Author: Sue Hill

Sue Hill is the Digital Content Manager for the College of Engineering.

GLRC Appoints Pengfei Xue as Associate Director

Effective today (Oct. 10, 2022), Pengfei Xue (CEGE/GLRC) will become the Great Lakes Research Center’s first associate director.

Established in 2013, the Great Lakes Research Center (GLRC) has grown to include more than 100 affiliated faculty and research staff, achieving $9.2 million in new research awards and $7.1 million in research expenditures in fiscal year 2022. The GLRC’s portfolio includes core research in the areas of Great Lakes science and system processes, sustainability and marine technology adaptation.

Xue, an associate professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering (CEGE), will lead the GLRC’s Hydrodynamics, Climate, and Environment Research Team, and contribute to the center’s long-term strategy development.

“I couldn’t be more pleased to support Dr. Xue’s appointment as associate director,” stated Tim Havens, director of the GLRC. “His leading hydrodynamic modeling research has been a shining example of the high-quality research going on at the GLRC, and his commitment to the strategic growth of the GLRC is evident in his mentoring of new scientists and engineers in his group. I’m thrilled to welcome him to the GLRC executive team.”

“I am proud of Pengfei’s success and the impact his research has had. He is an expert in the development of numerical models and computer simulations for the Great Lakes, as well as environmental risk analysis, seasonal forecasting and regional climate change, ” said Audra Morse, CEGE department chair. “More importantly, the appointment acknowledges the impact Pengfei has had on his colleagues and the work he will continue in an effort to support his colleagues’ growth as scholars.”

By the Great Lakes Research Center.

Amlan Mukherjee Appointed to GSA Committee

Amlan Mukherjee
Amlan Mukherjee

Congratulations to Amlan Mukherjee (CEGE) on his appointment to the prestigious U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) Acquisition Policy Federal Advisory Committee.

Mukherjee is currently the Green Building Initiative (GBI) chair-elect. According to GBI’s press release, in his role on the committee, Mukherjee will assist in providing expertise and counsel to the GSA as they seek innovative solutions to acquisition policy and ways to address the highest-priority federal acquisition challenges.

“We at GBI are thrilled that the GSA will get a chance to know the incredible level of expertise, experience, and commitment to sustainability and climate improvement that Amlan brings to every role,” said Vicki Worden, president and CEO of GBI. “His work and support for GBI has been invaluable, and we know GSA will significantly benefit from his input.”

By Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering.

Emily Shaw Named 2023 Knauss Marine Policy Fellow

Emily Shaw
Emily Shaw

Michigan Sea Grant has announced that PhD in Environmental Engineering candidate Emily Shaw has been named a finalist for the 2023 Sea Grant John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship. She will officially become a fellow after receiving her host office placement this fall.

The Knauss program matches graduate students and recent graduates with host agencies in Washington, D.C., such as congressional offices, the National Marine Fisheries Service, or U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. For one year, fellows work on a range of policy and management projects related to ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources. Fellows can be placed in the federal legislative or executive branches.

Shaw is currently finishing her doctoral program through the Great Lakes Research Center. Her dissertation focuses on toxins that affect fish populations and the humans that interact with them.

Read more in the Michigan Sea Grant press release.

Michigan Tech Team Recognized for Runway Safety Project

Interior view of a plane cockpit looking out onto the runway.
AlphaJet PAF Cockpit View

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine mentioned Michigan Tech in a press release announcing the winners of the 2021-2022 TRB Airport Cooperative Research Program University Design Competition for Addressing Airport Needs.

A four-member team from the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering at Michigan Technological University placed third in the Runway Safety/Runway Incursions/Runway Excursions Including Aprons, Ramps, and Taxiways category with its design titled, Thermal Detection System for Mitigating Runway Incursions at Non-Towered Airports.

The team included undergraduate students Clark Fadoir, Mary Ollis, Greg Porcaro, and Drew Vega.

Dr. Audra Morse served as faculty advisor to the Built World Enterprise at Michigan Tech.

The team describes the process for developing their hypothesis:

The team utilized Design Thinking to develop an effective solution. First, the team communicated and empathized with aviation professionals to learn challenges and concerns they are experiencing. Next, the team used the feedback from professionals to define the problem of runway incursions at non-towered airports. The team then created two prototypes to decrease runway incursions and used a decision matrix to evaluate and eventually choose the most effective solution. The design was then sent out to professionals to provide feedback and suggestions.

