinauer, Project Manager
Tom Briggs, Aric Souilliere
4. HLD Lift of Production Module – Rigging Design by BWYD Engineering
Doug Burmeister, Project Manager
Justin Wigand, Greg Donajkowski, Tianye Yang

Dow 641 9:30 am
Michigan Tech Trailhead Lodge
Design Competition
Instructors: Bill Leder, Bill Baxandall
1. TDWS Consulting
Kelcey Traynoff, Project Manager
Allyssa Demers, Eric Simmons, Kevin Wilks
2. BBY&B
Ben Bryant, Project Manager
Jared Belovich, Alex Bomstad, Kaili Yue
3. Team NRAM Rod
Nicholas Lanoue, Project Manager
Ryan Anderson, Michael LaFerve, Adam Suokas
4. I.S.S.I.
Alice Flanders, Project Manager
Evan Kryzske, Wen Tao Liu, Casey Holvenstot

Dow 642 9:55 am
Evaluation of Sludge Process Train
Alternatives for Class A Biosolids
Production at the Gogebic-Iron Wastewater Authority (GIWA) Treatment Facility
Instructors: Dr. Eric Seagren & Dr. Jennifer Becker
1. DESM Engineering
Mitchell Murphy, Project Manager
Dominic Davis, Wesley Ellenwood, Courtney Sian
2. Sustainable Biosolids Solutions
Keith Anderson, Project Manager
Justin Kosmowski, Ryan Leveille, Jonathan Witham
3. ABCK Consulting
Anna VanderKooi, Project Manager
Brogan Beyette, Collin DePrekel, Kaitlin Hannum
Shawn Conard, Project Manager
Kyle Slavik, Will Ashbaugh, Mike Polkinghorn

CEE 2014 Awards

Adriano Rothschild received the The Danielle Ladwig Award for Graduate Excellence is made annually to a graduate level civil or environmental engineering student in recognition of outstanding achievement in academics, research, and service, in memory of our friend and colleague, Danielle F. Ladwig.

Adriano Rothschild received the The Danielle Ladwig Award

Tia Scarpelli received the The Nicole Bloom Award for Environmental Sustainability is made annually to an undergraduate civil or environmental engineering student who has demonstrated leadership, passion, and activism for effecting environmental sustainability at the local, national, or global level.

Tia Scarpelli received the The Nicole Bloom Award

Xu Yang received the Graduate Research Excellence Award

Xu Yang received the Graduate Research Excellence Award

Tess Ahlborn was voted the Howard Hill Faculty of the Year of Chi Epsilon students presenting her with the award.

Tess Ahlborn was voted the Howard Hill Faculty of the Year

Graduate Teaching Assistants Recognized
Concrete Canoe team
F. William Baxandall Adjunct Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering

CEE National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship

Three graduate students have received Graduate Research Fellowships from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Christa Meingast in environmental engineering and Gregory Hardy and David Diesenroth in mechanical engineering won the competitive fellowships. Benjamin Winter in civil engineering received an honorable mention.

“NSF Graduate Research Fellowships are one of the oldest, most prestigious and competitive programs nationally,” said Jodi Lehman, assistant director for research development at Michigan Tech. “It is the fellowship program that other federal programs such as the Department of Defense, Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy use as a benchmark,” she noted.

“The Graduate School is happy to see our students honored for their scholarship and achievements in and out of the classroom,” said Debra Charlesworth, assistant dean of the Graduate School and coordinator of the NSF Graduate Research Fellows program at Michigan Tech. “These prestigious awards recognize not only our students, but the faculty and staff who have provided opportunities and mentoring for them to reach their potential. They join an outstanding group of Michigan Tech NSF scholars who are conducting research around the world.”

Charlesworth herself is a former NSF Graduate Research Fellow.

“The recent awards and honorable mention demonstrate the quality of a Michigan Tech education at all levels and disciplines,” said Craig Friedrich, director of graduate studies for the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics and Richard and Bonnie Robbins Chair Professor of Mechanical Engineering. “Our students are on par with the top research institutions in the US, and the support provided by Jodi Lehman helping students prepare fellowship applications continues to grow our success and recognition with the National Science Foundation and other agencies.”

Engineering on Alcatraz: Alumna Involved in Restoration and Stabilization

Certain names bring forth visceral associations. Alcatraz is one, but the notorious prison of the past is also a place for a Michigan Technological University alumna to use some of her civil engineering skills in the present.
Debra Campbell, a 1976 graduate, works for the National Park Service on Alcatraz, perched on an island in San Francisco Bay. She has been involved in four recent projects on the iconic island.


ASCE Publishes Textbook by David Watkins

Water Resources Systems Analysis through Case Studies: Data and Models for Decision Making by David W. Watkins Jr., Ph.D. consists of 10 case studies suitable for the classroom to demonstrate engineers’ use of widely available modeling software in evaluating complex environmental and water resources systems. Simulation and optimization models, visualization tools, and spatial analysis tools are applied to real-life situations. Each case study includes background on the geography, hydrology, and natural resources of the area as well as relevant social, economic, developmental, and political issues. A series of active-learning exercises is provided, along with additional resources for instructors. Software is not included, but all programs and data sets are freely available online.

Primarily intended for students in upper-level undergraduate and graduate level systems analysis courses, this book may also be of interest to practicing engineers in the field of water resources planning and management.

Contents of book