Category Archives: Students

Student, Professor Chosen to Lead Silicon Valley Meetup

University Innovation FellowsMagann Dykema, (CEE) a fourth-year civil engineering student and a University Innovation Fellow, has been chosen by the University Innovation Fellows program as one of 23 student leaders for the program’s Silicon Valley Meetup Nov. 16-20, 2017. This is the third time that Dykema has served in this role.

The student leaders were hand-selected out of an international community of more than 1,200 Fellows for the impact they have had at their schools and for their contributions to the movement.

University Innovation Fellows has also asked Mary Raber (PHC) to serve as one of two mentors to the 30 faculty members who will also attend the event. This is the second time Raber has served in this role.

At the Silicon Valley Meetup, Dykema and Raber will represent their schools in front of 300 student and faculty attendees from 82 universities and colleges around the world. They will share their UIF work, modeling for the new Fellows and faculty the kind of impact they can have at their own schools.

University Innovation Fellows (UIF) is a global program run by Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design. UIF empowers student leaders to increase campus engagement with innovation, entrepreneurship, creativity and design thinking.

By Jenn Donovan.


Environmental Engineering Undergrad Selected as a Portage Health Foundation Intern

Rose Turner

Rose Turner, a senior undergraduate student in environmental program, has been selected as a Portage Health Foundation Intern through the Undergraduate Research Internship Program. Rose will work with Dr. Minakata investigating the treatment feasibility of polyfluorinated carbons using sulfate radicals in advanced oxidation process. Polyfluorinated carbons have been found in nation’s drinking water and one of emerging water contaminants. Rose will present her research findings at the Undergraduate Research Symposium in March 2018.

 


You, Students Travel to Minnesota

Zhanping You MnROAD
Zhanping You at MnROAD Grand Opening in Minnesota

Zhanping You (CEE), students Siyu Chen, Fangyuan Gong, Ran Zhang, and visiting scholars Songtao Lyu and Chundi Si attended the National Road Research Alliance (NRRA) Grand Opening at MnROAD Tuesday, October 10, 2017.

You received a plaque from Minnesota Department of Transportation Commissioner Charles Zelle for Associate Member Michigan Tech Transportation Institute. US Rep. Tom Emmer and Zelle joined the event.

Zelle, Deputy Commissioner Susan Mulvihil and associate members of NRRA cut the ribbon with Rep. Emmer.

MnROAD, located near Albertville, Minnesota, is a pavement test track consisting of various combinations of road-building materials and designs. MnROAD collects pavement field data with thousands of sensors located in each test section. A tour of MnROAD Low Volume Road was shown by the MnROAD staffs.

PHOTO GALLERY


Rail Transportation Program and Railroad Club Activities

Railway InterchangeRail Transportation Program and Railroad Club participate in Railway Interchange

Pasi Lautala, director of Michigan Tech’s Rail Transportation Program (RTP) and 11 undergraduate and graduate students participated in the Railway Interchange on Sept. 17-20, 2017, in Indianapolis.

With over 8,500 participants, Railway Interchange is the largest railway conference in the US, organized by several professional associations. As part of the student activities, Team 1 of the Railroad Engineering and Activities Club (REAC), consisting of Aaron Dean (ME), Alyssa Leach (CE), Alex Christmas (CE), Derek Owen (CE) and Mario Marachini (CE) got 3rd place in the student quiz bowl. Team 2 (Kyle Dick, Andrew Erickson, Erick Flaten, Clive Pinto, Pratik Tuplondhetook) took 7th place in the bowl. Aaron Dean also had success in the undergraduate student poster competition, taking the 1st place with his poster on “Using In-Vehicle Head Orientation Sensing Data to Rapidly Evaluate Driver Visual Scanning Behavior at Rail Grade Crossings”. Dean also presented a poster- “The Evaluation of Driver Compliance Behavior at Grade Crossings based on Naturalistic Driving Study Data” by Modeste Muhire in his absence as part of the graduate poster competition, taking the 2nd place.

As part of the conference, five Michigan Tech students were also recognized for winning student scholarships by the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance of Way Association (AREMA). To cap a successful conference, Dr. Pasi Lautala presented “Evaluation of Driver Behavior at Highway Rail Grade Crossings” in the closing general session of the conference.

