Category Archives: News

News Briefs from CEE

IMG_1376640

KDLH-TV and Fox 21 in Duluth broadcast news stories about Michigan Tech’s Rail and Intermodal Transportation Institute, part of Summer Youth Programs. High school students participating in the institute are in Duluth visiting rail companies and train yards.

Qingli Dai (CEE/MTTI) is the principal investigator on a research project that received $333,463 based on contract costs. The title of the project is, Incorporating Surface-Treated Rubber Particles into Portland Cement and Geopolymer Concrete to Field Performance. Also working on this project are Shiyue Fang (Chem) and Zhanping You (CEE).

David Watkins (CEE/CWS) is the principal investigator on a research project that received a $47,200 grant from the Nation Science Foundation. The project is titled, Coupled Production-Consumption Systems for Climate Change Mitigation: Designing Equitable Food, Energy and Water Conservation Strategies. Co-PI for the project is Kathleen Halvorsen (SS).

Technology Century, a science and technology news website published by the Engineering Society of Detroit, reported on a visit by ESD executives to Michigan Tech and plans to establish a student chapter of the ESD at Michigan Tech.

Joan Schumaker-Chadde (CEE/GLRC) has received $5,000 from Michigan State University for the public service project Governance Approaches to Foster Great Lakes Literacy, Identity and Stewardship: An Integrated Assessment.

Pasi Lautala, director of the Michigan Tech Rail Transportation Program (RTP), led a group of students and staff at the annual NURail meeting in Chicago, June 3-4.NURail is a University Transportation Center (UTC) with a railroad focus. NURail has 7 member universities, and 14 affiliates, see more information at NURail Center. Lautala presented a session on NURail Affiliate Universities, and collaborated with senior research engineer David Nelson on a session on Senior Design and Enterprise projects at Michigan Tech. Hamed Pouryousef and Sumanth Kalluri presented a group of posters highlighting Michigan Tech railroad research projects, and Hamed participated in the 3-minute thesis competition.

Principal Investigator Kuilin Zhang (CEE/MTTI), along with Co-PI Colin Brooks (MTII), have received a research and development grant of $200,000 from the National Science Foundation for a three-year project. The project is titled Improving Spatial Observability of Dynamic Traffic Systems through Active Mobile Sensor Networks and Crowdsourced Data.

The Graduate School Announced Award Recipients for Fall 2014 and Spring 2015, Doctoral Finishing Fellowships: Yaoxian Huang, PhD Candidate in Environmental Engineering; Huang said: “As an atmospheric scientist, I plan to be an environmental researcher and educator. The award for the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS) Distinguished Thesis Award: Xu Yang, PhD Candidate in Civil Engineering; Photographs and details of awards and fellowships coordinated by the Graduate School can be found online.

The Mining Journal published a news story about a period of public comment opening on a consultants’ review of progress on recommendations made in the 2000 International Joint Commission report, “Protection of the Waters of the Great Lakes.” One of the consultants reviewing the progress was Michigan Tech Professor Alex Mayer (CEE).

Joan Chadde, director of the Michigan Tech Center for Science & Environmental Outreach, and Neil Hutzler, retired past chair of the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, collaborated with the Foundation for Family Science & Engineering to conduct a STEM Night for a sold-out crowd of 300 teachers from across the country who were attending the 2015 National Science Teachers’ Association STEM Forum & Expo last week in Minneapolis. Chadde and Hutzler are among the co-authors of the Family Engineering Activity & Event Planning Guide published in 2011. Michigan Tech received a $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to develop the guide. Anza Mitchell, president of the Michigan Tech student chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers, assisted with the event.
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

Wind Power Duo Wins Bhakta Rath Research Award

image121726-horizWind 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

Alex Mayer Receives 2015 Research Award

image121729-horizWater is perhaps the most controversial natural resource in the US. Alex Mayer recognizes that, for all its controversy, water is essential to life and society. Mayer holds the Charles and Patricia Nelson Presidential Professor in civil and environmental engineering at Michigan Technological University and studies water resources. For his dedication to studying water quality and scarcity — and his unique approach to these complex problems — Mayer won Michigan Tech’s 2015 Research Award.
Read More about this

STEM Career Tours at Michigan Tech

STEMHigh School students came to learn about STEM Careers at Michigan Tech. Nearly 200 high school students from nine schools in the western UP spent a day at Michigan Tech, exploring science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers. They visited labs and learn about green building and low-impact design, human monitoring devices, forest insects, steam mechanics, remotely-operated vehicles, computer science, materials science and engineering, civil engineering/concrete testing, Great Lakes fish, transportation engineering and geology and mining engineering.

On Tuesday May 12, students from Jeffers High School in Adams Township spent the day at Tech learning about STEM careers. Students from Nah Tah Wahsh Public Academy in Wilson were on campus on May 13th, and on Friday the 15th the University will host students from Watersmeet High School.

Students visited a variety of science, engineering, and computer labs at Michigan Tech and participate in presentations and hands-on activities led by Michigan Tech students, engineers, and scientists to kick start students’ planning for careers in STEM. Tours were approximately from 9 am to 2:30 pm.

View some photos of the STEM Careers Tours Program at Michigan Tech

View a short video clip of a lab example learning about STEM careers

Download the PDF Flyer: STEM Career Tours at Michigan Tech

Selected Topics and Labs to Visited:

Green Building & Low Impact Design
Stream Mechanics Lab
Remotely Operated Vehicles
Computer Science
Materials Science & Engineering
Civil Engineering Concrete TestingLab
Fishy Great Lakes
Transportation Engineering
Geology & Mining Engineering
Human Monitoring Devices / Driving Simulator
Forest Insects

For more information about STEM Career Tours at Michigan Tech, contact:

Joan Chadde, Director
MTU Center for Science & Environmental Outreach
jchadde@mtu.edu or 906-487-3341

Made possible with funding from the Michigan STEM Partnership and coordinated by the MTU Center for Science & Environmental Outreach and Western U.P. Center for Science, Math and Environmental Education with assistance from the Dept. of Civil & Environmental Engineering.

STEM Tours School FLYER

Schools Sheduled (Update to May 6)

April 28 – Keweenaw Bay Alternative School and Copper Country Christian
May 4 – Lake Linden-Hubbell High School
May 5 – L’Anse High School
May 8: Dollar Bay
May 11: Bessemer
May 12: Jeffers High School
May 13: Nah Tah Wahsh
May 15: Watersmeet

STEM Career Tour
STEM Career Tour
STEM Career Tour
STEM Career Tour

First MS-accelerated graduates

This year marked the first grdautes for the Civil and Environmental Engineering Accelerated MS program. All five of the grads were very successful with job offers and all are employed.

The accelerated master’s programs in civil engineering and environmental engineering allow students to count up to 6 senior-level credits toward both a Bachelor of Science in Civil or Environmental Engineering and a Master of Science in Civil or Environmental Engineering.

Picture of the first graduating class of the MSCE Accelerated program. Left to right: Kelcey Traynoff, Kathleen Bussell, Ben Bryant, Natalie Lambert and Sarah Reed.
Picture of the first graduating class of the MSCE Accelerated program. Left to right: Kelcey Traynoff, Kathleen Bussell, Ben Bryant, Natalie Lambert and Sarah Reed.

CEE Awards Banquet 2015

Civil and Environmental Engineering Department Annual Awards Banquet was held in the Rosza Atrium on April 16th.

2015 Danielle Ladwig Award for Graduate Excellence Zoe Miller and Jennie Tyrell
2015 Danielle Ladwig Award for Graduate Excellence
Zoe Miller and Jennie Tyrell

The 2015 Danielle Ladwig Award for Graduate Excellence
Zoe Miller and Jennie Tyrell
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.

The Graduate Research Excellence Award Xiao Sun – nominated by Barbara Dai
The Graduate Research Excellence Award
Xiao Sun – nominated by Barbara Dai

The Graduate Research Excellence Award
Xiao Sun – nominated by Barbara Dai

2015 Nicole Bloom Award for Environmental Sustainability  Brent Cousino nominated by Bill Leder.
2015 Nicole Bloom Award for Environmental Sustainability
Brent Cousino nominated by Bill Leder.

The 2015 Nicole Bloom Award for Environmental Sustainability
Brent Cousino nominated by Bill Leder.
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.

2015 Civil and Environmental Engineering Department Scholar Jason Cattelino nominated by Tess Ahlborn
2015 Civil and Environmental Engineering Department Scholar
Jason Cattelino nominated by Tess Ahlborn

The 2015 Civil and Environmental Engineering Department Scholar
Jason Cattelino nominated by Tess Ahlborn

2015 Graduate Teaching Assistant of the Year David Porter
2015 Graduate Teaching Assistant of the Year
David Porter

The 2015 Graduate Teaching Assistant of the Year
David Porter

2015 Howard Hill Faculty of the Year Award Kris Mattila
2015 Howard Hill Faculty of the Year Award
Kris Mattila

The 2015 Howard Hill Faculty of the Year Award
Kris Mattila

More photos on the CEE Photo Gallery

CEE Senior Design Colloquium May 1st

cee1Senior Design Colloquium
Civil and Environmental Engineering Department
May 1, 2015
Presentations will be in Dow 641 & Dow 642
The Civil and Environmental Engineering Department is pleased to invite the University community to attend the spring 2015 senior design team presentations. This semester students have undertaken a wide range of interesting projects to fulfill the Department’s design project requirement. Refreshments will be served.

Download Program PDF: Senior Design Colloquium Spring 2015

Dow 641:
8:00 AM

Design of Highland Copper Company’s Slurry and Water Pipeline & Expansion of the Existing Mine Tail-ings Impoundment to Accommodate Future Mining
Instructor: Stan Vitton

Slurry and Water Pipeline Design:
Cassandra Kussow, Tyler Scarlett, Patricia Tompson, Shi Yan

Slurry and Water Pipeline Construction:
Nicholas Coon, Trace Hubbard, Margaret Kloote, Ellen Nightingale, Dustin St. Arnaud, Madison Ziems

Expansion of Existing Mine Tailings Impoundment:
Alex Anderson, Ronald Coffey, Kyle Pfeifer, Christian Valesano, Derek Waldorf

Dow 642:
8:00 AM

Wayne Industries Development Plan
Instructors: David Nelson and Bill Leder

ENVISION Consulting Group — Site Plan
Dan Livernois, Project Manager; Jim Herman, Adam Schalk, Kevin Smith

JART — Rail Access
Joe Giancarlo, Project Manager; Robert Daavettila, Tyler Pullen, Alyssa Strebel

Keweenaw Building Solutions — Building/Structural
Mark Heinrich, Project Manager; Kyle Gillean, Kyle Hamilton, Tanja Mattonen

Dow 641 9:30 AM
Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study for a Trichloroethylene Groundwater Contaminant Plume in Mancelona, Michigan
Instructors: Alex Mayer and Eric Seagren

1 Earth Engineering
Kelsey Lank, Project Manager; David Ekkens, Ellen Englund, Qiuyuan Nan

Northern Way Environmental
Jonathan Rickli and John Weston, Project Managers; Josh Siler, Brady Zueg

Superior Consultants
Hannah Slabaugh, Project Manager; Alex Ferguson, Laura Harris, Sarah Peterson


Dow 642 9:30 AM

Hebron Gravity Based Structure (GBS) near St John’s, Newfoundland
Instructors: Mike Drewyor and Tim Wellert (ILF)

BBG Engineering, Tower Cranes 3 & 5: Foundations, Erection and Removal
Marshall Bailey, Project Manager; Andy Groneveld, Emily Blaney

CKE Engineering, Tower Crane 4: Pile Foundation, Erection and Removal
Charlie Briner, Project Manager; Ethan Bell, Kevin Courtney

International Bridge Design Group, Pedestrian Access Bridge: Foundation, Bridge, Erection and Removal
Erica Morley, Project Manager, Tom Kendrick, Nick Krommendyk, Micah Trierweller

Silver Lining Construction, Bund and Slurry Wall Design, Construction and Removal
Ashley Guenther, Project Manager; Richard Taglione, Ross Kittel, John Qualey

Talk: Oil and Gas Pipeline Design, Construction and Operation

IMG_9826 (450x319)James Rockwell ’79, gave a presentation "Oil and Gas Pipeline Design, Construction and Operation," on Thursday April 16th at Michigan Tech.
The presentation was based on Rockwell’s 33-plus years in the oil and gas industry. It focuses on long-distance pipelines.
An overview of the engineering principles, issues, practical aspects and regulations applicable to the design, construction and operation of oil and gas pipeline systems was presented. The focus was on DOT specifications, standards and procedures for steel pipelines. Hydraulics, diameter and wall thickness sizing construction aspects were discussed.