Category Archives: Research

News Briefs from CEE

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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.

Environmental Monitor, an environmental news service, reported on the Michigan Tech GLRC’s deployment of a buoy to monitor water conditions in the Straits of Mackinac.
Associated Press, the Sault Ste. Marie Evening News, WJMN-TV and other news outlets around Michigan covered Michigan Tech’s announcement of Enbridge’s sponsorship of a new monitoring buoy that will be deployed and operated by Tech’s Great Lakes Research Center in the Straits of Mackinac. Read more here “Governor Rick Snyder at Great Lakes Research Center”

The Associated Press, The Washington Times and numerous TV stations reported that the Michigan Department of Transportation is partnering with Michigan Tech and the railroad industry to sponsor the third annual Michigan Rail Conference Aug. 19-20 in Grand Rapids.

Railway Age reported that Pasi Lautala (CEE) will speak about education of future rail industry workers at the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association’s (AREMA) annual conference in Minneapolis in October.

The Michigan Tech Rail Transportation Program and the Michigan Department of Transportation Office of Rail will again organize the annual Michigan Rail Conference. This year’s conference will be in Grand Rapids at the Grand Valley State University, Eberhard Center. The one-day conference will take place on August 20, an afternoon field trip to rail and rail related facilities around Grand Rapids will take place on the afternoon of August 19.

Chris Gilbertson, senior research engineer for the Center for Technology & Training, part of the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, was asked to moderate the non-member discussion for the 2015 AASHTOWare RADBUG (Rating and Design Bridge User Group) National Meeting held in early Aug. in Albany, NY. The RADBUG Meeting was coordinated by the New York State Department of Transportation.

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.

College Factual, a website member of USA Today’s College Partner Network, has ranked Michigan Tech in the top 10 in the nation for bachelor’s degree programs in the general area of natural resources and conservation and 5th in the nation for its forestry programs within natural resources and conservation. College Factual lists four undergraduate degrees in three areas within the field of natural resources and conservation at Michigan Tech. The areas are natural resources conservation, forestry and wildlife management.
Most college rankings are based on surveys of deans, faculty and students. College Factual says its rankings are based on more objective data, including outcomes-based metrics, which College Factual defines as: “Can students in these programs actually make a living after graduation?” In Michigan Tech’s case, the website determined that they can.
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.
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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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