Category Archives: Seminars

Rail Transportation Seminar: Railroad Bearing and Wheel Failures

feb24Rail Transportation seminar: Dr. Brent Wilson, Amsted Rail
Title: Railroad Bearing and Wheel Failures
Feb 24, 2015, 4:00 PM Dow 642

Dr. Wilson has been directing product research and metallurgical analysis for railroad specific applications from both academic and industrial positions for ten years.Currently, he is the Director of Research and Development for Amsted Rail, the world’s largest manufacturer of railway undercarriage components, i.e. wheels, bearings, axles, castings, and end-of-car coupling devices.Throughout his career, he has been working toward continuous improvement in both product reliability and performance through the application of technological advancements to new and existing products for multiple industries, including: railroad, automotive, aerospace, military, and pipeline.

For the past six years, Dr. Wilson has been an active member of the AAR Technology Outreach Committee focusing on emerging and developing technologies in the railway sector.During his career, Dr. Wilson has authored and/or presented over 40 articles on industrial research, specifically highlighting technical innovations in engineered products and performance.

Sponsored by the Michigan Tech Rail Transportation Program

Civil Engineering Graduate Seminar: The Effects of Climate Change on Sediment Transport and Bridge Scour

Civil Engineering Graduate Seminar: Jennie Tyrrell
Thursday, 2/19/2015, Room 642 Dow, 4:00 to 5:00 pm

Title: The Effects of Climate Change on Sediment Transport and Bridge Scour

Global climate change is expected to influence rivers and streams. As a result, both human use of rivers and ecological health become a growing concern. As rainfall intensifies and river flows increase, sediment mobilizes and the potential for blocked harbors, induced flooding, bridge scour, and fish habitat disturbance also rise. Our research objectives are to quantify the effects of rainfall intensity and water temperature on sediment transport. In an effort to gain a better understanding of sediment dynamics six models were analyzed. By developing a relationship between flow, temperature, and sediment loads, we aim to develop a useful tool for river and bridge engineers to plan for sediment management. The relationship developed can be a means to help 1) identify vulnerabilities of rivers to climate change, 2) prioritize distribution of financial resources, and 3) guide water resource managers to develop adaptive management strategies.

Civil Engineering Seminar: Snow Roads and Runways in Antarctica

Civil Engineering Graduate Seminar
Thursday, January 29,4 :05 – 5:00 pm, Room 642 Dow

Speaker: Russ Alger, Project Manager, Research Leader, Keweenaw Research Center
“Snow Roads and Runways in Antarctica”

Russ Alger has been involved in mobility programs in Antarctica with NSF and USACRREL since the late 80’s. This work has included a 3 month traverse across almost 2000 miles of Antarctica and 5 other trips to the ice. This work is dedicated to moving personnel and materials around the continent by various means. The studies have included route planning and layout for a 1000 mile long snow road from McMurdo, on the ocean, to the South Pole, ground truthing of the final route, travel with the first full scale traverse to the pole, and several studies to determine the feasibility of landing wheeled aircraft on a snow runway.

Russ will concentrate his talk on the work in Antarctica, but will also touch on other work involving travel and engineering in snow.

All are invited to attend.

Civil Engineering Graduate Seminar: Transportation Assistance to Federally Recognized Indian Tribes

John VelatCivil Engineering Graduate Seminar: Speaker: Mr. John Velat, Tribal Technical Assistance Program Director, Michigan Tech

“Transportation Assistance to Federally Recognized Indian Tribes”

This seminar will introduce the Eastern Tribal Technical Assistance Program at Michigan Tech (TTAP), which is part of a nationwide effort sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). TTAP relates the latest technology and information on tribal roads and bridges, tourism and recreation, and related economic development to tribal transportation and planning personnel. The staff of the Eastern TTAP support 64 American Indian governments in the 31 states of the Midwestern and Eastern BIA regions, and are involved in nationwide projects and initiatives supporting all 566 federally-recognized American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) governments and thousands of local roads agencies. John Velat, PI and Director of the Eastern TTAP, will give an overview of the technical, political, and financial environment surrounding transportation development in tribal and rural areas. Mr. Velat is a Michigan Tech graduate with 14 years of experience in local and tribal transportation development, and over 10 years of experience in domestic and international development projects.

