Day: February 21, 2012

Tech People at Michigan County Engineer’s Workshop

The Center for Technology and Training (CTT), a part of the Michigan Tech Transportation Institute (MTTI), hosted the 46th annual Michigan County Engineer’s Workshop in Mount Pleasant, February 13–16.

More than 130 engineers, managers and engineering technicians from Michigan county road commissions, the Michigan Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration and municipal road agencies across Michigan attended the conference to learn about new technology and issues impacting the design, construction and maintenance of local agency-owned roads.

John Ryynanen, editor and technical writer for the CTT, and Melanie Kueber, research engineer for CTT, planned the event with a committee of engineers from the County Road Association of Michigan, including event cochair and Michigan Tech alumnus Lance Malburg (CEE ’92) from the Dickenson County Road Commission.

Associate Professor Stan Vitton (CEE) and Director Tim Colling (CTT) made presentations at the event. Also presenting were Michigan Tech alumni: Brenda O’Brien ’84, MDOT; Brian Gutowski ’88, Emmett County Road Commission; Gerald Fulcher ’80, DEQ; Doug Needham ’95, MITA; and Bruce Kadzban ’77, MDOT. Receiving an award for 23 years of service on the steering committee for the Michigan Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) was Ronald Young ’73, Alcona County Road Commission.

Civil Engineering Graduate Seminar: February 23

Civil Engineering Seminars:
Time: 4-5pm, Thursday (Feb. 23rd)
Location: Dow 642
Public welcome

Title: Increasing the Piezoelectric Effect in Cement Paste.

Presenter: Benjamin Roskoskey, MS Civil Engineering Student Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, (Adviser: Dr. Andrew Swartz).

Abstract: The object of this study is to attempt to increase the piezoelectric effect (and as a result the reverse piezoelectric effect) in cement paste. Piezoelectric sensors and actuators are frequently used nowadays to monitor the health of structures. However they are expensive and when embedded within concrete, can separate from the concrete and cause degradation due to differences between their Young’s modulus and thermal expansion coefficient and those of the concrete. The expectation is that the concrete itself, by utilizing its piezoelectric effect, can be used as the sole means of structural health monitoring for a structure.

Title: Enabling Sustainable and Natural Hazard Resistant Structures

Presenter: Joshua Cardinal , MS Civil Engineering Student Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, (Adviser: Dr. Yue Li)

Abstract: Building construction consumes 40% of the raw stone, gravel, and sand used globally, and 25% of the virgin wood. Current research into sustainable design options for structures has become an increased topic for discussion. Natural hazard resistance is a significant part of the structural design requirements of a building, particularly in geographical locations where seismic hazards are prevalent. Sustainability can be identified in three key areas: economic, social, and environmental impact. The concept of sustainability has started to evolve from focusing on only one of the areas mentioned above to an integrated design method. This presentation will focus on researching the development of a new metric of design that encompasses all three areas to balance the deficiencies of each key area.

Structural design must be understood and approached holistically to generate the most viable option for all three areas of sustainability. This involves the coordination of all disciplines involved in the completion of a structure. By utilizing the metric presented, seismic structural analysis using ANSYS will be used to generate the maximum story drift, which will be used to estimate the damage and repair costs to the structure, as well as estimate a dollar amount associated with casualty losses. Environmental impact analysis will be performed using the program SimaPro through life-cycle analysis. To help validate structural and social losses, the FEMA program HAZUS will provide a comparison and validation for structural and social damage by geographic location.