Fall 2019 Seminars

The Civil and Environmental Engineering Department seminar series is held on Wednesdays from 4:00-4:50 pm in the Mineral Industries Building, MI 222. 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. Gadhamshetty

Fall 2019


Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Time: 4:00PM Location: CM 310

Title: “Controlling aluminate phase hydration for sulfate resistance of portland-limestone cements" (Part 1)

and

Title: “Reaction Mechanism of Water in the Alkali Activated Geopolymer” (Part 2)
Presenter: Abu Naser Rashid Reza

Abstract (Part 1)

Sulfate optimization of the aluminate phase (C3A) in portland-limestone cements (PLCs) is critical for improving their hydration performance. This study investigates the changes in the sulfate attack performance of an undersulfated interground PLC (14.6% limestone) through the addition of gypsum. Isothermal calorimetry is used to measure the early-age hydration kinetics to optimize the SO3 content of the PLC. Sulfate expansion and strength loss of the undersulfated and optimized PLC in combination with fly ash is measured in both sodium sulfate and magnesium sulfate solutions. Sulfate optimization of the PLC reduced its expansion to a greater extent in magnesium sulfate and improved strength at later ages to a greater extent in sodium sulfate. Less physical deterioration was also observed for the optimized PLC samples. Fly ash incorporation resulted in improved expansion and strength loss performance for certain mixtures. Optimized samples underwent less sulfate attack as indicated by their higher calcium hydroxide contents measured by thermogravimetric analysis at later ages. The improved sulfate attack performance can be attributed in part to the formation of carboaluminate hydrates as determined by X-ray diffraction in the optimized PLC. This research highlights the importance of sulfate optimization in achieving PLCs with greater sulfate attack resistance.  

Abstract (Part 2)

In this research work part of the reaction mechanism in alkali activated geopolymers is going to be studied using comparative analysis with microwave based research work and other analytical characterization techniques. We know that aluminosilicate precursors can be activated with alkaline solution to make structural geopolymer materials, which can be an alternative material for ordinary Portland cement (OPC). But in part due to the lack of understanding about their reaction mechanisms, the usage of geopolymers as a construction material has been limited. Understanding the role of water during the formation of geopolymer gels is necessary to fully understand their reaction. It is assumed that most of the water bound in the alkaline activating solution is eventually released as free water during the reaction of the solution with an aluminosilicate powder. In this research, a pure aluminosilicate is going to be synthesized. This aluminosilicate with industrial grade metakaolin and blast furnace slag will be the precursors for geopolymers. Sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide alkaline solution are going to be used to activate the precursor materials.  In the microwave characterization of precursor materials, the dielectric properties will be correlated with the composition of the precursor powders.  Also, microwave materials characterization is going to be applied to investigate the role of water in these geopolymers during reaction at early ages. After that this data will be correlated with other analytical characterization tools like TGA, NMR, FTIR and XRD analysis for the quantification of water content in the alkali activated geopolymer. Mechanical properties of the geopolymers are also going to be measured. Finally all the analyzed data will be correlated to form a comprehensive and quantitative model that will predicts the volumetric change in phases in geopolymers as a function of degree of reaction. The outcomes of this research work will help the present understanding of the behavior and properties of both plastic and hardened geopolymer binders (e.g., rheology, setting time, dimensional stability, mechanical response, durability), and as a result it will allow such materials to become a fundamental of the construction and infrastructure industries in the future

Bio:

Abu Naser Rashid Reza received his bachelor’s degree in Materials and Metallurgical Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), Bangladesh in 2011 and master’s degree in Materials Science and Engineering from Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST), KOREA in 2016. He worked as an assistant manager engineer in Taluker Group of Industries, Jessore, Bangladesh (2011 - 2014) before joining to the Ph.D. program in South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (SDSMT) in August 2018. His research primarily deals with finding the reaction mechanism of water in alkali activated geopolymer.

