Category Archives: Students

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.


Where the Rubber Meets the Road

Zhanping You
Zhanping You

A team from Michigan Tech recently traveled to Kalamazoo and Muskegon counties in Lower Michigan to conduct field research with recycled rubber materials from scrap tires. The research group was led by Zhanping You (CEE) with students Siyu Chen, Dongdong Ge, Isaac Pantti and Brock Rudlaff.

The Kalamazoo project was a result of a joint effort of the Road Commission of Kalamazoo County (RCKC), Michigan Tech and others. Joanna I. Johnson, managing director of RCKC and You jointly applied for funding through the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s (MDEQ) Scrap Tire Development Grant program. For the project, four test sections were contructed—hot rubber thin overlay (HRTO), conventional thin overlay, hot rubber chip seal (HRCS) and conventional chip seal.

Chip seal consists of a spray-on asphalt emulsion covered with aggregate chips, while overlay involves a new layer of an asphalt mixture on a milled surface. The experiment included the addition of scrap-tire rubber to improve the property of the asphalt mixture. This could provide a longer sustainable pavement and another application for recycled tires.

“The purpose of the project was to evaluate the new reacted and activated rubber to investigate the applicability of such rubber, mainly composed of finely grinded scrap tires,” You says. “The aim is to create more cost-effective, long-lasting, safe and environmentally friendly mixes and surface treatments,” This was the first time such a product was used in the United States according to You.

He says preliminary results, on a three-mile test section, show HRTO provided a smoother and quieter surface compared with a traditional overlay. The HRCS posed challenges to properly applying the material at the beginning of the project.

The Muskegon County project included emulsified rubber asphalt chip seal and conventional chip seal for a county road. Again, the work was funded by the Scrap Tire Development Grant program. Paul Bouman, highway engineer with the Muskegon County Road Commission, has worked closely with Michigan Tech researchers over the years and helped identify the test sections.

You says, “the bond strength between the chip seals and the old pavement will be evaluated under various temperature and freeze-thaw conditions. Samples from these field projects will be tested in asphalt materials laboratories at Michigan Tech, in order to better understand the road performance with these rubber materials.”

New Funding

Zhanping You (CEE) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $75,000 research and development grant from the Dickinson County Road Commission. Qingli Dai (CEE) and Siyu Chen are Co-PIs on the project “Using Rubberized Overlay to Maintain High Volume Traffic Road in Dickinson.” This is a 15-month project.


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


Local Students Explore the Aquatic Food Web

Kids and Joan Chadde look at a map while on the RV Agassiz.HOUGHTON — “You guys are going to be working today,” Agassiz captain Stephen Roblee informed a group of excited South Range fourth-graders.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018, was a day of scientific exploration for these students, who are among the first to participate in Michigan Technological University’s annual Ride the Waves summer programming.

When not on the water the students focused on lab learning, including examining plankton, bloodworms and demonstrating how a fish might use their swim bladders to impact buoyancy.

MTU students Sara Gustafson, Maya Geiselhart and Ryan Kibler led the lessons and will do so for the summer. All three had experience with similar testing and programs in other areas though MTU has a little extra to offer, they said.

The Ride the Waves outreach program is funded through the Great Lakes Research Center and a grant from General Motors Corporation.

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Kali Katerberg.


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.


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.


Michigan Tech’s NSBE Student Chapter conducts 7 th Annual ‘Alternative Spring Break’ Bringing STEM and Family Engineering to Detroit K-12 schools

NSBEMembers of the Michigan Tech Student Chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers Pre-College Initiative (NSBE-PCI) visited six middle and high schools in Detroit where they made classroom presentations that encouraged students to consider college and a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) career. In addition, the NSBE students conducted three Family Engineering events at K-8 schools on March 12-14th.  The NSBE students reached 575 middle and high school students and 200 elementary students and their families.
These outreach programs, conducted in partnership with Detroit Public Schools Community District, target under-represented students with the goal of addressing our country’s need for an increased number and greater diversity of students skilled in math, science, technology, and engineering. The Family Engineering Program was developed by faculty and staff in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at Michigan
Technological University (2011) in collaboration with the Foundation for Family Science & Engineering (familyengineering.org).
“The teachers and students both thought the classroom presentations were great and want to invite the students back,” explained Mr. Kenyuano Jones, Principal at Northwestern High School. “I definitely would recommend it for next year and hopefully expand the hours to include the entire day.”
At Bethune Middle School, nearly 50% want to learn more about engineering, 35% think engineering could be a good job for themselves, and 55% want to go to college.
One student observed, “I would recommend the classroom presentation to my friends because it would give them an idea of what they want to do in life.”
This NSBE-PCI outreach effort is funded by the John Deere Foundation and the Michigan Tech Office of Admissions and College of Engineering, and coordinated by Joan Chadde, Director, Michigan Tech Center for Science & Environmental Outreach in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering.