2015-16 Seminars

The Civil and Environmental Engineering Department seminar series is held on two Wednesdays a month from 4:00-4:50 pm in the Classroom Building, CB204E. The SD Mines and engineering community are welcome to attend. Professional development hour (PDH) certificates will be mailed to attendees upon request for the seminars noted below. For more information, contact Dr. Soonkie Nam (Soonkie.Nam@sdsmt.edu).

Spring 2016

TITLE: MS THESIS DEFENSE: Potential organic carbon exports within the upper Rapid Creek watershed due to mountain pine beetle outbreak
EIT, Graduate Research Assistant at SDSM&T
Mountain pine beetle (MPB) (Dendroctonus ponderosae) infestations in pine dominated watershed (Pinus spp.) forests may affect drinking water supplies through increased loading of organic carbon, due to increased tree mortality and decomposition. Both total organic carbon (TOC) and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) are precursors to the formation of toxic disinfection by-products (DBP) in municipal water supplies. Since 1996, the MPB has infested 174,000 hectares of forest within the Black Hills of South Dakota. This research will examine the seasonal impact of MPB infestation on surface water quality in Ponderosa pine watersheds, as well as look for relationships between MPB infested area and organic carbon loading. TOC and DOC analysis will be conducted from sampling sites located in the upper reaches of Rapid Creek and Castle Creek. Sampling will be conducted from the main waterways of Rapid and Castle Creek, as well as from small tributaries contributing to these streams, over a one year time period. Specific ultraviolet absorption (SUVA) analysis will be completed to determine a relative aromaticity of organic carbon at each location. Dissolved metals analysis will be conducted for each sampling location and Durov plots will be created to show variations in water chemistry with flow. To develop an understanding of carbon input to surface water from sub-basins of varying MPB infestation and tree mortality, correlations between organic carbon input, SUVA, dissolved mineral constituents, and percent tree mortality of each sub-basin will be determined using Pearson product moment correlations. The Black Hills MPB outbreak may necessitate long-term changes to watershed management as both the quantity and quality of local and regional surface water and groundwater resources may be impacted due to the MPB outbreak. This work is also intended to serve as a benchmark from which other systems experiencing similar MPB infestations can be applied better understand present and expected future water quality fluctuations.

Wednesday, February, 3, 2016

TITLE: Ethics in the Workplace
PRESENTER: Todd Kenner, President and Chief Executive Officer of RESPEC
ABSTRACT: Ethical decisions are not just professional choices, but life choices.  We will explore the challenges with making Right vs. Right decisions and choosing between competing goods.  Asking ourselves four questions, we will decide between compelling responsibilities to define “your way.”
BIO: Todd Kenner brings more than 30 years of experience in the engineering and consulting industry to his role as President and Chief Executive Officer of RESPEC.  Mr. Kenner joined RESPEC in 2009 to lead growth and ownership strategies for the company before being elevated to President in 2011.  Prior to his current tenure with RESPEC, Mr. Kenner was President of a $700 million A/E/C infrastructure consulting firm.  Over the past five years, Mr. Kenner has led RESPEC’s market diversification, growth and leadership transition resulting in the doubling of revenues and profits.  RESPEC’s market success has been achieved through relentless client service and building on specialized technical services that are industry differentiators.  Mr. Kenner has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and an Honorary Doctorate in public service from the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology.  Aligned with RESPEC’s commitment to social responsibility, Mr. Kenner serves on various community and non-profit Boards including: South Dakota School of Mines & Technology University Advisory Board, Rapid City Economic Development Foundation and the Community Health Center of the Black Hills Board.
**PDH Credit Available

