Category: Research

Water Resources Recovery Presented at Disinfection and Reuse Symposium

Disinfection and Reuse Symposium 2018 banner imageJennifer Becker (CEE) was recently invited to present a paper entitled, “Low-cost, low-tech biosolids treatment via combined long-term storage (lagoon) and air drying: A comparison of two pilot-scale studies,” at the Water Environment Federation’s 2018 Disinfection and Reuse Symposium in Portland, Oregon. The symposium took place July 29 – July 31.

The paper, co-authored by Eric Seagren (CEE) and graduate students Karina Eyre (CEE) and Tanner Keyzers (Bio Sci), highlights pilot-scale work performed in collaboration with the water resources recovery facilities in Houghton and Ironwood.

The symposium is designed to educate practitioners, facility owners, operators, researchers, and public administrators about current reuse and disinfection issues, including regulatory requirements and methods for analyzing problems and finding innovative solutions. It is held by the Water Environment Federation in cooperation with the Pacific Northwest Clean Water Association and The Water Research Foundation.


Zhen Liu Publishes on Multiphysics in Porous Materials

Multiphysics of Porous Materials book cover abstract imageZhen (Leo) Liu (CEE) has published “Multiphysics in Porous Materials,” with Springer. This book is one of the first comprehensive books on the interdisciplinary area of multiphysics, which spans many science and engineering disciplines. The book was developed from Michigan Tech graduate course CEE5870, “Multiphysics in Porous Materials.”

Liu has also been leading the development of the first general learning and networking website for multiphysics: multiphysics.us. The development of both the book and the website was supported by the National Science Foundation and the website is under continuous development with support from the multiphysics software industry.

eBook ISBN 978-3-319-93028-2
DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-93028-2
Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-93027-5


Use of RoadSoft Leads to Efficiency

RoadSoft West Lafayette showing traffic construction

WLFI, a news channel in West Lafayette, Indiana, ran a piece about the city of West Lafayette using Michigan Tech’s RoadSoft software suite to maintain their roads more efficiently. The Center for Technology & Training, housed in Tech’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, develops, maintains and supports RoadSoft, which allows road owners to track the condition of their road assets and to calculate what, where and when treatments should be applied in order to achieve the best possible service life. RoadSoft is funded by the state of Michigan, so the software is available free of charge to Michigan road-owning agencies and for a fee to agencies outside of Michigan.

Read more and watch the video at WLFI, by Kiyerra Lake.


State of Lake Superior Conference 2018

SOLS18 logoCall for Abstracts

The Call for Abstracts for the 2018 State of Lake Superior Conference (SOLS) is now open. SOLS will take place Oct. 9-12, 2018, on the Michigan Tech campus.

The State of the Lake Conference series rotates each year and focuses on lake-specific research, policy and local implementation.

The conference is hosted by the International Association for Great Lakes Research with generous support from sponsors and local university hosts. SOLS18 is the second in an annual series of State of Lake conferences aimed at bringing together lake-specific research, policy development, management, education, and nonprofit organizations to broaden the discussion and provide diverse interaction among stakeholders.


Michigan Sea Grant Funding for Pengfei Xue

Pengfei Xue
Pengfei Xue

Pengfei Xue (CEE) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $48,969 research and development grant from the University of Michigan-Michigan Sea Grant. Xue is part of the Michigan Sea Grant.

Martin Auer (CEE emeritus) is the Co-PI on the project “Cladaphora, Mussels and the Nearshore Phosphorus Shunt in Lake Michigan.”

This is the first year of a potential two-year project totaling $199,870.


Tech Biosolids Research Featured at National Conference

Jennifer Becker
Jennifer Becker

Jennifer Becker (CEE) and graduate student Karina Eyre participated in the Water Environment Federation’s Residuals and Biosolids Conference 2018 (May 15-18) in Phoenix, Arizona. Becker gave an invited presentation entitled “Pathogen and Indicator Organism Inactivation in Class A Biosolids Produced by Low-Tech Methods,” during a session focused on identifying critical research needs related to biosolids, the treated residuals produced during municipal wastewater treatment. Becker and Eyre each gave podium presentations based on ongoing research sponsored by The Water Research Foundation and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Eric A. Seagren (CEE) is also a principal investigator on these projects.


