Author: Sue Hill

Marty Auer Selected to Receive IAGLR Lifetime Achievement Award

Martin T. Auer
Martin T. Auer

The International Association for Great Lakes Research (IAGLR) has selected Marty Auer (CEE) for their Lifetime Achievement Award. He has been a member since 1975 and a generous donor of IAGLR scholarships. His nomination described Auer’s academic excellence in several areas of research and leadership that has had a positive impact on Great Lakes research.

By Civil and Environmental Engineering.


Rural School Educational Grant

Lloyd Wescoat
Lloyd Wescoat

Lloyd Wescoat (CEE/GLRC) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $74,967 grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association.

Joan Schumaker Chadde (CEE) and Amanda Gonczi (GLRC) are co-PIs on the project titled “Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative – Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences for Rural Schools.”

This is an 18-month project totaling $74,967.


Pasi Lautala Participates in Shift2Rail

Pasi Lautala
Pasi Lautala

Pasi Lautala (CEE) the director of Michigan Tech’s Rail Transportation Program was invited to participate in a Shift2Rail project meeting in Pardubice, Czech Republic. Lautala also gave a presentation titled, “Importance of (Freight) Rail Transportation in North America.”

Shift2Rail is the first European rail initiative to seek focused research and innovation (R&I) and market-driven solutions by accelerating the integration of new and advanced technologies into innovative rail product solutions. Shift2Rail promotes the competitiveness of the European rail industry and meets changing EU transport needs to complete the Single European Railway Area (SERA).


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


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.”


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.

Notables

Civil Engineering PhD student Chaitanya Bhat’s 3-Minute Thesis (3MT) presentation from the 2019 TRB Annual Meeting has been selected for a webinar titled “Operation and Preservation Young Professionals Research Part II: Pavement Preservation.”


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.