Category Archives: News


International Senior Design Program Marks 10th Year in Panama

International Senior Design students and instructors at the City of Knowledge in Panama City, Panama. From left to right: Anthony Jaksa, Henrique de Melo e Silva, Erin Lau, Jacob Herzog, Christine Wood, Ryan Olsen, Melody Harmon, Daniel Woodall, Nathan Priest, and David Watkins.
International Senior Design students and instructors at the City of Knowledge in Panama City, Panama. From left to right: Anthony Jaksa, Henrique de Melo e Silva, Erin Lau, Jacob Herzog, Christine Wood, Ryan Olsen, Melody Harmon, Daniel Woodall, Nathan Priest, and David Watkins.

The CEE International Senior Design (iDesign) program traveled to Panama again this year to assist indigenous communities with basic infrastructure needs.  Eight students (6 CEE, 2 ME) divided into two teams and traveled to rural sites in western Panama, where they were hosted by Peace Corps Volunteers.  Students met with community members and collected data for their fall semester senior design projects.  One team is designing a pedestrian river crossing, and the other team is designing improvements to community water systems.  The group also visited the Panama Canal and the biodiversity museum in Panama City.

The trip was led by Professor David Watkins with assistance from Research Engineer Henrique (Kiko) de Melo e Silva.  Professor of Practice Mike Drewyor is helping to mentor the design teams in the fall term.

 

The water team poses with community members and their Peace Corps Volunteer host, Micah Koller (center). Micah is a Peace Corps Master’s International student in Mechanical Engineering at Michigan Tech.
The water team poses with community members and their Peace Corps Volunteer host, Micah Koller (center). Micah is a Peace Corps Master’s International student in Mechanical Engineering at Michigan Tech.

Kris Mattila Oversees World War I Replica Trench Construction

TrenchHOUGHTON — Construction of a replica World War I firing trench began Friday morning on the southeast corner of U.S. 41 and MacInnes Drive on the Michigan Technological University.

The replica trench is part of the centenary WW1&CC commemoration of the U.S. in the Great War, and particularly the Copper Country’s contribution to the war effort, and will be the feature of an exhibit designed to offer the public a glimpse of what life might have been like for the soldiers who lived in them.

Chris Mattila [sic], a civil and civil engineer at Michigan Tech is overseeing construction of the trench, and said he became involved with the project a couple of months ago.

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Graham Jaehnig.

Related:

Michigan Tech Digs Deep Into World War I History


Brian Barkdoll is an IDEAL Scholar

IDEAL Scholars
IDEAL Scholars

In early August 2018 Professor Brian Barkdoll attended the Institute for Development of Excellence in Assessment Leadership (IDEAL). The four-day institute is part of professional development available for ABET administrators. It took place at the ABET headquarters.

Some of the IDEAL topics covered involved the evaluation of program educational objectives, development of measurable outcomes, and development of scoring rubrics. Leadership and facilitation skills were emphasized.

Many programs in the College of Engineering are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.


Zhen Liu on Intelligent Infrastructure

Zhen Liu
(Zhen) Leo Liu

HOUGHTON — Technology is quickly changing the world. Soon, self-driving cars and smartphones could be joined by smart infrastructure, if one Michigan Tech professor has anything to say about it.

Zhen Liu, an environmental engineering professor with a focus on geotechnical engineering is currently exploring, and trying to get research funding for, the idea of intelligent infrastructure.

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Kali Katerberg.


Eric Seagren Selected as a Member of the Industry Advisory Board

Eric Seagren
Eric Seagren

Eric Seagren (CEE) was recently selected as a member of the Industry Advisory Board for the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Nebraska. The Industry Advisory Board is comprised of professional civil engineers representing the various disciplines in civil engineering, and provides guidance and advice to the department of civil engineering related to the “academic and professional quality” of the civil engineering program at the University of Nebraska.


Kelsey Fournier Named a Top 100 Intern

Kelsey Fournier
Kelsey Fournier

Civil engineering undergraduate Kelsey Fournier was selected as one of WayUp’s Top 100 Interns. The winners were selected by 30 percent public vote and 70 percent by a judging panel comprised of human resources and industry experts. Fournier is an intern at Carmeuse Lime & Stone.

