Minakata Group on Reverse Osmosis for Potable Reuse of Water

Environmental Science and Technology

Daisuke Minakata (CEE) and his students with his collaborator, Kerry Howe, at the University of New Mexico published their research findings and a predictive model in Environmental Science and Technology, a premium journal in environmental science and engineering field.

The study developed a group contribution method to predict the rejection of diverse organic chemicals through commercially available Reverse Osmosis membranes for potable reuse of wastewater. Minakata states that this is a significant step to predict the permeability of many diverse organic compounds through membrane technologies based on only given structural information of organics. The paper provides an MS Excel spreadsheet that allows anyone to download and use for the prediction as supporting information.

Minakata comments that the model is useful for water industries, policymakers and regulators that consider the contaminants under the future regulations, water treatment utilities, and educators who can implement this tool in class. From Minakata’s group, one graduate and three undergraduate researchers worked on this project with the support from WateResearch Foundation and internal Michigan Tech Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) by Pavlis Honors College. 

https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.9b06170


Surveying Engineering Attends MSPS 2020

Clay Hildebrand, Steve Smendzuik, Sanjay Shenoy, Joseph Foster, Chad Holdwick, Alyx Thayer

February 18-21, 2020 marked the Michigan Society of Professional Surveyors (MSPS) Convention held at the Radisson Plaza, Kalamazoo, Michigan that hosted over 400 Licensed Professional Surveyors from around the Great Lake states, as well as Michigan Tech’s Douglass Houghton Student Chapter (DHSC) of the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS)…whew, quite a mouth full, but accurate!  An annual event, the Convention provides the opportunity to not only acquire continuing education credits, learn new and upcoming techniques, view and get “hands on” with cutting edge equipment, but also connect with fellow Licensed Professional Surveyors from throughout the region.  Not to be left out, our Surveying Engineering (BS) and Integrated Geospatial Technology (MS) students were invited to participate and exhibit throughout the entire event.

Chad Holdwick and Steve Smendzuik presenting their Senior Capstone Project.

Seminars given during the four-day event covered a myriad of topics including Railroad Rights-of-Way, Mapping the Great Lakes, Safe Excavation Practices, Analysis of Record Title Boundaries, preparing for the 2022 Datum, Collateral Evidence Analysis, Professional Ethics, and the list goes on…up to the Student Capstone Project presentations given by both Ferris State and Michigan Tech University.  Our own Steven Smendzuik and Chad Holdwick presented their project of going through the steps of a rather complicated boundary survey that included an abandoned railroad right-of-way, ambiguous legal descriptions, conflicting field evidence, as well as a forensic survey of a murder scene from the 1800’s, not to mention finishing in two feet of snow!  Needless to say, it was very intriguing and everyone that attended walked away with a new appreciation of what we do every day.

Vendors and equipment suppliers filled the exhibit hall with the latest and greatest in surveying, photogrammetric, imaging, scanning, and UAV instruments.  Every opportunity was given to learn about the new technology and how it can be integrated into day to day operations, increasing efficiency and productivity, while maintaining the precision and accuracy required of our Profession.  Finally, the stories and experiences shared by other Surveyors with our students sealed the deal…it was definitely worth the trip!


Michigan Tech’s NSBE Student Chapter Reaches 500 K-12 Students in Detroit Public Schools during 9th Annual ‘Alternative Spring Break’

Six members of Michigan Technological University’s student chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) Pre-College Initiative (PCI) reached a total of 500 students during their 9th Annual Alternative Spring Break in Detroit from March 9-11, visiting six middle and high schools in Detroit to encourage students to consider college and a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) career.

During the school day, the Michigan Tech students made classroom presentations to middle and high school students encouraging them to continue their education after high school, consider going to college or community college, and choose a STEM career path. After the school day ended, the NSBE students conducted K-8 Family Engineering events at two K-8 schools for students and their families, and at a Boys & Girls Club in downstate Highland Park.

Participating MTU-NSBE students included:

# NAME MAJOR YEAR HOME
1 Bryce Stallworth Mechanical Engineering 4th Detroit
2 Rukayat Adeosun Health Informatics 4th Nigeria
3 Meghan Tidwell Civil Engineering 1st Detroit
4 Andrea Smith Chemical Engineering 3rd Southfield
5 Jalen Vaughn Computer Engineering 4th Detroit
6 Koami Hayibo Electrical Engin grad Togo

The schools visited included: Osborn High School, Detroit Arts HS, Mackenzie Middle School, University Prep Math & Science Middle School, University Prep Academy of the Arts Middle School, and Neinas Academy Middle School.

