Category Archives: Students

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.


Environmental Engineering Graduate Student Presents at ASEEP Conference

Lathika

Lathika Varanasi is a PhD student working with Dr. Daisuke Minakata in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. She presented her research work : ‘Transformation of Dissolved Organic Matter in Engineered Ultraviolet (UV) Photolysis and UV-based Advanced Oxidation Processes’ at the Association of Environmental Engineers and Science Professors (AEESP) conference held in University of Michigan, Ann Arbor between June 20th and 22nd 2017. Co-authors on the research are Erica Coscarelli, David Perram, Dr. Daisuke Minakata (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering), Dr. Maryam Khaksari and Dr. Lynn Mazzoleni (Department of Chemistry). The research was funded by MTU Research Excellent Fund-Research Seed Grant, MTU CEE startup fund, NSF Major Research Instrumentation and Great Lakes Research Center graduate research fund.


Award for Best Overall PIC Paper to Watkins

David Watkins
David Watkins

At the ASEE (American Society for Engineering Education) annual conference in Columbus, Ohio, June 25-28, 2017, the award for the Best Overall PIC (Professional Interest Councils) Paper, “Going is Not Knowing: Challenges in Creating Intercultural Engineers,” was presented to Michigan Tech’s David Watkins (CEE) and co-authors Kurt Paterson, James Madison University, and Chris Swan, Tufts University.

A lot of the data for the study came from surveys of students in our D80 Center programs, such as Peace Corps Master’s International, Engineers Without Borders, iDesign and other. The somewhat surprising results included recommendations for how we can provide students with more meaningful intercultural learning experiences. David Watkins

Engineers Without Borders
Michigan Tech Engineers Without Borders students help bring clean water to communities in Guatemala.

Going is Not Knowing: Challenges in Creating Intercultural Engineers

ABSTRACT

The last twenty years has witnessed a surge in the growth of community engagement programs for engineering students in the United States. Coupled to the enthusiasm of the Millennial Generation, many of these efforts have an international community development focus where engineering teams work with community members on small-scale infrastructure. One expressed motivation for such programs is the transformative experience and mindset-shift many participants report upon return from their time abroad. Industry has been quick to endorse such opportunities as necessary in creating the “global engineer”, a professional adept and effective in a dynamic interconnected work world. This paper explores these perceptions through an objective measure of intercultural awareness, the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI).

Read More or Download

2017 ASEE Conference

124th ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Where Engineering Education Takes Flight – From P-12 Through Life

June 25 – 28, 2017, Columbus, Ohio

The only conference dedicated to all disciplines of engineering education…

We are committed to fostering the exchange of ideas, enhancing teaching methods and curriculum, and providing prime networking opportunities for engineering and technology education stakeholders such as: deans, faculty members, and industry and government representatives.

The conference features more than 400 technical sessions, with peer-reviewed papers spanning all disciplines of engineering education.

The Best Overall PIC Paper was recognized at the Tuesday Plenary session on June 27 at the Columbus Convention Center.


Pasi Lautala on Interdisciplinary Programs

Pasi Lautala
Pasi Lautala

The pathway to success is paved with more than a little advice. Students, job candidates and employees need public speaking skills, and they also need to learn the craft of salesmanship. In addition, some experts predict that regardless of college major, everyone needs coding skillsFinance and accounting majors need big data analysis skills. If this is starting to sound like a potpourri of requirements, well, that’s the point. In the future, success at work will be characterized by the ability to excel in more than one discipline or area – and an interdisciplinary degree could be vital.

Pasi Lautala, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering and director of the Rail Transportation Institute at Michigan Tech, tells GoodCall®,

If interdisciplinary was a novelty in the past, today it’s becoming a standard.

In fact, Lautala says it should be the expected norm, since it’s rare for anything to be developed or completed under a single disciplinary.