Applicants were considered based on the following criteria:

  • Quality of overall performance/work ethic—reliable, punctual, met or exceeded expectations, produced quality work with attention to detail
  • Projects—how he or she contributed to projects, either alone and/or in team situations
  • Learning—intern identified a new skill, abilities and understandings were attained
  • Reflection, personal growth and future plans—the intern is likely to apply how the internship impacted them once back on campus and in the future

WayUp is a job site and mobile app for college students and recent graduates.


Amlan Mukherjee Receives Funding for Transportation Project

Amlan Mukherjee
Amlan Mukherjee

Amlan Mukherjee (CEE/MTTI) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $75,001 contract from the Minnesota Department of Transportation. The project is “MnDOT EPD Study Phase 1.” This is a one-year project

New Funding

Amlan Mukherjee (CEE/MTTI) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $46,999.94 contract with the Michigan Department of Transportation. The project is titled “A Survey of Best Practices and Opportunities in Using Digital Models for Highway Project Delivery.” This is a two-month project.


NSF Funding for Daisuke Minakata

Daisuke Minakata
Daisuke Minakata

Daisuke Minakata (CEE) is the principal investigator on a project that has recieved a $347,808 research and development grant from the National Science Foundation. Paul Doskey (SFRES) is the Co-PI on the project, “Photochemical Fate of Dissolved Amino Acids in Natural Aquatic Enviroment.” This is a three-year project.

ABSTRACT

This award from the Environmental Chemical Sciences Program in the Division of Chemistry supports Profs. Daisuke Minakata and Paul Doskey from Michigan Technological University. They study the reactions of free amino acids in natural freshwater with light. Understanding and predicting these processes is important because nitrogen-containing free amino acids and their degradation products are involved in global nitrogen-cycling. They also affect biological activity in natural aquatic environments. The effluent of wastewater contains amino acids as one of the major components. The findings from this study address the impact of nitrogen-containing contaminants to aquatic systems that receive treated municipal wastewater. The project includes outreach activities to K-12 high school students in the Detroit region through a summer youth intern program. This program promotes the participation and retention of underrepresented groups in the environmental science field. A webinar is being developed based on the findings of this study to raise public awareness of water safety and security in freshwater systems and the importance of protecting ecosystems from contaminants.

This award supports computational and experimental research and education to predict the photolytic and elementary reaction pathways of free amino acid transformation. This transformation is induced by direct photolysis and indirect oxidation by photochemically produced reactive intermediates. The researchers use computational chemistry tools to identify the fundamental elementary reaction pathways of representative free amino acids transformation. The research team then predicts the kinetics information of each identified elementary reaction pathway. Finally, a kinetic model based on elementary reactions is developed to predict the time-dependent concentration profiles of free amino acids and their transformation products in environmentally relevant conditions. The predicted concentration profiles are compared to laboratory-scale experimental observations to validate the kinetic model.

Read more at the National Science Foundation.


Michigan Tech Rail Transportation Program Completes Another Successful Michigan Rail Conference

Lake State RailwayFrom Aug. 7 to 9, 2018, the Michigan Tech Rail Transportation Program (RTP) worked with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), Michigan State University and a planning team of dedicated rail industry representatives to present the Michigan Rail Conference 2018.

Under RTP’s leadership, the planning committee consisting of rail industry, government agencies and other stakeholders interested in promoting the industry brought together more than 30 speakers and more than 100 participants in Saginaw to focus on the conference theme, “End to End Journeys: Integrating Partners.”

RTP faculty, staff and students led the conference coordination and logistics. Nikkie Johnson (MDOT), and Nicholas Little (MSU), were conference co-chairs, while David Nelson (CEE) and Amanda Kerttu from Michigan Tech were lead coordinators for the program. Two students, Alex Christmas and Kyle Dick, came to Saginaw to assist and to enjoy the conference.

Day one of the conference was capped off with an evening reception at the Lake State Railway’s offices and yard, and featured a train ride to Midland and back on vintage passenger cars brought to the yard specifically for the conference. Day two featured the technical content of the conference at the Saginaw Valley State University conference center. The program included eight plenary and breakout sessions featuring industry experts in a host of passenger and freight-rail topics. The keynote address was given by Jo Strang, senior vice president, Safety and Regulatory Policy from the American Shortline and Regional Railroad Administration (ASLRRA).

The event wrapped up with a full day of field trips featuring stops at a variety of rail served shipping locations and culminating with another train ride, again hosted by Lake State Railway Company, this time from Grayling back to the Saginaw area.

The event provided an excellent venue for discussions and networking across the entire spectrum of rail industry companies and supporters in Michigan.