Category Archives: Research

John Velat Presents on Federal Traffic Safety Regulations for Tribal Governments

John Velat
John Velat

John Velat, director of the Center for Rural and Tribal Resilience in the department of civil and environmental engineering, recently presented work at the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) 2018 annual convention in Kansas City, Missouri, a competitive, peer-reviewed conference.

Velat’s presentation, “When Cultures Collide: Considering Implications of Federal Traffic Safety Regulations for Tribal Governments,” explored how American Indian and Alaska Native governments can improve their participation in federal programs and impact the design of those programs by considering many data collection methods and offering local solutions to traffic safety problems.

Each year the CCCC Convention draws college faculty members from around the world. They gather to hear award-winning speakers, attend presentations by colleagues on the latest innovations in education and network to gain knowledge of best practices in the field.

Zhanping You on Asphalt and Nanotech

Zhanping You
Zhanping You

Zhanping You (CEE) was quoted in the story “Is Nanotech the New Pothole Killer?” on public radio station WHYY in Philadelphia.

Is nanotech the new pothole killer?

There are many culprits for the frequent potholes on U.S. roadways. Potholes can be the result of normal wear and tear, utility work, or volatile temperature swings that disrupt the chemical properties that keep pavement stuck together.

Asphalt is a critical component in road surfaces — but maybe not what most people think it is.

“Basically, the asphalt really looks like a glue, a glue that holds all the stones together,” says civil engineer Zhanping You, a professor and researcher at Michigan Tech University.

You and his team are studying ways to curtail the temperature volatility of asphalt by adding nano-particles.

Read more at WHYY, by Malcolm Burnley.

Michigan Tech to Host State of Lake Superior Conference SOLS 2018

SOLS 2018Michigan Tech will host the International Association for Great Lakes Research (IAGLR) 2018 State of Lake Superior (SOLS) conference Oct. 9-12. IAGLR is an international and multi-disciplinary scientific organization made up of researchers studying the Laurentian Great Lakes, other large lakes of the world and their watersheds. The State of the Lake conference series rotates annually throughout the Great Lakes region to facilitate interactions between researchers and managers on diverse topics related to issues relevant for a specific lake.

A local planning committee comprised of researchers and resource managers from Michigan Tech and the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Natural Resources Department (KBIC NRD) will work with IAGLR staff and volunteers to coordinate the event. A call for sessions will be issued early spring, followed by a call for abstracts. The conference will include associated workshops, meetings and field trips.

The local planning committee includes Michigan Tech professors Gord Paterson and Nancy Auer (Bio Sci); Hugh Gorman (SS); Pengfei Xue and Cory McDonald (CEE); with logistical support provided by Elizabeth Hoy (GLRC). Local planning committee members from KBIC NRD include Lori Ann Sherman, Shannon Desrochers and Timothy Dombrowski.

Save the dates, Oct. 9-12. More information will be posted on the conference website as event details are finalized.

By Great Lakes Research Center.

2017 Best Paper Award of ASCE Journal of Aerospace Engineering Goes to Michigan Tech Collaborators

Dr. Qingli Dai, Associate Professor, Civil Engineering
Xiao 2
Xiao Sun, graduated PhD, Civil Engineering










Dr. Qingli (Barbara) Dai and her former PhD student, Xiao Sun (first author) along with Mechanical Engineering faculty, Dr. Fernando Ponta and Mechanical Engineering graduate student, Muraleekrishnan Menom have been selected to receive the 2017 Best Paper Award of ASCE Journal of Aerospace Engineering (JAE).

The award will be received at the awards banquet of the 2018 Earth and Space Conference, held in Cleveland, Ohio in April for their paper “Design and Simulation of Active External Trailing-Edge Flaps for Wind Turbine Blades on Load Reduction” by Xiao Sun, Qingli Dai, Muraleekrishnan Menon and Fernando Ponta –  The research done for this paper was funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Environmental Engineering Freshman Accepted Into the Santa Fe Institute’s 2018 REU Summer Program


Maddie Barrie, a freshman in the Environmental Engineering Program at Michigan Tech, has recently been selected to participate in the Santa Fe Institute’s 2018 Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) summer program.

The program provides students with a ten-week residential research opportunity where students, in collaboration with a mentor, develop a research project dealing with real-world complex systems.

In addition to the experience, Maddie’s housing, meals and a stipend will be provided to her during her time at the Santa Fe Institute.


Creating Great Lakes Stewards to Promote Clean Water & Healthy Urban Watersheds in Detroit

Belle Isle Urban Forestry Pictures 039 MikeReed&CassTechStudents 11-19-12

Michigan Technological University, a leading public research university and key educational leader in Michigan, will soon begin implementing a 2-year project titled, Creating Great Lakes Stewards to Promote Clean Drinking Water & Healthy Urban Watersheds in Detroit, under the leadership of Joan Chadde, Director of the MTU Center for Science & Environmental Outreach. The project is funded with a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Education grant of $91,000. Grant recipients are required to award $4550 to each of five non-profits who will participate in the project. The following sub-grantees will assist with the project: Belle Isle Nature Center/Detroit Zoological Society (DZS), Detroit Math & Science Center/Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD), Wayne State University’s Healthy Urban Waters, Detroit Audubon, and Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision. These collaborating agencies will contribute staff time and or cost share: U.S. Forest Service Urban Connections Program, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and DPSCD.

The overall project goal is to build student and teacher capacity to steward the urban water resources of Detroit now and in the future. The project will engage 32 teachers at 16 schools, reaching 960 middle school students over 2 years, in becoming stewards of their community’s drinking water.  Teachers will participate in five workshops during the school year to enhance their environmental education teaching skills and knowledge of their local water resources. Students will participate in 3 field trips during the school year which includes: visiting the Detroit drinking water treatment plant, conducting stream health or ecosystem monitoring, and completing a stewardship project. The 2013-14 student body demographics of Detroit schools are: 80% qualify for free / reduced lunch, 83.9% are African American, 12% Hispanic, 2.36% White and <2% other, with a 71% graduation rate in 2014. (2013-14 Data from NCES).

The following Michigan Tech faculty and staff are contributing their time as cost share on the project: Dr. Audra Morse, CEE chair; Dr. Daisuke Minakata , CEE; Dr. Hugh Gorman, Chair, Dept. of Social Sciences; Gerald Jondreau, School of Forest Resources & Environmental Science; and Dr. Kathryn Perrine, Dept. of Chemistry.


Detroit Water Stewardship Teacher Recruitment Flyer 2017-2018 School Year

Great Lakes Stewardship Funding from the EPA

Great Lakes NASA Visible Earth

Great Lakes by NASA Visible Earth; Credit: Provided by the SeaWiFS Project, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, and ORBIMAGE

Joan Schumaker-Chadde (CEE/GLRC) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $91,000 grant from the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Amy Schrank (SFRES/GLRC) is the Co-PI on the project, “Creating Great Lakes Stewards to Promote Clean Water and Healthy Urban Watershed in Detroit.”

This is a two-year project.

By Sponsored Programs.