Category Archives: Research

Pasi Lautala Presents at Summerail 2019

Gateway ArchPasi Lautala (CEE), director of Rail Transportation Program, participated in the Summerail 2019 in St. Louis, MO on July 24-26. Dr. Lautala gave the presentation “Moving Forest Products in Upper Midwest—are there benefits from increased rail movements?” He also chaired the “TRB AR040—Freight Rail Transportation” committee meeting.

The conference is designed to bring together railroad professionals, government officials, and academics to discuss the past, present and future of the U.S. railroad industry.


Seawater Intrusion-Impacted Aquifer Project Funding for Alex Mayer

Alex Mayer
Alex Mayer

Alex Mayer (Civil-Environ Eng / GLRC) is Principal Investigator on a project that has received a $319,950 research and development grant from the National Science Foundation. The project is titled “CBET-EPSRC Efficient Surrogate Modeling for Sustainable Management of Complex Seawater Intrusion-Impacted Aquifers.” This is a potential three-year project.

By Sponsored Programs.

Extract

Water management in densely populated coastal regions is one of the most pressing sustainability challenges worldwide. Coastal groundwater is especially vulnerable to climate change and sea level rise due to the potential for seawater intrusion into groundwater aquifers. Seawater intrusion has reduced water supply in all coastal regions of the US. This has resulted in high costs to society.

We propose to address this challenge by developing models that are orders of magnitude faster than current models.

These modeling advances will be made in collaboration with water supply agencies, with the goal of increasing the utility of groundwater modeling for coastal communities. Successful development and adoption of these approaches will help agencies tasked with the protection of coastal aquifers devise sustainable management strategies to protect scarce water resources.

Read more at the National Science Foundation.


MIRE Upgrades in Roadsoft

Roadsoft

Tim Colling (Civil and Environment Eng/CTT) is Principal Investigator on a project that has received a $30,504 other sponsored activities contract with the Michigan Department of Transportation. The project is titled, “MIRE Upgrades in Roadsoft.” Gary Schlaff (Civil and Environmental Eng) and Nick Kozykowski (Civil and Environmental Eng) are Co-PI’s on this approximate three-month project.

By Sponsored Programs.

MIRE refers to Model Inventory Roadway Elements fields.


Ko and Lautala Publish on Multimodal Biomass Transportation

Sangpil Ko and Pasi Lautala (CEE) have published four journal articles related to multimodal biomass transportation logistics. The articles also provided the foundation for Sangpil Ko’s dissertation Woody Biomass Transportation and Logistics: Modeling Studies for the Great Lakes Region.

Cleaner Production coverSangpil Ko, Pasi Lautala (CEE), and Robert Handler (ChemEng/SFI), published the article, “Securing the feedstock procurement for bioenergy products: a literature review on the biomass transportation and logistics” in the Journal of Cleaner Production. The journal is a peer-reviewed academic publication that is currently ranked first in Google Scholar in the Sustainable Development category.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.07.241

BBB coverSangpil Ko, Pasi Lautala (CEE), Jiqing Fan (California EPA), and David Shonnard (ChemEng/SFI), published the article “Economic, Social, and Environmental Cost Optimization of Biomass Transportation: A Regional Model for Transportation Analysis in Plant Location Process” in the Biofuels, Bioproducts & Biorefining. The journal is a peer-reviewed academic publication of the Energy and Fuel category.
https://doi.org/10.1002/bbb.1967

TRR coverSangpil Ko and Pasi Lautala (CEE), published the article, “Advanced Woody Biomass Logistics for Co-Firing in Existing Coal Power Plant: Case Study of the Great Lakes States” in the Transportation Research Record. The journal is a peer-reviewed academic publication of Transportation Science and Technology category.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0361198118797806

Agriculture coverSangpil Ko and Pasi Lautala (CEE), published the article “Optimal Level of Woody Biomass Co-Firing with Coal Power Plant Considering Advanced Feedstock Logistics System” in Agriculture. The journal is a peer-reviewed academic publication of Agricultural Technology and Crop Production category.
DOI: 10.3390/agriculture8060074


Outstanding Member Award for Zhanping You from World Transport Convention

Zhanping You
Zhanping You

Zhanping You (CEE) was recently awarded as the Outstanding Member as a section chair of highway materials in the 3rd World Transport Convention 2019. This award is the highest recognition for the contribution of WTC member. The World Transport Convention was held in Beijing, China, June 13 to 16. More than 7,000 representatives from over 60 countries attended this meeting.

You also gave a keynote speech on “Research on Rubber Based Pavement in Wet-Freeze Region” in The Second Durable Pavement Research Forum. Another invited speech You delivered was on “Development and Validation of Innovative Laboratory Chip-Seal Tests.”

During the conference, You also met with the former graduates and friends of Michigan Tech and discussed research and education activities with them. Shuaicheng Guo, a post-doc in CEE also attended this conference. Guo presented on behalf of Wenbo Ma, a former visiting scholar at Michigan Tech, for a speech on “Atomic Force Microscope Study of the Aging/Rejuvenating Effect on Asphalt Morphology and Adhesion Performance.”

