Category Archives: Students

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.


Senior Design Travels To Grand Rapids To See How PFAS Are Being Removed From Water Supply

The senior design section (CEE 4905) advised by Dr. David Hand and Dr. Eric Seagren traveled on February 1, 2019, to visit the Plainfield Township Water Department’s treatment plant outside of Grand Rapids, Michigan.  The plant is operating a pilot-scale study examining the removal of per- and poly-fluoralkyl substances (PFAS) from their water supply using granular activated carbon (GAC).  PFAS compounds were invented in the 1930s and since then have been manufactured for a variety of uses including: nonstick coatings, stain and water-resistant products, protective coatings, and firefighting foam.  These compounds are very stable in water, are persistent, bioaccumulative, and not known to degrade in the environment.  In 2017, Michigan was one of first states in the country to begin to establish a clean-up standard for PFAS in groundwater when used as a drinking water source.  The Michigan PFAS Action Response Team, made up of several state agencies, has worked to identify PFAS contamination in the state.

The purpose of this senior design project is to develop design guidance for the use of GAC for the removal of PFAS chemicals from water supplies.  GAC is a Best Available Technology (BAT) as designated by the USEPA for removal of organic chemicals from water.  In fact, GAC is presently being used in several of the sites identified in Michigan for removal of PFAS compounds.  Design guidance for using GAC for the removal of these compounds is needed as it can provide regulatory agencies, consulting engineers, and water utilities with the tools necessary to effectively and economically evaluate the use of GAC for treatment of these chemicals.  Therefore, the main objectives of this project are to: (1) evaluate the design of the pilot-scale GAC system that has been implemented at the Plainfield Township Water Department’s treatment plant, and (2) to develop a general design guidance for the application of GAC fixed-bed adsorption processes for the removal of PFAS from drinking water.


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.


Sarah Washko Attends Snow Measurement Field School

Sarah Washko takes measurements in the snowSarah Washko, an environmental engineering MS student, participated in the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc. (CUAHSI) Snow Measurement Field School on January 6-11, 2019, in Bozeman Montana. The NASA-funded course provided training for performing high-quality snow measurements in the field, as well as in the fundamentals of snow hydrology analysis. In addition to traditional field methods, remote sensing techniques were also explored.

Each day in the field concluded with a presentation of the day’s findings. The final day culminated in a student designed field campaign at the Bridger Bowl Ski area. The workshop was designed to cultivate snow measurement and research design skills.


CEE Graduate Students on the Road

Marjan Monfarednsab to Attend weSTEM Conference

weSTEM conference showing presentation.Marjan Monfarednsab, a civil engineering graduate student, applied for and was accepted to the Society of Women Engineers’ (SWE) Women Empowered in STEM (weSTEM) Conference on February 23, 2019.

The weSTEM conference provides a forum through which current and future STEM leaders can motivate and inspire each other to excel at the frontier of scientific advancement and develop solutions for the next generation of technical challenges.

Monfarednsab is the first SWE graduate student member at Michigan Tech to be accepted to the conference. Her travel and conference costs will be funded by the SWE section and the College of Engineering, along with the conference sponsors.

Emily Gamm Attends American Segmental Bridge Institute Convention

Emily Gamm, a structures grad student, was awarded a scholarship to attend the American Segmental Bridge Institute (ASBI) Convention in Chicago, Nov. 5-7, 2018. She participated in technical sessions, committee meetings, networking opportunities (including meeting Michigan Tech alumnus Tim Barry) and a tour of a segmental bridge construction project. The tour also included an opportunity to sign the inside face of one of the match cast segments.

Emily Gamm Signing Section
Emily Gamm at the Signing Section
Emily Gamm Match Cast Section
Emily Gamm at the Match Cast Section
Large, structural piers are shown.
Piers

Hayden Henderson Travels to North American Lake Management Society Conference

Hayden Henderson
Hayden Henderson

Environmental Engineering MS student Hayden Henderson traveled to the North American Lake Management Society (NALMS) annual conference in Cincinnati to present his work titled: The Role of Anoxia, Entrainment, and Intrusions in Mediating Phosphorus Trophic State Dynamics to the general audience. In addition, he was asked to speak to the attendees of a workshop on internal phosphorus loading regarding a specific research site and subsequent findings. The 38th International Symposium of NALMS took place October 30 to November 2, 2018.

After returning from the conference, Hayden was informed that the research poster he presented at the conference titled: “Neither Wolf nor Dog: P-Management in a Quasi Polymictic Lake” was awarded 1st place in the Jody Connor Student Award poster competition.


Senior Design Project on Aquaponics at the Sustainable Development House

SDH Aquaponics showing a fish in a tankHOUGHTON — Students at Michigan Technological University’s (MTU) Sustainable Development House (SDH) have combined fish and plants into a sustainable farming system called aquaponics. The arrangement of pipes and tanks uses plants and bacteria in an inorganic substrate as the filter for fish tank water, creating an organic system that feeds the plants and keeps the fish healthy.

“We just added a ton of new fish Wednesday,” said SDH resident and project manager Rose Turner.

The aquaponic setup is part of Turner’s senior design project at MTU. It’s a combination of aquaculture and hydroponics, and has some of the strengths and weaknesses of each.

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Joshua Vissers.

Rose is a senior environmental engineering student from Berkley, Michigan. This is her final semester at Tech and her last semester as the coordinator of the SDH.

Read more at the Michigan Tech Sustainability Demonstration House Facebook page.


7th Annual Lake Superior Water Festival was Held Oct. 17th for Gr. 4-8 at Great Lakes Research Center

More than 700 students in grades 4-12 in thirty classes from ten schools in Houghton, Baraga, and Gogebic Counties descended upon Michigan Tech’s Great Lakes Research Center on Wednesday, October 17, from 9am to 3 pm, for the 7th Annual Lake Superior Water Festival. Students from the following schools participated :  Baraga High School, Barkell Elementary, CLK Elementary, EB Holman School, Houghton Middle School, Ironwood High School, Jeffers Middle School, Lake Linden-Hubbell Middle School, South Range Elementary, and Washington Middle School.

Twenty-four different sessions were presented throughout the day, presented by Michigan Tech scientists (including Dr. Audra Morse and Daisuke Minakata’s graduate Student, Ryan Kibler) and graduate students, along with U.S. Coast Guard, Ottawa National Forest, Isle Royale National Park, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, BHK AmeriCorps and Copper Harbor Trails Club. See attached list of presenters/locations.

The Water Festival provides an opportunity for students to learn about and celebrate our most precious natural resource – the Great Lakes! A wide variety of topics from science and engineering to creative writing will be presented.  Students attend four 35-minute activities. Some of the topics to be presented include Remotely-Operated- Vehicles, Leave No Trace Outdoors, cleaning wastewater, Careers with the U.S. Coast Guard, the Chemistry of Corrosion, Design a Fog Harvester, and more.

The 2018 Water Festival is coordinated by the Michigan Tech Center for Science & Environmental Outreach, with funding from the Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative and Michigan Tech’s Great Lakes Research Center.

“Thank you so much for the opportunity to present at Water Festival. It was a blast to teach all of the students. Thanks for all your hard work in organizing such a wonderful event. It’s so exciting to see kids getting hands-on experience in labs and introduced to science at a young age.”  – Ryan Kibler, ENVE MS Student


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.

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.


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.