 

Wednesday, November 20, 2019 (2 Presenters)

Time: 4:00PM Location: CM 310

Title: “Tuning Biofilm phenotypes with graphene Coatings. A case study of reduced graphene oxide on porous nickel electrodes for enabling growth of methylotrophs"  
Presenter:  Jamil Islam, Mohammad 


Abstract:

In bioelectrochemical systems (BESs), the bio-electro catalytic activities are strongly determined by the surface properties of a working electrode. The biofilm growth on the electrode surface, biological interactions of microbes with electrode surfaces, and the resulting biofilm phenotypes are influenced by the surficial properties (e.g. chemical composition of electrode, surface charges, surface area, surface roughness, wettability and porosity), and these dynamics reflect both on spatial and temporal scale. The bioelectrocatalytic capability of an electrode (anode or cathode) can therefore be enhanced using the surface modifications approaches. This study reports the use of multi-layer 3D coatings of reduced graphene oxide (rGO) on porous nickel foam (NF) electrodes to grow Rhodobacter Sphaeroides spp biofilms that convert methanol directly into electricity in microbial fuel cells (MFCs). Electrochemical methods were used to assess the methylotrophic activity on rGO/NF electrodes. The power density and current density offered by rGO/NF (1200 mW m-2 and 680 mA m-2) were 220-fold and 540-fold higher compared to bare NF (5.40 mW m-2 and 1.26 mA m-2) respectively. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy results show that rGO/NF is effective in suppressing charge transfer resistance to methanol oxidation by 40-fold compared to the control. Microscopy tests followed by Goniometer studies confirm that the rGO coatings improve the hydrophilicity of NF electrodes (Contact angle, CA 0) when compared to bare NF (CA, 128) . Finally, we perform a detailed cost analysis of the vitamin-C-assisted GO reduction chemistry on NF electrodes for MFC applications.

Bio:

Jamil Islam started his PhD program in Environmental Engineering in Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in Spring 2019 semester. He got his bachelor’s degree in Materials and Metallurgical Engineering (MME) from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), Bangladesh. He has two years of industrial Job experience as a Quality control Engineer. Jamil Islam received his master’s degree in Chemistry from Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST), South Korea. His master’s research field was Surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS). Currently his PhD research topic are surface modifications of electrode materials, bioelectrochemical oxidation of methane, bioelectrocatalysis, methylotrophs etc. under the supervision of Dr. Gadhamshetty. 

AND

Time: 4:25PM Location: CM 310

Title: “Bioelectrochemical Systems for enabling the modern water infrastructure. A three-staged anaerobic treatment train for energy efficient wastewater treatment"
Presenter: Bhuvan Vemuri

Abstract: 

Bioelectrochemical systems provide an elegant platform for treating wastewater and simultaneously generating electricity and energy carriers including hydrogen and methane. Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are typically designed to generate electricity from organic fraction of wastewater. Typical components of MFC includes an anode, a cathode, and an ion-exchange membrane. The organic matter is oxidized on the anode surface to generate electrons and protons, both of which reach combine with electron acceptors such as potassium ferricyanide on the cathode surface. The protons pass via the ion exchange member to the cathode chamber where reaction occurs on cathode surface with oxygen dissolved in potassium ferricyanide to produce water. We present a case study of novel bioelectrochemical treatment train that integrates three-stage processes, thermophilic fermentation (Stage I), microbial fuel cell (Stage II), and ultra-filtration processes (Stage III). The first stage uses thermophiles isolated initially from Thermopolis, WY, for generating hydrogen using chemical oxygen demand from wastewater.  The first stage reduced the COD from ~ 200 mg/L to 53 mg/L. Stage II further reduced the COD to the limits defined by the NPDES permit. Stage III served as a polishing unit to eliminate remaining COD, microbial debris, foulants, and a range of metals. A 30-kDa poly (ether sulfone) ultrafiltration membrane (Microdyn-Nadir® UH030 P) used in stage III was rendered hydrophilic and foulants-resistant using mussel-inspired dopamine chemistry.

