Category Archives: Research

News Briefs from CEE

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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.
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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.

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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.

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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.
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CEE Students Win Graduate Research Awards

1st Place Oral Presentation Award Winner:   Jennifer Fuller Civil and Environmental Engineering Developing a Sustainable Process for Removal of Synthetic Hormones in Wastewater Treatment
1st Place Oral Presentation Award Winner:
Jennifer Fuller (center) Civil and Environmental Engineering
Developing a Sustainable Process for Removal of Synthetic Hormones in Wastewater Treatment
Exceptional Graduate Student Scholar Award to Xu Yang, Department of Civil Engineering, Graduate Research Colloquium 2015 at Michigan Technological University; Presented by Dean of Students Bonnie Gorman and Dr. Zhanping You
Exceptional Graduate Student Scholar Award to Xu Yang (center), Department of Civil Engineering, Graduate Research Colloquium 2015 at Michigan Technological University; Presented by Dean of Students Bonnie Gorman and Dr. Zhanping You
3rd Place Poster, Graduate Research Colloquium 2015  Ruilong Han Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Seismic Performance Assessment Considering Aftershock Hazard
3rd Place Poster, Graduate Research Colloquium 2015
Ruilong Han Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Seismic Performance Assessment Considering Aftershock Hazard
Dean's Award for Outstanding Scholarship recognizes academic performance in areas such as excellent GPA, originality in research, leadership and teamwork:  Bo Zhang, Atmospheric Sciences;  Co-Advisors: Judith Perlinger and Robert Owen;  “Characterization of Transport and Transformation of Air Pollutants Observed in the Free Troposphere Over Central North Atlantic”
Dean’s Award for Outstanding Scholarship recognizes academic performance in areas such as excellent GPA, originality in research, leadership and teamwork: Bo Zhang, Atmospheric Sciences;
Co-Advisors: Judith Perlinger and Robert Owen;
“Characterization of Transport and Transformation of Air Pollutants Observed in the Free Troposphere Over Central North Atlantic”


More photos and information about the 2015 Graduate Research Awards


Mapping the Great Lakes’ Wetlands

image119918-horizFluorescent bands of color outline the Great Lakes on a new, comprehensive map of the region’s coastal wetlands. This publicly available map is the first of its kind on such a broad scale — and the only one to trump political boundaries. Both Canadian and US wetlands are shown along more than 10,000 miles of shoreline.

The Great Lakes is an important focus of Michigan Technological University research. The coastal wetlands map is an extension of that focus, expanding on previous maps created through the Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI).

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2014 D80 Conference: Engage in Community

IMG_2155The 8th Annual 2014 D80 Conference: “Engage in Community” was held Saturday, October 11 at Michigan Tech at the Dow Environmental Sciences & Engineering Bldg.

UPDATE: D80 Conference Website and Schedule

UPDATE: D80 Conference Agenda PDF

UPDATE: See Article D80 Conference: Students Step Up to Help the Poorest 80%

UPDATE:
See the Photo Gallery of the 2014 D80 Conference at Michigan Tech

UPDATE: Videos of D80 Conference 2014

UPDATE: D80-Conference-Closing Continue reading

Where the Rubber Meets the Rubber: Two Michigan Tech Studies Could Lead to Better, Greener Roads

image113772-horizSince the 1960s, Sun Belt states have built their roads using asphalt mixed with crumb rubber made from ground-up scrap tires. This rubberized asphalt not only provides a market for old tires, it is also quieter and longer lasting than conventional asphalt pavement. But will it work in a four-season climate? Especially in places where winter comes early and stays late?
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Michigan Tech Earthquake Expert Wants to Make Nuclear Power Plants Safer

image109115-horizYue Li, an associate professor of civil engineering at Michigan Technological University, specializes in earthquakes and natural disasters. He was awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant to work at a research center in Finland, seeking solutions to the ever-present threat facing nuclear power plants during natural disasters. He and his Finnish colleagues are focusing particularly on the nuclear plants’ performance during earthquakes.
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