Clark Fadoir, Mary Ollis, Greg Porcaro, Drew Vega

Pengfei Xue Uses Simulation to Predict Lake Levels

Pengfei Xue
Pengfei Xue

Pengfei Xue (CEGE/GLRC) was quoted in a story published by Bridge Michigan on the expected rise of Great Lakes water levels heading toward 2050.

Xue’s research used advanced climate modeling with a 3D hydrodynamic model to simulate the lakes more accurately.

Great Lakes water levels could increase on average from 7.5 to 17 inches in next few decades, study says

New research into Great Lakes water levels looks farther into the future to predict how much climate change will increase lake levels in four of the five Great Lakes.

Presented at the Frontiers in Hydrology Meeting on Thursday and awaiting publication, the research – led by Michigan Technological University associate professor Pengfei Xue – used advanced climate modeling with a 3D hydrodynamic model to simulate the lakes more accurately. The modeling Xue used is more typically applied to oceans.

Michigan Technological University associate professor Pengfei Xue was the lead researcher on the modeling study looking into climate change impacts on the Great Lakes.

“We were able to develop a coupled modeling system that not only accounts for the interactions between the lakes, atmosphere and surrounding land, but also presented a more realistic and accurate representation of the Great Lakes hydrodynamic processes in climate modeling,” Xue said. “This is a necessary step to ultimately improve the long-term lake level projections.”

Read more at Bridge Michigan, by Natasha Blakely.

Future Rise of the Great Lakes Water Levels under Climate Change

The Great Lakes of North America are the largest unfrozen surface freshwater system in the world and many ecosystems, industries, and coastal processes are sensitive to the changes in their water levels. The water levels of the Great Lakes are primarily governed by the net basin supplies (NBS) of each lake which are the sum of over-lake precipitation and basin runoff minus lake evaporation.

First Author
Pengfei Xue, Michigan Technological University
Authors
Miraj Bhakta Kayastha, Michigan Technological University
Xinyu Ye, Michigan Technological University
Chenfu Huang, Michigan Technological University

Read more at Frontiers in Hydrology, by Penfei Xue, et al.

Bill Sproule Presents on Transit Systems

Old photo of a monorail with city architecture in the background.
World’s Fair monorail, 1962
Item 73122, World’s Fair Slides (Record Series 9955-01), Seattle Municipal Archives.

Professor Emeritus Bill Sproule (CEGE) attended the American Society of Civil Engineers’ 18th International Conference on Automated People Movers and Automated Transit Systems in Seattle, Washington, held June 1–3, 2022

Sproule gave the keynote presentation, titled “Back to the Future,” on the history and future of automated people movers and automated transit systems. In addition, he gave a presentation titled “Seattle Monorail and the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair.”

Sproule was also the proceedings editor for the conference.

MTU Team Participating in NextCycle Michigan ROADS Innovation Challenge

A proposal submitted by Zhanping You (CEGE) earlier this year has been selected by NextCycle Michigan as one of the projects in the NextCycle Michigan ROADS Innovation Challenge Track.

You and his team will work on a project titled “The Marketing Development and Implementation of Recycled Glass for Asphalt Pavements.”

You’s team is comprised of Michigan Technological University teams with the Marquette County Solid Waste Management Authority (MCSWMA) and Dickinson County Road Commission. The collaborators will plan a construction section of recycled glass asphalt pavement in Dickinson County.

By Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering.

Arman Tatar Awarded 2022 Ammann Research Fellowship

Arman Tatar
Arman Tatar

Upon the recommendation of the Structural Engineering Institute, Arman Tatar has been selected by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) as the recipient of the 2022 O.H. Ammann Research Fellowship in Structural Engineering.

The award will allow Tatar to purchase the necessary parts and material to pursue his original research topic in addition to the research he is currently conducting under Dan Dowden’s supervision.

By Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering.

Jack Moon Receives APWA Branch Scholarship

Jack Moon, a second-year civil engineering student at Michigan Tech, has been awarded a 2022 Branch Scholarship from the American Public Works Association Chicago Metro Chapter – Fox Valley Branch for his outstanding academic and scholastic achievements. He will be formally recognized at a luncheon held June 14.

According to the chapter’s website, the branch scholarship is intended for students pursuing a degree in civil engineering, environmental engineering, or a public works-related field.

Congratulations, Jack!

By Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering.