Category Archives: Research

Winter Accepted to the ASI Program

BenWinter

Benjamin Winter, a PhD candidate in Civil Engineering, has recently been selected to participate in this year’s Advanced Studies Institute (ASI) at the Los Alamos National Lab (LANL). The ASI is a 3-week program where multi-disciplinary teams of three doctoral and/or postdoctoral students work on challenging problems related to national security. Under the guidance of LANL mentors, teams develop research proposals to sell their solutions to these problems. The program culminates with team presentations on their solution concepts to a committee of LANL staff and program managers for critical review. During the program, students attend a daily technical and professional development lecture series and work on their team research topics.

Veronica Webster on the Oroville Dam Spillway

Veronica Webster
Veronica Webster

YubaNet.com quoted Veronica Webster (CEE) on the hydraulic structural problems underlying the erosion of the Oroville Dam spillway in California.

In for the Long Haul at Oroville Dam Says Water Resources Expert

February 15, 2017 – Civil engineer Veronica Webster studies long-term trends for assessing flood risk at Michigan Technological University. She says that for the Oroville Dam, the immediacy of the problem is related to longer running issues.

Many of our hydraulic structures are likely under designed. —Veronica Webster

Webster is an associate professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Michigan Tech and is a recent recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER award to study flood frequency and risk analysis.

Read more at YubaNet.com, by Michigan Technological University.

2017 Moisseiff Award from ASCE

Daniel Dowden
Daniel Dowden

Daniel M. Dowden, Patricia Clayton, Chao-Hsien Li, Jeffrey Berman, Michael Bruneau, Laura Lowes and Keh-Chyuan Tsai have been selected by the Structural Engineering Institute to receive the 2017 Moisseiff Award “For the paper, “Full-Scale Pseudodynamic Testing of Self-Centering Steel Plate Shear Walls,” Journal of Structural Engineering, January 2016.”

The award ceremony will take place during the Structures Congress 2017 in Denver, CO, April 7, 2017.

The award recognizes important papers dealing with the broad field of structural design, including applied mechanics as well as the theoretical analysis, or constructive improvement, of engineering structures such as bridges and frames, of any structural material.

The Structural Engineering Institute is part of ASCE, the American Society of Civil Engineers.

MTTI Holds Annual General Meeting for Members

MTTI IRAD ReturnsThe Michigan Tech Transportation Institute (MTTI) held its annual general membership meeting on Jan. 5. Thirty members attended the working luncheon.

An overview of 2016 with institute highlights was presented by MTTI Director Pasi Lautala. Researchers provided updates on initiatives funded with the meeting ending in an open, general discussion. Slides used in the meeting are available along with a general summary of the meeting here.

For more information on MTTI, see our website or contact Lautala at 7-3547 or Pam Hannon at 7-3065.

By Pam Hannon/MTTI.

New Road Rating System Developed by Michigan Tech

Researchers at The Center for Technology and Training, which is part of the civil and environmental engineering department, have developed a new system for assessing the conditions of gravel roads. This system and its use by Michigan road agencies was the subject of an article in the winter 2016 Journal of the County Road Association of Michigan.

CTT staff, John Kiefer, Melanie Kueber-Watkins, Pete Torola and Tim Colling all worked to develop and test the new system which will be widely collected in Michigan starting this year with full implementation in 2018. Data collected with the system will be reported on a state-wide basis to the Michigan Legislature on an annual basis.

By Tim Colling.

CrossroadsNew Inventory-Based Rating System Pilot Tested in 2016

Unpaved road rating system developed by Michigan Tech brings asset management principles to unpaved Michigan roads

Finally—The Tools to Rate an Unpaved Road

Gravel and unpaved roads make up half of Michigan’s non-federal aid network, and there are 22,000 miles of them in Michigan.

As a result of a project funded by the Michigan Transportation Asset Management Council (TAMC), CTT has pioneered a new rating system for unpaved roads, called the inventory-based ratings (IBR) system.

Read more at The Quarterly Journal of the County Road Association of Michigan.

Funding for Research on Reduction of Fish PCB Concentrations

Judith Perlinger
Judith Perlinger

Judith Perlinger (CEE/GLRC) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $44,684 research and development grant from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

Noel Urban (CEE) is the Co-PI on the project, “Can Reductions in Great Lakes Fish PCB Concentrations be Achieved by Management of PCBs in Atmospheric Deposition?”

This is a 15 month project.

By Sponsored Programs.

Pengfei Xue Interviewed on Lake Climate Projection

Pengfei Xue
Pengfei Xue

HOUGHTON — A Michigan Technological University researcher is leading the effort to create a comprehensive model for the complicated and diverse climate of the Great Lakes region.

Pengfei Xue developed a model combining climate and water models with assistance from Loyola Marymount University, LimnoTech and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory.

When we have that component, the entire water cycle and surface water cycle would be complete. Then we could estimate the water level change over years.

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Garrett Neese.

In the News

The Mining Journal in Marquette and the Daily Mining Gazette in Houghton published an article about Pengfei Xue’s (CEE) research, building computer models of the impact of climate on the Great Lakes.

Alex Mayer Receives Funding for Citizen Science in Watershed Hydrology Research

Alex Mayer
Alex Mayer

Alex Mayer (CEE/GLRC), is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $52,771 research and development grant from the National Science Foundation.

The project is entitled “EAGER: Collaborative Research: The Role of Citizen Science in Watershed Hydrology Research: Relationships Between Volunteer Motivations, Data Quantity and Quality, and Decision-Making.”

This is a one-year project.

There is growing interest in using citizen science projects, public participation in scientific research, to measure hydrologic parameters. Hydrologic variability requires repeated measurements over long periods of time and over a wide range of locations.