Rail Transportation Program presents at the SHRP2 Safety Symposium

Pasi Lautala, director of Michigan Tech’s Rail Transportation Program (RTP) and Aaron Dean, a senior in the ME Department and an undergraduate research assistant for the RTP, participated in the Tenth SHRP 2 “Safety Data Symposium: From Analysis to Results” on Oct.6, 2017, in Washington, DC.

The Symposium included nineteen selected presentations by the researchers within and outside the US that use the SHRP 2 Naturalistic Driving Study database.

Aaron Dean presented his research on “Development & Validation of Post-Processing Methods for the SHRP2 MASK Head Pose Data”, and Lautala presented on “Using NDS data to evaluate driver behavior at highway-rail grade crossings”.

Michigan Tech was the only institution invited to make two presentations in the conference and Dean was the only undergraduate presenter.


Rail Transportation Program Leads Two Rail Related Senior Design Projects

Peshekee Wood Yard

RTP lead two rail related civil/environmental senior design projects during the 2016-17 school year.  During the fall semester a team of 15 students worked on improvements to the Peshekee logyard owned and operated by Longyear, LLC.  Their work included rail and highway transportation improvements to serve the site, preliminary plans for a rail served transload warehouse and fuels transload area, and environmental permitting requirements for the proposed work.  Suggested improvements included 3950 linear feet of trackwork valued at $1.5 million, $560,000 in site improvements, $230,000 for equipment and tanks to support the fuels transload operation, and $150,000 for the transload warehouse.  An additional $200,000 was recommended to procure a trackmobile to improve rail operations in the expanded site.  Environmental costs were reduced by the team recommendation for wetland preservation in place of more costly remediation methods.

Peshekee Wood Yard 2.jpg

During the spring semester a separate team of 16 students worked with Sawyer International Airport to provide conceptual and preliminary work on rail access to a proposed refinery site and rail and highway access to a proposed warehouse site.  The refinery access team recommended constructing a loop track with 3.5 miles of new trackwork at a price of nearly $9million, while the warehouse team found that rail access would require $6.5 million for the full build out, but a phased approach could bring initial construction down to 21,000 linear feet of rail at $4.5 million, with the remaining work completed as traffic at the warehouse site developed.  Highway access and parking facilities for the new warehouse complex would require 3500 linear feet of new roadway, and 160,000 square feet of new parking and support pavements at a price of nearly $3.5 million.  SAI also asked our environmental team to look at a recent study on PFC contamination on the airport site produced by the US Air Force Civil Engineering Center. The team produced a detailed report, including recommendations for additional testing and monitoring.


Cold Weather Dusting from Mine Tailing Impoundments

oommen-personnelVitton seagren-personnel

Dr. Thomas Oommen, Dr. Stanley Vitton and Dr. Eric Seagren recently completed a NSF project on dusting from mine tailings impoundments.  In the project they evaluated remote sensing tools for monitoring impoundments for dusting potential, and innovative biomediated approaches for mitigating dusting.  In particular, they focused on the problem of cold weather dusting.

As part of the project output, with the help of the CinOptics Enterprise on campus, they are producing a series of videos on the problem of cold weather dusting from mine tailings impoundments, and conventional and innovative techniques for mitigating cold weather dusting.

This is the first video in the series.  It is a review of the problem of cold weather dusting.


International Senior Design Travels to Panama for the 9th Year

2017 International Senior Design students at the City of Knowledge in Panama City, Panama.  From left to right:  Sasha Drumm, Matthew Adams, Kira Koboski, Harrison Zost, Juli Mickle, George Meados, Meredith Brehob, Louis Bassette, Madison Wilson, Ed Nemec, Isabel Vanderlaan, and Andy Swanson.
2017 International Senior Design students at the City of Knowledge in Panama City, Panama. From left to right: Sasha Drumm, Matthew Adams, Kira Koboski, Harrison Zost, Juli Mickle, George Meados, Meredith Brehob, Louis Bassette, Madison Wilson, Ed Nemec, Isabel Vanderlaan, and Andy Swanson.

