Rail and Intermodal Transportation Summer Youth Program Partners with University of Wisconsin Superior

by University of Wisconsin Superior

Posted on Jul 18, 2018

Transportation and Logistics Research Center hosts Rail and Intermodal Summer Youth Program

The University of Wisconsin-Superior Transportation and Logistics Research Center partnered with Michigan Technological University to host the 9th annual Rail and Intermodal Summer Youth Program in July.

The 16 high school participants coming from as far away as New York, Florida and Colorado began the event at Michigan Tech before arriving in the Superior-Duluth region for two days of industry tours.

9th annual Rail and Intermodal Summer Youth Program at BNSF

Participants toured a BNSF railroad yard and maintenance facility in Superior and had the opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at Halvor Lines trucking company and drive a semi-truck simulator.

Participants also assisted a Wisconsin Department of Transportation intern and UW-Superior Transportation and Logistics Management student Hunter Alitz analyze a highway rail crossing for compliance with state law.

9th annual Rail and Intermodal Summer Youth Program at Duluth Terminal

A tour of the Canadian National’s rail intermodal terminal in Duluth, which opened in 2017, was a new feature of the program this year. The two employees who led the terminal tour, Brian Granholm and Natalie Berger, are both graduates of Transportation and Logistics Management. Participants learned about the terminal’s operations, the maintenance and repair of containers, the kinds of products moving through the terminal, and how the Duluth terminal fits into the North American intermodal network. The reach stacker at the terminal was a favorite point of interest.

Before leaving the Twin Ports, the participants enjoyed a North Shore Scenic Railroad train ride from the Duluth depot to Lester River and back, as well as spending time looking at the array of locomotives and rolling stock at the Lake Superior Railroad Museum.

“I had a fun time being around the students and getting the opportunity to go on all the tours with them,” said Allison Busick, UW-Superior Transportation and Logistics Management student and Summer Youth Program chaperone. “It was a great experience to see these enthusiastic kids come together to learn about rail and intermodal transportation.”

A special thank you to all of the companies and organizations which support this program to help recruit and train the next generation of transportation professionals.

University of Wisconsin Superior Article

Where Rubber Meets the Road

by Civil and Environmental Engineering

A team from Michigan Tech recently traveled to Kalamazoo and Muskegon counties in Lower Michigan to conduct field research with recycled rubber materials from scrap tires. The research group was led by Zhanping You (CEE) with students Siyu Chen, Dongdong Ge, Isaac Pantti and Brock Rudlaff.

The Kalamazoo project was a result of a joint effort of the Road Commission of Kalamazoo County (RCKC), Michigan Tech and others. Joanna I. Johnson, managing director of RCKC and You jointly applied for funding through the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s (MDEQ) Scrap Tire Development Grant program. For the project, four test sections were contructed—hot rubber thin overlay (HRTO), conventional thin overlay, hot rubber chip seal (HRCS) and conventional chip seal.

Chip seal consists of a spray-on asphalt emulsion covered with aggregate chips, while overlay involves a new layer of an asphalt mixture on a milled surface. The experiment included the addition of scrap-tire rubber to improve the property of the asphalt mixture. This could provide a longer sustainable pavement and another application for recycled tires.

“The purpose of the project was to evaluate the new reacted and activated rubber to investigate the applicability of such rubber, mainly composed of finely grinded scrap tires,” You says. “The aim is to create more cost-effective, long-lasting, safe and environmentally friendly mixes and surface treatments,” This was the first time such a product was used in the United States according to You.

He says preliminary results, on a three-mile test section, show HRTO provided a smoother and quieter surface compared with a traditional overlay. The HRCS posed challenges to properly applying the material at the beginning of the project.

The Muskegon County project included emulsified rubber asphalt chip seal and conventional chip seal for a county road. Again, the work was funded by the Scrap Tire Development Grant program. Paul Bouman, highway engineer with the Muskegon County Road Commission, has worked closely with Michigan Tech researchers over the years and helped identify the test sections.

You says, “the bond strength between the chip seals and the old pavement will be evaluated under various temperature and freeze-thaw conditions. Samples from these field projects will be tested in asphalt materials laboratories at Michigan Tech, in order to better understand the road performance with these rubber materials.”


Original Article in CEE Blog


Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) – Informational Slides & Meeting Recording

MTTI recently hosted an informational meeting regarding  two FRA BAA’s currently open for concept papers and proposals.

This year, there are 2 BAA’s:

BAA #1 is a general announcement with a listing for multiple research topics organized by FRA’s four research areas of Track, Rolling Stock and Equipment, Train Control, and Human Factors.  This BAA requires a 2 step proposal process with  submission of a concept paper to the FRA, who then extends an invitation for a full proposal submission if concept paper is selected.

BAA #2 is an announcement focused on Intelligent Railroad System Research, and is restricted to university and university-led teams as qualifying applicants.  This BAA requires a full proposal submission.  No concept paper is necessary.

For more information, including program guidelines, please visit the FRA BAA website.

For MTTI meeting recording and informational slides, please visit here.

Beyond Traffic: Growing Transportation Research @ Tech

The Michigan Tech Transportation Institute (MTTI) recently held a general meeting for the campus transportation community and its MTTI membership titled: Beyond Traffic:  Growing Transportation Research @ Tech.

A networking reception and poster display opened the evening session before MTTI Director Pasi Lautala provided information to the group on MTTI resources available, plus upcoming funding opportunities.   Executive Committee member Jake Hiller (CEE) delivered an introduction to the National Road Research Alliance (NRRA), in which MTTI has been a long time partner.

Slides used in the meeting are available here.  Beyond Traffic Meeting April 2018


National Road Research Alliance (NRRA) Highlights MTTI as Partner in March 2018 Newsletter

The National Road Research Alliance (NRRA), a pooled fund that focuses on solving problems for local, regional and national research, tech transfer and implementation needs, posted a profile of the Michigan Tech Transportation Institute (MTTI) in their March 2018 newsletter.

MTTI has long been a partner of the NRRA and will be hosting their Director Glenn Engstrom at a meeting open to all campus researchers on Tuesday, April 3 from 5-7:30 p.m. in the MUB alumni lounge.
NRRA Newsletter

Beyond Traffic: Growing Transportation Research @ Tech

Open to all researchers on campus, join the Michigan Tech Transportation Institute (MTTI) to discuss transportation research opportunities on April 3, 2018 in the MUB Alumni Lounge.  Find out how MTTI works and where you fit into the picture.

A reception and dinner will be hosted along with an address by keynote speaker Glenn Engstrom from the Minnesota Department of Transportation and the National Road Research Alliance (NRRA), a pooled fund that focuses on solving problems for local, regional and national research, tech transfer and implementation needs.  MTTI partners with both MnDOT and the NRRA.

A reception will be held at 5:00 pm followed by dinner and keynote address.

To register, please enter here.

MTTI Provides Sponsorship Funding for 2018 SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge

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.

More information here.

MTTI Supports Local Youth Program for Women

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 Researchers and Students Attend 2018 Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting

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).

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