While some folks are planning to relax over the Thanksgiving break, the Michigan Tech Student Chapter of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) will be spreading the word about engineering as a possible STEM career path. The MTU students will conduct a Family Engineering event on November 23 at the Academy of the Americas in Detroit. A free supper for families will be provided3:45-4:30 pm in the school cafeteria.Families will attendthree 35-minute activities from 4:30-6:30 pm. This event is made possible with a grant from John Deere to the Michigan Technological University Center for Science & Environmental Outreach who is helping the SHPE chapter prepare for this event. Michigan Tech is a co-developer of the Family Engineering program, along with the Foundation for Family Science & Engineering and the American Society for Engineering Education. To learn more, visit: http://www.familyengineering.org/ For more information, contact co-author Joan Chadde, Director, Michigan Tech Center for Science & Environmental Outreach, at 487-3341 or email@example.com FamEngin Flyer AoA Nov.23.2015
The Western Upper Peninsula Center for Science, Mathematics, and Environmental Education along with the Houghton Energy Team and Michigan Tech hosted an event at the Portage Lake District Library to teach kids the importance of energy-saving skills.
Toward New Age Modeling and Management of Nuisance Cladophora in the Great Lakes
Monday, November 2, 2015
202 Great Lakes Research Cener
Anika Kuczynski, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Michigan Tech
A native to the Great Lakes, Cladophora glomerata is a filamentous, green alga that has proliferated and caused nuisance conditions especially in the lower Great Lakes, both historically and in the 21st century. Depending on currents affected by wind speed and direction, algal mats may clog cooling and drinking water intakes or wash up on beaches. The decaying plant material produces offensive odors and provides favorable environmental conditions for hosting pathogens. While Cladophora was not the target for P abatement, which began in the late 1970s, its biomass levels appeared to decrease by the early to mid-1980s in Lake Ontario. With the return of nuisance conditions since the zebra and quagga mussel invasion and an altered system at hand, current field monitoring and modeling efforts are necessary to establish a new baseline understanding and appropriate management approaches in this new age. The objectives of this dissertation will be 1) to establish that there has, in fact, been a Cladophora resurgence in the Great Lakes and to quantitatively characterize that resurgence and management implications, 2) to define a phosphorus standard or substance objective for Cladophora management in the Great Lakes; and to demonstrate the application of linked hydrodynamic-phosphorus-Cladophora modeling to define management strategies in two case studies, 3) the Ajax, ON nearshore of Lake Ontario and 4) the eastern basin of Lake Erie.
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.
- 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)
An archive of past D80 Conferences
The 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.
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.
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.
One of the greatest needs facing mankind today is the safety and availability of water. Water scarcity driven by climate change and other factors presents major challenges to next-generation water infrastructures dealing with both planned and unplanned wastewater reuse.
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.
Drought 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.
Wind turbines appear simple, but it’s the complex engineering behind the technology that makes harnessing the wind seem like a breeze. Bridging the gap between mechanical details and large-scale infrastructure needs of wind turbine technology is also no easy feat.
But that’s the research focus of Antonio Velazquez, who earned his PhD from Michigan Technological University last fall, and Assistant Professor Andrew Swartz, Velazquez’s advisor in civil and environmental engineering. Their forward-thinking research on better monitoring systems for wind turbines earned the duo this year’s Bhakta Rath Research Award.
Read More about this