By Shuaicheng Guo.


MDOT Funds Roadsoft Project

Tim Colling
CTT Director Tim Colling

Tim Colling (CEE/CTT) is Principal Investigator on a project that has received a $50,525 contract from the Michigan Department of Transportation. Gary Schlaff (CEE) and Nick Koszykowski (CEE) are Co-PI’s on the project titled “Roadsoft Support for MDOT Safety Services.” This is a potential three-year project.


Concrete Canoe Team is Tenth Overall in 2019 National Finals

Concrete Canoe Team 2019 with their canoe

The 2019 National Finals for the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Student Concrete Canoe Competition took place June 5-9 at the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne.

The students’ efforts to combine engineering excellence and hydrodynamic design to construct water-worthy canoes have culminated in an advanced form of concrete construction and racing technique known as the “America’s Cup of Civil Engineering.”

The Michigan Tech Concrete Canoe Team placed tenth overall at the National competition. In addition to their overall finish, they ranked seventh in the oral presentation, 13th in design paper, 11th in display, and eighth in racing. Great job team!

oncrete Canoe Driftwood 2019


TAMC Culvert Project Selected as 2019 Project of the Year, Awarded to CTT

APWA 2018 Award with five people including two recipients

Michigan Tech has experts in innovation making a statewide impact: Chris Gilbertson, PhD, PE, and Scott Bershing, both at the university’s Center for Technology & Training (CTT). Gilbertson, associate director, and Bershing, technical specialist, received a 2019 Project of the Year award from the Michigan Chapter of the American Public Works Association.

Gilbertson and Bershing were technical experts on the project team led by the Michigan Transportation Asset Management Council’s (TAMC) Bridge Committee. The Bridge Committee received a charge from the state and responded with the 2018 Michigan Local Agency Culvert Inventory Pilot Evaluation to learn about its county- and city-owned culvert assets.

In seven-months’ time, the project team developed a culvert data collection method and assessment system. They also made updates to Roadsoft, the asset management software developed by the CTT and used by Michigan’s local road-owning agencies. And, they recruited and deployed 49 local road-owning agencies in Michigan to test the data collection and assessment processes on nearly 50,000 culverts.

“The TAMC and Michigan Tech received the award, but the success of the pilot would not have been possible without the efforts of many others around the state,” commented Gilbertson.

Bershing said, “This was a good example of multiple agency cooperation, working together under a tight time frame and deadline to complete the project.” That collaboration helped the TAMC to estimate Michigan’s total number of culverts at 196,000 with a replacement value of $1.48 billion. It also found that Michigan’s local agencies own and maintain 7.3 to 9.2 million feet of culvert assets—or 1,798 miles (the distance from Houghton, Michigan to Miami, Florida)—with most being corrugated steel pipe. Another key finding from the pilot was that a majority—67.2 percent—of culverts held a condition rating of a 6 or better on a 10-point scale.

Participating agencies benefitted not only from the results but also from the processes developed by the project team. These processes gave the agencies useful strategies for managing their assets and guidance for developing proactive management strategies.

“It’s rewarding to be recognized for the hard work we put in on this project”, said Bershing. Gilbertson echoed his colleague, saying, “I’m honored that we were recognized by the APWA for the work that we put into the culvert pilot last year. We are truly thankful to all those individuals who made this possible.”

Gilbertson and Bershing share this recognition with the entire project team and the 49 participating agencies.  Without their support, this culvert project would not have been a success.

The final report for the pilot study is available on the TAMC website: https://www.michigan.gov/documents/tamc/TAMC_2018_Culvert_Pilot_Report_Complete_634795_7.pdf


Steel Bridge Team Places in Top Fifth in 2019 National Finals

Steel Bridge Team at the 2019 Nationals

The 2019 National Finals for the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) Student Steel Bridge Competition took place May 31 to June 1 at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.

The student teams are challenged to develop a scale-model steel bridge. The team must determine how to fabricate their bridge and then plan for an efficient assembly under timed construction at the competition.

The Michigan Tech Steel Bridge Team placed eighth (out of 41) overall at the National competition. In addition to their overall finish, they ranked fifth in efficiency, sixth in stiffness, and eighth in construction speed. Great job team!

Steel Bridge Team 2019 with their scale model bridge

Related:

Concrete Canoe and Steel Bridge Teams Finish First at 2019 North Central Regional Competition


Azad Heidari Publishes with the Journal of Hydrology

Dr. Alex Mayer, Azad Heidari and Dr. David Watkins
Dr. Alex Mayer, Azad Heidari and Dr. David Watkins

PhD Candidate, Azad Heidari along with his advisors – David Watkins and Alex Mayer recently published “Hydrologic impacts and trade-offs associated with forest-based bioenergy development practices in a snow-dominated watershed, Wisconsin, USA in the Journal of Hydrology. The journal is a peer-reviewed academic publication that is currently ranked first in Google Scholar in the Hydrology and Water Resource category.