“We’re witnessing that first hand in the development of 21st century transportation, where automated vehicles, trains, drones, etcetera, are all dependent on the interdisciplinary components, such as intelligent transportation systems infrastructure, alternative power and propulsion systems and constant communication/information exchange between vehicles and infrastructure.”

As a result, Lautala says, “Civil, mechanical, electrical, and even materials engineers are all under the same umbrella.”

Read more at GoodCall®, by Terri Williams.


Steel Bridge Team on Facebook

Steel Bridge TeamSchool is out for the academic year. But just like Michigan Tech research, competition knows no season. Summer events are a given for many student organizations including Supermileage Systems, Formula SAE—and Steel Bridge, one of 43 qualifying teams heading to national competition at Oregon State University on May 26-27, 2017. Eleven weeks and 900 hours of work were on the line, along with the commitment to rebound from a disappointing collapse at the 2016 event.

Michigan Tech’s team took first place overall at the 2017 North Central Regional Competition sponsored by the American Institute of Steel Construction and American Society of Civil Engineers. It also placed first in three out of six subcategories:  stiffness, efficiency and lightness. The other three categories are construction speed, construction economy and display.

The Tech Team finished an impressive 12th among the 43 teams this weekend. Details can be found on Facebook.

Original story by Cyndi Perkins.


Michigan Tech Well Represented at 2017 Joint Rail Conference

Pictured: Dr. Pasi Lautala, Aaron Dean, and Soumith Oduru
Pictured: Dr. Pasi Lautala, Aaron Dean, and Soumith Oduru

The Rail Transportation Program Director, Pasi Lautala, undergraduate research assistant Aaron Dean (MEEM) and graduate research assistant Soumith Oduru (CEE) presented four papers at the conference. Oduru also received the ASME Rail Transportation Division (RTD) Graduate Student Conference Scholarship of $1100 and Dean received the ASME Rail Transportation Division (RTD) Undergraduate Student Conference Scholarship of $800.

The paper titles were “Incorporating Life Cycle Assessment in Freight Transportation Infrastructure Project Evaluation” (Oduru, Lautala), “Effectiveness of Using SHRP2 Naturalistic Driving Study Data to Analyze Driver Behavior at Highway-rail Grade Crossings” (Dean, Lautala, David Nelson (CEE)), “Selection of Representative Crossings Database for the Evaluation of Driver Behavior Over Highway-rail Grade Crossings” (Modeste Muhire, Lautala, Nelson, Dean) and “Sensor Fusion of Wayside Visible and Thermal Imagery for Rail Car Wheel and Bearing Damage Detection” (Hanieh Deilamsalehy, Timothy Havens (CEE), Lautala).


Ashley Hendricks Recipient of the David Dolan Scholarship

Ashley Hendricks

Ashley Hendricks, a master’s student in Environmental Engineering, was recently awarded the David Dolan Scholarship by the International Association for Great Lakes Research.  This scholarship is awarded to a deserving graduate student conducting research using applied environmental statistics or modelling to study the Great Lakes.  Because of the large number of applicants this year, Ashley is sharing the award with a student at another university.  The scholarship is awarded based on an application submitted by the graduate student and the supporting recommendations for the student.

Congratulations Ashley!


Michigan Tech Concrete Canoe & Steel Bridge Teams Take First Place at Regional Competition

2017 Team Barn Picture - Resized

The Michigan Tech Concrete Canoe Team placed first at the North-Central regional concrete canoe competition held at Lawrence Tech last weekend.  The 35-member team swept the competition in all four categories:

  •  Technical Paper: The team writes a professional quality design paper detailing the engineering that went into designing our concrete mix proportions, hull design, management techniques, testing procedures, and construction methods.
  • Technical Presentation: A group of presenters summarize the Technical Paper into presentation which can be no longer than 5 minutes. The challenge is to condense an entire year of work into a concise and dynamic presentation.
  • Races: There are 5 races: 2 person Women’s Sprint, 2 person Men’s Sprint, 2 person Women’s Endurance, 2 person Men’s Endurance, and a 4 person Coed Sprint. Michigan Tech has traditionally excelled in the Race Category and successfully defended all 5 Regional race titles.
  • Final Product: The canoe is displayed and judged for aesthetics and compliance with official rules of competition which detail dimensions and materials used in construction.

