Engineering Ideas for Tomorrow -- College of Engineering 1997 Annual Report
Engineering Professional Development
College of Engineering 1997 Annual Report -- Engineering Ideas for Tomorrow

Philip R. O'Leary (Chair)
705 Extension Building
432 North Lake Street
Madison, WI 53706-1498
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Tel: 1-800-462-0876 or 608/262-2061
Fax: 1-800-442-4214 or 608/263-3160
oleary@engr.wisc.edu
www.engr.wisc.edu/epd

Seeing is believing: Engineers and regulators tour asphalt plant

  Roads Scholars
Asphalt mixing cylinder

Many of the people involved in paving our roads and high-ways never actually see just how the paving process works. To help them better understand, Professor Donald M. Walker, director of the Transportation Information Center, together with the Federal Highway Administration, Wisconsin Asphalt Paving Association and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, held an open house at a quarry and asphalt plant. Payne and Dolan, Inc. opened its state-of-the-art asphalt reprocessing operation to dozens of public and private engineers and state regulators who are involved in road construction. Attendees also witnessed a quarry blasting event and paving and compaction equipment in operation. The plant features modern environmental and safety controls incorporated into all phases of the operation. Payne and Dolan, Inc. specializes in grinding up asphalt from old roads and reprocessing it into new pavement. The company demonstrated to attendees how it goes to great lengths to meet all relevant environmental regulations in addition to being a good neighbor to homes and businesses nearby. Above, from left, Ned Bechtold, president of Payne and Dolan, John Keys, publisher of Western Builder, Professor Walker and tour attendees stand in front of the asphalt mixing cylinder at Payne and Dolan's Waunakee, Wisconsin reprocessing plant (60K JPG).

Designing for the environment made easier for manufacturers

"Environmental Life-Cycle Analysis," "Green Accounting," "Design for the Environment," "Sustainable Development"-- these terms try to capture the concept of integrating environmental concerns and considerations into the design and manufacture of products and related services. But without the ability to implement the concept, the ideas do not translate into benefit for a company or the environment. Assistant Professor Patrick D. Eagan worked with the Boeing Defense and Space Group in Seattle to modify and apply a life-cycle tool to manufacturing processes in order to enhance environmental improvement activities and management decision making. Most efforts in applying "Design for the Environment" and "Life-Cycle Analysis" have been directed toward consumer products and mass-produced items. Eagan worked with Boeing to make tools available for manufacturers of multiple, highly engineered, durable products characterized by small production runs and challenging performance specifications over a range of conditions. A curriculum was developed as a result of the project and classes in "Design for the Environment" were then offered to design engineers at large.

Low-cost solution to peak power problem

Many utilities are using combustion turbines to meet peak electrical demands. Unfortunately, performance of a combustion turbine decreases as the ambient air temperature increases. As a result, combustion turbines used for peaking power production perform the worst during times when their power is needed most -- hot summer days. Assistant Professor Douglas T. Reindl and researchers at the Thermal Storage Applications Research Center worked with Wisconsin Power and Light and the Electric Power Research Institute to develop technically effective low-cost solutions to peak power problems. To lower the temperature of inlet air on the turbines, Reindl's group utilized the best characteristics of ice and chilled water in a hybrid thermal energy storage scheme. Their system operates high electrical demand chilling equipment during off-peak periods to store ice and chilled water. Then during high energy demand times, stored ice and chilled water are available to cool the combustion turbine's inlet air. Results of the investigation showed inlet air cooling can increase net turbine capacity by 10-25 percent, depending on the specific turbine.

Better streets, better neighborhoods

Live from the College of Engineering studios on Engineering Drive, EPD's Assistant Faculty Associate Stephen T. Pudloski met with approximately 4,000 public works and traffic engineers, planners, elected officials, consultants, police officers and neighborhood group representatives. One hundred twenty-seven sites across the United States and Canada tuned in for the June, 1996 satellite conference titled: "Livable Neighborhoods: Rethinking Residential Streets." The conference was designed to help attendees challenge traditional thinking about residential street design and traffic, and advocate a multi-disciplinary approach to neighborhood engineering. The conference presented issues through a structured discussion among a mayor, a traffic engineer, a crime prevention specialist and a city engineer. After reviewing the tools available to address the problems, the attendees analyzed three case studies demonstrating different approaches to improving neighborhood livability.


Copyright © 1997 University System Board of Regents

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1997 Annual Report Contents