Bio: 

Bhuvan Vemuri received his bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Vignan’s University, India in 2014. He worked as a Jr. Site Engineer at Apple Constructions in Bengaluru (2014 - 2015). He received his master’s degree in Environmental Technology and Sustainability from New York Institute of Technology, New York, USA in 2016 before joining the Ph.D. program in South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (SDSMT) in August 2017. Bhuvan is passionate about research and highly motivated to emerge as an excellent teacher in higher education. He participated in number of outreach activities where he developed educational prototypes to demonstrate the use of wastewater as a resource. Bhuvan was recently trained to become a NASA@MyLibrary Science Communication Fellow by the South Dakota Discovery Center


Wednesday, November 13, 2019 (2 Presenters)

Time: 4:00PM Location: CM 310

Title: “Deerfield, Pactola, & Rapid Creek Systems Analysis Modeling"  
Presenter: Rosemary C, Squillace, Graduate Student


Abstract:

Located in the Black Hills region of southwestern South Dakota, Pactola and Deerfield reservoirs are managed by the United States Bureau of Reclamation. The reservoir system’s primary purposes are to provide municipal water supply to the City of Rapid City, irrigation and flood control with fish, wildlife and recreation being secondary beneficial functions. Currently, no simulation models have been developed to help the agency with management of the network. A reservoir simulation model of Deerfield, Pactola, and Rapid Creek was developed in HEC-ResSim to analyze and optimize reservoir system operations. General operating procedures and historical management of the reservoirs were investigated to develop an operational set representative of published system operations.  In addition, four operating alternatives were developed for each reservoir by manipulating minimum releases, tandem operations and zone elevations. In order to provide the model with inflow time series data, historical daily average inflow data for Deerfield and North Fork Rapid Creek, from October 1, 1958 through September 30, 2018, were obtained from HydroMet. Using a Monte Carlo method of sampling with replacement, which considered the conditional probability of historical climate trends, 500x60-year blocks of inflow data were  generated from the 61 years of historical data. Nine alternatives, created from combinations of various operating scenarios, were simulated for 40x60-year blocks and evaluated based on minimizing three parameters: (1) average yearly spilled water, (2) probability of Pactola low-water failure, and (3) the percent of days with low releases from Pactola. These metrics were used to evaluate the various alternatives and determine the preferred operational set. When compared to published system operations, the preferred operational set for Pactola and Deerfield reservoirs resulted in a reduction in (a) average yearly spilled water by 2,589 acre-ft (35.8%); (b) Pactola low elevation days by 0.11%, and; (c) percent of days with low releases by 29.87%. Further analysis was performed on the two alternatives by running 500x60-year simulations which yielded similar results when compared to the 40x60-year simulations. When comparing the general operating procedures to the preferred alternative for the 500x60-year simulations, results indicate a reduction in (a) the average yearly spilled water by 2,736 acre-ft (36.1%); (b) Pactola low-water failure by 0.052%, and; (c) the percent of days with low flow release by 30.78%. Analysis of the 500x60-year inflow data indicates an adequate number of simulations were performed for results to be statistically representative of the population of possible outcomes. A total average yearly inflow of 38.54 k acre-ft with a variance of 11.34 and a skewness of 0.171 was calculated based on the 500x60-year inflows. 

Bio:

Rosemary Squillace is pursuing her graduate degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering with an emphasis in Water Resources Engineering at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology with an expected graduation date of December 2019.   

AND

Time: 4:25PM Location: CM 310

Title: “Self-Healing and Desiccation Crack Behavior of Clayey Soil"
Presenter: Tanzila Tabassum

Abstract: 

Desiccation cracks in highly plastic clays are very common in earthen structures and possess a serious threat to the stability of earthen structures, including embankments, dams, and levees when subjected to rainfall events. Rapid rehabilitation of these desiccation cracks and regaining the strength will play a dominant role in governing the performance of these structures. However, these cracks at the primary stage are very hard to detect, and current monitoring techniques fail to detect the hairline cracks in the field either due to vegetation cover or the insensitivity of the sensors or randomness associated with the locations of crack formations. This research study is an attempt to develop a sustainable and resilient solution where the desiccation cracks can be arrested and can repair in its early stages without the need for external intervention. One such solution to reconcile the desiccation cracks can be achieved through self-healing of cracks. Self-healing is an intrinsic behavior in many nature’s materials including bones, skin, shells, silk, and cellular organisms that have long fascinated the engineers. Self-healing mechanism can be triggered either through the chemical or biological processes that can be classified into autogenous, or natural, and autonomous, or imposed. This research study explores the chemical, thermal, and biological ways to initiate the self-healing process in soils without comprising the performance metrics. The presentation covers the use of polymers and nano-montmorillonite (MMT) in evaluating the desiccation crack formation and healing efficiency in Kaolinite-rich and Western South Dakota soil. XRD, SEM and different laboratory studies were performed to characterize both soils. The results indicated that the addition of the additives led to substantial changes in crack formation, propagation, and increase healing efficiency. Also, the crack phenomenon, width, and depth were measured using an image processing tool. Threshold values on the percentage composition of the polymer and nano-MMT were established. This research highlights the adaptability of polymer and nano-MMT additives in relegating the cracking initiation and propagation with self-healing of the desiccation cracks. 