The team will now move on to the national competition to be held June 17 – 19, 2017 at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, CO.

2017 Steel Bridge

The Michigan Tech Steel Bridge Team also placed first overall at the 2017 North Central Regional Competition.  They also placed first in three out of the six subcategories including: weight, stiffness, and efficiency.  The goal of the competition is to design a 20′ long bridge that optimizes weight, constructability, and deflection under a 2500 lb load. The team will now be headed to Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon to compete in the National Student Steel Bridge competition in May.

ASCE and the American Institute of Steel Construction co-sponsor the national competition, which began in 1992 at Michigan Tech University.

Congratulations to both teams on a fantastic job and good luck at the National Competition!


World Water Day Poster Award Winners

World Water Day was celebrated at Michigan Tech on March 20 – 23, 2017 with a focus on Wastewater.  As part of the festivities, students took part in a poster competition.  Here is a listing of the winners:

Christa Meingast
Meingast is a PhD student in Environmental Engineering

1st Place ($250): Christa Meingast
“High-Tech Analysis of Low-Cost, low-Tech Methods for Sustainable Class A Biosolids Production: Set up and Initial Pilot-Scale Data”

Mohammad Samady
Samady is a MS student in Civil Engineering
2nd Place ($150): Mohammad Khalid Samady
“Drought Forecast Modeling and Assessment of Hydrologic Impacts of Climate Change on Lower Colorado River”
Mugdha Priyadarshini
Priyadarshini is a MS student in Environmental Engineering
3rd Place ($100): Mugdha Priyadarshini
“Factors Affecting Fish Mercury Concentration in Inland Lakes”
Coursework/Informational:1st Place ($250): Michelle Nitz, Noah Bednar, Bruce Carlstrom, Grace Kluchka
“Reducing Sewer Corrosion Through Holistic Urban Water Management”

2nd Place ($150): Michael Candler, Emily Shaw, Nicole Wehner, and Bradley Wells
“Regulations and Their Role in Human and Environmental Risk Management: Microplastics in the Great Lakes”

3rd Place ($100): Kyle Hillstead, Julianna Mickle, and Caryn Murray
“Using the Four R’s in the design of De Facto Potable Reuse Water for Enhanced Public Health”


Civil Engineering Undergrad Chosen for SURF Award

The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program funds undergraduate students to conduct research under the guidance of a Michigan Tech faculty member.  Darian Reed, an undergraduate student in Civil Engineering, has been chosen as a 2017 SURF Award recipient.  He will be working with Dr. Pasi Lautala.

 

Evaluation of Methods to Record Head Orientation in Driving Simulator and In-Vehicle Study Environments

This project concentrates on two aspects; development of a naturally wearable head orientation sensing device using Arduino™ hardware, and development of a methodology that allows a scientifically validated comparison and interpretation of head orientation measurements in both environments. This project is a continuation of the research Aaron Dean performed in his 2016 SURF. It will benefit the outcomes of the current projects such as the current large-scale behavioral study of driver behavior at highway-rail grade crossings that Dr. Pasi Lautala and Dr. Myounghoon Jeon are currently working on . The research uses data from the 2nd Strategic Highway Research Program Naturalistic Driving Study (SHRP2), but will also allow us to make conclusions on the similarity of head orientation measurements in naturalistic and simulated environments. Overall, the results should allow us to improve the accuracy of modeling driver behavior using driving simulators. In addition, it will standardize the data collection platform in future projects, such as expansion of our current study to naturalistic (real-life) environment and other studies requiring a rotational head tracking component.

reed