Alicja Grzegorzek, Seven Others Receive AGC Michigan Scholarships

Alicja Grzegorzek
Alicja Grzegorzek

Congratulations to construction management student Alicja Grzegorzek for being one of the six students selected by the trustees of the AGC (Associated General Contractors) of Michigan Educational Endowment Fund (EEF) for a 2024–25 endowed scholarship!

Grzegorzek is the recipient of the Louis C. Verrette Memorial Undergraduate Scholarship.

In addition, seven other Michigan Technological University students were awarded 2024–25 AGC of Michigan EEF Trustee Scholarships. Join us in congratulating Rachel Blaine, Brandon Dobson, Theodore Ellis, Cooper Raasch, Austin Ridl, Christopher Short and Rachel Weyenberg on their achievements!

Making A History out of Mysteries: My Journey at Michigan Tech

Guest Blog by Hriatpuii Vanlal, MS in Civil Engineering, Michigan Tech

Hriatpuii Vanlal
Hriatpuii Vanlal

As I embarked upon my academic journey at Michigan Tech, I encountered a multitude of challenges that tested my commitment from the outset. Each obstacle presented a chapter in a narrative that has profoundly shaped my personal and academic trajectory.

Amid the uncertainties that beset me, my steadfast faith and belief began to falter, and I found myself on the brink of surrender. It was during this vulnerable moment of despair that I encountered Dr. Audra Morse, the esteemed Department Chair at the time. Her inquiry into my well-being and subsequent invitation to her office provided a timely beacon of hope, serving as a catalyst for renewed determination. In a milieu where diversity in age, ethnicity, lifestyle, and academic pursuits distinguished me from my peers, I never experienced disregard or neglect. The unwavering support and guidance of the faculty, particularly the professors within my course of study, played an integral role in shaping my academic journey.

It is paramount to recognize the invaluable support provided by Dr. Theresa M. Ahlborn, respected Professor Emerita. Her intense dedication to my academic pursuits was evident through her provision of a dedicated study space within her office. Dr. Ahlborn’s consistent encouragement and guidance were instrumental in navigating the challenges I faced, for both academic and personal development.

Though the trials I faced were arduous and often perplexing, I now reflect with gratitude upon the strength I have gained from confronting them. Each experience has contributed to my personal growth, molding me into a stronger individual than I was before.

“I extend my deepest gratitude to the eminent faculty and officials of Michigan Technological University for their assistance and guidance throughout my coursework for a Master’s Degree. Their collective efforts have undoubtedly played a pivotal role in the fulfillment of my destined purpose.”


Outstanding Reviewer for 2023 Award for Erfani

Abdolmajid Erfani has received the Outstanding Reviewer Award from the ASCE Journal of Management in Engineering. The Journal of Management in Engineering has achieved the highest impact factor (IF = 7.4) among all the journals published by the American Society of Civil Engineers in recent years.

Abdolmajid (Mazi) Erfani is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering. His research interests include:

  • Data-driven Infrastructure Management
  • Project Delivery and Procurement
  • Smart Construction
  • Risk Management
  • Equity and Diversity

Related

Mazi Erfani Earns 2024 Arthur M. Wellington Prize

ASCE 2024 Thomas Fitch Rowland Prize for Abdolmajid Erfani

ASCE 2023 Best Paper Award for Abdolmajid Erfani

Mazi Erfani Earns 2024 Arthur M. Wellington Prize

Assistant Professor Mazi Erfani (CEGE) and his team have been selected by the ASCE Society Awards Committee to receive the esteemed 2024 Arthur M. Wellington Prize! Their paper, “Ex Post Project Risk Assessment: Method and Empirical Study,” published in the Journal of Construction Engineering and Management in December 2022, has been recognized for its exceptional contributions to the field of civil engineering.

This prestigious award, established in 1921, celebrates the legacy of Arthur M. Wellington and honors outstanding achievements in civil engineering research.

Join us in congratulating Erfani and his team for this well-deserved recognition!

From the Abstract

Project risk is an important part of managing large projects of any sort. This study contributes to the state of knowledge in project risk management by introducing a data-driven approach to measure risk identification performance using historical data.

Results from 11 major US transportation projects suggested that, on average, fewer than 65% of ex ante identified risks ultimately occurred in projects and were mitigated,while more than 35% did not occur and were retired.

A project team with positive doer behavior (i.e., actively monitoring and identifying risks during project execution) performed better in delivering projects on time and within budget.

“Ex Post Project Risk Assessment: Method and Empirical Study”
Journal of Construction Engineering and Management
Volume 149, Issue 2, February 2023
https://doi.org/10.1061/JCEMD4.COENG-12588

Related

ASCE 2024 Thomas Fitch Rowland Prize for Abdolmajid Erfani

ASCE 2023 Best Paper Award for Abdolmajid Erfani

Western U.P. STEM Fair and Festival 2024

The 2024 Western Upper Peninsula STEM Fair & Festival was held on Saturday, March 16, at the Memorial Union Ballroom from 1-4 p.m. New to the event this year: participants who develop an engineering design project had the chance to advance to Invention Convention Michigan, a competition held later this year at The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation in Dearborn, Michigan. 

Students from Houghton, Baraga, Keweenaw, Ontonagon and Gogebic Counties in grades 4-8 were invited to participate in the STEM Fair. Registration was open to individuals and teams of two to three students. Students prepared and presented on a science investigation or an engineering design project.

The public was invited to attend the STEM Festival, held simultaneously, in the commons area of the Memorial Union Building from 1-4 p.m. The festival was coordinated by the Michigan Tech Center for Science and Educational Outreach.

This year’s fair had 40 projects by 45 students from fourth through eighth grades. Students could come from throughout the five western U.P. counties.