Bio: 

Tanzila Tabassum received her bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the Military Institute of Science and Technology (MIST), Bangladesh in 2015, and master’s degree in Civil Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) in 2018. She worked as a faculty member at Civil Engineering department in Military Institute of Science and Technology (MIST), Bangladesh (2016) and Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology (AUST) (2017-2018) before joining to the Ph.D. program in South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (SDSMT) in January 2019. Her research primarily deals with desiccation cracks behavior and its formation, sealing-healing mechanism of cracked soils by chemically and biologically induced additives, strength parameters of soils, eco-friendly soil inoculants and microstructural observation of soil particles.


Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Time: 4:00PM Location: CM 310

Title: “A Synergistic Materials Characterization Approach to Evaluate Microwave Excitation of Geopolymer Precursor Powders"  
Presenter: Jetsun L. Ty Thinley, P.E.

Abstract

Alkali-activated binders, or geopolymers, are sustainable structural materials with the potential to replace ordinary portland cement concrete for certain applications. To better understand the fundamental reaction mechanisms of these materials, a microwave materials characterization approach is used. This approach is uniquely well suited to such a study as microwave signals interact with dielectric (i.e., non-conducting) materials, and their dielectric (or electromagnetic) properties are related to important chemical and physical parameters. In this research work, the dielectric properties of common powders used to make geopolymers—cement, fly ash, lime, metakaolin, zeolite, silica fume, and slag—are measured over the S-band and X-band frequency ranges (i.e., 2.0 – 4.0 GHz and 8.2 – 12.4 GHz, respectively). Emphasis of this study is placed on identifying physical, elemental composition, mineralogical, and phase characterization factors contributing to the dielectric properties of these powders. Results reveal novel details about the dielectric properties of GPPs and establish correlations between pertinent chemical and physical parameters and dielectric properties. These findings will be critical inputs in more advanced characterization studies related to their reactivity in geopolymers.

Bio:

Jetsun L. Ty Thinley, P.E. is a PhD student at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (SDSMT).  He currently works under the supervision of Dr. Christopher Shearer.  Mr. Thinley’s research focus is on beneficial application of marginal fly ash for concrete. With ten years in the civil engineering industry, he has worked as a geotechnical engineer specializing in subsurface exploration and foundation design,  and a water resources engineer specializing in river modeling and sediment transport.  He received his B.S. from Christian Brothers University in Structural Engineering, and his M.S. from the University of Memphis in Water Resources Engineering. He is of Bhutanese/Kazakh heritage.


Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Time: 4:00PM Location: CM 310

Title: “Optimization Modeling to Support Integrated Stormwater Management Planning:  Renfrew Case Study, Calgary, Canada"  
Presenter: Scott D. Struck, EWRI President-Elect


Abstract

This presentation will share the process for the development of optimized results for the City of Calgary. The presentation will look at achieving infrastructure improvements that reduce localized flooding, eliminate basement back-ups, and improve downstream water quality using combinations of gray and green infrastructure. The project demonstrates how tailored algorithms and localized cost curves were used in conjunction with EPA SWMM and a triple bottom line post processing step to determine the most cost-efficient green and gray infrastructure capital improvement alternatives to meet City objectives.

Bio:

Dr. Scott Struck has more than 18 years of water resources experience. His practice focuses on the planning and implementation of distributed and centralized source control measures and other stormwater management approaches to meet drainage and regulatory requirements.  He is experienced in infrastructure prioritization, modeling, design, optimization, monitoring, performance assessment, economic and triple bottom line cost analyses, and integrated watershed planning. He has participated in projects throughout North America. He has contributed to the development of several computational stormwater management and cost tools, including the cost module of EPA’s National Stormwater Calculator and the US National Academies of Sciences Watershed-Based Planning Approach and Toolbox. Dr. Struck serves as an associate journal editor for the Journal of Sustainable Water in the Built Environment and is currently the President-Elect for the Environmental and Water Resources Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers.


Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Time: 4:00PM Location: CM 310

Title: "Survey Damage Assessments of Structural Tornado Damage and the Enhanced Fujita Scale, and Instrumenting the Storm Environment of the 2016 Sulfur Tornado"  
Presenter: Timothy P. Marshall P.E., Meteorologist

Abstract

This talk discusses the intersection of engineering and meteorology in assessing severe storm damage.  Here an example of surveying damage to structures left in the wake of tornadoes is presented in the context of the Enhanced Fujita (EF) Scale, the rating system for tornado damage intensity.  Also to be discussed is the May 2016 Sulfur, OK, EF-3 Tornado where Marshall’s chase team from the Center of Severe Weather Research deployed instrumented pods in front of two tornadoes with the second tornado hitting one of the instrument pods.

Bio:  

Timothy P. Marshall P.E., Meteorologist  Haag Engineering,  tmarshall@haagglobal.com

Primary Areas of Consulting

  • Roofing Systems
    • Commercial and residential
    • Wind/hail damage evaluations
    • Quality of manufacture and installation
  • Building Envelope Systems
    • Commercial and residential
    • Wind/hail damage evaluations
    • Quality of manufacture and installation
  • Evaluation of Wind Damage to Structures
    • Commercial and residential
    • Hurricane, tornado, and straight-line wind evaluations
  • Construction Defect Evaluations
    • Commercial and residential
    • Moisture intrusion evaluations
    • Building code compliance
  • Meteorological Investigations
    • Severe weather events
    • Storm surveys
    • Precipitation/temperature/wind analysis
  • Research & Testing
    • Weather and material research
    • Standards
    • Full-scale specialized tests
    • Field tests
  • Wind vs. Wave/Storm Surge
  • Damage Appraisals

Licensed Professional Engineer in the State of: Texas

Memberships

  • American Association of Wind Engineering
  • American Meteorology Society
  • American Society of Civil Engineers
  • National Weather Association

College Education

  • Bachelor of Science - Geography and Meteorology, Northern Illinois University, 1978
  • Master of Science - Atmospheric Science Texas Tech University, 1980
  • Master of Science - Civil Engineering Texas Tech University, 1983
  • Mr. Marshall has authored or contributed to a number of papers and articles. 1410 Lakeside Pkwy., Ste. 100, Flower Mound, TX 75028 * 214-614-6500 * HaagEngineering.com


Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Time: 4:00PM Location: CM 310

Title: “Low Temperature Plasma Technology to Prepare Graphene from GO & Biorenewable Advanced Carbon Materials"  
Presenter: John Costello, PhD Candidate


Abstract

Dr. Gu’s research focusing on multiple biorefinery and renewable energy related areas. To improve economic viability of pyrolysis biorefinery platform, thermochemical process and innovative room temperature plasma process have been developed for upgrading biochar to advanced carbon materials. Multiple biochar derivate advanced carbon materials exhibited excellent energy storage capacity in supercapacitor. In addition, Dr. Gu’s group first time synthesized porous graphene from DDGS using a scalable catalytic thermochemical method in the world. Furthermore, the low temperature plasma processes have been successfully developed to prepare functional graphene from graphite oxide (GO synthesized from Hummers method) in 30 seconds.  The exfoliation mechanism was well understood based on optical emission spectroscopy (OES), and it is found oxygen was formed at the moment of exfoliation.  

Besides carbon materials preparation and electrochemical application, Dr. Gu’s group also developed a transformative new biofuel separation platform based on integration of gas-stripping and adsorption /desorption techniques. The new separation method enable us to achieve a series of continuous biochemical platforms for producing renewable chemicals such as butanol from fermentation.  In addition, value added co-product, such as glucosinolate was recovered and purified from oil seeds meal.


Bio:  

Dr. Zhengrong Gu Dr. Gu has intensive experience (more than 20 years) in materials science (specified in carbon materials and nana materials) and biochemical engineering (specified in bio-separation of recombinant therapeutic proteins). Before joining SDSU, Dr. Gu had lead developing therapeutic recombinant protein designation, expression and purification processes in both industrial (GE LifeScience) and academic (UIUC) environment. As a biochemical engineer and material scientist, Dr. Gu’s career research is focusing on science of preparing functional nanomaterial and application of innovative materials in biomedical and electrochemical areas.

