Category: Sustainable Community Planning

Adaptive management framework approach to watershed implementation of nutrient reduction strategies

  • Summarize model capabilities, model inputs, and simulation methods of different hydrologic and water quality models including
  • Explore uncalibrated, calibrated, and validated outputs of these models and uncalibrated ensemble modeling in estimating average annual water quantity and quality for a 41.5 km2 agricultural watershed in Northeastern Indiana
  • Provide suggestions on the selection and use of these models based
    on the results in this study

An Integrated Physical-Social-Community (PSC) Approach for Sustainable Shore Protection, Beach Integrity, and Bluff/Dune Stabilization Along Lake Michigan

The overall goals of this project are to:

  • Better understand coastal processes in terms of nearshore hydrodynamics, sediment transport, and coastal morphology under changing climate forcing in Lake Michigan
  • Help effectively communicate to stakeholders, with the purpose of promoting sustainable shore protection, increasing the integrity of beaches; and stabilizing bluffs/dunes in Lake Michigan


Beneficial Reuse of Lake Michigan’s Dredged Material in Sustainable Construction Material – Flowable Fill

The goal of the proposed pilot research study is to investigate the feasibility of utilizing dredged material collected from a single source along southern Lake Michigan area (stockpiled next to Calumet Harbor in coordination with USACE) as a substitute of sand in a unique sustainable construction material called flowable fill. The research will use laboratory-based performance tests on a set of flowable fill mixes prepared by substituting sand with different percentages of flowable fill. Then, flowable fill mixes and cylindrical specimens will be tested for flow, setting time and compressive strength using standard molding/test methods. The potential products of the proposed study are a thorough literature review report, laboratory testing results/analysis in the form of manuscript for conference proceeding, and an external grant proposal.

Building a smart water quality monitoring program to improve environmental justice in Southern Lake Michigan

The long-term goal of this project is to develop smart water infrastructure to help improve water management in the southern Lake Michigan region, particularly for communities in historically disadvantaged locations. The short term goal is to develop a program to assess contamination, hydrology, and water quality in impoverished areas of South Chicago. The specific objectives of this project are to: 1) implement flow and water quality sensors to assess pollution in select locations, 2) develop a stormwater model to assess the effects of hydraulic infrastructure and land usage on hydrology and water quality, 3) build collaborations with other water quality professionals in the Southern Lake Michigan region, and 4) create proposals for submission to other funding agencies to continue development of this program. The results are expected to increase ecosystem health, improve the resiliency of communities and economies, and enhance environmental literacy and workforce development. 

Community Evacuation Preparedness and Planning with Alternative Fuel Vehicles Responsive to Flooding in Southern Lake Michigan

The objective of this research is to develop and implement a new modeling framework, integrating flooding intensity data of the Southern Lake Michigan transportation network with alternative fuel vehicle routing models, for the evacuation of vulnerable communities during hazardous flooding events in a changing climate. We propose a novel evacuation routes planning framework for multiple types of vehicle fuels that have dependencies on refueling and charging infrastructure (e.g., gasoline, battery electric, and fuel cell electric vehicles). The model determines the optimal evacuation routes for each alternative vehicle fuel type that minimizes the total travel and refueling time of travelers during simulated hazardous flooding events in the Southern Lake Michigan transportation network. The designed evacuation route resources will enable decision-makers to have access to data and tools so as to plan for a diverse set of travelers with alternative fuel vehicles to evacuate and adapt during these extreme flooding events, minimizing their degree of vulnerability and sustaining resilient communities.

Data-Driven Modeling for Hazard-Resilient Infrastructure in Southern Lake Michigan Communities

During the given one-year research period, I plan to develop a data-driven model integrating the physical model of infrastructure vulnerable to hazard and artificial intelligence machine learning algorithms to offer precautions and suggestions to resist natural hazards and enhance infrastructure flood resilience for the southern Lake Michigan communities. The proposed research targets to provide coastal communities with on-time and accessible suggestions to resist flooding attacks, support coastal industrial development without interference, give organizations reasonable, efficient recommendations to minimize the flooding impact on infrastructure, and offer the government customized design advice for infrastructure in the southern Lake Michigan region. Most importantly, this research will call public attention to the resilience of coastal communities and infrastructure.

Development of Freeze-Thaw Resistant Porous Asphalt Mixtures for Southern Lake Michigan Flexible Pavements

Although widely used in Europe and Asia, porous asphalt has not been extensively used in the southern Lake Michigan region due to its poor resistance to freeze-thaw. This study aims to (i) synthesize the existing literature on porous asphalt, (ii) determine the need for porous asphalt pavements on the southern Lake Michigan coast, and (iii) develop in the laboratory a porous asphalt mixture capable of resisting freeze-thaw cycles common to this region. 

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