The 2024 Western U.P. STEM Fair & Festival is a collaborative effort of the Western U.P. MiSTEM Network, MTU Center for Science and Educational Outreach, Invention Convention Michigan, and the Copper Country Intermediate School District. 

Many thanks to our current and past sponsors and volunteers. For more information, please contact Tom Oliver at 906-487-2412 or teoliver@mtu.edu, or visit the Western U.P. STEM Fair & Festival webpage.

Western U.P. STEM Fair – 2024 Results

Read more at the Daily Mining Gazette, by Garrett Neese.

Outstanding Student Traffic Safety Achievement Award for Yingtong Tan

Yingtong Tan
Yingtong Tan

WLUC TV6 covered Ph.D. student Yingtong Tan (civil engineering) being awarded an Outstanding Student Traffic Safety Achievement Award by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Advisory Commission (GTSAC) for her research on the safety challenges posed by highway rail-grade crossings. Tan was presented with the award on March 13, 2024, in East Lansing.

Tan was the first in the United States to deploy the Rail Crossing Violation Warning (RCVW) system at rail-grade crossings. This prototype is designed to warn drivers of imminent violations of a crossing based on real-time positioning and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication.

The GTSAC was formed in 2002 to serve as the state’s forum for identifying key traffic safety challenges and developing and implementing plans to address those issues.

Read more at WLUC TV6.

Daisuke Minakata Receives ES&T Reviewer Award

Daisuke Minakata
Daisuke Minakata

Associate Professor Daisuke Minakata (CEGE/GLRC) has been selected as one of the winners of the 2022 ES&T Reviewer Award!

This award acknowledges Minakata’s outstanding contributions in peer review for the American Chemical Society (ACS) journal Environmental Science & Technology (ES&T), showcasing his expertise, timeliness and dedication throughout the year.

Congratulations, Professor Minakata, on this well-deserved recognition!

Ishi Keenum Wins DOC Gold Medal

Ishi Keenum
Ishi Keenum

Assistant Professor Ishi Keenum’s work at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) was recently awarded a 2023 Gold Medal Award by the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) for the rapid development of a positive control reference material to ensure the validity of diagnostic testing for mpox, previously known as monkeypox.

The Gold Medal Award is the highest award given by the DOC. It honors “extraordinary, notable or prestigious contributions that impact the mission of the Department of Commerce and/or one operating unit, and which reflect favorably on the Department.”

By Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering.

Sustainability Film Series Spring 2024

Films shown on the third Thursday of each month.

Location

Fisher 135 or 138 (refreshments in the lobby)

Schedule

January to May at 7 p.m.

The Seeds of Vandana Shiva

The Seeds of Vandana Shiva (2021) February 15

“The Seeds of Vandana Shiva” explores the interconnectedness of seeds, food, environment and social justice through the remarkable life story of Gandhian eco-activist and agro-ecologist Vandana Shiva. Fisher 138


Going Circular (2021) March 21

Imagine a future where we mimic the genius of nature — to re-calibrate the way humankind lives, breathes, builds — respecting the limits of our resources and transforming the modern world. The film investigates the concept of circularity, an economic system that eliminates waste and saves the planet’s resources, and offers concrete solutions to move toward a more circular economy. Fisher 138


Climate Sisu (2022) April 18

Take a journey through Michigan in search of community knowledge about climate action, resilience, adaptation and education. Climate SISU offers an urgent, yet optimistic call for climate action. Fisher 135


The Engine Inside (2023) May 16

Follow the lives of six individuals from around the globe who have devoted themselves to a simple, age-old machine — the bicycle. Witness how bicycles have the potential to transform lives and contribute to a better world. Fisher 138


Cost

FREE. $5 suggested donation per film to support the Sustainability Film Series is appreciated. Make donation online or in-person at the film showing.

Cosponsored By

Michigan Tech’s Great Lakes Research Center, Department of Social Sciences, Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering, Center for Science and Environmental Outreach, College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, Sustainability Demonstration House and Keweenaw Youth for Climate Action, as well as the Keweenaw Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Keweenaw Land Trust, Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative, Friends of the Land of Keweenaw and WUP MiSTEM.

ASCE 2024 Thomas Fitch Rowland Prize for Abdolmajid Erfani

Abdolmajid Erfani
Abdolmajid Erfani

Dr. Abdolmajid Erfani, assistant professor in Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering, in collaboration with Zihui Ma, Qingbin Cui, and Gregory B. Baecher, University of Maryland, has been selected by ASCE’s Construction Institute to receive the 2024 Thomas Fitch Rowland Prize for the paper “Ex Post Project Risk Assessment: Method and Empirical Study,” Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, December 2022.

The award, which consists of a plaque, will be presented during the Society’s CI & CRC Joint Conference in Des Moines, IA, March 20-23, 2024.

In the award of the prize, preference is given to papers whose author or authors describe in detail accomplished works of construction or which are valuable contributions to construction management and construction engineering.

Dr. Erfani’s research includes data-driven infrastructure management, project delivery and procurement, smart construction, and risk management.

From the Abstract

Project risk is an important part of managing large projects of any sort. This study contributes to the state of knowledge in project risk management by introducing a data-driven approach to measure risk identification performance using historical data. It investigated the quality of early risk registers and risk assessments on large transportation projects and compared them to how the identified risks evolved on historical projects. The investigation involved the use of textual analysis of archival risk register documents.

A project team with positive doer behavior (i.e., actively monitoring and identifying risks during project execution) performed better in delivering projects on time and within budget.

“Ex Post Project Risk Assessment: Method and Empirical Study”
Journal of Construction Engineering and Management
Volume 149, Issue 2
https://doi.org/10.1061/JCEMD4.COENG-12588

Related

ASCE 2023 Best Paper Award for Abdolmajid Erfani