The NSBE students made a special stop at the Fauver-Martin Boys & Girls Clubon Tuesday afternoon, March 10th, to put on a hands-on engineering event for 30 K-12 students from across the city. This event was organized by Mike Reed from the Detroit Zoological Society, who also invited Michael Vaughn, the first president of MTU’s NSBE student chapter in 1995!

The goal of the NSBE classroom presentations and Family Engineering events are to engage, inspire, and encourage diverse students to learn about and consider careers in engineering and science through hands-on activities and providing ‘hometown’ role models (most of the participating NSBE students are from the Detroit area). These programs are designed to address our country’s need for an increased number and greater diversity of students skilled in STEM (math, science, technology, and engineering). This outreach is encouraged by the NSBE Professional Pre-College Initiative (PCI) program which supports and encourages K-12 participation in STEM. 

This MTU NSBE student chapter’s outreach effort is funded by General Motors and the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, and coordinated by Joan Chadde, Director of the Michigan Tech Center for Science & Environmental Outreach.

High school students at these schools are also encouraged to apply to participate in a 5-day High School Summer STEM Internship at Michigan Tech from July 13-17, 2020 that is specifically targeting under-represented students. Each participating student will be supported by a $700 scholarship.  The Detroit high school students are also informed of scholarships available to attend MTU’s Summer Youth Programs.

For more information about the MTU-NSBE student chapter’s Alternative Spring Break, contact NSBE student chapter President, Bryce Stallworth bastallw@mtu.edu  or Joan Chadde, Director, Center for Science & Environmental Outreach, Michigan Technological University by email: jchadde@mtu.edu or call 906-487-3341. 


How to Succeed as a Freshman

Michelle Jarvie-Eggart

Michelle Jarvie-Eggart, a Michigan Tech graduate and a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Engineering Fundamentals, along with environmental engineering students, Amanda Singer and Jason Mathews, discuss the transition for first year students and tools that can make the transition easier.

Jarvie-Eggart, M. E., & Singer, A. M., & Mathews, J. (2019, July), Advice from a First Year Paper presented at 2019 FYEE Conference , Penn State University , Pennsylvania. https://peer.asee.org/33674

Extract

Much attention is paid to the transition from high school to college. Students who have recently gone through this transition may have some of the best advice to offer in-coming first year students.

Themes which emerged in this study, which corroborate other research include: time management, utilizing resources, hard work, class attendance, social activates and persevering through lower grades.


Faculty and Graduate Students Attend Triennial 2020 Borchardt Conference

Environmental engineering MS student Rose Turner presenting her poster on PFAS

Environmental Engineering graduate students, Rose Turner, John P Harron, and Benjamin Mohrhardt, along with Dr. Daisuke Minakata attended and presented their research findings at the 25th Triennial 2020 Borchardt conference on Feb. 25 and 26 at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI.   Dr. Minakata presented his talk about RO membrane for potable reuse application and his student Rose Turner presented her poster about PFAS prioritization for remediation technology. John P Harron from Dr. Jennifer Becker and Dr. Eric Seagren‘s research group presented a talk about the laboratory-scale evaluation on pathogen and indicator organism in biosolids.  The conference brings together a diverse group of engineers, scientists, public health specialists and students to discuss the latest issues and advances in water and wastewater technology. 


Becker Elected Chair of the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors Foundation

Dr. Jennifer G. Becker, Associate Professor of Environmental Engineering, was elected Chair of the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors Foundation (AEESP Foundation). Becker was elected to the AEESP Foundation Board of Directors in 2019, and her three-year term as Chair of the Foundation began in January, 2020.

The Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP) is an international organization with over 800 members, most of whom are environmental engineering and science professors. The AEESP Foundation supports and encourages excellence in environmental engineering and science education, outreach, and scientific research by sponsoring a distinguished lecturer series, awarding K-12 educational and outreach grants, and endowing and administering award programs for professors and students.

Becker has a distinguished record of service to the environmental engineering community. She served as a member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Science Advisory Board’s Environmental Engineering Committee from 2016 until the committee was retired in 2018. She was elected by her environmental engineering and science academic peers to the AEESP Board of Directors in 2010. While on the AEESP Board of Directors, Becker was also elected to several AEESP officer positions, including President of AEESP (2013-2014).