Fall 2015

Wednesday, December 2, 2015, 4pm CB204E

TITLE: Bioelectrochemical/Membrane Technologies for Enabling Energy-Efficient Wastewater Reuse in Power Plants
PRESENTER: Namita Shrestha, PhD Student, CEE, SD Mines
ABSTRACT: The power plants consume nearly ~40% of the total freshwater withdrawals in the United States. Water usage and electricity generation at thermoelectric power has tremendous impact on Water-Energy Nexus which is of increasing interest in present world. The goal of this research is to evaluate the feasibility of a novel bioelectrochemical approach for treating the municipal wastewater, enabling its reuse as a cooling water in power plants, all with a net production of electric power at ambient conditions. The proposed bioelectrochemical approach is a superior alternative to the energy-intensive aerobic process in a typical wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). The proposed approach can reduce the energy consumption and sludge production by at least 50% each in WWTPs. We obtained promising preliminary results, the power density and COD removal was as high as 2500 mW/m2and 90%. The effluent from biomodule meet the regulated limits for typical contaminants (e.g. BOD, TSS, Ca, Mg, Mn, Cu, Al, and S) of concern in power plants. Residual chemical oxygen demand and sloughed particulates (including microbes) in the effluent of the biomodule will be treated through membrane ultrafiltration (UF), yielding a high-quality effluent for subsequent reuse in power plants.
BIO: Namita Shrestha is a graduate student working with Dr. Gadhamshetty in the CEE department of SD Mines for Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) project. She joined SD Mines on fall 2014 at PhD program of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Currently, she is working on a research for treating municipal wastewater using microbial fuel cell and reusing the treated water for power plant cooling. Namita is originally from Nepal and got her Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Institute of Engineering, Pulchowk Campus, Nepal. She completed her Master’s degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from same institute.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015, 12pm CM 310

TITLE: M.S. Thesis Defense: Improving the Engineering Properties of Expansive Belle Fourche Clay by Using Chemical Additives
PRESENTER:  Mustafa Dayioglu, Graduate Student, CEE, SD Mines
ABSTRACT: Improving the engineering properties of expansive soils is very critical in northern and mid-west regions of the United States. Various treatment techniques have been used to mitigate the volumetric instability and increase the strength of expansive soils. One of the preferred methods is mixing the expansive soils with chemical additives due to their quick response, high performance, repeatability and reliability. In this study, expansive Belle Fourche clay (B), which was collected from Rapid City, South Dakota, was mixed with the following chemical additives; class C fly ash (FC) and class F fly ash (FF) and lime. Swelling pressure (SWP) and unconfined compressive strength (UCS) of the mixtures were analyzed under different curing periods. Furthermore, freeze and thaw (F-T) effects on the swelling and strength properties of the clay and selected mixtures were investigated.
BIO: Mustafa Dayioglu was graduated from Istanbul Technical University with his BA degree in Civil Engineering in 2007 and MS degree in the same university in 2010. From 2007 to 2012, he worked at several challenging and unique civil engineering projects in Turkey. When he moved to the US in 2012, he volunteered at a SHA-funded project at the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park. He started his graduate studies at the Department of Civil Engineering at SD Mines in 2014 and he is expecting to graduate in December 2015. 

Friday, November 13, 2015 -- 3:00 pm, CM 310

TITLE: From Roadkill to Road Wise: How to Design Wildlife Crossing Structures Across the West
PRESENTER:  Patricia Cramer, PhD, Independent Wildlife Researcher and Assistant Professor, Department of Wildland Resources, Utah State University
ABSTRACT:  Wildlife-vehicle collisions (WVC) are a major problem in South Dakota. An average of 5,000 of these collisions are reported each year, and many times more wild animals are killed in unreported crashes. South Dakota will need rising star engineers and wildlife ecologists to help design the best solutions to mitigate these collisions today and in the future. Dr. Cramer works with transportation and wildlife agencies across the Western U.S. to help research wildlife crossing structures and create the most effective designs that pass mule deer, elk, moose, and other wildlife. This talk will give an overview of the science and practice of wildlife crossing structures, and detail the scope of the problem of WVC in South Dakota and steps for the future.
BIO: Patricia Cramer is an independent wildlife researcher as well as a Research Assistant Professor at Utah State University in Logan, Utah. She works at the state and national levels to research and guide transportation mitigation that accommodates wildlife. She has researched wildlife crossings and helped create processes to prioritize wildlife-vehicle collision areas in: Utah, Idaho, Montana, Washington, Oregon, Vermont, South Dakota, and nationally. Her work in Utah to research the best structural designs for wildlife crossings won the 2013 Federal Highways Environmental Excellence Award for Research. She shares her knowledge with both wildlife professionals and engineers to help agencies create the most effective wildlife crossing structures.
**PDH Credit Available

