Tag: civil engineering

CEGE Academy 2022

The Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering inducted four new members to the Academy at a ceremony held Thursday, March 24, 2022. The Academy was established in 1993 to recognize excellence and leadership in engineering and civic affairs of outstanding graduates and friends of the Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering Department.

Russ Becker, PE, ‘89, ‘91

Russell Becker
Russell Becker

Russell (Russ) Becker completed his baccalaureate (1989) and master’s (1991) degrees in civil engineering at Michigan Tech. He is the Chief Executive Officer and President of APi Group, one of the largest providers of specialty services in North America and the largest provider of life safety services in the world. Russ’ continued commitment to overall excellence has inspired APi Group to create a culture of leadership by building an exceptional learning and development program, a highly selective Leader Development Program, and an award-winning veteran’s hiring program.
Russ began his career as a field engineer with Cherne Contracting. He moved on to become a project manager for Ryan Companies during the construction of the Greenfield Recycled Paper Mill project for Liberty Paper. Upon completion of this project he joined APi Group’s subsidiary, The Jamar Company, in Duluth, Minnesota. He started as manager of construction and was named president in 1998, where he served until joining APi Group as president in 2002.
He previously served as a member of Dunwoody Institute’s board of trustees. He is the former chair of the Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota board of directors and Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota Foundation board of directors. He currently serves on the Children’s Foundation board of directors, the Liberty Diversified Industries board of directors, and the Marvin Companies board of directors. He also serves on the advisory board for the College of Engineering at Michigan Technological University and the board for the Construction Industry Round Table (CIRT). Russ is an active member of the Young Presidents’ Organization and the Minnesota Business Partnership. Russ resides with his wife, Trish, and three sons in Dellwood, Minnesota.

Michael Drewyor P.E., P.S. ‘72, ‘74

Michael Drewyor
Michael Drewyor

Michael Drewyor received his baccalaureate (1972) and master’s degrees (1974) in civil engineering from Michigan Tech. He was an owner and partner with Robert Hitch at Hitch Inc. for 30 years where he provided architectural, civil/structural and surveying services for private, industrial and government clients. The business was sold in 2007 to Orchard, Hiltz and McCliment, Inc of Livonia, Michigan
Drewyor retired from Michigan Tech in 2020 as the Roland A. Mariucci Professor of Practice where he taught for the previous 13 years. His teaching assignments included courses in Construction Management, and senior capstone courses. He was also an advisor for the Associated Schools of Construction estimating team.
Drewyor has also been active in alumni activities, serving on the Alumni Board of Directors in the 90’s, local alumni chapter president in the 00’s and Sigma Rho Fraternity, Inc board since graduation. He is a member and supporter of the Huskies Club.
Drewyor serves as a National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) emeritus member from both the Michigan State Board of Professional Engineers and the Michigan State Board of Professional Surveyors. He previously served 8 years on both Michigan Boards. He received his commission as NCEES Central Zone vice president in 2020. As the vice president, Drewyor serves on the NCEES board of directors and as the zone’s administrative officer through 2022. He is also a current candidate for the NCEES position of President-Elect. This three-year cycle will run through August 2025.
Mike and Judy reside in Houghton, MI and have two children, Jennifer (Houghton) and Adam (Colorado).

Jennifer Hartfelder, PE, PMP ‘90

Jennifer Hartfelder
Jennifer Hartfelder

Jenny Hartfelder completed her civil engineering degree from Michigan Tech (90) and went on to complete a master’s degree in civil engineering at the University of Colorado, Denver. She is Vice President of Stantec, a top-tier global design and delivery firm. Based in Denver, Colorado, Hartfelder has over 30 years of experience providing project management and engineering design for municipal and federal clients. Her water and wastewater treatment plant experience includes the preparation of master plans, preliminary and detailed designs, and engineering services during construction. She has managed water and wastewater projects up to $10M with numerous small business subcontractors. She has extensive experience in the evaluation and design of wastewater disinfection systems, as well as business management including mentoring and leading staff, project delivery, client service management, and business development. Jenny previously served as a Strategic Campaign Manager for Stantec’s Water business leading top marketing campaigns across North America. She was responsible for leading the local pursuit teams to perform client account analyses; develop campaign plans and sales messages; and prepare statement of qualifications, proposals, and interviews. She was responsible for securing $10 to $20 million in sales per year.

She is a past president of the Water Environment Federation (WEF) and of the Rocky Mountain Water Environment Association. In 2021 she was named a WEF Fellow, one of the industry’s highest honors. She is a registered professional engineer in Colorado and Washington and Project Management Professional.

John Van Huis, PE ‘76

John Van Huis
John Van Huis

John Van Huis completed his baccalaureate degree in civil engineering at Michigan Tech in 1976. Upon graduation, he joined the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad (CNW) in the Chicago offices as a Structural Engineer. He went on to be Engineer of Coal Line bridges for the new Powder River Basin coal fields in Wyoming and then Bridge Engineer for the entire CNW system.

