Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Posts under the ‘Research’ category

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…)

MTTI Report from Transportation Research Board

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

Many faculty, staff and students of the Michigan Tech Transportation Institute (MTTI) attended the 93rd Transportation Research Board (TRB) annual meeting in Washington, DC, recently. (more…)

MTRI’s Global Research Featured at Michigan Tech

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

The staff of the Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI) in Ann Arbor was on campus on Friday, Sept. 20, to conduct a poster session in the Dow Atrium (sixth-floor campus entrance). MTRI scientists and engineers were also available to discuss projects, collaborations with Michigan Tech departments and staff, and areas of research interest. The session is intended to outline the institute’s current activities and to explore opportunities to develop new working relationships.

MTRI, a research center of Michigan Technological University, is a recognized leader in the research, development and practical application of sensor and information technology to solve critical problems in national security, protecting and evaluating critical infrastructure, bioinformatics, earth sciences and environmental processes.

Videos of MTRI Visit

Photos of MTRI Visit

More information:

Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Awarded the Fulbright-VTT Grant

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

Associate Professor Yue Li (CEE) has been awarded the Fulbright-VTT Grant in Science, Technology and Innovation to conduct research in Finland for the duration of six months during 2013–14. VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is the largest multidisciplinary research organization in Northern Europe. Li will conduct research on structural design for improving earthquake performance of nuclear power plants at the VTT in Espoo, Finland. (more…)

Brian Barkdoll New Co-Head of Civil and Environmental Engineering PCMI

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

Associate Professor Brian Barkdoll (CEE) is joining Professor David Watkins (CEE) as co-coordinator of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Peace Corps Master’s International Program (PCMI). Barkdoll will replace Associate Professor Kurt Paterson (CEE), who is leaving Michigan Tech to head the Engineering Department at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va.

Paterson founded and built the Civil and Environmental Engineering PCMI program, the largest of Tech’s eight PCMI programs and the first PCMI Civil and Environmental Engineering program in the nation. Barkdoll has been advising students in this program for some time, adding his unique perspective as a returned Peace Corps volunteer who served in Nepal.

“We are grateful to Kurt for his numerous contributions to our PCMI program over the years and look forward to working closely with Brian as the new department co-coordinator,” said PCMI Campus Director Kari Henquinet (SS).

Rail Collaboration: “CN Engineering Challenges”

Monday, April 1st, 2013

David Ferryman, Vice President System Engineering for Canadian National Railway visited Michigan Tech on Tuesday, April 2nd, and led a discussion concentrating on “CN Engineering Challenges”. CN is one of the greatest supporters of Michigan Tech’s Rail Transportation Program and Mr. Ferryman visited Michigan Tech to review the facilities and to discuss future collaboration and activities with students and faculty. (more…)

World Water Day 2013

Saturday, March 23rd, 2013

The Michigan Tech Center for Water and Society celebrated World Water Day on Thursday, March 21 with a student poster competition. The posters covered different topics in water research occurring at Michigan Technological University. Posters were displayed on the 1st floor of the Great Lakes Research Center; CWS Faculty presented a showcase of CWS research, followed by A dinner in the Atrium overlooking the lake.

2013 Michigan Tech Center for Water and Society Award Winners
Original Research Category:
1st – Miles Corcoran
2nd – Julie A. Padilla
3rd – Jade E. Ortiz and Martin Hobmeier (Tie)

1st – Nancy Auer’s BL4465 Biological Oceanography class:

Photos of the award winners and all other presenters

Eyes Overhead: Saving Lives After Earthquakes

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

After a catastrophic earthquake, minutes count. Dan Cerminaro hopes to shave hours off the time it takes to get help where it’s needed most.

Cerminaro, a senior majoring in civil engineering, is working to identify quake damage without setting foot in the danger zone, or even on the same continent.

Read more from the Michigan Tech Research Magazine 2013 article by Marcia Goodrich

Antonio Velazquez Hernandez: Exceptional Graduate Student Scholar

Monday, February 25th, 2013

The Graduate Research Colloquium (GRC) was held on Feb 21-22, 2013. GRC was organized by the Graduate Student Government (GSG). Graduate students from all departments at Michigan Tech presented their research and ideas to other students and faculty in the form of oral or poster presentations. A group of judges that consists of faculty (and/or some invited members of industry) evaluated student’s presentations to award prizes to the best 1st, 2nd and 3rd presentations from each session (oral and poster). There are also three honorable mention awards given in both oral and poster presentation sessions. (more…)

CN Donates $500,000 to Rail Transportation Program

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

CN, North America’s Railroad, announced today it has donated $500,000 to Michigan Technological University’s Rail Transportation Program to create the CN Endowed Fellowship in Rail Transportation. This brings CN’s total funding to the program to $750,000.

Building on the CN Rail Transportation Education Center that opened in 2010, the endowment will support rail transportation-related projects and research, as well as hardware and software resources for students, and provide student scholarships.


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