Thursday, January 22, 2015
4 PM – 5 PM
642 Dow Building
Public Welcome

Civil Engineering Seminar: Bio-Inspired Surfboard Fins: Comparisons of Flow Fields and Lift/Drag Forces using CFD models and Experimental data

Civil Engineering Graduate Seminar:
Speaker: Megan MacNeill, Civil Engineering Graduate Student
Thursday, December 4, 2014, 4:00 – 5:00 PM, Dow 642

Title: Bio-Inspired Surfboard Fins: Comparisons of Flow Fields and Lift/Drag Forces using CFD models and Experimental data”

This presentation will give a brief overview of the dynamics of wave surfing, in addition to presenting my current thesis research approach and findings. The theory of wave development and how to surf will be touched upon to give the audience insight into the physics of surfing. An in-depth summary of the purpose of surfboard fins and fin hydrodynamics will also be covered.
The project compares 10 different surfboard fins by means of computational fluid dynamic modeling and experimental analysis from data gathered in the water channel in Dillman Room 110. The fins were self-designed by inspiration of dorsal fin profiles from aquatic species. The single fin set- ups are compared by means of lift and drag forces as well as visual flow analysis. The geometric modeling and CFD approach will be discussed accompanied by the experimental methodology. Because this project is in its beginning stages, there is little known about the results. Future plans for the project will be discussed along with potential post-project ideas.

EPSSI Seminar: Shock Tube Recreations of Shock Waves and Jets Generated During Explosive Volcanic Eruptions

The Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences Institute
proudly presents:
Ezequiel Medici, MTU ME-EM Research Engineer
The EPSSI seminar for Monday, December 1, 4:00 p.m., M&M U113

“Shock Tube Recreations of Shock Waves and Jets Generated During Explosive Volcanic Eruptions”

Abstract: At the beginning of a suddenly explosive volcanic eruptions two types of phenomena can be observed, the formation of a shock wave immediately followed by a supersonic jet of expanding vapor-solid-liquid mixture. The intensity of the shock wave and the structure of the supersonic jet can carry a significant amount of information about the intensity and the dynamics of the volcanic eruption. Despite the hazard they represent to the immediate surrounding area of the volcano vent, these atmospheric shock waves and the subsequent sonic wave can be safely measured at a long distance from the vent. This characteristic makes the measurement of shock/sonic waves suitable for safe, real-time remote sensing of the conditions at the volcanic vent during the eruption. Preliminary results, based on the experiment performed on the shock tube, indicate a strong correlation between the energy released by the eruption, calculated by standard methods post eruption, and the intensity of the shock wave as measured through its pressure field. This correlation could ultimately lead to a more reliable model of shock/sound wave propagation which will serve as an early warning system for the air traffic control.

Immediately after the shock wave, an over pressurized jet mixture of vapor, solid particles, and liquid begins to expand. This mixture typically contains a relatively high concentration of solid particles of different size. To study the coupled interaction between the expanding gas and the particles, a series of analog explosive volcanic experiments using the atmospheric shock tube were performed. High-speed shadowgraph imaging of the expanding jet mixtures is recorded for different initial jet energy, particle sizes and particle concentrations. The study and observations of the interaction between the mixture of expanding gas and particles can elucidate the mechanisms acting during the initial stage of the formation of ash plumes or pyroclastic flows.

Environmental Engineering Seminar: Virus Removal from Water and Bioterapeutics

Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar: Monday, December 1, 2014, 3-4 PM, GLRC 202, Public Welcome
Speaker: Dr. Caryn L. Heldt
Title: Virus Removal from Water and Bioterapeutics

The removal of viruses can save millions of lives through the creation of safe drinking water and reducing the cost of biotherapeutic production to increase access to live saving drugs. In order to create more robust virus removal methods, we need to better understand the surface characteristics of viruses. The most well-known surface characteristic of viruses is negative charge. To take advantage of this, we created filtration membranes with a positively charged polymer. An ideal virus removal membrane would have low transmembrane pressure, high water flux, high pathogen removal, and have a long, workable lifetime. To provide these qualities, we created a nanofiber filtration material that has a microporous structure for high water flux and low transmembrane pressure. Viruses adsorbed to the high surface area nanofibers through electrostatic interactions for virus removal. A lesser-known surface characteristic of viruses is hydrophobicity. We have evidence that viruses are hydrophobic and therefore, we have explored novel flocculants for virus removal that take advantage of virus hydrophobicity. We have been able to remove two viruses with theses flocculants, and we continue to explore the effect of other viruses in our flocculant system. The flocculant system is more applicable to the removal of viruses from biotherapeutics, but other flocculants, based on hydrophobicity and are less expensive, could be applied to water treatment.

