Dr. Scott Kenner sends greetings from Mongolia:
Well, it has been a little over two months and I am finding plenty of things to do. I am living in a fairly new apartment from which I walk pretty much everywhere I go. It is about five minutes to the Mongolia University of Science and Technology (MUST) campus, which is very nice. I am teaching two courses; one for the Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) masters degree program on Monitoring and Modeling River Basins. The IWRM program is a joint program between the MUST, National University of Mongolia (NUM) and the Agricultural University. The second course on Hydrologic Modeling is for the Meteorological and Hydrology Department of the National University of Mongolia. Both classes have about 18 students.
The language is a big challenge. Two weeks ago I started private lessons, beginning with the alphabet. It is a big challenge for me. I really need to build vocabulary and that is difficult.
I have talked with several faculty members from MUST and NUM about research. I am working with Soninhishig, head of the Biology Department at NUM. Dr. Soninhishig has a project on the Orkhon River to establish environmental low flows because there is a major reservoir proposed for the lower part of the river. We were able to visit three sites and conduct a full EMAP Physical Habitat Assessment. She was excited about the data and the students with us worked very hard. The Orkhon River is in a beautiful broad valley which is full of a historical lava flow.
I have met several very kind and helpful people and Ayurzana, a MS graduate student helps me with everything. He is my right hand person. We are starting to develop a research project on storm water for Ulanbataar City that could potentially support his doctoral studies.
|Dr. Kenner in Mongolia|
The University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand awarded Dr. James Stone an Erskine teaching fellowship. Dr. Stone will teach two courses at the university between June and September 2013. According to the University of Canterbury, each year about 70 distinguished, international academic visitors with expertise in courses offered by the Faculties of Commerce, Engineering or Science are invited to the University of Canterbury as guest lecturers.
Dr. Sangchul Bang and Dr. Sookie Bang continue their research in Mongolia with $70,000 of additional funding from Lotte Engineering and Construction of Korea. The project involving the use of microbially induced calcite precipitation (MICP), also known as bacterial cement, in combination with soil fibers to strengthen the soil to prevent the sand particles from becoming airborne as dust storms, a growing problem in Mongolia. Phase two of the project will involve laboratory wind erosion tests using a wind tunnel on sand samples that are reinforced with bio-degradable fibers and MICP. Collaborators at the National University of Mongolia and Mongolian University of Science and Technology will duplicate the experiments in Mongolia with local desert sand, prior to the third year field trial in Mongolia.
Dr. Andrea Surovek was awarded $40,000 by the Steel Joist Institute to continue work on the use of equivalent beam theory to estimate the moment of inertia and weight of steel joists selected for building designs using commercial software. The overall goal of this project is to provide the Engineer of Record (EOR) an inclusive method for estimating joist weights and associated costs for steel joists subjected to a variety of cases, such as drifted snow. Current series load tables work well for uniform loads but leave the EOR with many unanswered questions when it comes to non-uniform loadings. Stephen Kilber, MSCE student, is currently working with Dr. Surovek on the research. Dr. Surovek's previous work with SJI validated the use of Virtual Joist Girder Tables that are now available from SJI.
Dr. Soonkie Nam is collaborating with former CEE professor and professional advisory board member Dr. Lance Roberts on a new South Dakota Department of Transportation project. The design of flexible pavement systems has primarily been based on the road test conducted in Ottawa, Illinois in the late 1950s, but has since become inefficient because of limitations related to traffic loading, climatic effects, design life prediction and reliability. A flexible pavement design approach that couples effective stress, time, and temp would be advantageous to the overall design process. A new lab test method, coupled with an improved modeling approach that may be able to predict the true rutting and cracking potential of asphalt, is under investigation.
Dr. James Stone has received two grants to develop life cycle assessment models including $13,000 from the South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council and $11,000 from Colorado Beef Council.
Dr. Sangchul Bang was invited by the Federal Highway Administration to present research on Full Depth Reclamation of Asphalt Pavements at the FHWA Western Regional In-Place Recycling Conference in Ontario, CA, in September.
In July, Dr. Andrea Surovek travelled to Timisoara, Romania to participate in Connections VII, a by-invitation-only international workshop held every four years. Dr. Surovek presented the paper, "Friction Stir Welding of Steel," co-authored by Dr. Bharat Jasthi and Dr. Christian Widener of the Arbegast Advanced Materials Processing (AMP) Center. She and Dr. Jashti have also been invited to present a session on the topic at the 2013 North American Steel Construction Conference (NASCC) in April in St. Louis, Mo.
|Dr. Surovek at the Castle Hunedoara in Transylvania|
In October, Dr. Surovek was invited to present the results of the workshop, "Innovations in Steel Design: Research Needs for Global Competitiveness," to the American Institute of Steel Construction Research Committee.
Recent PhD graduate Joshua Valder served as lead author for the article, "Multivariate statistical approach to estimate mixing proportions for unknown end members," published in the Journal of Hydrology. Additional authors on the paper included CEE faculty member Dr. Scott Kenner, Dr. Arden Davis (GeolE) and Andrew Long of the US Geological Survey.
As lead author, Josh Anderson (MES PhD student) published a paper in the International Journal of Geo-Engineering entitled, "Application of Microbiological Calcite to Fiber Reinforced Soils to Reduce Wind Erosion Potential," (Vol. 4, No. 2, pp. 47-54, June, 2012). Co-authors included SDSM&T faculty Dr. Sangchul Bang and Dr. Sookie Bang.
The paper, Looking Towards the Future, co-authored by Dr. Andrea Surovek and Dr. Judy Liu (Purdue University) was published in the October issue of Modern Steel Construction, available online at www.modernsteel.com.
In February and May of this year, Dr. Venkataswamy Ramakrishnan, CEE Distinguished Professor Emeritus, was recently invited to India to present keynote papers and special lectures. He gave talks in four different cities in India, Aurangabad, Jalgaon, Ahmednagar, and Nashik, entitled "Fibers Reinforced Concrete Past Present and Future" and "Bacterial Concrete, Basalt Rods, and Synthetic Fiber Cables."
In June, Dr. Scott Kenner and Dr. Jennifer Benning worked with 250 Native American students this summer during the GEAR Up program. Dr. Kenner lectured about water quality, monitoring, and assessment processes to sophomore, junior, and senior Gear Up students to prepare them for fieldwork. These activities were part of the education outreach for an EPA grant. Drs. Kenner and Benning have to develop a watershed management plan for the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
Dr. Sangchul Bang was one of several authors for a paper on conference proceedings presented at the 22nd International Offshore and Polar Engineering Conference in Rhodes, Greece, in June, 2012. The paper was entitled, "Design and Installation of Small-Scale Monopod Suction Pile and Tripod Suction Buckets for Offshore Wind Farms."
In October, Dr. Sookie S. Bang (CBE), Dr. Sangchul Bang (CEE), Josh Anderson (MES Ph.D. student), and co-authors presented and published a technical paper entitled, Application of Microbial Calcite to Hemp Fiber Reinforced Soils to Combat Desertification, at the 11th International Symposium on New Technologies for Urban safety of Mega Cities in Asia, held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. This international conference was sponsored by the Office of the President of Mongolia, the National Security Council of Mongolia, and the Government of Ulaanbaatar City. This research is part of the three-year research project sponsored by Lotte Engineering & Construction, Korea.
Dr. Stone's research group has been presenting work across the state and country. Presentations by Dr. Stone and colleagues include: Life cycle assessment modeling of South Dakota ethanol production to achieve California low carbon fuel standards presented at the Center for BioEnergy Research and Development Industrial Advisory Board Meeting, Raleigh NC, in May; Life Cycle Assessment Analysis for Active and Passive Acid Mine Drainage Treatment Options for the Stockton Coal Mine, New Zealand, presented at the Eastern South Dakota Water Conference, Brookings, SD, in October 2012; Life Cycle Assessment Analysis for Active and Passive Acid Mine Drainage Treatment presented at the Life Cycle Assessment XII conference, Tacoma WA, in September; and The use of Life Cycle Assessment as a sustainability metric for environmental and agricultural systems presented at the University of South Dakota Sustainability Seminar Series, Vermillion SD, in October.
SDSM&T faculty members continually work to improve student learning through participation in educational workshops. Dr. James Stone attended an ASCE ExCEEd workshop held at Florida Gulf Coast University in July. The ExCEEd Teaching Workshop is a six-day practicum that provides engineering educators with an opportunity to improve teaching. Dr. Stone also attended the TeGrate teaching sustainability workshop for GeoSciences at Carlton College in July.
Dr. Andrea Surovek attended the ASEE Advanced National Effective Teaching Institute (NETI2) in Seattle in October. NETI-2 is designed for instructors exploring techniques that pose greater challenges to both instructors and students and promote greater learning and skill acquisition. Dr. Jennifer Benning will also be attending the NETI workshop sponsored by ASEE in January.
Dr. Jennifer Benning attended an EPSCoR-funded workshop, Living on Earth III in October, to foster collaborative efforts that address sustainability science by building critical science and research capacity in understanding complex and coupled human-natural/socio-ecological systems. Dr. Benning also serves on the EPSCoR Socio-Ecological Science Steering Committee.
Dr. Molly Gribb attended a Cloud Peak Energy mine tour in June and had the pleasure of detonating a blast at the Cordero Rojo mine near Gillette, WY. She also visited with EnvE senior student, Kyle Doerr, who interned at Cloud Peak this summer.
|Dr. Gribb at the Cordero Rojo Mine operated by Cloud Peak Energy|