In 1987, he joined the investment group of CNW employees who purchased the Soo Line RR assets in the state of Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The Wisconsin Central Transportation Company (WCL) went on to own railroads in New Zealand and Australia where he oversaw bridge replacements and construction. While at WCL, he earned an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. In 1999 he joined Radtke Contractors and formed their railroad bridge and construction division. In 2009 he finished his railroad career with Alfred Benesch as Sr. Project Manager Railroads and Vice-President Wisconsin Division and retired in 2016.

Mr. Van Huis is a registered engineer in the State of Wisconsin. He has been involved in many national railroad associations over the years. He was a member of the American Railroad Engineering Association (AREA), Roadmasters and Maintenance of Way Association and American Railway Bridge and Building Association where he served as President in 1994. All three of the organizations were merged to form into what is now known as the American Railway and Engineering Association (AREMA).

John and his wife Suzanne reside in Winneconne, Wisconsin. They have two sons and one grandchild. They have both been deeply involved in their sons’ lives coaching youth hockey, soccer, and volunteering for the Oshkosh YMCA swim team. They are also supporters of the late great singer-songwriter Dan Fogelberg Prostate Cancer Foundation. In retirement, John enjoys substitute teaching in the local school systems, gardening, and international and domestic travel.

News Briefs from CEE


Michigan Tech’s Tribal Technical Assistance Program has won a Tribal Excellence Award from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. The award will be presented at the Wisconsin Tribal Transportation Conference on Nov. 3 in Green Bay. Award recipients are recognized for providing exemplary contributions and services to building and enhancing partnerships with the Wisconsin DoT and Wisconsin’s tribal communities. TTAP provides technology, training and information on tribal roads and bridges, tourism, recreation and related economic development to tribal transportation and planning personnel. It is part of a nationwide program sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Alex Mayer (CEE/CWS) is the principal investigator on a research and development project that has received a $599,590 grant from the National Science Foundation. The three-year project is RET Site: PLACE-Promoting Learning About Computational Tools and the Environment. Noel Urban (CEE) is the co-PI for this project.

John Velat (CEE) is the principal investigator of a project that received $18,000 from the Minnesota Department of Transportation. The public service project contract is for the 2015 Minnesota Tribes and Transportation Conference. Amanda Kerttu (CEE) is the co-PI on the project.

Martin Auer (CEE) is the principal investigator on a project that received $33,200 in additional funding from Ajax, Ontario. His team has been examining the nuisance growth of Cladophora, a filamentous green alga, in Lake Ontario.
The large quantities of rotting alga on the shoreline has been a growing concern for the community. Auer and his team have been studying the problem in Ajax since 2013. The project has totaled more than $320,000 in external sponsored funding. The primary objective is to identify and quantify the contributions of phosphorus from various sources to the nutrient environment that supports nuisance growth of the alga. Pengfei Xue (CEE) is a co-PI on the project.
Tess Ahlborn (CEE) was an invited key note speaker at the Fourth Asian Conference on Ecstasy in Concrete hosted by the Indian Concrete Institute and the 1st International Symposium of the Asian Concrete Federation on Ultra-High Performance Concrete, Oct. 8-10 in Kolkata, India. As a Fellow of the American Concrete Institute and the Chair of ACI 239- UHPC, she served as the ACI Ambassador.

Tim Colling (CEE/MTTI), is the principal investigator on a project that has received $446,685 from the Michigan Department of Transportation for the “2016 Michigan Local Technical Assistance Program.” John Kiefer (CEE) and Christine Codere (CEE) are Co-PIs on the project.

Colin Brooks is a senior research scientist for the Michigan Tech Research Institute. His background is in remote sensing and GIS, and his area of expertise is in satellite imagery analysis, aerial imagery analysis and integrating geospatial data. Read more at Roads & Bridges

The U.S. DOT first approached Brooks to do environmental assessments on highway bypasses and look at vehicle crossing times at international borders under the agency’s Commercial Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Program.

Michigan Tech Rail Transportation Program led the organization of 3rd Annual Rail Conference that took place in Grand Rapids in August. The event was supported by the Michigan Department of Transportation and the National University Rail Center (NURail). The event attracted a record-breaking 170 participants and 16 industry sponsors and included a half day of field visits to local rail facilities, followed by a full day of technical sessions and panel discussions. The keynote speech was delivered by Joseph Szabo, the executive director of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (past Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration). Pasi Lautala (CEE/MTTI) co-chaired the event and organization team was led by David Nelson and Amanda Kerttu. Two students, Sumanth Kalluri and Aaron Dean were also at the location to assist in the organization. Next year, Michigan Tech will bring the Michigan Rail Conference for the first time to the Upper Peninsula. The conference will take place on August 17-18, 2016 in Marquette. For more information, visit the conference website.

The Detroit Free Press quoted Pasi Lautala (CEE) in an article on a plan to create a special logistics and supply chain district near the new bridge to Canada and downtown Detroit.

A story “Michigan Tech project looks to improve U.P. roads” related to research work by Dr. Zhanping You appeared on TV6. Another story “Rubber to the road: Tech’s experimental pavement put down for testing” related to research work by Dr. Hand and Zhanping You also appeared on the Daily Mining Gazette.

WNWN-FM, WHTC-AM, WKZO and WVIC radio all covered the 3rd annual Michigan Rail Conference in Grand Rapids last week, hosted by Michigan Tech and the Michigan Department of Transportation.