Tag Archives: seminars

Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar: Air Pollution in Iran; A Case Study

sep21Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar: Air Pollution in Iran; A Case Study
Monday, September 21th; 202 Great Lakes Research Center

Hossein Tavakoli, PhD Student, Michigan Tech Department of Environmental Engineering

Biography – I am a PhD student in Environmental Engineering with focus on air pollution. studying Environmental Engineering, I could see how air pollution had surrounded millions of people and it seemed policy makers were incapable. Picturesque Alborz hillsides, in which Tehran (Capital City) is located, were lost in smog. In the last 3 years, up to 7000 deaths in Tehran are caused by Airborne Particles. As a part of my research I have investigated the effects of air pollution of a steel complex -a case study- on surrounding area using air pollution dispersion modeling (AERMOD and CMB8.2); I have then investigated concentrations of PM10 in ambient air and Arsenic in air, water, soil, rice and meat downstream of the steel plant. In addition, I have studied lifetime risk assessment of Arsenic due to inhalation, ingestion and dermal exposure for residents.
Environmental issues regarding air pollution in Iran include, especially in urban areas, vehicle emissions, refinery operations, huge dust swirl from Iraq and industrial effluents which contribute to poor air quality. Industrial nature and the status of its environmental issues, regulation and management in Iran will be presented to expand the world vision of a developing country.
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A regularly updated seminar schedule and download capabilities for Roundtable Discussion papers is available on CANVAS under ENVE5991 R01 Fall 2015.

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Environmental Engineering Seminar: Environmental Systems Biology of Marine Oil Biodegradation

sep14Environmental Systems Biology of Marine Oil Biodegradation
Monday, September 14th 3 pm
202 Great Lakes Research Center

Dr. Stephen Techtmann , Assistant Professor
Michigan Tech Department of Biological Sciences

Biography – I am an environmental microbiologist who studies microbial communities in diverse ecosystems. Microbes (Bacteria and Archaea) are ubiquitous in the environment and play essential roles in the cycling of elements. These environmental microbes are capable of catalyzing a wide array of chemical reactions, many of which may have industrial applications. I study how complex microbial communities can cooperate to perform functions of industrial interest. The majority of microbes in the environment are difficult to grow in the lab. Furthermore, many industrially-relevant pathways are found in microbes not yet grown in the lab. I seek to employ both culture-based and culture-independent methods to understand how these microbial communities respond to anthropogenic activity and environmental change and how we might leverage these microbes for a biotechnological application. In the past, I have investigated how microbes from hot springs and geothermal vents could be used for biofuel production. Most recently, I have focused on microbial communities that respond to and aid in the clean up of crude oil contamination. I am also interested in engineering environmental microbes and microbial communities for enhanced biofuel production. I employ a combination of geochemical techniques, next-generation sequencing and other ‘omics approaches, with microbial physiology and biochemistry to better understand these microbial systems.


Civil Engineering Graduate Seminar: Creating Educational Materials for Python and GIS

CE Graduate Seminar for a special presentation by Shelley Jeltema.
Title: Creating Educational Materials for Python and GIS
Author: Shelley Jeltema, PhD student in Civil/Environmental Engineering
Room 642 Dow, 4:05 – 4:55 pm, Thursday, April 2.

Abstract:
This project created a 15-week course to teach graduate students and GIS analysts/technicians how to use Python to extend the functionality of Geographical Information System (GIS) software. Using a combination of traditional college course and corporate training methods results in a modular course that can be taught in a traditional college setting, online, or as a custom course for specific business purposes. The class is comprised of lectures and labs where students will learn scripting, data processing with Python. Students will also learn how to create ArcGIS models with Python Script. The course contains base set of labs will focus on natural resource management and hydrology. Additional labs will cover different business scenarios to expand the audience to business, surveying, social science, and Peace Corps students. At the end of the course, students will have gained experience in scripting, data pre-processing, and modeling with Python and AcrGIS. They will also have frameworks for real world business scenarios. The requirements for this class are prior experience with ArcGIS and familiarity with modeling. Computer coding experience is suggested but not recommended. Future work includes continued refinement of this course to include more of the skills businesses. An advanced course teaching concepts and techniques that create more complex models using computer programs, creating ArcGIS tools, and working with GIS in a distributed computing environment where workload balancing is available.


Civil Engineering Seminar: Snow Roads and Runways in Antarctica

Civil Engineering Graduate Seminar
Thursday, January 29,4 :05 – 5:00 pm, Room 642 Dow

Speaker: Russ Alger, Project Manager, Research Leader, Keweenaw Research Center
“Snow Roads and Runways in Antarctica”

Russ Alger has been involved in mobility programs in Antarctica with NSF and USACRREL since the late 80’s. This work has included a 3 month traverse across almost 2000 miles of Antarctica and 5 other trips to the ice. This work is dedicated to moving personnel and materials around the continent by various means. The studies have included route planning and layout for a 1000 mile long snow road from McMurdo, on the ocean, to the South Pole, ground truthing of the final route, travel with the first full scale traverse to the pole, and several studies to determine the feasibility of landing wheeled aircraft on a snow runway.

Russ will concentrate his talk on the work in Antarctica, but will also touch on other work involving travel and engineering in snow.

All are invited to attend.


Civil Engineering Seminar: Bio-Inspired Surfboard Fins: Comparisons of Flow Fields and Lift/Drag Forces using CFD models and Experimental data

Civil Engineering Graduate Seminar:
Speaker: Megan MacNeill, Civil Engineering Graduate Student
Thursday, December 4, 2014, 4:00 – 5:00 PM, Dow 642

Title: Bio-Inspired Surfboard Fins: Comparisons of Flow Fields and Lift/Drag Forces using CFD models and Experimental data”

This presentation will give a brief overview of the dynamics of wave surfing, in addition to presenting my current thesis research approach and findings. The theory of wave development and how to surf will be touched upon to give the audience insight into the physics of surfing. An in-depth summary of the purpose of surfboard fins and fin hydrodynamics will also be covered.
The project compares 10 different surfboard fins by means of computational fluid dynamic modeling and experimental analysis from data gathered in the water channel in Dillman Room 110. The fins were self-designed by inspiration of dorsal fin profiles from aquatic species. The single fin set- ups are compared by means of lift and drag forces as well as visual flow analysis. The geometric modeling and CFD approach will be discussed accompanied by the experimental methodology. Because this project is in its beginning stages, there is little known about the results. Future plans for the project will be discussed along with potential post-project ideas.


Civil Engineering Graduate Seminar: Analysis of Pile- Supported Slabs under Concentrated loads

Civil Engineering Graduate Seminar
Thursday 30th October, 2014; Dow 642, 4 – 5 pm

Aneesha Reddy, Current Graduate Student, Civil Engineering, Michigan Tech

Presentation Topic: Analysis of Pile- Supported Slabs under Concentrated loads
A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of:
Master of Science in Structural Engineering
Submitted to the University of East London on 27th September, 2013

The purpose of the project is to find out the maximum loads that can be applied to pile-supported ground floor slabs while complying with the critical slope requirements of TR34. A numerical analysis of pile supported ground floor slabs under unit point load of 1KN is performed using STAAD.Pro. The parameters varying for this research are thickness of the slab (150mm, 200mm, 250mm and 300mm), the span lengths of the slab (3m, 4m, 5m and 6m) and the panel type on which the point load is applied (Interior, edge and corner panels). The maximum deflections obtained for each slab are used to calculate critical slopes formed on the respective slabs. The critical loads calculated are compared to the permissible slopes given by TR34. The maximum loads to be applied on the slab are calculated and design charts are created for FMA Property I and DMA for Property I and II. These design charts can be used to directly find out the maximum concentrated load that can be applied.


Civil Engineering Seminar: Uncertainty in Civil Engineering Design

Bulleit-2010
Civil Engineering Graduate Seminar: Speaker: Dr. William Bulliet, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Michigan Tech
Thursday, October 23, 2014; 4:05 – 5:00 PM Dow 642 Public Welcome

“Uncertainty in Civil Engineering Design”

Civil engineering design includes many uncertainties, some of which are obvious and some of which many engineers may never have consciously considered. The level of uncertainty for civil engineering systems, mostly non-prototypical engineered systems, is larger than smaller scale engineered products because prototype testing is not possible. This presentation will examine the uncertainties facing engineers who design non-prototypical engineered systems and consider the ways that engineers have developed to manage those uncertainties in a manner that allows design decisions to be made. Uncertainty in design is impossible to escape, and the way it is managed affects both engineers and society. The way engineers approach uncertainty has philosophical, technical, and even ethical implications for the design and construction of civil engineering systems.


Environmental Engineering Seminar: Rubbish, Stink and Death in the Developing World: Déjà Vu All Over Again

oct20ENVE5991 Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar: Monday, October 20, 2014
GLRC 202, 3-4 pm
Steven C. Chapra, Professor and Berger Chair, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department
Tufts University

Title: Rubbish, Stink and Death in the Developing World: Déjà Vu All Over Again
A reception will follow the seminar.

This talk traces the origin and evolution of engineering-oriented water-quality control and management. Three attributes of polluted water underlie human concern for water quality: rubbish (aesthetic impairment), stink (ecosystem impairment), and death (public health impairment). The historical roots of both modern environmental engineering and water-quality management are traced to mid-19th century London when British engineers and public health workers worked to control and manage the major water-quality problems derived from urban wastewater. The talk then turns to current and future conditions in the developing world. In particular, striking parallels are observed between the 19th-century Dickensian slums of Europe and North America and the current water-quality crises in the burgeoning mega-cities of the 21st century.

The last part of the talk focuses on how hydroepidemiological models could prove useful in mitigating and managing waterborne diseases in modern urbanized rivers. We have combined two well-established models: a pathogen fate and transport model and an epidemic model to predict the outbreak and progression of diseases caused by waterborne pathogens along an urbanized river channel. The fate and transport model predicts the transport and evolution of the pathogen in the river system, and the epidemic model predicts the outbreak of the disease once populations along the river have ingested that contaminated water. The communities then act as pseudo-incubators for the disease, effectively increasing the amount of pathogen in the river channel. A combined model provides a more holistic view of the waterborne infectious disease paradigm through the inclusion of a river and a human population component. We provide a case study for this model by examining the Cholera outbreak in Haiti in October 2010, and calibrating the model to the Artibonite River that runs through Haiti. This case study has provided confirmation of our model results to a certain extent. The model can serve as a decision support system to determine the best management practice and public health interventions, and also may be used to in response to bioterrorism attacks. If used effectively, these hydroepidemiological models will lead to improved access to safe water and sanitation worldwide by serving as a tool to educate and guide decision making for water resource engineers and public health practitioners alike.