Green Campus Enterprise Final Presentations April 12 and April 19, 2018

Two students carrying insulation in a basement.Join us from 5 to 6 p.m. today (April 12, 2018) in DOW 875 to learn about what Green Campus Enterprise has been working on all year. This event is open to everyone; find us on Facebook for more information.

Teams presenting:

  • GLRC Retrofit—exploring the feasibility of using the water of Portage Lake as a heat sink for the GLRC year round with the greatest application in the warmer months
  • Solar Thermal—evaluating the feasibility of installing a solar thermal collector at Michigan Tech. The solar collector would be used to preheat water for hot water usage on campus.
  • Building Efficiency—investigating how energy is used throughout the DOW and M & M buildings

Next week the following teams will present at the same time and place on April 19:

  • Tiny House Community
  • Campus Culture
  • Wind Power
  • Clean Air-Cool Planet

Environmental Engineering Undergraduate Receives John A. Focht National Scholarship

Christine WoodAt the Chi Epsilon national conclave in Arlington, Texas this March, CEE Environmental Engineering undergraduate student Christine Wood received the John A. Focht National Scholarship to help further her education at Michigan Tech.  She has always felt passionate about the environment and public well-being. The Environmental Engineering program at Michigan Tech is allowing her to turn that passion into a career. Improving the relationship between humans and the environment has become Christine’s primary goal. This passion is what lead her to being presented with this national award.

Christine grew up in East Lansing, MI and began her college experience at Olivet College located in south central Michigan. As part of the transfer program, she transferred to Michigan Tech in the fall of 2016 to major in Environmental Engineering. Christine became involved in the Pavlis Honors College, Society of Women’s Engineers and the Young Women Leaders Program at Tech. Christine is also currently involved in a research study which will serve as her honors project component titled “Reduction of Stream Erosion through Air Injection”, working alongside Dr. Brian Barkdoll and PhD student, Jennie Tyrell.

Christine is expected to graduate with her BS in Environmental Engineering in the fall of 2018, but plans to stay in Houghton to complete her MS in Environmental Engineering through Tech’s accelerated master’s degree program. Christine interned with the Wastewater Treatment Plant in Charlotte, MI and the Wastewater Department for Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber in Lansing, MI which both helped her realize her desire to focus on water and wastewater processing. Her ultimate goal is to work in wastewater consulting within the state of Michigan.

NSF Funding for Alex Mayer on Sea Level Rise Study

Alex Mayer
Alex Mayer

Alex Mayer (CEE/GLRC) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $130,093 research and development grant from the National Science Foundation.

The project is titled “Collaborative Research: How Does Groundwater Inundation of Carbonate Island Interiors from Sea Level Rise Impact Surface Water-Aquifer Interactions and Evaporative Losses?” This is the first year of a two-year project totaling $254,330.

Extract

  • Sea-level rise and coastal flooding are well-known to reduce freshwater resources. It is however less recognized that sea level rise can push water tables above the land surface to flood low-lying depressions.
  • During this project, new field data will be collected, and new transient modeling tools will be developed, to test the overarching hypothesis that how groundwater flooding will impact island water resources.
  • The results of this study should improve predictions of freshwater resource loss of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) from groundwater flooding.
  • The modeling tools to be developed as part of this project will be freely distributed to the hydrological community.

Read more at the National Science Foundation.

American Water Works Association Scholarship Awarded to Erica Coscarelli

Erica CoscarelliErica Coscarelli, a MS student in the environmental engineering program, has been selected to receive the 2018 Bryant L. Bench/Carollo Engineers Scholarship.  The scholarship is sponsored by Carollo Engineers, an environmental engineering firm that specializes in wastewater facilities for municipalities and the public sector.  Erica will be formally presented with the award at the American Water Works Association (AWWA) Annual Conference and Exposition in Las Vegas in June.

Erica’s research studies the fate of organic compound degradation in the aqueous-phase advanced oxidation processes.  She applies the novel computational chemistry method to predict the reactions and kinetics to predict the degradation products of emerging organic compounds. The water treatment process is found in wastewater reclamation process for the application of direct potable reuse of treated wastewater in water scarce regions. The process can be also applied to wastewater treatment processes to mitigate the negative impact of trace organic compounds found in wastewater discharge to natural aquatic environment such as lakes and rivers.

Tech Research Team Gives Invited Presentations on Pathogen Inactivation in Biosolids

Battle Creek Event image showing a facilityOn March 13 and 14, 2018, Jennifer Becker and Eric Seagren (CEE), along with graduate students Karina Eyre (CEE) and Tanner Keyzers (BioSci), participated in the Michigan Water Environment Association 2018 Biosolids Conference, which was held in Battle Creek, Michigan.

Biosolids are the treated solid residuals produced during wastewater treatment. They contain abundant organic matter and nutrients and can be beneficially reused as soil amendments and fertilizers to improve the sustainability of wastewater treatment.

