Category Archives: Research

International Activity for the Rail Transportation Group

WCRR 2016Faculty, students and staff involved in the Rail Transportation Program (RTP) had a busy summer in both presenting at and organizing conferences and events.

In late May, Pasi Lautala, director of the program, had a poster presentation on paper by Hamed Pouryousef and Lautala at the 11th World Congress in Railway Research, in Milan, Italy. Lautala also participated in the 2nd Railway Talent workshop as part of the conference.

In early June, Lautala made two presentations at the Global Level Crossing Safety & Trespass Prevention Symposium 2016, in Helsinki, Finland. Both presentations were authored by Myounghoon Jeon, Steven Landry, David Nelson and Lautala. The titles of the presentations were “Design and Evaluation of In-Vehicle Auditory Alerts for Railroad Crossings” and “Driver Behavior at Level Crossings Using Naturalistic Driving Study Data.”

Read more at Tech Today.

NSF Funding for David Watkins on Reducing Household Consumption

David Watkins
David Watkins

Dave Watkins is the principal investigator on a research and development project that has received a $1,477,068 grant from the National Science Foundation. Buyung Agusdinata, Chelsea Schelly, Rachael Shwom and Jenni-Louise Evans are co-PIs on the project, “Reducing Household Food, Energy and Water Consumption: A Quantitative Analysis of Interventions and Impacts of Conservation.”

This project starts on Oct. 1 and is scheduled to finish in 2021.
From Tech Today.

Pasi Lautala Interviewed on Rail Trainsportation

Pasi Lautala
Pasi Lautala

Pasi Lautala (CEE), director of Michigan Tech’s Rail Transportation Program, was interviewed on Michigan Radio. He talked about the upcoming Michigan Rail Transportation Conference in Marquette Aug. 17-18. Listen to the interview.

From Tech Today.

WLUC TV6 (NBC), WBUP Channel 10 (ABC) and WJMN Channel 3 (CBS) all reported on the Michigan Rail Conference held this week in Marquette and organized by Michigan Tech’s Rail Transportation program. A radio station in Marinette, Wisconsin, also reported on the conference.

From Tech Today.

Michigan rail leaders get on track at annual conference

“We are a little bit remote from the rest of the market,” explained Pasi Lautala, assistant professor at Michigan Technological University in the department of environmental engineering and director of the rail transportation program. “We need to have very efficient and cost effective transportation modes, especially when you consider that a lot of the Upper Peninsula depends on natural resources and other commodities that are heavy weight and sometimes fairly low values.”

Read more and watch the video at WLUC TV6, by Blair Caldwell.

Pasi Lautala

EPA Funding for Colling Group

Timothy Colling (CEE/MTTI) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $112,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

John Velat (CEE), Eric Seagren (CEE), Jennifer Becker (CEE), Ralph Hodek (CEE), Dave Hand (CEE), Jonathan Leinonen (SBE), Paul Nelson (SBE), Tom Merz (SBE) and Robert Handler (ChE) are Co-PIs on the project “EPA Environmental Finance Center for the Great Lakes Region (EPA Region 5).”

This is the first year of a potential six-year project totaling $4,727,879.

From Tech Today.

CTT and TTAP Staff Attend National Conference

Staff from the Center for Technology and Training (CTT) and the Tribal Technical Assistance Program (TTAP) both, part of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, attended the 2016 National Local and Tribal Technical Assistance Programs (LTAP/TTAP) Conference held in Madison, Wisconsin, July 18-21 hosted by the Great Lakes Region LTAP and TTAP centers.

Read more at Tech Today, by the Center for Technology and Training.

TTAP

CTT

David Hand Quoted on Flint Water

David Hand
David Hand

David Hand, chair of the department of civil and environmental engineering, was quoted in the article “Flint Water: Where Science Took a Backseat to the Money.”

The article, by Seth Augenstein, was printed in Laboratory Equipment.

From Tech Today.

Flint Water: Where Science Took a Backseat to the Money

General Motors had a problem. The engine blocks in their Flint, Mich. plant were corroding as fast as they came off the production line. In the few months since the city had switched from Detroit water to the supply of the nearby Flint River, everything the factory produced was rusting over.

Tests quickly revealed the cause: elevated levels of chlorides were allowing the water to more-easily oxidize the metal.

The city switched to the river water in April 2014. GM reported its problems within months. After more months of inaction from the city leaders, the company alone switched back to Detroit water in December 2014.

“GM did inform the city,” said David Hand, chair of the civil and environmental engineering department at Michigan Technological University, in an interview with Laboratory Equipment. “No doubt (the city) should have realized they should evaluate the water.”

Read more at Laboratory Equipment, by Seth Augenstein.

Environmental Engineering Students are Seeking Solutions to Lake Ontario’s Cladophora Problem

IMG_5451
Anika Kuczynski, a PhD candidate in environmental engineering, shows Cladophora growing in Lake Ontario
Hayden Henderson, an environmental engineering undergrad, shows some of the green alga collected from Lake Ontario
Hayden Henderson, an environmental engineering undergrad, shows some of the Cladophora collected from Lake Ontario

IMG_0162

IMG_5707
Michelle Nitz, an environmental engineering undergrad, is studying samples taken from Lake Ontario

Cladophora is a filamentous, green alga that grows to nuisance levels in areas of the Great Lakes receiving phosphorus enrichment.  Anika Kuczynski, a Ph.D. candidate in environmental engineering working under Dr. Marty Auer, recently received an Editor’s Choice Award for her paper entitled, “The Cladophora resurgence in Lake Ontario: Characterization and implications for management” published in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences.  Anika is back on Lake Ontario this summer seeking engineering solutions to this problem plaguing the Great Toronto waterfront.  Anika was accompanied by environmental engineering undergrads Hayden Henderson and Michelle Nitz on her most recent trip to Lake Ontario in July.  Results from the field and laboratory studies performed there will be input to a 3D model developed by Anika, Chenfu Huang (also a  Ph.D. student in environmental engineering) and CEE’s Dr. Pengfei Xue to test management strategies to reduce nuisance growth of the alga.