Pasi Lautala (CEE) gave an invited presentation on Michigan Tech’s grade crossing research as part of Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s Annual Freight Railroad Conference in Madison on November 15, 2016. The presentation was titled “Driver Behavior at Grade Crossings—Do Drivers Behave as Engineers Expect Them to Behave?”
The Center for Technology & Training (CTT), a part of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, hosted its first annual Roadsoft User Conference of the United States (RUCUS). RUCUS was held Nov. 1, 2016, in Lansing and was attended by 96 individuals representing 64 Michigan road agencies, as well as participants from Indiana and Pennsylvania. Roadsoft is a roadway asset management system for collecting, storing and analyzing data associated with transportation infrastructure. Roadsoft is developed and supported by the CTT with principal funding from the Michigan Department of Transportation.
Conference attendees engaged on a variety of topics including data integrity, using the Roadsoft mobile application, safety, pavement management strategies and Inventory Based Rating (IBR) for unpaved roads. The event also provided attendees with networking opportunities with other agencies and with the CTT staff.
CTT staff participating at the conference were research engineers John Kiefer, PE and Dale Lighthizer, PE; CRM administrator and software support analyst Carole Reynolds; data support and account specialist Joseph Snow; principal programmers Nick Koszykowski and Luke Peterson; and software engineers Mary Crane, Byrel Mitchell, Mike Pionke and Sean Thorpe.
Following the conference, on Nov. 2, the CTT staff visited the Allegan County Road Commission and the cities of Grand Rapids and St. Ignace to provide on-site Roadsoft training and technical assistance.
Staff from the Center for Technology and Training (CTT), a part of the department of civil and environmental engineering, provided training and technical assistance for the Michigan Transportation Asset Management Council’s (TAMC) 2016 fall conference, held in Marquette on Thursday (Oct. 13, 2016). The bi-annual conference brings together representatives from Michigan’s transportation agencies as well as agencies’ superintendents, managers and staff.
Colling is Awarded
The TAMC awarded CTT Director Timothy Colling with the Carmine Palumbo Individual Award for his asset management-related service in Michigan. Additionally, Colling delivered a presentation entitled “Inventory-based Rating and Roadsoft Enhancements” during the conference. Colling, in conjunction with Technical Writer Victoria Sage, represented the CTT and helped plan and facilitate the conference.
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.”
Topic: Making the Case for Interdisciplinary Research and Practice to Improve Traditionally Technical Fields
Tim’s presentation title: “Getting Outside the Silos: Why Transportation Research Needs the Humanities and Social Scientists”
John’s paper title: ” Human and Social Research Approaches to Engineering Problems”
It is no secret that engineering, science, and technology not only dominate the Michigan Tech campus but also increasingly pervade our daily lives. Humans seek technology to improve living standards, protect us from the natural environment and our own actions, and create opportunities for further development, with and without adverse effects for us and our planet. In this increasingly technophilic world, the humanities, arts, and social sciences are often struggling to grab attention and resources, which both seem to flow more readily towards researchers in the physical sciences in order for them to provide solutions to our natural and human-created problems. In addition, researchers in the humanities and social sciences may be apprehensive working in fields dominated by engineers.
The presenters argue that this divide between the physical sciences and everyone else doesn’t need to and shouldn’t be there. Because engineers and scientists are seeking solutions to human problems, many of which can’t be solved with science and technology alone, it is natural, if not imperative, for them to form partnerships with those studying humans and human behavior.
Dr. Tim Colling, PE (Director, Center for Technology and Training in CEE/MTTI, PhD CEE) and John Velat (Director, Tribal Technical Assistance Program in CEE/MTTI, MS RTC) will examine problems in transportation and offer approaches for their investigation and solution, using knowledge, expertise, and understanding from outside engineering and physical science fields. They contend that the goal is not to separate engineering solutions from humanities, social, and arts-based solutions, but to recruit non-engineers in solving problems traditionally addressed by engineers as well as physical scientists. By demonstrating the wealth of problems in technical fields that the humanities, arts, and social sciences can contribute to solving, they hope to build cooperation and collaboration on campus and beyond by creating multidisciplinary teams that can effectively compete on what has been typically considered “hard science” research.
Monday, February 8, 2016 from 3 to 4 pm in Dillman 214.