The Michigan Tech team gave two invited presentations on their pilot-scale research evaluating low-cost, low-tech (LCLT) methods for producing what are known as Class A biosolids. Class A biosolids are essentially pathogen-free and thus can be land-applied and distributed without restriction. Increasingly, wastewater treatment facilities are seeking to produce Class A biosolids, but many lack the resources to implement the conventional processes for producing these materials. LCLT processes provide a possible alternative to Class A biosolids production for such facilities.

The presentation by the Michigan Tech researchers was complemented by a presentation by one of their utility collaborators, highlighting the benefits of the university-utility partnership.

Becker and Keyzers presented Pathogen & Indicator Organism Reductions & Biosolids Changes During Storage.

Seagren and Eyre presented Study of Low-Cost Low-Tech Treatments for Biosolids at the PLWSA.

Tech’s World Water Day Celebration to be Featured on Copper Country Today

World Water Day Banner

Joan Chadde (CEE/GLRC) and Katie Closner (SBE/GLRC) were interviewed by host Rick Allen for this Sunday’s Copper Country Today radio talk show. They discuss this year’s World Water Day celebration, “Nature-based Solutions for Water.” Michigan Tech will observe  World Water Day, March 27-29.

This segment will air Sunday (March 25) at the following times and FM Radio stations:

  • 7 a.m. 97.7 FM WOLF
  • 8 a.m.  99.3 FM  LIFT
  • 9 a.m.  102.3 FM K-BEAR

Full World Water Day Schedule for March 2729

LISTEN to Celebrate Diversity and the UP Interview

Dudley Edmonson
Dudley Edmonson is interviewed for Copper Country Today.

On this week’s Copper Country Today, Rick is joined by Joan Chadde, Horst Schmidt and author Dudley Edmondson about the Upper Peninsula’s Environmental Coalition’s Celebrate Diversity and the UP event.

Chadde and Schmidt are event planning committee members. Edmondson is presenting “Black and Brown Faces in America’s Wild Places.”

Even co-sponsors are Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition (UPEC), Friends of the Land of Keweenaw (FOLK), Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative, Michigan Tech Visiting Women and Minorities Lecture Series, Michigan Tech Departments of Social Sciences and Civil and Environmental Engineering, School of Forest Resources and Environmental Sciences, Great Lakes Research Center and Outdoor Adventure Program.

LISTEN to the interview at the Keweenaw Report, Copper Country Today for March 18, 2018.

Events March 22-24, 2018

John Velat Presents on Federal Traffic Safety Regulations for Tribal Governments

John Velat
John Velat

John Velat, director of the Center for Rural and Tribal Resilience in the department of civil and environmental engineering, recently presented work at the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) 2018 annual convention in Kansas City, Missouri, a competitive, peer-reviewed conference.

Velat’s presentation, “When Cultures Collide: Considering Implications of Federal Traffic Safety Regulations for Tribal Governments,” explored how American Indian and Alaska Native governments can improve their participation in federal programs and impact the design of those programs by considering many data collection methods and offering local solutions to traffic safety problems.

Each year the CCCC Convention draws college faculty members from around the world. They gather to hear award-winning speakers, attend presentations by colleagues on the latest innovations in education and network to gain knowledge of best practices in the field.

Zhanping You on Asphalt and Nanotech

Zhanping You
Zhanping You

Zhanping You (CEE) was quoted in the story “Is Nanotech the New Pothole Killer?” on public radio station WHYY in Philadelphia.

Is nanotech the new pothole killer?

There are many culprits for the frequent potholes on U.S. roadways. Potholes can be the result of normal wear and tear, utility work, or volatile temperature swings that disrupt the chemical properties that keep pavement stuck together.

Asphalt is a critical component in road surfaces — but maybe not what most people think it is.

“Basically, the asphalt really looks like a glue, a glue that holds all the stones together,” says civil engineer Zhanping You, a professor and researcher at Michigan Tech University.

You and his team are studying ways to curtail the temperature volatility of asphalt by adding nano-particles.

Read more at WHYY, by Malcolm Burnley.

Carnegie Museum Seminar: Students Engaged in Lake Superior Science

Students on the dock engaged in Lake Superior ScienceSeveral Michigan Tech faculty will deliver presentations during the 2017-18 Carnegie Museum Natural History Seminar Series: Citizen Science. All are from 6:30 to 8 p.m. and take place at the Carnegie Museum in downtown Houghton. The next seminar will be:

Students Engaged in Lake Superior Science

By students and teachers participating in the Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative
March 20, 2018
6:30 p.m.
Carnegie Museum
105 Huron St, Houghton, MI

Teachers will describe how their students plan and conduct stewardship projects, how students benefit, and how the stewardship projects are integrated into the curriculum. The Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative has had a significant impact in our area, providing more than $250,000 in grants over the past years, and serving 16 Schools, 103 Teachers, 2189 Students, and more than 50 Community Partners.