Research Highlights

Drones and Natural Disasters

Typically surveying natural disasters like earthquakes, floods, and landslides involves putting boots on the ground and using tools like measuring tape or GPS to take stock of how the area has been affected. As you might imagine this takes a significant amount of time, is potentially dangerous, and costs a lot to pursue.

Dead Zone Boat

A lake covered in green, thick algae is not only unpleasant to look at, it can also mean that natural toxins are negatively impacting other organisms in the lake.

To better understand the health of lakes, Assistant Professor Branko Kerkez is developing an autonomous unmanned boat attached with temperature sensors to define hypoxic or dissolved oxygen areas in Michigan's smaller lakes.

Pile Driver Sensors

When piles are driven into soil to provide foundational support for structures, vibrations are caused that can create cracks in deep foundations for nearby structures, like bridges.

Traditionally, these vibrations are measured by ground surface sensors, but the length needed to travel from deep underground in order to reach the sensors is telling only part of the story.

Mercury in the Air

Many people have heard about the dangers of eating fish contaminated with mercury, but not everyone realizes that one of the ways mercury gets in the atmosphere is through coal-fired power plants.

Coal-fired power plants utilize a highly charged electric field, with the help of an electrostatic precipitator (ESP), to trap ash and other particulates. This keeps the amount of ash escaping from the plant very low. However, mercury is found in coal, and the ESPs are less adept at capturing it.

Urine as fertilizer

Assistant Professor Krista Wigginton’s research on urine recycling is the topic of a new video from Michigan Engineering.

Make It Earthquake-Proof

Associate Professor Jason McCormick is in a new MConnex video about earthquake engineering.

The video explains that modern structures are designed to absorb damages without collapsing, but an event like an earthquake can quickly escalate construction repair costs for aging buildings. McCormick and his team are looking into materials rarely used in the construction world for retro-fitting older structures and providing a type of affordable earthquake insulation barrier.

Making Local, Global in Finland

Creating a Roadmap for Finnish Clean Tech

Professor Peter Adriaens is used to thinking outside the box. About nine years ago, after a long career specializing in biodegradation and bioremediation, he made a career shift from focused environmental research into bridging environmental engineering with entrepreneurial business development and finance. Today, he is a professor in the Environmental and Water Resources Engineering (EWRE) program as well as a professor of entrepreneurship and strategy in the Ross School of Business.

Improving Our Understanding of Lake Surface Evaporation

Understanding the Great Lakes system is crucial for the millions of stakeholders that are impacted by the country’s supply of fresh surface water.

But the lakes have been full of surprises lately. Lakes Michigan and Huron rose above their historic average in September 2014, yet the water was at the lowest level ever recorded only two years ago.

Drugs in the Water

Professor Nancy Love is featured in a new video from MConneX titled, “Bad Medicine? Drugs in the water.”

Love explains in the video that our bodies don't absorb all the pharmaceutical drugs we take. Much of them pass through our systems into urine and end up in wastewater treatment plants.

Researchers are working to detect those pharmaceuticals and test approaches to remove them. Love discusses what we know and what we don't know about this issue and gives advice on how consumers can best filter pharmaceuticals out at the tap.

Jim Wight

Professor Jim Wight’s crown grows heavy, as it is made of concrete. His former graduate students made the crown, which includes a plaque that reads “King of Concrete.”

While Wight is not officially a king, he has been recognized in many ways for his expertise and service in the field of concrete.

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