Victoria Sage Receives Award from Michigan Transportation Asset Management Council

Victoria Sage Accepting AwardVictoria Sage, technical writer in the Center for Technology & Training (CTT), is the recipient of the 2018 Carmine Palombo Individual Award from the Michigan Transportation Asset Management Council (TAMC). In addition to her duties as a technical writer at the CTT, Sage is editor of the Michigan Local Technical Assistance Program’s The Bridge newsletter.

In announcing the award, the TAMC notes “Vicki’s work in these roles has been a great service to the TAMC in that many of Vicki’s efforts advance the strategies of the TAMC Work Program through key training and educational initiatives for professionals at local transportation agencies. Vicki has also provided leadership and advocacy of asset management principles as well as communicating relevant programs of the TAMC and transportation agencies across Michigan in helping develop stories in The Bridge.”

One of the driving factors in Sage’s nomination for this award was her role in development of the TAMC Bridge Asset Management Workshop. Using innovative features of common desktop software, she transformed the TAMC training into a focused workshop to quickly and easily create a bridge asset management plan for students attending the training.

“Vicki had a vision to improve the creation of bridge asset management plans, and she developed an innovative way to use everyday tools to help the workshop attendees,” says TAMC Bridge Committee Chair Beckie Curtis. “This innovation has been a game changer in terms of what can be accomplished in the training workshops and making it even easier for people to have a document that they can then use to organize treatments in a way that is financially manageable.”

Vicki had a vision to improve the creation of bridge asset management plans…Beckie Curtis

Transportation asset management is a process of managing public assets, such as roads and bridges, based on the long-range condition of the entire transportation system. TAMC, created in 2002 by the Michigan Legislature, promotes the concept that the transportation system is unified, rather than separated by jurisdictional ownership. Its mission is to recommend an asset management strategy to the State Transportation Commission and the Michigan Legislature for all of Michigan’s roads and bridges.

Victoria Sage at TAMC Conference


Michigan Sea Grant Supports Pengfei Xue’s Environmental Research

Pengfei Xue
Pengfei Xue

Since invading the Great Lakes, filter-feeding zebra and quagga mussels have brought increased water clarity to lakes Michigan, Huron, and Ontario. This has boosted the growth of bottom-dwelling filamentous algae like Cladophora, which washes ashore in stringy green mats to foul beaches and harbor harmful bacteria. The invading mussels also recycle phosphorus — a nutrient that feeds algal growth — through their feces. Pengfei Xue, an assistant professor in the Michigan Technological University Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, will lead a team building computer models to simulate how wave and current patterns influence the distribution of mussel-boosted phosphorus levels. They will investigate how that cycle affects Cladophora growth near Sleeping Bear Dunes and Grand Traverse Bay.

Read more at Michigan Sea Grant Upwellings April 2018.


Students Design Underground Utilities Corridor for the Straits of Mackinac

Students Who Designed the Utilities CorridorHOUGHTON — A group of Michigan Technological University seniors are working on a possible solution to protect the gas, oil and electrical lines under the Straits of Mackinac.

University Professor Mike Drewyor said his senior capstone project class of 16 is wrapping up a semester of work examining how to build an underground tunnel beneath the straits. They’ll present their findings in May on what they hope could be a way to protect the Great Lakes from environmental disaster.

Chad Brown, a civil engineering major on the class’s geological investigation team, said he thinks there’s a good potential the tunnel could come to fruition.

“I think that there’s so many concerns, environmental concerns for the public that they would actually like this to happen,” he said. “In terms of it being economical, it could have some complications there, but in terms of preserving the beauty of the Mackinac Straits, I think it’s a very good solution.”

Read more at Record Eagle, by Jordan Travis.