Since joined South Dakota State University, Dr. Gu has established internationally and nationally recognized research programs in graphene materials preparation as well as multiple bio-refinery areas, including bio-renewable carbon materials, separation processes of biorefinery, innovative catalysts in biorefinery and combustion properties of biodust. innovative bioseparation processes and hydrothermal conversion of lignin to bio-products.

Dr. Gu obtained (after 2009) more than 8 million dollars research funding as PI and Co-PI (as PI of more than 2 million dollars US Federal Competitive funding). Since 2011, Dr. Gu’s group achieved significant progress in advanced carbon materials preparation and its electrochemical application. Dr. Gu’s seminal contributions to understanding the mechanism of preparing biorenewable 3D graphene has attracted collaboration from Maxwell Technology Inc., Calgon Carbon Inc., MeadWestvaco Corp., USDA Forest Service and PNNL (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory).

Dr. Gu has published more than 50 journal articles, 2 pending US patents, and more than 70s presentations and conference articles in national, international and regional conferences. 


Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Time: 4:00PM Location: MI 222

Title: “Evaluating Geomorphic Characteristics of Remotely Classified River Systems"  
Presenter: John Costello, PhD Candidate


Abstract

Rivers are often defined as linear, continuous structures that increase in size in the downstream direction, however, recent studies have questioned whether this concept adequately accounts for the discontinuities caused by natural variation and human influence. Alternatives to the River Continuum Concept (RCC), a downstream gradient, call for a discontinuum or patches. Functional Process Zones (FPZs) can be used to classify these patches. For this study, FPZs were classified and mapped along different watersheds in the US and Mongolia using a GIS protocol and statistical grouping methods. River reaches within the resulting FPZs were sampled based on the modified EMAP protocol to test whether significant hydrogeomorphic differences existed across scales, including between FPZs, in terminal river basin regions in the US and Mongolia. Cluster analysis was used to initially group FPZs using metric subsets (channel morphology, bank morphology, Substrate, fish cover, large woody debris, riparian, human influence, canopy density) of geomorphic characteristics measured in the field. Then using Principal Component Analysis (PCA) the number of variables were reduced to determine a smaller number of characteristics that best represent the data. The strongest variables were compared across continents to determine similarities and differences in geomorphology and FPZs. Our study reveals that FPZ type (upper wide, upper confined, lower wide, lower confined) can be grouped by hydrogeomorphic characteristics examined by PCA or Cluster analysis. When using specific metrics both the ideas of a continuum and patchiness can be supported.

  

Bio:  

John Costello’s focus has been the geomorphology of river systems in three ecoregions on two continents as part of the Macroecological Riverine Synthesis project since the summer of 2016. Under the supervision of SDSMT’s Dr. Scott Kenner, John has been on 6 expeditions to sample hydrogeomorphologic characteristics in the US and Mongolia. John defended his M.S. thesis at SDSMT in July 2019. He completed his undergraduate studies at Bemidji State University in Minnesota in 2015 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Environmental Studies with a Geohydrology emphasis and a minor in Geology. John is involved with the ASCE-EWRI Graduate Student Chapter and the Hardrocker Hockey club on campus.


Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Time: 4:00PM Location: MI 222

Title: “Are We Playing with Arsenic and Fluoride Problems?"  
Presenter: Dr. Achintya Bezbaruah, North Dakota State University


Abstract

 The presence of arsenic and fluoride in drinking water above the regulatory limits is detrimental to human and animal health. The contaminants, specifically arsenic, are known to adversely affect food quality as well if the irrigation water and the agricultural soil contain them. More than half a billion people are affected by arsenic and fluoride present in global waters. Current maximum contaminant level (MCL) of arsenic is 10 microgram per liter, and research suggest that we may have to lower it further! While we in the US are struggling to meet the current MCL due to the lack of affordable technology, meeting a more stringent MCL will be a nightmare for our water systems more particularly in small communities. Fluoride, on the other hand, presents different challenges and opportunities. Fluoride adsorption by the current market available products are very low and there are reported health effects from some chemical presents in the treated water. Fluoride in drinking water, however, offers an opportunity for interdisciplinary problem solving involving people from engineering, regulatory bodies, medical and veterinary sciences, education, and social sciences.