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

TITLE: Living Off the Grid
PRESENTER:  John Niemela, P.E., Vice President of the ASCE Black Hills Branch, Rapid City, SD
ABSTRACT:  When looking for a retirement home in the Black Hills in 2006, the property that best fit our requirements just happened to be off-grid with a diesel generator, inverter and battery bank to provide household electrical power.  In fact, it also happened to be an earth-sheltered home.  The most difficult decision was whether we could live with the need to run the generator on a regular basis, which we decided was not a major problem.  After living off-grid full-time now for the past 8 years, the addition of solar power and other improvements have simplified our routine and reduced the amount of fossil fuel we use.  The presentation will focus on the use of solar power for rural living in the Black Hills.
BIO: Mr. John Niemela graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1974 with a Bachelor of Civil Engineering and spent 32 years in the power industry working for Minnesota Power in Duluth, MN., primarily in the renewable energy field of hydroelectric power.  His primary responsibilities included relicensing of MP's 11 hydroelectric stations, dam safety, dam rehabilitation, and operating license compliance.  John has been active in ASCE serving as President of the Duluth Section and currently Vice President of the Black Hills Branch and Practitioner Advisor at the SDSM&T.  John is a Registered Professional Engineer in Minnesota and South Dakota. 
**PDH Credit Available

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

TITLE:  Recent Experience on Research Based Dam Removal, Stream Restoration, and Levee Design
PRESENTER:  Bret Lingwall,  Ph.D., P.E., Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, SD Mines
ABSTRACT:  Water projects around the globe are commonly undergone with minimal engineering or rarely utilize the latest research to enhance the design for constructability, sustainability, or long term performance. Often, these simplified designs are also more costly and potentially dangerous. However, when up to date research is implemented on projects, the three goals of constructability, sustainability, and long term performance can all be met economically. This presentation will show how inter-disciplinary use of research based practice is changing how engineers work across the country with contractors, stakeholders, and owners to deliver vital water projects to the public. 
BIO:  Dr. Lingwall specializes in geotechnical and earthquake engineering; with 4 years of teaching experience prior to joining SDSM&T since earning his PhD in 2011. His research has been sponsored primarily by industry. Dr. Lingwall has published over 20 journal papers, conference papers and research reports. His active research portfolio includes numerical modeling, dams and levees, liquefied soils, seismic hazards analysis, surface fault rupture mitigation, very soft soils, retaining walls, geosynthetics, paving materials, laterally loaded foundations, and ground improvement. Dr. Lingwall also researches EPS Geofoam, and its use to prevent damage to buried structures from faulting, landslides, and lateral spread. Dr. Lingwall also has expertise with modeling, design and construction using EPS geofoam and other lightweight fill materials such as expanded shale or scoria. Dr. Lingwall has 10 years of global high-end design experience on billion dollar infrastructure and energy projects, and has served as a technical advisor for a variety of projects in Canada, South Korea, Guam, and across the US. Dr. Lingwall is currently mentoring a PhD candidate at the University of Utah.
**PDH Credit Available

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

TITLE:  Decentralized Alternatives for Sustainable Water System
PRESENTER:  Hyunju Jeong, Ph.D., Research Scientist, Civil and Environmental Engineering, SD Mines
ABSTRACT:  Centralized water systems built with the Romanesque big-pipe concept in urban areas have been criticized for the following issues. Combined or separate sewer systems discharge water pollutants directly into the environment and make urban areas vulnerable to flooding in the case of intense rain events. Besides, water supply systems withdraw all water from the environment, and potable water produced and transported with electricity is used for potable as well as non-potable purposes. Accordingly, decentralized alternatives (e.g., green roof and rainwater harvesting) to control stormwater runoff or save or supply water on site have been used for resolving those issues. However, studies for quantifying their environmental effects are limited to evaluating few alternatives for a same function regardless of external factors such as land use or population density. Thus, three low impact development technologies (i.e., bioretention area, rainwater harvesting, and xeriscaping), and small-scale greywater reclamation systems were targeted on the purpose of simulating how much the alternatives having different functions could improve the environmental sustainability of the City of Atlanta’s centralized water system. The alternatives were designed in nine residential zones and life cycle assessment was conducted to measure environmental sustainability. The research could not only compare the environmental sustainability of decentralized alternatives against centralized water systems, but also suggest a framework to conduct the comparison properly in the aspect of energy-water-land use nexus.
BIO:  Hyunju Jeong is a postdoctoral research scientist working with Dr. Stone and Heidi Sieverding in the CEE department of SDSM&T for a DOT SunGrant project. Currently, she is designing biodiesel supply chains optimized in environmental, economic, and social aspects using GIS and python tools. Dr. Jeong is originally from South Korea and got her doctoral degree in Georgia Tech with the research topic of water system sustainability.
**PDH Credit Available