The CEE International Senior Design (“iDesign”) program continued this year with a trip to Panama, August 13-27.  Twelve students (10 CEE, 1 GMES, 1 ME) divided into three teams and traveled to rural sites in western Panama.  Hosted by Peace Corps Volunteers, the students collected data for their fall semester senior design projects – two water supply systems and a river crossing, respectively.  Other trip highlights included visits to the Panama Canal and the Biodiversity Museum.

The trip was led by Professors David Watkins and Melanie Kueber Watkins.  Professor of Practice Mike Drewyor is helping to mentor the design teams in the fall term.


Researchers and students Attend ASCE Congress on Technical Advancement

ASCE CTAThe American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Congress on Technical Advancement was held in Duluth, Minnesota, September 10-13, 2017. The congress focused on the theme of “Superior Performance in a Changing Environment.”

Zhanping You (CEE) chaired the Bituminous Materials Committee (BMC) meeting (audio conference). You chaired sessions in the technical meetings and also delivered a presentation on the experience of rubber asphalt with warm mix asphalt technology.

He also reported some research work on the precut technology for asphalt pavement for cold regions in “Design and Operations of Transportation Infrastructure in Cold Regions.”

You’s PhD students Dongdong Ge and Lingyun You also presented three posters: “Evaluating Asphalt Mixture Extraction Using DSR and FTIR,” “Mechanical Analysis of Asphalt Concrete Overlay Over Old Asphalt Pavements Considering Cross-anisotropy Properties” and “The Effects of Nano Hydrated Lime Particles on Physical Properties of Water-foamed Bitumen.”

The three researchers met and exchanged ideas with attendees from government agencies, researchers and industries.

Michigan Tech Stan Vitton (CEE) and Zhen Liu (CEE) also attended the Congress.


Rail Program Organizes Inaugural Midwest Rail Conference

Midwest Rail Conference

From Aug. 15-17, 2017, the Michigan Tech Rail Transportation Program (RTP) worked with Michigan Department of Transportation, the National University Rail Center and the Transportation Research Board Freight Rail Transportation Committee (AR040) to organize the inaugural Midwest Rail Conference.

Under RTP’s leadership the planning committee that consisted of rail industry, government agencies, and other stakeholders interested in promoting the industry brought together more than thirty speakers and over 200 participants in Kalamazoo, Michigan to focus on the conference them, Midwest Connections: Passenger and Freight Rail Look to the Future! RTP Faculty, Staff and Students led the conference coordination and logistics. Dr. Pasi Lautala functioned as Conference Co-chair, David Nelson and Amanda Kerttu were the lead coordinators and six students (Aaron Dean, Darian Reed, Sangpil Ko, Alawudin Salim, Alex Christmas and Kyle Dick) came to Kalamazoo to assist….and to enjoy the conference.

The conference opened on Tuesday morning with a golf outing with proceeds going to the conference’s student scholarship fund. Tuesday afternoon was filled with committee and organizational meetings, and the day was capped off with an evening reception at the Bell’s Brewery Backroom. Wednesday featured the technical content of the conference at the Western Michigan University Fetzer Center. The program included a dozen plenary and breakout sessions featuring industry experts in a host of passenger and freight rail topics. The keynote address was given by Joseph McHugh, VP of State Supported Services-Business Development for Amtrak. The event wrapped up with a full day of field trips featuring the MDOT/Amtrak Wolverine Higher Speed Rail Corridor, and a visit to the Little River Steam Railroad in Coldwater, Michigan.


Muxue Zhang Presents Research Findings at IWA Interaction Conference

Muxue

Muxue Zhang, a masters student, working with Dr. Daisuke Minakata in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, presented the research findings: ‘Predicting RO Removal of Toxicologically Relevant Unique Organics’ at the 11th International Water Association (IWA) Interaction conference on Water Reclamation and Reuse held in Long Beach, California on July 23-27, 2017. The research was funded by WateReuse Research Foundation. Dr. Minakata also presented the research findings: ‘Predicting the Fate of Organic Compounds Degradation in UV/H2O2 and UV/Chlorine Advanced Oxidation Processes’ from his NSF funded research project.