Facilitated by and held on the grounds of the Keweenaw Research Center, the SAE International Clean Snowmobile Challenge (CSC) program is an engineering design competition for undergraduate and graduate students. The program provides participants with the opportunity to enhance their engineering design and project management skills by applying learned classroom theories in a challenging competition that tests their designs to reengineer an existing snowmobile to reduce emissions and noise. Participants’ modified snowmobiles will compete in a variety of events including emissions, noise, fuel economy/endurance, acceleration, handling, static display, cold start and design.
MTTI supported the 2018 Get WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) program where 225 local middle school girls visited Michigan Tech’s campus to participate in three STEM activities. This year the activities included building a bionic hand, participating in a space lander engineering challenge, and building flashlights.
MTTI Director Pasi Lautala recently facilitated the discussion at the 2018 Green Film Series on Michigan Tech’s campus for the film “Freightened: The Real Price of Shipping Goods” which investigates the world-wide freight shipping industry. MTTI also financially sponsored the event.
The 97th Transportation Research Board (TRB) annual meeting titled Transportation: Moving the Economy of the Future was held in Washington, DC, January 7-11. The meeting program covers all transportation modes, with more than 5,000 presentations in nearly 800 sessions and workshops. Attending this year’s meeting were 26 members and students of the Michigan Tech Transportation Institute (MTTI).
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.
Zhanping You (CEE), students Siyu Chen, Fangyuan Gong, Ran Zhang, visiting scholars Songtao Lyu and Chundi Si attended the National Road Research Alliance (NRRA) Grand Opening at MnROAD on October 10. Zhanping You received a Plaque from Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) Commissioner Zelle for Associate Member Michigan Tech Transportation Institute. U.S. Congressman Tom Emmer and Commissioner Charlie Zelle joined the event. MnDOT Commissioner Zelle, Deputy Commissioner Mulvihil and Associate members of NRRA cutting the ribbon with Congressman Emmer.
MnROAD, located near Albertville, Minnesota, is a pavement test track consists of various combinations of road-building materials and designs. MnROAD collects pavement field data with thousands of sensors located in each test section. A tour of MnROAD Low Volume Road was shown by the MnROAD staffs.
By Jenn Donovan (MTU University Marketing & Communications)
Tim Colling, director of Michigan Tech’s Center for Technology and Training, has been appointed to the Governor’s Infrastructure Asset Management Advisory Board. Other than Colling, the board is made up of infrastructure owners: government agencies and private telecom, power and gas utilities.
“This gives the University a unique opportunity to advise on policy for infrastructure in Michigan, which will likely become the template for other states,” Colling said. “So far the early discussion relates to linear (pipe, road and data cable) assets and has not gone the path of facilities.”
Colling said that over the next year, Michigan Tech will be involved in meetings with the board and Governor’s office to outline a framework and process for integrated asset management, similar to what Tech has done with roads and bridges. The board’s activity is expected to result in legislation that will codify asset management practices for these other assets, and it is likely there will be a spending package related to the bill, either directly or indirectly, Colling added.
In the short term, he said, the University will be involved with the two pilot programs in the state.
Michigan Technological University hosted the inaugural MOBILITY SUMMIT on April 20, 2017 featuring guest speakers Paul Rogers, Director of the US Army Tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC), Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) Director Kirk Steudle and nearly two dozen university researchers.
Rogers opened the Summit focusing on the challenges associated with unmanned vehicles (UV) today, citing the Army’s long history in UV research and development in comparison to industry’s relatively new entry into the field and the steps to be taken before connected/automated (CV/AV) vehicles dominate the roadways.
The attendees then heard presentations from 18 researchers highlighting mobility research at Michigan Tech. Topics ranged from connected and autonomous vehicles to technology enabling mobility, infrastructure, education, cybersecurity and human factors. Researchers from six university departments or centers took part in the presentations.
In addition, a poster session provided the audience with more in depth information on mobility research featuring student and researcher projects, educational opportunities and facilities available at Michigan Tech.
Keynote speaker Kirk Steudle closed the event by outlining Michigan’s Planet M, Govern Snyder’s initiative to recognize Michigan as a leader in mobility and encouraged Michigan Tech to participate in the initiative. Steudle updated attendees on recent legislative actions affecting connected and automated vehicles in the state and highlighted the American Center for Mobility (ACM) as an example of Michigan’s leadership in the field.
The event was organized and sponsored by Michigan Tech’s mobility-affiliated research centers and institutes including the Advanced Power Systems Research Center and Mobile Lab (APSRC), Keweenaw Research Center (KRC) and the Michigan Tech Transportation Institute (MTTI) plus the Vice President of Research Office, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Mechanics Department and the College of Engineering.
Michigan Tech was selected by the US Department of Transportation as one of the seventeen Beyond Traffic Innovation Centers (BTIC) in the nation. According to the DOT, “These Centers will be recognized by the DOT as forward-thinking and influential institutions that are capable of driving solutions to the challenges and trends identified in Beyond Traffic 2045, the US DOT’s report on current and future issues in transportation. The centers will contribute by “convening decision-makers in their megaregion and coordinating related research, curriculum, outreach, and other activities.” The Michigan Tech Center was selected as one of the three universities to serve the rural areas of the United States.
The proposal, led by the Michigan Tech Transportation Institute (MTTI), collaborated with multiple centers and institutes on campus, including: Advanced Power Systems Research Center (APSRC), Center for Technology & Training (CTT), Keweenaw Research Center (KRC), Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI), Rail Transportation Program (RTP), Sustainable Futures Institute (SFI) and the Tribal Technical Assistance Program (TTAP). Additionally, numerous individual campus researchers provided information for the submission.
MTTI Director Pasi Lautala (CEE) will serve as the Beyond Traffic Coordinator, participating in future events related to regional development with the USDOT. MTTI is also planning to use the Center as encouragement for faculty, staff and students interested in transportation issues to get involved in working toward solving our nation’s transportation issues.