Many states in the United States (ND and SD included) are affected by arsenic and fluoride present in groundwater. However, there has been no consorted efforts to develop new and cost effective technologies specifically for small, rural, and challenged communities. This presentation will discuss research efforts at North Dakota State University towards developing effective conventional and nano-based technologies for groundwater arsenic and fluoride remediation. Reliability of such systems will be discussed based on the science(s) involved and possible ease of implementation, operation and maintenance. Opportunities for collaborative work in the area of remediation and in-situ sensing will be highlighted.  

Bio:  Achintya Bezbaruah is the NDSU Gehrts Presidential Professor and an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at North Dakota State University (NDSU). He is a Fulbright Specialist Awardee and completed a fellowship in India last year. Achintya is the Director of Grand Challenges Scholars Program at NDSU. This program aims at inculcating the spirit of research and innovation among undergraduates. As an active researcher, he has procured more than $1 million in federal grants as PI with his current funding being from NSF. Most of his funded projects are multidisciplinary in nature. He led three major federal grant efforts in recent years which involved multiple US and foreign universities and industries. With more than 60 peer-viewed publications and multiple patents, Bezbaruah’s research group works on environmental nanotechnology and food-environment-water systems (FEWS). Website: http://nrgndsu.org/


Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Time: 4:00PM Location: MI 222

Title: “Green roof performance evaluation in the semi-arid upper Great Plains region”      
Presenter: Jason Phillips, PhD Candidate 

   
Abstract:  

In 2015 the City of Rapid City, South Dakota implemented a stormwater utility fee to mitigate negative impacts of stormwater runoff on Rapid Creek. To maintain both the quality and quantity of the creek, the city has recognized that there is an urgent need to develop and implement sustainable infrastructure practices. This motivation has resulted in research & development of green roofs (a.k.a living roofs or eco roofs) at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (SD Mines) and the Rapid City Regional Airport. The overarching goal was to provide a proof of concept for green roofs in this aggressive climatic region, characterized by hot summers, cold winters, frequent freeze thaw cycles, high winds, record hail, and relatively low rainfalls. This talk will focus on the performance evaluation of extensive green roofs in the semi-arid upper Great Plains region, with respect to four major research objectives: 1) determine the irrigation regiments that will optimize plant health and simultaneously maintain the maximum holding capacity for stormwater reduction; 2) determine the installation specifications, maintenance, and upkeep efforts required to ensure long-term survivability and provide design requirements for our region; 3) analyze the potential energy savings due to heat flux and surface temperatures; and 4) monitor the water quality from the green roof compared to an adjacent conventional roof. These objectives are evaluated using a fully instrumented 2,500 SF green roof system configured with an interactive web-based HOBO} monitoring system that allows users to remotely monitor green roof conditions, measure stormwater runoff, improve irrigation scheduling, and maintain healthy rooftop vegetation. The on-going research indicates that extensive green roofs present a sustainable solution for our region.  


Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Time: 4:00PM Location: MI 222

Title: “Transport and retention of graphene oxide contaminants in engineered media: Effects of ionic strength and flowrate”    
Presenter: Md Sazadul Hasan, PhD Candidate

Abstract:  A laboratory-scale column study was conducted to investigate the transport and retention behavior of graphene oxide (GO) nanoparticles through layered engineered media (biochar (BC) and nanoscale zero-valent iron modified biochar (BC-nZVI)) and homogeneous sand. In a layered column, 5% by wt engineered media was used on top of quartz sand (0.4 ~ 0.5 mm). Transport and retention studies along with mass balances and column dissections were conducted as a function of ionic strength (IS) (10, 1 and 0.1 mM) and flowrates (0.77, 2, and 3 mL.min-1). GO transport through the engineered media (BC and nZVI-BC) was found highly sensitive to IS. Lower mobility of GO was observed with increasing IS in homogeneous and BC layered sand columns whereas GO showed distinct transport behavior in BC-nZVI layered sand columns at higher IS. BC-nZVI exhibited comparatively lower mobility at lower IS range (0.1 ~ 1 mM) while the lowest mobility in BC was observed at high IS (10 mM). Column dissections revealed BC-nZVI layered column retained most (C/C0 = 0.05) of GO at lower IS (0.1 ~ 1 mM) whereas BC layered columns retained the maximum at the highest IS (10 mM). A series of characterization studies based on Scanning electron microscope, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, Brunauer-emmet-teller, and Zetasizer revealed the surface characteristics of engineered media, electrokintic properties, particle-particle interaction, and aggregation behavior of GO at diverse (0.1~10 mM) IS which affected the transport behavior of GO through engineered media. Spatial distribution of GO indicated the highest deposition on the top layer in all column configurations. Higher flowrate increased the mobility of GO in all experimental conditions attributable to lower retention time and shorter time for colloid-collector interaction. Furthermore, a mathematical model will be used to simulate the experimental data to describe the GO transport and retention behavior based on advection, dispersion, and adsorption mechanisms. The results indicated that both solution chemistry and media characteristics played an important role in transport and retention behavior of GO in engineered media. The findings from this study elucidated the effect of IS and flowrate in controlling the fate of GO particles in engineered media. Also, higher GO removal performance by BC-nZVI at IS range of 0.1 ~ 1 mM and BC at IS 10 mM can guide the possible GO risks prediction assessment and treatment measures in subsurface groundwater environment.

and

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Time: 4:25PM Location: MI 222

Title:    “A decision support tool for placement of Green Infrastructures (GIs)”   
Presenter: Ali Shojaei Zadeh, PhD Candidate

Abstract:  A decision support tool was developed to evaluate, select, and place GIs in the watershed based on removal efficiencies of practices while minimizing the total relative cost. The tool provides a means for objective analysis of stormwater management alternatives based on multiple interacting factors. The decision support tool allows users to perform a thorough, practical, and informative assessment considering economic, and engineering factors. The tool supports evaluation of GI placement at multiple scales ranging from a few city blocks to large watersheds. GI is becoming a multi-benefit solution for stormwater management and can revitalize communities while reducing sewage overflows and improving runoff quality. But, planning and implementing GI cost-effectively to achieve management goals remains a challenge and requires an integrated watershed management approach. More complex computationally intensive tools have been developed for placement of GIs. In contrast, the decision support tool applies a linear optimization approach developed in easy-to-use Excel VBA graphical interface coupled with widely used Stormwater Management Model (SWMM) to find optimal combinations of GIs that maximize percent flow captured and percent pollutant load reduction while minimizing total relative cost on a range of scales. The user interface and the level of interactivity enable broader use of the tool. The selection and placement of 13 GI types (including infiltration-based and storage-based GIs) were analyzed based on their performance and cost. It was demonstrated through case study that the tool could be used to optimize different types of GI features. The tool is applicable nationwide for stormwater management decision making.


Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Time: 4:00PM Location: MI 222

Title: “Homestake Water Systems: Past and Present”      
Presenter: Curtis J. Betcher, PE, Melgaardconstruction.com 

   
Abstract:  Curtis became interested in researching the Homestake Water System because he has a cabin along North Tributary of Rapid Creek near the Dumont Trail Head on the Mikelson trail and reading a Book Nuggets to Neutrinos by Steve Mitchell. Since 2008 he walked most of the 30 miles of system and took pictures and GPS coordinates of significant locations. The Homestake Water System was first constructed in the early 1880's by Homestake mine. Water was required in larger quantities for expansion of Homestake and the other mines in the Lead/Deadwood area. Hearst had purchased the mine in the late 1870's and they recognized the needs for much more water.  Homestake was constructed over 30 miles of wood flume gravity feed system from as far away as North Tributary of Rapid Creek. The flumes included North Rapid Creek, Spearfish Creek and Elk Creek. The Flume system was replaced in 1910's with clay tile pipe of 10", 12", 15" and 28" diameter. A pump station was added to pump from Spearfish Creek (Hanna Pump Station) to Whitewood Creek. The system included hydroelectric power, inverted siphon, 5-7 tunnels, and pump station.  The entire system other than the abandoned Elk Creek Line is still in use under the Ownership of the Lead Sanitation District. It supplies all the water to the Lead Deadwood area.