Becker is one of several current and former Michigan Tech faculty members who have been recognized by the AEESP and the AEESP Foundation for their outstanding achievements in research, education, and/or professional service. The list of awards given to current and former Michigan Tech faculty by the AEESP/AEESP Foundation and/or Environmental Engineering Science (the official peer-reviewed journal of AEESP) include:

C. Robert Baillod (deceased)
2012 Perry L. McCarty AEESP Founder’s Award (received posthumously)


Jennifer G. Becker
1993 AEESP Master’s Thesis Award (First Place, Student with advisor David L. Freedman)
2006 AEESP Master’s Thesis Award (Second Place, Advisor with student Ilisa A. Tawney)
2010 AEESP Distinguished Service Award for Outstanding Service as Chair of the AEESP Awards Committee
2014 AEESP Distinguished Service Award for Outstanding Service as AEESP President and AEESP Board Member


John C. Crittenden (Now at Georgia Institute of Technology)
2000 AEESP Outstanding Publication Award (for Crittenden, J.C., Hand, D.W., Arora, H., and B.W. Lykins, Jr., “Design Considerations for GAC Treatment of Organic Chemicals,” J. Amer. Water Works Assn. 79 (1) 74-82, 1987.)


David W. Hand (Emeritus Professor)
2000 AEESP Outstanding Publication Award (for Crittenden, J.C., Hand, D.W., Arora, H., and B.W. Lykins, Jr., “Design Considerations for GAC Treatment of Organic Chemicals,” J. Amer. Water Works Assn. 79 (1) 74-82, 1987.)
2006 AEESP Award for Outstanding Teaching in Environmental Engineering & Science


James R. Mihelcic (now at the University of South Florida)
1988 Paul V. Roberts/AEESP Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award (Student with advisor Richard G. Luthy)
2002 AEESP Award for Outstanding Environmental Engineering & Science Education
2011 AEESP Master’s Thesis Award Advisor with student Cynthia Shafer) 2018 Charles R. O’Melia Distinguished Educator Award


Judith A. Perlinger (Professor)
2017 Environmental Engineering Science Editors’ Spotlight (for Blaney L., Kandiah R., Ducoste J.J., Perlinger J.A., Bartelt-Hunt S.L. “Trends in Population and Demographics of U.S. Environmental Engineering Students and Faculty from 2005 to 2013,” Environmental Engineering Science. 2016, 33(8): 578-590.)


Eric A. Seagren (Professor) 1995 AEESP Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award (Student with advisor Bruce E. Rittmann)


Rail Transportation Program Wins National Honor

The Rail Transportation Program (RTP) at Michigan Tech has received a prestigious grant from the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC). Each year the NRC accepts applications for the NRC Education Grant Program from colleges and universities with rail education programs.

In addition to Michigan Tech’s RTP, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Rail Transportation and Engineering Center received a NRC Education Grant.

“This year, we had a record number of applications for the 2019 NRC Education Grant Program. All submissions were from top-tier rail programs which made the committee’s job very difficult in deciding our winners,” said Daniel Stout, vice president of STX Railroad Construction Services, and the chairman of the NRC Education Committee. “I am looking forward to having our co-winners, Michigan Tech and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, join us in discussing their respective programs and how they plan to utilize the grand funds at the 2020 NRC Conference in San Diego.”

Rail education at Michigan Tech includes coursework and related rail transportation minor, field trips, research projects, internships, scholarships and hands-on opportunities. The RTP is active in pre-university education sponsoring a Rail and Intermodal program through Michigan Tech’s Summer Youth Programs (SYP).

RTP Director Pasi Lautala (CEE), said the grant funds will be used for enhancing the educational resources available for the Rail Program. These include the construction of a track section on campus and the development of various demonstration tools related to railroad signals. The grant will also support the activities of the Railroad Engineering and Activities Club (REAC) and the Summer Youth Program.

“We are extremely excited that the NRC recognizes the value of academic programs in securing talent for the future generation of railroaders,” Lautala said.

“The vision of our program is ‘to develop leaders and technologies for 21st-century rail transportation,’ and this grant will allow us to provide improvement that we have considered for several years. We are humbled by NRC’s selection and are looking forward to working more closely with NRC in improving railroad engineering education in the US.”

The NRC 2020 Education Grant application period will open later this spring.


MTTI Members Active at TRB

Members of the Michigan Tech Transportation Institute (MTTI) were active at the 2020 Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting held recently in Washington, DC.

