College of Engineering Research Seminar
- Friday, February 20, 2015 from 3:10pm to 4:00pm
- Roberts Hall - view map
Separations and catalysis for petroleum and renewable fuels
Stephanie Wettstein, Chemical and Biological Engineering
Although there is a large push to increase the amount of fuel produced from renewable resources, the cost of petroleum makes it the more economical option. Therefore, research on both topics is of interest. On the petroleum side, my research focuses on elucidating the effect adsorbates commonly found in petroleum feed streams have on the zeolite structure since zeolites are used in catalytic reactors and in pressure swing adsorption beds. On the renewables side, my research focuses on the pretreatment of lingocellulosic biomass and catalytically upgrading the sugars to chemicals and fuels using green solvents and heterogeneous catalysts.
Optical nanostructures for interdisciplinary applications
Wataru Nakagawa, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Silicon micro- and nano-fabrication technologies have revolutionized electronics, computers, communications and other important fields. The current state-of-the-art silicon devices have features barely larger than 10 nm. Adapting these manufacturing technologies in silicon and related materials to realize optical devices enables a broad range of new possibilities. For example, new engineered optical materials (sometimes called metamaterials) with characteristics that depend on both the included materials and their structure or geometry can be realized. This ability to engineer the optical properties of a nanostructure can be used to customize optical materials, implement diverse devices in a common manufacturing platform, or even to create materials with optical properties that don't exist in nature. These engineered optical materials, in turn, can be used in a variety of applications, including medical devices, atmospheric science, and sensing systems. In this talk, a brief overview of the work of the Nano Optics group to develop the underlying technologies to realize such engineered optical materials and devices will be presented, as well as several examples of collaborative applications of this technology.
Estimation of seasonal daily traffic flow of agricultural products and its implication on implementation of automatic traffic recorders
Yiyi Wang, Civil Engineering
Abstract: Reliable traffic counts on a highway system are critical for sound decision making about the maintenance, operation, and expansion of the system. Portable short-term Automatic Traffic Recorders (ATRs) are a cost-efficient way to complement traffic counts from permanent ATR sites by performing temporary traffic counts on the highway system. Complicating the collection of traffic data using these short-term devices is the seasonal variation in vehicle operations seen throughout the year. This work focuses on predicting the spatial distribution of seasonal traffic resulting from agricultural activities using a new method that combines GIS spatial functions and the four-step travel demand model. This research collected information about township grids for Montana (as proxies for trip origins), grain elevators (trip destinations), agricultural ground cover, and crop yield estimates, to estimate flows in tonnage at a grid level on the road network. Results suggest that the proposed method using the location of major crops and the locations of grain elevators can be used to predict tonnage of product that will be added to individual routes. The predicted values can then be compared to reported heavy truck traffic to locate sites that may have underrepresented traffic flows. While this work looked specifically at three crops, the method could be applied to any resource flow that has known origin and destination information. The method could be enhanced by refining assumptions of the composition of heavy trucks transporting agriculture product and by field measurements of vehicle flows to better test the validity of the model.
- College of Engineering