Concrete Canoe and Steel Bridge Teams Finish First at 2019 North Central Regional Competition

2019 North Central Student Conference

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) North Central Student Conference brings together students from 11 universities from Michigan and Ohio to participate in a multitude of events, particularly the Concrete Canoe competition.

Beginning with the 2019 competition year, the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) is the sole sponsor of all 18 regional Student Steel Bridge Competitions (SSBC) nationwide. Students from 11 universities from Michigan, Indiana and Ohio competed based on the rules established by AISC.

The 2019 conference and competitions took place April 12-14 at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Among the attendees were the Michigan Tech Concrete Canoe team and Michigan Tech ASCE Student Chapter’s Steel Bridge team.

Both the Concrete Canoe and Steel Bridge teams finished first, qualifying them for the Nationals.

The Steel Bridge team also finished first in the subcategories of stiffness, economy, construction speed, structural efficiency and aesthetics.

The National Finals of the Steel Bridge competition are May 31- June 1 at Southern Illinois University.

The National Finals of the Concrete Canoe competition are June 6-8 in Melbourne, Florida.

Related:

Scaling the Heights: Concrete Canoe Team Prepped for 2018 Regionals

Steeled for Success: A Husky Tradition Forged in Engineering Excellence


Best Papers in Environmental Science 2018

Mercury Deposition mapNoel Urban (CEE), Cory McDonald (CEE), Shiliang Wu (CEE/GMES), Judith Perlinger (CEE), Valoree Gagnon (SS), Hugh Gorman (SS) and Charles Kerfoot (BioSci) with CEE/EPD2 students, Tanvir Kahn, Ashley Hendricks, Mudgha Priyadarshini, Morgan Bolstad, Huanxin Zhang, and A. Kumar published two papers on mercury deposition, both nominated for their excellence.

The papers were nominated as Best Papers 2018 – Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts by the Environmental Science Best Papers Initiative among those published in the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Environmental Science journal family.

Perlinger, J.A., Urban, N.R., Giang, A., Selin, N.E., Hendricks, A.N., Zhang, H., Kumar, A., Wu, S., Gagnon, V.S., Gorman, H.S., and Norman, E.S., Responses of deposition and bioaccumulation in the Great Lakes region to policy and other large-scale drivers of mercury emissions, Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts, 20, 195-209, 2018.

DOI: 10.1039/C7EM00547D

Kerfoot, W.C., Urban, N.R., McDonald, C.P., Zhang, H., Rossmann, R., Perlinger, J.A., Khan, T., Hendricks, A., Priyadarshini, M., Bolstad, M., Mining legacy across a wetland landscape: High mercury in Upper Peninsula (Michigan) rivers, lakes, and fish, Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts, 20, 708-733, 2018.

DOI: 10.1039/C7EM00521K


Chi Epsilon and ASCE Travel to Wisconsin

A group of five students from Chi Epsilon Honors Society and ASCE traveled to Milwaukee, WI to visit Michigan Tech alumni and see engineers working in the field. The first stop was at the American Transmission Company, where students got a tour of the operations room and a detailed look at the power distribution to the Upper Peninsula. The lecture at this location focused on engineering applications and the challenges engineers face in constructing power distribution.

 

The next stop was Komatsu Mining Corp. where Michigan Tech alumni Jonathon LeCloux greeted the students. The lecture at this location focused on the history of the company and their new sustainable South Harbor Campus. The students were then taken on a tour of the facilities that included heat treating, heavy fabrication, operations, mist collection, VOC handling, and HVAC controls.

 


The third stop was the Jones Island Water Reclamation Facility. Here the students learned about the wastewater treatment process and how they make fertilizer called Milorginate from their dried sludge.

 

 

 

 

Finally, the students were able to meet up with Michigan Tech alumni Kevin LaPean at Aquarius Technologies. Here the students gained more understanding of the aeration tanks within the wastewater treatment plant as Aquarius Technologies designs air diffusers. These four stops were incredibly eye opening, and allowed the students to ask questions about career opportunities, and create networking connections.


Pasi Lautala Presents Abroad on Rail Transportation

Level Crossing Forum adPasi Lautala (CEE), Director of Michigan Tech’s Rail Transportation Program, lectured at the Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences in Finland. The presentation was titled, “Railroads as Part of Transportation System (in U.S. and Elsewhere).”

Lautala also participated in International Union of Railways Workshop on Rail Suicide and Trespasser Prevention and the 21st European Level Crossing Forum in Paris, France. As part of the Level Crossing Forum, Lautala presented research conducted at Michigan Tech, “Driver Behavior at Level Crossings — In-Vehicle Auditory Alerts and Naturalistic Driving Data Research in the USA.”