Toward New Age Modeling and Management of Nuisance Cladophora in the Great Lakes
Monday, November 2, 2015
202 Great Lakes Research Cener
Anika Kuczynski, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Michigan Tech
A native to the Great Lakes, Cladophora glomerata is a filamentous, green alga that has proliferated and caused nuisance conditions especially in the lower Great Lakes, both historically and in the 21st century. Depending on currents affected by wind speed and direction, algal mats may clog cooling and drinking water intakes or wash up on beaches. The decaying plant material produces offensive odors and provides favorable environmental conditions for hosting pathogens. While Cladophora was not the target for P abatement, which began in the late 1970s, its biomass levels appeared to decrease by the early to mid-1980s in Lake Ontario. With the return of nuisance conditions since the zebra and quagga mussel invasion and an altered system at hand, current field monitoring and modeling efforts are necessary to establish a new baseline understanding and appropriate management approaches in this new age. The objectives of this dissertation will be 1) to establish that there has, in fact, been a Cladophora resurgence in the Great Lakes and to quantitatively characterize that resurgence and management implications, 2) to define a phosphorus standard or substance objective for Cladophora management in the Great Lakes; and to demonstrate the application of linked hydrodynamic-phosphorus-Cladophora modeling to define management strategies in two case studies, 3) the Ajax, ON nearshore of Lake Ontario and 4) the eastern basin of Lake Erie.
Title: A Tale of Two Careers in the Same Field
By: Dr. Kerry J. Howe, P.E., BCEE
Completing a graduate degree in civil and environmental engineering opens the door to a variety of career paths: government agencies, consulting firms, universities. Dr. Howe has worked extensively in two of these arenas. First, as a design engineer for the engineering firm that is now Montgomery Watson Harza. After a 12-year stint there, he completed a PhD degree and starting working as a professor at the University of New Mexico, where his research has focused on membrane technologies, desalination, and water reuse, including the use of reverse osmosis and ozone/biofiltration to treat wastewater for water reuse applications. This presentation will use case studies from his career to describe a typical design project done by consulting engineers and a typical research project at a university. The presentation will then describe the skills needed by civil and environmental engineers in both career paths, and describe the similarities and differences between consulting engineers and academicians.
Dr. Howe is a professor and regents’ lecturer at the department of civil engineering, University of New Mexico. Dr. Howe is also a registered professional engineer (P.E.) and a board certified environmental engineer (BCEE) by the American Academy of Environmental Engineers. Prior to studying for his doctorate degree at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Environmental Engineering, Dr. Howe worked for environmental engineering consulting firms for more than 12 years. During his time in consulting, he worked as project engineer or project manager on a wide variety of projects related to water treatment engineering, including treatability studies, regulatory compliance evaluations, facility evaluations, master plans, pilot studies, predesign, detailed design, construction management, and plant startup. His practical engineering experience has a strong influence on his research and teaching activities. He is a co-author of the textbooks Principles of Water Treatment and MWH’s Water Treatment: Principles and Design. Dr. Howe is a director for Center for Water and the Environment from the National Science Foundation Centers for Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST) program.
Hossein Tavakoli, PhD Student, Michigan Tech Department of Environmental Engineering
Biography – I am a PhD student in Environmental Engineering with focus on air pollution. studying Environmental Engineering, I could see how air pollution had surrounded millions of people and it seemed policy makers were incapable. Picturesque Alborz hillsides, in which Tehran (Capital City) is located, were lost in smog. In the last 3 years, up to 7000 deaths in Tehran are caused by Airborne Particles. As a part of my research I have investigated the effects of air pollution of a steel complex -a case study- on surrounding area using air pollution dispersion modeling (AERMOD and CMB8.2); I have then investigated concentrations of PM10 in ambient air and Arsenic in air, water, soil, rice and meat downstream of the steel plant. In addition, I have studied lifetime risk assessment of Arsenic due to inhalation, ingestion and dermal exposure for residents.
Environmental issues regarding air pollution in Iran include, especially in urban areas, vehicle emissions, refinery operations, huge dust swirl from Iraq and industrial effluents which contribute to poor air quality. Industrial nature and the status of its environmental issues, regulation and management in Iran will be presented to expand the world vision of a developing country.
A regularly updated seminar schedule and download capabilities for Roundtable Discussion papers is available on CANVAS under ENVE5991 R01 Fall 2015.
Dr. Stephen Techtmann , Assistant Professor
Michigan Tech Department of Biological Sciences
Biography – I am an environmental microbiologist who studies microbial communities in diverse ecosystems. Microbes (Bacteria and Archaea) are ubiquitous in the environment and play essential roles in the cycling of elements. These environmental microbes are capable of catalyzing a wide array of chemical reactions, many of which may have industrial applications. I study how complex microbial communities can cooperate to perform functions of industrial interest. The majority of microbes in the environment are difficult to grow in the lab. Furthermore, many industrially-relevant pathways are found in microbes not yet grown in the lab. I seek to employ both culture-based and culture-independent methods to understand how these microbial communities respond to anthropogenic activity and environmental change and how we might leverage these microbes for a biotechnological application. In the past, I have investigated how microbes from hot springs and geothermal vents could be used for biofuel production. Most recently, I have focused on microbial communities that respond to and aid in the clean up of crude oil contamination. I am also interested in engineering environmental microbes and microbial communities for enhanced biofuel production. I employ a combination of geochemical techniques, next-generation sequencing and other ‘omics approaches, with microbial physiology and biochemistry to better understand these microbial systems.