Category Archives: Seminars

Civil Engineering Graduate Seminar: Creating Educational Materials for Python and GIS

CE Graduate Seminar for a special presentation by Shelley Jeltema.
Title: Creating Educational Materials for Python and GIS
Author: Shelley Jeltema, PhD student in Civil/Environmental Engineering
Room 642 Dow, 4:05 – 4:55 pm, Thursday, April 2.

Abstract:
This project created a 15-week course to teach graduate students and GIS analysts/technicians how to use Python to extend the functionality of Geographical Information System (GIS) software. Using a combination of traditional college course and corporate training methods results in a modular course that can be taught in a traditional college setting, online, or as a custom course for specific business purposes. The class is comprised of lectures and labs where students will learn scripting, data processing with Python. Students will also learn how to create ArcGIS models with Python Script. The course contains base set of labs will focus on natural resource management and hydrology. Additional labs will cover different business scenarios to expand the audience to business, surveying, social science, and Peace Corps students. At the end of the course, students will have gained experience in scripting, data pre-processing, and modeling with Python and AcrGIS. They will also have frameworks for real world business scenarios. The requirements for this class are prior experience with ArcGIS and familiarity with modeling. Computer coding experience is suggested but not recommended. Future work includes continued refinement of this course to include more of the skills businesses. An advanced course teaching concepts and techniques that create more complex models using computer programs, creating ArcGIS tools, and working with GIS in a distributed computing environment where workload balancing is available.

Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar: Eagle Mine

Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar

Kristen Mariuzza will present “Eagle Mine: Our Journey to Create a Modern Mine” on Monday, March 30, at 3:05 p.m. in Fisher 132.

Kristen (Dolkey) Mariuzza graduated from Michigan Tech with a BS in Environmental Engineering in 1998. She worked as an environmental engineer with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality for almost nine years, before becoming an independent engineering consultant. She started working at the Eagle Mine LLC in 2010 (when it was owned by Rio Tinto, now owned by Lundin Mining Corporation) as the environmental and permitting manager. At Eagle, she oversees the environmental compliance aspects, which she will describe in her presentation.

Civil Engineering Seminar: Integrated LCCA and LCA of Road and Rail Freight Transport

Civil Engineering Graduate Seminar Thursday – March 19th, 4:00 – 5:00
Room 642 DOW
Presentation by: Sumanth Kalluri
Integrated LCCA and LCA of Road and Rail Freight Transport

Freight transport occurs between nearly any two process steps of a product system and is often of major importance for a product life cycle. The transportation sector accounted for 28% of the total greenhouse gas emission in the US in 2012 and it is forecasted to account for 63 percent of the total growth in global consumption of petroleum and other liquid fuels between 2010 and 2040. For these reasons, it’s essential that the development of new freight transportation lanes and activities takes a holistic approach in the evaluation of alternatives where energy consumption and emissions are minimized throughout the project life cycle. This project takes steps towards that goal by applying the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) methodologies for comparing road, rail and road-rail multimodal transportation alternatives for freight shipment.

The main objectives of this study is to analyze all the costs and emissions during phases of construction, operations, maintenance and final salvage or recycling stage of both the infrastructure and the equipment that are used over a variable life time of freight transport process of road and rail modes. The emissions are then converted to cost values (using potential unit costs of emissions) for integration with LCCA for overall assessment.

This presentation will give an introduction to LCA and LCCA and its past applications in transportation sector. The presentation will also talk about a case study for which LCA and LCCA will conducted for movement of ore between a proposed mine and refinery in the Upper Peninsula (Copperwood Mine project) and the movement of refined concentrate between the refinery and Escanaba, MI.

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.