Tim Colling (CTT) organized and presented at the TRB half day workshop titled “Developments in Low-Volume Road Management”. The presentation was “Asset Management Plans for Low Volume Roads – Why Should I Bother? Colling also attended the committee meeting ANB25: “Highway Safety Performance”, of which he is a member.

Jake Hiller (CEE) attended the International Society for Concrete Pavement’s (ISCP) Open Membership and Board meeting as Vice-President and President-Elect on Sunday evening of TRB.

Sangpil Ko (CEE) gave a presentation on his research “Data-driven Study on the Log Movements for the Upper Midwest: Impact of Rail Car Fleet Size” at the lectern session that discussed on the current research in Agriculture and Food Transportation. He also participated in several poster/lectern sessions including the AR040 Freight Rail Transportation Committee meeting.

Pasi Lautala (CEE) chaired a meeting by the AR040 Freight Rail Transportation Committee. He also participated in the meetings of the Freight Transportation Group Executive Board and Rail Transportation Group Executive Board and presided over two sessions by AR040.

Amlan Mukherjee (CEE) presented on “Best Practices in Life-cycle Assessment of Asphalt Mixtures”, at the International Society of Asphalt Pavements meeting, participated in a collaboration meeting with construction equipment manufacturers hosted by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) on their ongoing research effort, co-chaired a workshop titled “Evolution of Project Delivery Information Systems: Where We Were and Where We Are Headed”. Mukherjee also serves on standing committee on Construction Management (AFH10), and is a secretary for the sub-committee on Information Systems in Construction Management (AFH10(1)).

PhD student Chaitanya G. Bhat presented two posters co-authored by Amlan Mukherjee at the session Life-Cycle Assessment and Climate Resilience of Pavements. The posters were titled “Technical and Organizational Challenges for the Use of Environmental Product Declarations in Public Procurement” and “Technical and Organizational Challenges to Developing Product Category Rules for Asphalt Pavement Construction”.

Dave Nelson (RTP) attended the AR080, Standing Committee on Highway-Rail Grade Crossings meeting.

Dr. Zhanping You attended the TRB meeting, serving as a moderator of a lecture session on “The Science of Snowfighting” and a poster session on asphalt binders. He also moderated the ASCE Bituminous Materials Committee(BMC).  He accepted a new role as the Vice President of the International Association of Chinese Infrastructure Professionals (IACIP) and co-presented a number of papers and posters such as “Measurement and Modeling of Skid Resistance of Asphalt Pavement: A Review”, “Development of a Tire-Pavement Dynamic Friction Analyzer for Investigation of the Dynamic Friction Coefficient Between Tire and Pavement” and “Fourier Transformation Infra-Red Spectroscopic Analyses of Modified Asphalt Binders”.

A lectern lecture was given by Thomas Oommen (GMES) on “Remote terrain Strength for Mobility Characterization” at lectern Session 1384: Integration of Remote Sensing Techniques and Classical Instrumentation.

CEE student Reihaneh Samsami attended several technical committee meetings and technical sessions.

Prof. Eric Seagren (CEE) participated as the session chair of the lectern session 1116 on “Bio-mediated Enhancement of Transportation Materials and Infrastructure,” which was sponsored by the Standing Committee on Geo-Environmental Processes (AFP40). Prof. Seagren also participated as a member of the AFP40 Committee at their meeting at which he gave a presentation entitled, “Laboratory Simulation of Cold-Weather Fugitive Dust Events at Mine Tailings Impoundments and Mitigation Methods,” co-authored by Drs. Bonnie Zwissler (CEE), Stanley Vitton (CEE), and Thomas Oommen (GMES).

by Pam Hannon


Dickinson County Using Recycled Asphalt In Road Repairs

What happens to old tires once they’ve been discarded? While many may end up in the landfill, in Dickinson County, they may just end up beneath your wheels.

“Being so close to Michigan Tech, we try to take advantage of working with the University on new ideas,” Malburg said.

“This particular project came about because it was something a professor at Michigan Tech had been researching and wanted to study in the real environment. Dickinson put in $250,000, we received a $300,000 grant and Michigan Tech contributed $100,000. That’s relatively unheard of for the University.”

Read more at Radio Results Network, by Jack Hall.

Related:

Recycled tire asphalt in Dickinson County being monitored

“We’re going to be testing it the next 10-15 years. Yes, it does provide greater flexibility, according to the research, especially in colder environments like the U.P.,” said Jim Harris, the superintendent for the Dickinson County Road Commission.

Read more at TV6 FOX UP, by Alyssa Jawor.