Tampa Alumni Event

 

The Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, in collaboration with the Office of Advancement and Alumni Relations, held an alumni event at Maloney’s Pub and Bar to watch the Red Wings battle the Tampa Bay Lightnings.  The event brought together almost 30 alumni and rekindled that ol’ Michigan Tech feeling. Chuck Laurila (BSCE ’59), accompanied by his wife Phyllis, received a hearty round of applause as the most senior MTU graduate in attendance .  Dennis Luoto (‘68 BSCE grad) and his wife Randi, traveling from The Villages, were recognized for traveling the furthest to attend the event. BSCE ‘82 graduate Bill Matkin (or Capt. William Matkin) reunited with two former Army ROTC cadets, Renee Mintz and Rhonda Mintz, both BSME ‘95.  Bill, Renee and Rhonda had not seen each other in over 20 years. No matter how long it had been since they last stepped foot on campus, the Michigan Tech experience brought this new group of friends together. The night fostered good times and good laughs. If you are interested in hosting a Michigan Tech alumni event please contact alumni engagement at 906-487-2400 or go to the following alumni chapter website here Alumni Chapters.

 

While visiting Tech alumni in Florida, Audra Morse, Department Chair, and Marney Kloote, Director of Advancement for the School of Business and the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, met with Doug Geiger, P.E.  (BSCE ‘83), Nick Everson, P.E. (BSCE ‘06), and Bill Downey, P.E. (BSCE ’96) of RS&H at the Wakiva Parkway SR 429 project.  The new 6 mile stretch of elevated divided highway replacing SR 46 and CR 46A just north of Orlando, includes 3 CIP segmental bridge river crossings and 9 conventional bridge wildlife crossings. While easing traffic demands on the existing one lane county road, the project seeks to reduce the number of car accidents involving black bears, who call the Seminole State Forest home.  The project also includes a multi-use trail along CR 46A, nearly 22,000 lineal feet of MSE wall, and a vegetative buffer along a portion of the roadway to reduce drainage, lighting and visibility.

 

The CEE Department is grateful to RS&H for their generous $10,000 gift for three years to support the instruction of the materials lab class.  Many alumni know this class by the name of “smash lab”.



Center Receives Grant to Provide Outdoor Science Field Trips for 4000 Area Students

Brian Doughty Nara Nature Center
Science specialist Brian Doughty teaches at the Nara Nature Center.

More than four thousand western UP students will spend time learning outdoors this school year thanks to a $20,000 grant from the Wege Foundation recently provided to the Michigan Tech Center for Science and Environmental Outreach. The Center’s Outdoor Science Investigations Field Trip Program is open to elementary and middle school students in all 19 school districts in Houghton, Baraga, Gogebic, Ontonagon and Keweenaw counties. Last year, the Field Trip Program engaged more than 4000 students in 200 classes from 14 schools in outdoor science learning, from physical and earth science, to forestry, wildlife, and stream monitoring.

Two activities are offered for each grade level during each season, led by the Center’s science specialist, Brian Doughty. Activities for younger students focus on exploration and observation. These field trips enhance classroom learning and provide real-world, hands-on experiences for students. All activities are correlated to Michigan Science Standards and connect to the school curriculum. The outdoor classroom allows students to utilize science and math skills, including observing, predicting, data-collection, analysis, and graphing.

During the winter field trip season, students are provided with snowshoes to incorporate physical exercise into their learning. Students investigate topics such as the “wind chill” effect, which materials make better insulators, and techniques used by wildlife to survive our cold, snowy winters. One teacher observed, “My students absolutely loved the program. Their favorite part was looking for decomposers, which made the food web a reality for them. Later on that day, one of my students was very excited because she found the word, ‘carnivore’ in her reading. This is just what we learned this morning!”

The Center’s mission is to enhance the teaching and learning of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and promote environmental stewardship amongst K-12 students and teachers. For more information about the Wege Foundation grant or the field trip program, contact Joan Chadde at 906-487-3341 or jchadde@mtu.edu .


Faculty and Students Attend 98th Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting

Students and faculty in pavement materials areas attended the 98th Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting on January 13-17, 2019. Siyu Chen, Xiaodong Zhou, Jiaqing Wang, Lingyun You, Dongdong Ge, Miao Yu, Chaochao Liu, and Junfeng Gao presented at the meeting. Professor Zhanping You presented “The Development of a New Asphalt Mixture Containing Reacted and Activated Rubber and Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement via Superpave Mix Design and Marshall Mix Design.”

Tim Colling, Director of the Center for Technology & Training, attended throughout and served on the ANB 25: Highway Safety Performance Committee.

Professor Eric Seagren attended the TRB meeting as a member of the Geo-Environmental Processes Committee (AFP40) to participate in the committee’s annual meeting.

Assistant Professor Zhen Liu (Leo) attended TRB with a visiting student, Peng Gao. Liu presented at the committee meeting of AFP50: Committee on Seasonal Climatic Effects on Transportation Infrastructure. The title of the presentation was “Data-Driven Predictions of Freezing and Thawing Depths with 3D Models.”

