Family Engineering Featured

Michigan Tech’s Family Engineering program is mentioned in the April newsletter of the Society of Women Engineers.

Developed by Michigan Tech’s Neil Hutzler and Joan Chadde, the Foundation for Family Science & Engineering and the American Society for Engineering Education with a $1.6 million grant from the National Science Foundation, Family Engineering is growing into a nationwide initiative. Family Engineering: An Activity & Event Planning Guide, published in June 2011, is prompting Family Engineering events across the country.

To read the story, see SWE:Engaging Families in Engineering.

Civil Engineering Graduate Seminar April 19th

Civil Engineering Graduate Seminar April 19th:
Time: 4-5pm, Thursday (April 19)
location: Dow 642
Public welcome

Seminar title: Material Matters
by Jerry Anzalone, Lab Supervisor/Research Scientist I, PhD candidate
Dr. Larry Sutter, advisor

Abstract provided by speaker:

Jerry manages the Nonvolotile, nonconductive phase characterization
facility on M&M’s seventh floor. The position allows him to engage
in a number of research activities from several disciplines.

Jerry will be discussing a few of the projects he has taken part in as
well as investigations of the effect potassium acetate deicer has on
alkali-silica reactivity, the subject of his doctoral research. Other
discussion topics include ASR mitigation; new and old methods for
determining air void parameters in hardened concrete; recent aggregate
polishing research; development of open source technologies; relevant
extracurricular activity, all the while giving an overview of the ample
capabilities of the materials characterization facility.

Four Michigan Tech students have received graduate research fellowships from the National Science Foundation

Four Michigan Tech students have received graduate research fellowships from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Six other Tech students received honorable mentions in the competition. Nationwide, the NSF awarded 2,000 fellowships and 1,835 honorable mentions.

Mark Hopkins, mechanical engineering-engineering mechanics; Brennan Tymrak, mechanical engineering-engineering mechanics and Peace Corps Master’s International; Jennifer Fuller, civil and environmental engineering; and Liz Cloos, electrical and computer engineering, received NSF fellowships for graduate study. Bryan Plunger, Alan Olds, Evan Lucas, Hilary Morgan, Byrel Mitchell and Patrick Bowen earned honorable mentions.

Civil Engineering Graduate Seminar April 12:

Civil Engineering Graduate Seminar:
Time: 4-5pm, Thursday (April. 12th), Location: Dow 642
Public welcome

Presenter: Chris Carroll, Ph.D., E.I. Assistant Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Louisiana at Lafayette (hosted by Dr. Devin Harris) 

TOPIC: Sustainability from the Perspective of an Ancient Engineer

BIO: Dr. Carroll received his Ph.D. from Virginia Tech in August of 2009 and has been an assistant professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette since.  Dr. Carroll’s research focus is primarily in the areas of prestressed and reinforced concrete with a concentration on the bond between concrete and reinforcing steel.  He is an active member of the American Concrete Institute and American Society of Civil Engineers.  In addition to his experimental interests, he also has an interest in engineering education, specifically those related to active and visual teaching techniques and project and problem based learning used in structural engineering courses.  Furthermore, Dr. Carroll has also hosted three television shows in conjunction with the History Channel and Discovery Channel as a technical expert.  Most recently, he served as co-host on a pilot series entitled Engineering the Impossible for the Discovery Channel.  The pilot series included two shows focused on the engineering techniques used by the Ancient Engineers of Rome and Egypt.  Dr. Carroll along with a group of his students recreated various structures from the ancient Roman and Egyptian Empires showcasing some of the techniques believed to be used by each to construct some of the most famous structures in the world.

ABSTRACT: For centuries, the Coliseum, Pantheon, and aqueducts have been admired time and time again.  Their sheer size alone is awe inspiring and constantly raises the question, “How were they built?”  While hypotheses exist for their construction, maybe the more important question is “How have they withstood the test of time?”  In a day and age where sustainability is a key concern in new designs, looking at the work of ancient engineers could reiterate what sustainability is and to what areas structural engineers should devote their attention.  This presentation highlights the methods used by the Romans in the construction of the Coliseum, Pantheon, and Pont du Gard Aqueduct and touches on some key principles related to their continued survival.

Students Earn Awards for Research

From the Center for Water & Society World Water Day, First Place Award Original Research $250: Marcel Dijkstra, Advisor: Marty Auer, Topic of research: “Predicting Ecosystem Changes in Lake Superior Insights Regarding Thermal Structure and the Spring Algal Bloom”

Center for Water & Society World Water Day Third Place Award $100 Coursework/Informational, to Stephanie Tulk for her project: “Management of Hydrological Systems near Alpine Glaciers”

Pictures and links to the posters and the other students who participated can be found at Center for Water & Society World Water Day Results

S-STEM Seminar April 4: Kaira Wagoner, Potters for Peace

Speaker: Ms. Kaira Wagoner
Title of presentation: Ceramic Weapons of Mass (Bacterial) Destruction; A Simple, Affordable and Effect Solution to Waterborne Disease
Time: 3-4 pm Wednesday April 4th
Place: 642 DESEB

Kaira Wagoner is currently a Environmental Health Sciences PhD student at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. After graduating from Guilford College in 2006, Kaira and her partner Reynaldo Diaz were trained in ceramic filter production by the late Ron Rivera, former Filter Coordinator of Potters for Peace. Since 2008, Kaira has assumed the position of Filter Communication Coordinator for Potters for Peace, and has conducted filter work in Tanzania, Somaliland, Rwanda, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Kenya.

Potters for Peace:
Potters for Peace is a U.S. based nonprofit network of potters, educators, technicians, supporters, and volunteers. Founded in Nicaragua in 1986, we work with clay artisans in Central America and worldwide on ceramic water purification projects. Every day 5,000 children die due to unsanitary water (WHO 2005). Since 1998 Potters for Peace has traveled the world teaching the fabrication of a low-cost ceramic water filter that can bring clean, potable water to those who need it most. We do not make, store or distribute ceramic water filters nor do we operate filter production facilities. Instead, we assist responsible local partners to set up filter production and distribution facilities.

Video of seminar: Ceramic Weapons of Mass (Bacterial) Destruction; A Simple, Affordable and Effect Solution to Waterborne Disease

Civil Engineering Graduate Seminar April 5th

Civil Engineering Graduate Seminar April 5th:
Time: 4-5pm, Thursday (April. 5th); location: Dow 642, Public welcome

Topic: Climate Informed Flood Risk Projections
Presenter: Casey Fritsch, Master student, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, (Adviser: Dr. Veronica Griffis)

Abstract: Standard procedures for forecasting flood risk (Bulletin 17B) assume annual maximum flood (AMF) series are stationary, meaning the distribution of flood flows is not significantly affected by climatic trends/cycles, or anthropogenic activities within the watershed. Historical flood events are therefore considered representative of future flood occurrences, and the risk associated with a given flood magnitude is modeled as constant over time. However, in light of increasing evidence to the contrary, this assumption should be reconsidered, especially as the existence of nonstationarity in AMF series can have significant impacts on planning and management of water resources and relevant infrastructure. Research presented in this thesis quantifies the degree of nonstationarity evident in AMF series for unimpaired watersheds throughout the contiguous U.S., identifies meteorological, climatic, and anthropogenic causes of this nonstationarity, and proposes an extension of the Bulletin 17B methodology which yields forecasts of flood risk that reflect climatic influences on flood magnitude.