Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Posts under the ‘News’ category

CEE 2014 Awards

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

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

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

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.”

ASCE Publishes Textbook by David Watkins

Monday, April 7th, 2014

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

Michigan Space Grant Consortium (MSGC) Awards to CEE

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

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”

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

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. (more…)

CEE Alumni reception in Bay City

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

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

Jennifer Fuller wins Favorite Poster Award at Graduate Research Colloquium

Thursday, February 27th, 2014


Rail Transportation Program Scholarship Winners

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

Congratulations to 2014 Rail Transportation Program (RTP) Scholarship Recipients. $12,000 dollars in Michigan Tech Scholarships were awarded to students in the RTP program, as well as additional scholarships received from American Railway Engineering and Maintenance of Way Association (AREMA). (more…)

Rail Night Brings Industry, Educators and Students Together

Saturday, February 22nd, 2014

Railroad Night offered a relaxed dine-with-industry setting for faculty, students, industry, administration and community to meet each other and to learn more about railroads and the railroad industry. The event included hors d’oeuvres , cash bar, door prizes, and more. This event continues to draw in record numbers of participants with each year with over 165 this year. The Keynote Speaker was Lisa Stabler, President of the Transportation Technology Center Inc., Pueblo, Colorado.

The Rail Transportation Program (RTP) and the Rail Engineering and Activities Club (REAC) organized the 9th Annual Railroad Night and related Rail Day activities recently. Railroad Night’s 150-plus participants made for a full house and an exciting evening. The event drew in 15 industry company sponsors including RTP program partners Norfolk Southern, Union Pacific and CN. (more…)

Research News from CEE

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

Jianqiu Zheng, a PhD candidate in the atmospheric sciences, who is under the advisement of Paul Doskey (CEE), recently traveled to the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry in Jena, Germany to attend the first PhD Conference on Earth System Science. Zheng presented her research on soil emissions of nitrous oxide, which is a greenhouse gas many times more potent than carbon dioxide. She was the only attendee from a US University.

The April/May/June 2014 issue of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) magazine, Coastal Services, includes an article featuring the Great Lakes Research Center’s studies of dangerous coastal currents. The data collected by GLRC scientists will help improve beach safety on the Great Lakes.

Ralph Hodek (CEE), associate professor and director of the Michigan Tech Transportation Institute (MTTI), was sought by Upper Michigan’s Source TV 6 News for his expertise in soil mechanics and foundational engineering in regards this year’s record winter weather. Hodek provided an explanation of the mechanics of pavement heave and ground thaw and the potential damage to area roads which may occur due to the record number of freezing days encountered. A transcript of Hodek’s interview and video clip of the news item can be found at

John Kiefer, Chris Codere, Christopher Gilbertson and Belle Wirtanen, staff at the Center for Technology and Training (CEE),coordinated and managed the on-site operations of the 2014 Michigan Bridge Conference and Bridge Workshop: Introduction to Element-Level Bridge Inspection, held March 18-19 in Bay City. The event attracted over 200 engineers, inspectors and other bridge construction and maintenance professionals, making it the most attended in its 18-year history. The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering hosted an alumni reception following the Bridge Workshop that was attended by approximately 70 graduates from recent years back to the class of 1952.

Tribal technical assistant program (TTAP) director John Velat (CEE) participated in the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Strategic Planning Committee meeting for the Local and Tribal Technical Assistance Programs (LTAP/TTAP) recently in Atlanta. The FHWA Strategic Planning Committee (SPC), a representative group of Center staff from across the LTAP/TTAP community, serves to analyze current and future trends in the program and advises FHWA on responsive program management. This work was conducted as part of TTAP’s contract with the Federal Highway Administration to advance tribal transportation issues, transportation safety, cultural awareness and tribal self-determination. TTAP serves 64 tribes in 31 Midwestern and Eastern states and cooperates with tribal transportation initiatives nationwide.

The February 2014 issue of the Urban Transportation Monitor, a monthly publication featuring transportation policy and research, published a feature article about Michigan Tech’s research into using drones to monitor roads infrastructure.

Two CEE graduate students traveled with Joan Chadde, education/outreach program coordinator, Center for Science and Environmental Outreach, and presented an activity called “Packaging Bananas” that they helped to develop. The students were Irfan Rasul, graduate research assistant (advisor Pasi Lautala) and Adriano Rothschild, graduate teaching assistant (advisor Jeff Lidicker).

Pasi Lautala (CEE) traveled to Lansing on Feb. 11 to participate in the inaugural meeting of the Commission for Logistics and Supply Chain Collaboration in Lansing. Lautala is the only member from the Upper Peninsula in the seven-member commission appointed by the Governor. The commission is housed within the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and will advise state agencies on freight transportation and supply chain management issues.

Alex Mayer (CEE) has received $151,846 of $295,893 for a four-year research project “Experimental Frameworks for Evaluating the Net Effects of Hydrological Service Payments on Coupled Social-Ecological Systems in Mexico,” from the University of New Hampshire.

PI David Hand, Co-PI Zeyad Ahmed, Co-PI David Perram (CEE) have received a $49,275 grant from the Water Research Foundation for the one-year project, “Removal of Volatile Organic Contaminants (VOCS) from Drinking Water Via Multi-Stage Low Profile Aeration Technology.” (more…)

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