Monday, April 27, 2009

UMKC's Award-winning Civil Engineering Program - Tom Kimes & Erich Schmitz

On Thursday, April 30, UMKC, and the civil engineering program specifically, will receive a national award from the national council of examiners for engineering and surveying (NCEES) – the folks who write the exams for our professional licenses. We are one of six engineering programs nationally who are being recognized for our strong relationship with engineering practioners. And UMKC is the only school in the Central Time Zone. The award is titled, "2009 NCEES Engineering Award for Connecting Professional Practice and Education", and was given for the interaction between engineering professionals (Tom Kimes, P.E. of HDR and Erich Schmitz of TranSystems) and the UMKC civil engineering capstone class. UMKC's civil engineering capstone class has partnered with the City of Kansas City's Public Works Department since 2003 in which the students complete the design for small, traffic-bearing bridges that the City needs to replace. Kimes, Schmitz and O'Bannon oversee the students' work and help them develop professional skills. Listen to the podcast.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day 2009 article

Read the brief article I wrote for the Earth Day issue of UMKC's newsletter.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Household Hazardous Waste, Lara Isch, April 19, 2009

Dr. Deb O'Bannon discusses the safe disposal of Household Hazardous Waste with Lara Isch, Acting Program Manager, City of Kansas City, MO. To find out more on the program and if your city is included, please visit their website: The Household Hazardous Waste Mobile Event Season starts April 5th in Independence, MO and runs through October 25th. Check out or call the Household Hazardous Waste Facility at 816-784-2080 to find an event near you! Listen to the podcast.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Porous Pavement – Part II – Dr. John Kevern

Pervious Concrete/Porous Pavement in Winter Applications

Please also refer to the interview with Dr. Kevern in Show #5.

In the winter traditional, impervious pavement surfaces such as concrete and asphalt can pose slip fall hazards due to ice formation. Typically salt and sand are applied to pavement surfaces in the winter. The salt dissolves creating a brine on the surface in attempt to prevent "black ice" formation. Sand is often included with the salt to provide traction if and when the temperature drops below a level salt is effective (about 20°F). Due to the high permeability of pervious concrete, ponding of melt water is reduced or eliminated. Lack of standing water reduces the potential for ice formation on the surface. Also the surface of pervious concrete contains many peaks and valleys which improve traction over traditional pavements by allowing space for water, snow, and ice to accumulate below the surface. Another recent and interesting finding has shown that pervious concrete surface is warmer than surrounding adjacent pavement, but is cooler underneath. This phenomenon is much like sand at the beach in the summer. Even though the sand is light colored the surface is very hot, but much cooler just below the surface. Due to the porous nature of the sand heat accumulates at the top and the air below provides insulation. It has been observed that in the winter pervious concrete surfaces can still melt snow and ice even when the air temperature is lower than that for melting ice using salt. In the summer the insulating capacity of the air in the pavement keeps the pavement cooler and helps to reduce the urban heat island effect.

Wet spot made on pervious pavement from a running hose.
The snow seems to disappear into the surface even before plowing.
A traditional pavement the morning following a snow, notice the standing water.
Pervious concrete pavement the morning after the same snow, notice no standing water.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Meteorology 101 - April 12, 2009

Learn about the academic background of meteorologists, what goes into storm forecasting, and how large events (like a Chiefs game or Nascar) plan for severe weather as Deb O'Bannon interviews Andy Bailey of the National Weather Service office in Pleasant Hill, MO. Listen to the podcast.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Marlborough Stormwater Demonstration Project (USEPA) - April 5, 2009

Listen as Dr. Deb O'Bannon discusses the USEPA Marlborough Stormwater Demonstration Project with Dr. Scott Struck of TetraTech. The project, also known as Target Green, is focused on using Green Solutions in an urban area to reduce stormwater inflow to the combined sewer system. The project location is bounded by Troost Avenue, Paseo Boulevard, 75th Street and 79th Street. Please visit the project's website for more information and updated research results. Listen to the podcast.