Day: October 2, 2017

Rail Transportation Program Leads Two Rail Related Senior Design Projects

Peshekee Wood Yard

RTP lead two rail related civil/environmental senior design projects during the 2016-17 school year.  During the fall semester a team of 15 students worked on improvements to the Peshekee logyard owned and operated by Longyear, LLC.  Their work included rail and highway transportation improvements to serve the site, preliminary plans for a rail served transload warehouse and fuels transload area, and environmental permitting requirements for the proposed work.  Suggested improvements included 3950 linear feet of trackwork valued at $1.5 million, $560,000 in site improvements, $230,000 for equipment and tanks to support the fuels transload operation, and $150,000 for the transload warehouse.  An additional $200,000 was recommended to procure a trackmobile to improve rail operations in the expanded site.  Environmental costs were reduced by the team recommendation for wetland preservation in place of more costly remediation methods.

Peshekee Wood Yard 2.jpg

During the spring semester a separate team of 16 students worked with Sawyer International Airport to provide conceptual and preliminary work on rail access to a proposed refinery site and rail and highway access to a proposed warehouse site.  The refinery access team recommended constructing a loop track with 3.5 miles of new trackwork at a price of nearly $9million, while the warehouse team found that rail access would require $6.5 million for the full build out, but a phased approach could bring initial construction down to 21,000 linear feet of rail at $4.5 million, with the remaining work completed as traffic at the warehouse site developed.  Highway access and parking facilities for the new warehouse complex would require 3500 linear feet of new roadway, and 160,000 square feet of new parking and support pavements at a price of nearly $3.5 million.  SAI also asked our environmental team to look at a recent study on PFC contamination on the airport site produced by the US Air Force Civil Engineering Center. The team produced a detailed report, including recommendations for additional testing and monitoring.


Cold Weather Dusting from Mine Tailing Impoundments

oommen-personnelVitton seagren-personnel

Dr. Thomas Oommen, Dr. Stanley Vitton and Dr. Eric Seagren recently completed a NSF project on dusting from mine tailings impoundments.  In the project they evaluated remote sensing tools for monitoring impoundments for dusting potential, and innovative biomediated approaches for mitigating dusting.  In particular, they focused on the problem of cold weather dusting.

As part of the project output, with the help of the CinOptics Enterprise on campus, they are producing a series of videos on the problem of cold weather dusting from mine tailings impoundments, and conventional and innovative techniques for mitigating cold weather dusting.

This is the first video in the series.  It is a review of the problem of cold weather dusting.


Zhanping You and Colleagues Publish on Asphalt Binders

Zhanping You
Zhanping You

Michigan Tech researchers published a paper: “Quantification of physicochemical properties, activation energy, and temperature susceptibility of foamed asphalt binders.” The authors include two former PhD students who are currently assistant professors and two professors at Michigan Tech.

Former PhD student Mohd RosliMohd Hasan is with Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia. Xu Yang is with Australia’s Monash University, Sunway Campus in Malaysia. Michigan Tech professors are Zhanping You (CEE) and Particia A. Heiden (Chem).

This paper is based on a research project funded by the NSF.