Author: Sue Hill

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

Kiran Udayakumar is the Braun Intertec 2017 Co-op of the Year

Kiran Udayakumar holding the Braun Intertec award.
Kiran Udayakumar holding the Braun Intertec award.

Environmental engineering graduate student Kiran Udayakumar has been selected as the Braun Intertec 2017 Co-op of the Year. In 2017, Udayakumar completed a six-month field testing co-op internship in the Braun Intertec Williston, North Dakota office. Operations Supervisor Jeremiah Gibson says, “Kiran’s performance exceeded all expectations and he exemplifies a well-educated engineer on his way to a successful career.”

Udayakumar quickly the learned the procedures and methods for testing constructions materials with an awareness to safety and best engineering practices. He was selected for OSHA 10 training so that he could work on Oilfield projects, like The Dakota Access Pipeline, and highway projects, such as the Lewis and Clark Bridge, Bureau of Indian Affairs Hwy 12.

I couldn’t have done this without the constant support of my advisor and mentor Martin Auer and my mentors Sarah Bird and Darnishia Slade who gave me constant support and motivation throughout the co op.Kiran Udayakumar

Alex Mayer to Speak on Citizen Science and Climate Data

Several Michigan Tech faculty will deliver presentations during the 2017-18 Carnegie Museum Natural History Seminar Series: Citizen Science.

Citizen Science

Can citizens impact governance by collecting climate data?: A case from the tropical mountains in Veracruz state, Mexico

Alex Mayer
Alex Mayer

Dr. Alex S. Mayer
Charles and Patricia Nelson Presidential Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Professor, Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences
Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Carnegie Museum Community Room
6:30 p.m.-7 p.m. Social and introductions
7 p.m.-8 p.m. Lecture and discussion

Open to the public. Free admission.

Facebook Event

Rail Transportation Program Announces CN Scholarship Winners

Students on a train

The Michigan Tech Rail Transportation Program (RTP) is delighted to announce three 2018 winners of the CN Railway Scholarship. CN Railway has been an industry partner of the RTP since 2010, and in 2013 established an endowed fellowship that provides support for the RTP and scholarships to students attending Michigan Tech and involved in the rail industry. Aaron Dean (4th year, MEEM), Clarice Hill (2nd year, MEEM) and Alex Christmas (2nd year, CEE) will all receive a $1000 scholarship from the CN Endowment fund. Scholarship winners are selected each year by RTP’s Rail Transportation Advisory Board.

Bulleit Speaks on the Mind of Engineer

William M. Bulleit
William M. Bulleit

Professor Bill Bulleit spoke on the thought processes of engineers for the Environmental Engineering Seminar last Monday, January 29, 2018. The talk was entitled
The Engineering Way of Thinking – An Introduction.

Tech prof offers inside look into engineer’s mind

Bulleit sees a distinction between engineering and science and other disciplines commonly grouped with it.

In engineering, you use rules of thumb, safety rules and approximations. Failure will occur and advances will come from those failures.

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Kali Katerberg.

Ecker and Mustafa Help You Make the Most of the Latest AISC Manual

Steel Construction Manual book cover and interior

Civil engineering Master’s student Nathan Ecker has co-authored an article “Making the Most of the Manual” in the January 2018 issue of Modern Steel Construction. The second author, Muaaz Mustafa, recently graduated from from Bradley University with an MS in civil engineering. Both were American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) interns this past summer.

The article refers to the 15th Edition of the AISC Steel Construction Manual.


A bevy of resources will help optimize your use of the latest AISC Manual, thus helping you optimize your steel-framed projects.

IN CASE YOU HAVEN’T HEARD, the 15th Edition of the AISC Steel Construction Manual is here! Accompanying its release are some useful, free resources that are at available at These include the new Version 15.0 Design Examples, Shapes Database and Historical Shapes Database, Basic Design Values Cards and Interactive Reference list. These resources will help you make the most of the new 15th Edition Manual as well as the new 2016 AISC Specification for Structural Steel Buildings (ANSI/ AISC 360, available at

Read more at Modern Steel Construction, by Nathan Ecker and Muaaz Mustafa.

Bulleit Comments on Roof Snow

William M. Bulleit
William M. Bulleit

Channel 3-UPMatters aired a story about what you need to know about snow on your roof, quoting Professor Bill Bulleit (CEE).

What to know about snow on your roof

William Bulleit is a structural engineering professor at Michigan Tech. He says, “The more complicated the roof the more difficult it is to decide what you should do with it.”

There are things you can look out for that may be a sign there’s too much snow on your roof.

Read more at Channel 3-UPMatters.

Sproule Named Airport Cooperative Research Program Ambassador

Bill Sproule
Bill Sproule

Bill Sproule (CEE) has been appointed by the Transportation Research Board (TRB) to be an Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Ambassador for a two-year term.

ACRP is an industry-driven, applied research program that develops practical solutions to problems faced by airport operators. It is managed by TRB and sponsored by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

ACRP Ambassadors are volunteers who serve as liaisons between the TRB and ACRP, the research community, and airports operators at conferences and industry events and will make presentations on the ACRP research process and products, and other airport topics, and promote opportunities for others to be involved in ACRP research panels and projects.

MDOT Funding for Transportation Asset Management Council Education

2016 TAMC Training Program Participation
2016 TAMC Training Program Participation

Tim Colling (CEE/MTTI) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $234,534 contract from the Michigan Department of Transportation.

Peter Torola (CEE) and Chris Gilbertson (CEE) are Co-PIs on the project “2018 Transportation Asset Management Council Education Program.” This is a one-year project.

By Sponsored Programs.

Impact of Toxic Chemicals on Indigenous Communities

A young brook trout at the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community tribal fish hatchery.
A young brook trout at the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community tribal fish hatchery.

Interlochen Public Radio and Michigan Public Radio aired a story about toxic chemicals in fish in the Great Lakes, particularly their impact on indigenous peoples, quoting Noel Urban (CEE) and Jerry Jondreau (SFRES).

When fish advisories threaten a traditional way of life

If you eat wild caught fish from Michigan, you might know about fish consumption advisories. They’re recommended limits on safe amounts of fish to eat, and they’re necessary because toxic chemicals build up in fish in the Great Lakes and inland lakes and streams.

A toxic burden

Around this same time, an invisible problem emerged: toxic contamination of fish by chemicals like methylmercury and poly-chlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

Noel Urban is a professor at Michigan Technological University who studies pollutants cycling through the environment. He tells me the chemicals that build up in fish are still being emitted around the world.

“So mercury’s primary sources are coal-fired power plants, mining, metal processing. PCBs are emitted from landfills, from wastewater treatment plants, from transformers that are still in use that have PCBs, agricultural chemicals are also in this so there’s a wide variety of sources,” he explains.

Read more and listen to the audio interview at Interlochen Public Radio and Michigan Public Radio, by Kaye LaFond.

U.P. tribe wants to know: “When can we eat the fish?” Researchers try to answer.

“When can we eat the fish?”

That’s what the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula wants to know.

“Culturally-relevant” fish advisories

In 2008, Valoree Gagnon was still an undergraduate student at Michigan Technological University. She learned that toxic chemicals like mercury and PCBs build up in fish in the region. And she learned that not everyone limits their fish intake, especially tribal communities.

“They were consuming fish at rates that were above human health criteria, and that was a really big concern for me,” she says.

Read more and listen to the audio interview at Michigan Public Radio, by Kaye LaFond.