Category: Alumni

CEE Alumni News

Flint-based Rowe Professional Services selects new president: Leanne Panduren, a 1993 Michigan Tech University graduate hired by Rowe as an assistant engineer in its Flushing office, is set to take over as CEO in January 2016. More details

Engineering & Surveying Excellence Awards Gala recognizes top projects and honors individuals
On February 22, 2014, the American Council of Engineering Companies of Michigan (ACEC/M) honored firms for engineering and surveying excellence during the association’s 49th annual Engineering and Surveying Excellence Awards ceremony at the JW Marriott in Grand Rapids. Outstanding Michigan engineering and surveying projects from the past year, as well as engineering professionals who have significantly contributed to the profession, were honored.

Great Lakes Engineering Group – ACEC Small Firm of the Year
Great Lakes Engineering Group (GLEG) is the 2014 Small Firm of the Year and specializes in bridge inspection – one of only three firms in the state to obtain MDOT prequalification for underwater bridge inspection. The firm’s founder and principal, Amy Trahey PE, a 1994 civil engineering graduate of Michigan Tech University, was instrumental in obtaining this prequalification. Mrs. Trahey has served on the ACEC/Michigan Board of Directors since 2009. She was Treasurer for two years and will become ACEC/Michigan’s first female president in 2015.

Great Lakes Engineering Group - ACEC Small Firm of the Year

GLEG employees hold memberships with ASCE, MSPE and MCA and actively participate in local schools and zoning boards, along with youth baseball teams. GLEG encourages students to pursue careers in engineering through mentoring, internship programs, and job shadowing. Employees serve on the Michigan Technological University Civil and Environmental Advisory Board and routinely support the ASCE steel bridge competition.

GLEG is a woman-owned civil and structural engineering firm dedicated to providing full engineering services to private and public clients primarily in Michigan. The company was founded upon the need for structural engineering services that specialize in the field of bridges.

Fleis & VandenBrink Engineering – Eminent Conceptor Winner
This year’s engineering Eminent Conceptor Award winner was Fleis & VandenBrink Engineering, Inc., Grand Rapids, for the West Bay County Wastewater Treatment Facility upgrades. A number of Michigan Tech civil engineering alumni worked on the project including: Rich Grant – 1984, Bruce Sabin – 1979, 1981, Eric Griffith – 2007, Gary Bartow – 1976, Steve VandenBrink – 1978, Bob Wilcox – 1999, Carey Bond – 1992 and also a couple of chemical engineering alumni: Elaine Venema – 2006 – ChE, and Brian Schanhals – 2009 – ChE

Fleis & VandenBrink Engineering - Eminent Conceptor Winner

PROJECT DESCRIPTION
The West Bay County Regional WWTP (WBC) provided wastewater service to six communities. In 2009, the City of Essexville and Hampton Township requested to connect to WBC and provide them with 2.3 million gallons per day (mgd) capacity. WBC would need to move quickly since they would have to have this capacity available before the wastewater service contract with another municipality expired.
While WBC wanted to accommodate these neighboring communities, WBC already needed to mitigate Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSOs) overflows for up to 25 year storm events. The added 2.3 mgd flow would complicate the solution. Before additional customers could be connected, MDEQ required WBC to create additional treatment capacity, mitigate both WBC’s SSOs, and the customer community Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs).
Critical project needs included significant WBC plant capacity expansion, add flow equalization, address odors and inadequate biosolids storage capacity, and improve on the chlorine contact time for disinfection.
FLEIS & VANDENBRINK’S ROLE IN THE PROJECT
Fleis & VandenBrink (F&V) completed a capacity study, design and construction engineering as part of an expedited schedule to complete the project within about 15 months. F&V also was the inter-community consensus builder while provided funding assistance, construction management, and start-up and operations assistance.

CEE ACADEMY Alumni News
This year’s ACEC/M Vernon B. Spalding Leadership Award was presented to Melvin “Ernie” Orchard, PE, founder and past president of OHM Advisors, to honor his outstanding leadership roles in ACEC and several community organizations.

When Ernie Orchard became president of the consulting firm Orchard, Papke, Hiltz & McCliment, Inc. in 1972, he immediately engaged with ACEC/MI. Energetic in his support of ACEC, Ernie later held leadership roles at the state and national levels. In the mid-70’s, he helped to organize the first Political Action Committee in Michigan’s Chapter of ACEC and the first Legislative Day in Lansing to bring attention to issues impacting the design profession.

The ACEC/M Felix A. Anderson Image Award was presented to Richard Anderson, PE, of Somat Engineering, Inc. for his actions and contributions to enhance the image of the profession.

Mr. Richard O. Anderson, a 1971 civil engineering graduate of Michigan Technological University (MTU), is a Principal Engineer and former President of Somat Engineering, Inc. in Detroit, Michigan.

As a Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), he is a nationally known expert for his innovative and cost effective solutions to infrastructure projects and engineering education. During a distinguished career spanning over 42 years, he has worked on over 6,500 projects including airports, high-rise office structures, health care facilities, transportation facilities and many others.


Engineering on Alcatraz: Alumna Involved in Restoration and Stabilization

Certain names bring forth visceral associations. Alcatraz is one, but the notorious prison of the past is also a place for a Michigan Technological University alumna to use some of her civil engineering skills in the present.
Debra Campbell, a 1976 graduate, works for the National Park Service on Alcatraz, perched on an island in San Francisco Bay. She has been involved in four recent projects on the iconic island.

MORE


Ali Catik: Civil and Environmental Engineering Mega Projects

Ali Catik, president, Civil East Operations, Tutor Perini Corp, NY, and a 1976 Michigan Tech graduate presented the Civil Engineering Graduate Seminar entitled: “Civil and Environmental Engineering Mega Projects in Big Cities” on Friday, Sept. 27, in Dow 642. Watch the seminar presentation on Michigan Tech Engineering Channel on Vimeo

Civil and environmental engineers are educated to design, build, and maintain mankind’s infrastructure. This is most apparent in big cities and metropolitan areas where mega projects are required. Examples of these projects include: transportation systems consisting of roads, bridges, tunnels, and toll roads; mass transportation systems consisting of airports, harbors, subways and railroads; clean water systems consisting of water treatment, waste water treatment, and solid waste disposal; energy systems consisting of power plants and transmission grids; and buildings consisting of schools, hospitals, and high rise office and housing complexes. With the population demographics shifting upward in the big cities and metro areas, the future demand for mega projects will increase along with the demand for innovative thinking and hard working engineers. Three New York City mega projects will be presented including: construction of the $850 million Newtown-waste water treatment plant, the $1.32 billion Croton water filtration plant, and the $1.2 billion East Side Access-mass transit tunnel. Michigan Tech engineers have the knowledge and skills to carry out these types of projects.

Ali Catik received his baccalaureate degree in civil engineering in 1976. After graduation, he began a career in building heavy civil infrastructure projects. He pursued graduate work at Wharton Business School and Columbia School of Business in executive education and management to complement his technical engineering knowledge and advance his career in the construction industry. He has maintained professional membership with, and served as a trustee for, the Moles, one of the most prestigious heavy civil construction industry professional organizations dedicated to promoting the industry.

Ali Catik’s professional career began as a superintendent overseeing infrastructure construction projects in the eastern US. He quickly excelled to project manager and to his current role in executive management roles at several of the top heavy civil infrastructure construction companies. As a construction executive, Ali Catik has been, and is responsible for business operations and execution of construction projects. His construction career has encompassed building rail, mass transit, water/wastewater, bridge/highway and power infrastructure. He has overseen construction of major infrastructure projects, including: 500 megawatt power plants; major water treatment plant projects such as the $1.3 billion rebuilding of the Croton Water Filtration Plant in New York City, and major transportation infrastructure construction projects that have included the Manhattan Tunnel Structures, a $1.2 billion segment of Long Island Railroad’s East Side Access Program to bring commuter rail service from Long Island into New York City’s Grand Central Terminal. He is known in the New York Metropolitan area as one of the top construction professionals and has a reputation for delivering projects ahead of schedule and on budget.

Currently, Ali Catik serves as President of Civil Operations East for Tutor Perini Corp., a public company that does work nationally. Tutor Perini is associated with large projects including the San Francisco subway, Seattle SR99 tunnel, Hudson Yards development in Manhattan, and many other Mega Projects.

Examples of Civil and Environmental Engineering Mega Projects in Big Cities
Ali Catik, President, Civil East Operations, Tutor Perini Corp, NY and Ralph Hodek, Professer, Michigan Tech

Frank Townsend: Panama Canal- Construction and Expansion

Frank C. Townsend, PhD., P.E., a 1962 graduate of Michigan Tech, delivered a Civil Engineering Graduate Seminar entitled “Panama Canal: Construction and Expansion” on September 26, 2013, on Dow 641.

View the seminar on the Civil & Environmental Engineering Channel on Vimeo

Abstract: This talk presents engineering aspects of the construction and current expansion of the Panama Canal. The Canal was constructed during 1904 to 1914, and has been designated one of ASCE’s “Seven Wonders of the Modern World”. The triumph over engineering obstacles, disease, landslides, floods, and politics represents a hallmark of perseverance and civil engineering skills. The construction involved 262 m yds3 of soil excavation, and 4.5m yds3 of concrete for the locks and dams at cost of $639m , which was under-budget.

The Panama Canal Authority is currently constructing a $5.25 billion canal expansion project to increase capacity and future shipping demands. The expansion involves the construction of two new sets of locks and 39.2m yd3 of dry excavation. Completion is scheduled for 2015.

Frank C. Townsend, PhD., P.E., Frank Townsend was born and raised in the Panama Canal Zone, and had never seen a snowfall until he arrived at Michigan Tech in the fall of 1958. At Michigan Tech, he was active in the Army ROTC, a Distinguished Military Graduate, 4 year varsity rifle team letterman, member of Chi Epsilon, and was named to Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities. He received his baccalaureate degree in civil engineering in 1962 from Michigan Tech and PhD from Oklahoma State University (1970). He worked as a Research Civil Engineer at the Corps of Engineers Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg, MS. He was Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Florida, for 26 years until his retirement in 2005. His service activities include ASCE and ASTM national committees, Tau Beta Pi, and teaching short courses throughout the USA and Latin America.

In 1996, he was inducted into the MTU ACADEMY of Civil & Environmental Engineers.

Dr. Townsend’s father, Wesley Hall Townsend, received a mechanical engineering degree from Michigan Tech in 1931. Dr. Townsend and his wife, Marvel, have two children, 2 grandsons, and reside in Gainesville, Florida.


CEE Alumni Meet in Grand Rapids


Alumni Appreciation Night was held in Grand Rapids. The Civil and Environmental Engineering Department hosted the event which included complimentary appetizers, Keweenaw Brewing Company beer, and pickled eggs as Copper Country treats. Great gifts and giveaways including a signed Michigan Tech hockey jersey, jackets, hats, and more were there too.
Alumni came out to chat with faculty and students from the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. Also our national award winning concrete canoe and steel bridge – along with senior design projects and more were displayed.

See Flyer here


Retirement Gathering for Neil Hutzler

Retirement Gathering for Neil Hutzler
The civil and environmental engineering department invited the campus community to a retirement reception for Professor Neil Hutzler on Wednesday, May 16, in the Great Lakes Research Center. Hutzler has retired after 35 years of service.
As Professor Neil Hutzler was looking to retirement, he was ensuring that a new generation would become inspired to consider engineering as a career. Hutzler is co-author of the recently published Family Engineering Activity & Event Planning Guide (2011) and co-director of the Family Engineering Program. Hutzler, and collaborator Joan Chadde, have been busy conducting training workshops and promoting the program nationwide.
Find out more in this university news story about Dr. Hutzler’s recent work in Family Engineering
Family Engineering Inspires Students (and Mom and Dad)

Finding Engineering in Everyday Activities


Construction Career Days

Staff from the Center for Technology and Training (CTT), a part of the Michigan Tech Transportation Institute (MTTI), joined several other construction industry professionals from across Michigan to coordinate the fifth annual Michigan Construction Career Days event in Howell last week.
CTT staff who assisted were Training Coordinator John Ryynanen, Research Engineer Christopher Gilbertson and Technical Writers Shaughn Kern and Trevor Kuehl.
Construction Career Days attracted more than 1,500 students and teachers from across Lower Michigan. The event is designed to show young people the wide variety of careers available in the construction industry–at all levels of education and experience.
Ryynanen serves on the Construction Career Days Advisory Committee.
For more information about Career Days, see Construction.

John Ryynanen, training coordinator with the Center for Technology and Training in the Michigan Tech Transportation Institute, is quoted in the Livingston Daily article “Event Gives Students Some Experience in Construction,” about the fifth annual Michigan Construction Career Days, held May 9 in Howell Township. The event introduces secondary school students to education and employment opportunities in construction and the skilled trades.


Tech people at Michigan Bridge Workshop and Conference

The Center for Technology and Training (CTT), a part of the Michigan Tech Transportation Institute (MTTI), hosted the Michigan Bridge Workshop and Conference in Howell, March 20 and 21.

The conference brought together more than 160 engineers and engineering technicians from Michigan County Road Commissions, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), the Federal Highway Administration, and private firms to learn about bridge design, construction, inspection, funding, and administrative issues related to bridges and new bridge technology.

Research Engineer John Kiefer (CTT) planned and managed the two-day event, with assistance from Technical Writer Shaughn Kern (CTT). Assistant Professor Andrew Swartz (CEE) was the conference moderator. Research Engineer Chris Gilbertson (CTT) and Program Manager Brad Wagner ’00 (MDOT) presented an update on the state of practice of Michigan’s bridge load rating program.

Also presenting at the conference were these Michigan Tech alumni:

Dave Juntunen ’86, bridge operations engineer, MDOT
Richard Kathrens ’92, bridge safety inspection engineer, MDOT
Kim Nowack ’85, chief engineer, Mackinac Bridge Authority
Jay Ruohonen ’84, president, BridgeGuard
Amy Trahey ’94, president, Great Lakes Engineering Group

Associate Professor Theresa Ahlborn (CEE) gave a presentation at a reception sponsored by the Alumni Association: “The Mighty Mac: Becoming an ASCE National Historic Landmark.”

For more information on the conference, see Bridge.