Associate Professor Pasi Lautala chaired the AR040 Freight Rail Transportation Committee. He also presented a poster by himself and Alawudin Salim (MS alumnus of Civil Engineering) “A HUMAN BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS OF HIGHWAY-RAILROAD GRADE CROSSINGS BASED ON ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS AND DRIVER DEMOGRAPHICS.”

Sangpil Ko Poster
Sangpil Ko by his poster.

Research Assistant Sangpil Ko presented a poster co-authored by himself, Pasi Lautala, and Assistant Professor Kuilin Zhang on “Log Movement in the Superior Region – Rate and Capacity Based Analysis of Modal Shares.”

Associate Professor Amlan Mukherjee presented on a recently concluded National Cooperative Highway Research Program project involving the development of a Guidebook for Sustainable Highway Construction Practices at the meeting for the TRB Standing Committee on Construction Management (AFH10).

Mukherjee also presented the Michigan Department of Transportation study on “Workflows for Digital Project Delivery in Transportation Construction Projects” at the sub-committee meeting on Information Systems in Construction Management [AFH10(1)], where he serves as Secretary.

Mukherjee and PhD candidate Chaitanya Bhat co-authored a paper on “Sensitivity of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) Outcomes to Parameter Uncertainty: Implications For Material Procurement Decision-Making.” The paper was presented at a lectern session by Bhat. It has also been accepted for publication in the Journal of the Transportation Research Record, to be published in 2019. Mr.Bhat presented his research on “Life-Cycle Thinking” in a 3 Minute Thesis event organized at TRB.

Taking advantage of their time in Washington DC, Mukherjee and Bhat, as part of their ongoing research in pavement Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) funded by the Federal Highway Administration, also organized a stakeholder meeting with fellow collaborators among members of the Federal LCA Commons.

Also in attendance were PhD students Qinjie Lyu and Jiaqing Wang.


Senior Design Travels To Grand Rapids To See How PFAS Are Being Removed From Water Supply

The senior design section (CEE 4905) advised by Dr. David Hand and Dr. Eric Seagren traveled on February 1, 2019, to visit the Plainfield Township Water Department’s treatment plant outside of Grand Rapids, Michigan.  The plant is operating a pilot-scale study examining the removal of per- and poly-fluoralkyl substances (PFAS) from their water supply using granular activated carbon (GAC).  PFAS compounds were invented in the 1930s and since then have been manufactured for a variety of uses including: nonstick coatings, stain and water-resistant products, protective coatings, and firefighting foam.  These compounds are very stable in water, are persistent, bioaccumulative, and not known to degrade in the environment.  In 2017, Michigan was one of first states in the country to begin to establish a clean-up standard for PFAS in groundwater when used as a drinking water source.  The Michigan PFAS Action Response Team, made up of several state agencies, has worked to identify PFAS contamination in the state.

The purpose of this senior design project is to develop design guidance for the use of GAC for the removal of PFAS chemicals from water supplies.  GAC is a Best Available Technology (BAT) as designated by the USEPA for removal of organic chemicals from water.  In fact, GAC is presently being used in several of the sites identified in Michigan for removal of PFAS compounds.  Design guidance for using GAC for the removal of these compounds is needed as it can provide regulatory agencies, consulting engineers, and water utilities with the tools necessary to effectively and economically evaluate the use of GAC for treatment of these chemicals.  Therefore, the main objectives of this project are to: (1) evaluate the design of the pilot-scale GAC system that has been implemented at the Plainfield Township Water Department’s treatment plant, and (2) to develop a general design guidance for the application of GAC fixed-bed adsorption processes for the removal of PFAS from drinking water.


Jiaqing Wang Presents on Transportation Topics

Jiaqing Wang presenting at TRB 2019Jiaqing Wang attended the Transportation Research Board (TRB) 98th Annual Meeting at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, January 13–17, 2019, in Washington, D.C. He presented his recent research work under Dr. Qingli Dai’s supervision. The presentation title was “Effectively Recycling Scrap Tire Rubbers into Epoxy Polymer Concrete as Overlays or Repair Materials.”

To reduce environmental landfill problems with the accumulation of tire rubbers, scrap tire rubbers were added to epoxy polymer concrete. The solid rubber particles (with mesh size #50) were introduced into epoxy concrete with two different contents of 5% and 10% based on the epoxy monomer weight. The test results indicated that the use of solid waste tires could not only enhance the performance of neat epoxy concrete, but also contribute to environmental protection while extending the service life of existing concrete structures. His presentation and the research work that was conducted in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Michigan Tech attracted the audience’s attention and interest.

Wang also attended the 9th International Association of Chinese Infrastructure Professionals (IACIP) Annual Workshop “Innovations of Transportation Infrastructure In an Era of Climate Change.” He received 2nd prize in the student poster competition.