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?”
Daisy Isaksson is a fifth-grade student at Dollar Bay Elementary. A couple weeks ago, she surprised one of Michigan Tech’s engineers from the Center for Technology & Training by beating the results of several PhDs, professional engineers and engineering students in a classroom activity called “Stop That Truck!”
The activity was designed by Drew Roberts, a civil engineering senior, under a Transportation and Civil Engineering (TRAC) Program module updated by civil engineer Chris Gilbertson from the Center for Technology & Training under a Michigan Department of Transportation grant. TRAC is a national outreach program that encourages the teaching of STEM (with a civil engineering flavor) to students at a young age by providing well-designed learning modules to high school and middle school teachers.
Pengfei Xue (CEE) and his modeling work through the Great Lakes Research Center, which led to a more comprehensive climate and hydrodynamics model for the whole Great Lakes region, has been featured in several science media outlets including Science Daily, Phys.org, Terra Daily and Supercomputing Online News. The story was shared numerous times by collaborators and the science community on Twitter.
Weather the Storm: Improving Great Lakes Modeling
The collaborative work brought together researchers from Michigan Technological University, Loyola Marymount University, LimnoTech and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory. Pengfei Xue, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at Michigan Tech, led the study through his work at the Great Lakes Research Center on campus.
One of the important concepts in climate change, in addition to knowing the warming trend, is understanding that extreme events become more severe. That is both a challenge and an important focus in regional climate modeling. —Pengfei Xue
In the News
TechCentury, an engineering and technology publication of the Engineering Society of Detroit, reported on research led by Pengfei Xue(CEE), using computer modeling to better predict weather and its impacts on the Great Lakes. Read the article here.
Vice President for Research, David Reed, has announced the Century II Campaign Endowed Equipment Fund (C2E2) awards at the recommendation of the C2E2 Committee. Civil and Environmental Engineering faculty receiving awards are Associate Professor Jennifer Becker:
Outfitting a Biosafety Level 2 Laboratory for Waterborne Pathogen Research
Biogas (Anaerobic Digestion) Project
The vice president for research would like to thank the review committee members for their participation in this internal award process.
For additional information on the C2E2 opportunity, visit C2E2.
Timothy Colling (CEE/MTTI) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $208,659 contract with the Michigan Department of Transportation.
This is a one-year project.
Michigan Tech Facilities Management leveraged resources in the Civil and Environmental Engineering department to fortify their team of snowfighters. Four members of the Facilities Management team participated in a day-long motor grader operator training, offered by the Center for Technology and Training (CTT) Monday, Nov. 7.
Jeff Shook, retired operator from Genesee County and instructor for the CTT, familiarized the Facilities Management team with basic and advanced grader controls.
Tech combats snow with its motor grader “almost every day in the winter,” says Facilities Management Site Engineer Dan Liebau. Operating a grader in a snowstorm when “it’s dark and there’s low visibility requires a different technique, a different finesse,” stated Shook.
Facilities Management’s investment in its personnel, using on-campus resources like the CTT, benefits the entire campus community by ensuring that its team is prepared for the winter ahead.
By Center for Technology & Training.
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.
Railway Track & Structures, a magazine for the railroad industry, published a feature article in its November 2016 issue on railroad education, focusing on Michigan Tech’s Rail Transportation Program.
Rail Engineering’s Educated Effort
Existing programs evolve to include the right mix of academics and research and new outreach efforts are exposing a younger audience to the possibilities of rail.
Michigan Tech’s Rail Transportation Program (RTP) is designed to align with the needs of the industry from Class 1 railroads to manufacturers and other industry stakeholders. Dr. Pasi Lautala, assistant professor, civil and environmental engineering and director of the RTP says the program concentrates on developing well-balanced candidates with core skills for railway careers.
The Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition, held on Oct. 12, featured 10 speakers from departments across the University. The 3MT celebrates the research of graduate students across the world. The competition supports their capacity to effectively explain their research in three minutes, in a language appropriate to a non-specialist audience.
Six of the students who participated advanced from the preliminary heats to compete in the finals. The winner of the competition, who will advance to the Midwestern Association of Graduate School’s 3MT Competition in April, was Divya Kamath’s (Environmental engineering PhD candidate) presentation on improving water quality with aquesous phase advanced oxidation processes. Muraleekrishnan Menon’s presentation on improving wind turbine rotors using active flow-control devices took second. The audience selected Leigh Miller’s (Civil Engineering PCMI student) presentation on the protection of clean water in Panama as their favorite for the People’s Choice Award.
The event was sponsored by the Graduate Student Government and the Graduate School. Thank you to all of the judges, volunteers and competitors who helped make the event a success.