Civil Engineering Graduate Seminar: Analysis of Pile- Supported Slabs under Concentrated loads

Civil Engineering Graduate Seminar
Thursday 30th October, 2014; Dow 642, 4 – 5 pm

Aneesha Reddy, Current Graduate Student, Civil Engineering, Michigan Tech

Presentation Topic: Analysis of Pile- Supported Slabs under Concentrated loads
A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of:
Master of Science in Structural Engineering
Submitted to the University of East London on 27th September, 2013

The purpose of the project is to find out the maximum loads that can be applied to pile-supported ground floor slabs while complying with the critical slope requirements of TR34. A numerical analysis of pile supported ground floor slabs under unit point load of 1KN is performed using STAAD.Pro. The parameters varying for this research are thickness of the slab (150mm, 200mm, 250mm and 300mm), the span lengths of the slab (3m, 4m, 5m and 6m) and the panel type on which the point load is applied (Interior, edge and corner panels). The maximum deflections obtained for each slab are used to calculate critical slopes formed on the respective slabs. The critical loads calculated are compared to the permissible slopes given by TR34. The maximum loads to be applied on the slab are calculated and design charts are created for FMA Property I and DMA for Property I and II. These design charts can be used to directly find out the maximum concentrated load that can be applied.

Civil Engineering Seminar: Uncertainty in Civil Engineering Design

Civil Engineering Graduate Seminar: Speaker: Dr. William Bulliet, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Michigan Tech
Thursday, October 23, 2014; 4:05 – 5:00 PM Dow 642 Public Welcome

“Uncertainty in Civil Engineering Design”

Civil engineering design includes many uncertainties, some of which are obvious and some of which many engineers may never have consciously considered. The level of uncertainty for civil engineering systems, mostly non-prototypical engineered systems, is larger than smaller scale engineered products because prototype testing is not possible. This presentation will examine the uncertainties facing engineers who design non-prototypical engineered systems and consider the ways that engineers have developed to manage those uncertainties in a manner that allows design decisions to be made. Uncertainty in design is impossible to escape, and the way it is managed affects both engineers and society. The way engineers approach uncertainty has philosophical, technical, and even ethical implications for the design and construction of civil engineering systems.

Environmental Engineering Seminar: Rubbish, Stink and Death in the Developing World: Déjà Vu All Over Again

oct20ENVE5991 Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar: Monday, October 20, 2014
GLRC 202, 3-4 pm
Steven C. Chapra, Professor and Berger Chair, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department
Tufts University

Title: Rubbish, Stink and Death in the Developing World: Déjà Vu All Over Again
A reception will follow the seminar.

This talk traces the origin and evolution of engineering-oriented water-quality control and management. Three attributes of polluted water underlie human concern for water quality: rubbish (aesthetic impairment), stink (ecosystem impairment), and death (public health impairment). The historical roots of both modern environmental engineering and water-quality management are traced to mid-19th century London when British engineers and public health workers worked to control and manage the major water-quality problems derived from urban wastewater. The talk then turns to current and future conditions in the developing world. In particular, striking parallels are observed between the 19th-century Dickensian slums of Europe and North America and the current water-quality crises in the burgeoning mega-cities of the 21st century.

The last part of the talk focuses on how hydroepidemiological models could prove useful in mitigating and managing waterborne diseases in modern urbanized rivers. We have combined two well-established models: a pathogen fate and transport model and an epidemic model to predict the outbreak and progression of diseases caused by waterborne pathogens along an urbanized river channel. The fate and transport model predicts the transport and evolution of the pathogen in the river system, and the epidemic model predicts the outbreak of the disease once populations along the river have ingested that contaminated water. The communities then act as pseudo-incubators for the disease, effectively increasing the amount of pathogen in the river channel. A combined model provides a more holistic view of the waterborne infectious disease paradigm through the inclusion of a river and a human population component. We provide a case study for this model by examining the Cholera outbreak in Haiti in October 2010, and calibrating the model to the Artibonite River that runs through Haiti. This case study has provided confirmation of our model results to a certain extent. The model can serve as a decision support system to determine the best management practice and public health interventions, and also may be used to in response to bioterrorism attacks. If used effectively, these hydroepidemiological models will lead to improved access to safe water and sanitation worldwide by serving as a tool to educate and guide decision making for water resource engineers and public health practitioners alike.