Michigan Tech Transportation Institute (MTTI)



Tess Ahlborn, Ph.D., PI

Dr. Ahlborn is Director of the Center for Structural Durability with the Michigan Tech Transportation Institute and an Associate Professor in structural engineering in the Civil & Environmental Engineering Department at Michigan Technological University. Her professional interests lie in the areas of bridge inspection, bridge load rating, repair of bridges, and high performance concrete (HPC) materials with applications to a sustainable transportation infrastructure, specifically prestressed concrete bridges and bridge deck applications.

She has developed load rating workshops for bridge engineers and has experimental research experience in HPC behavior emphasizing fullscale laboratory and field testing of bridges. She is an active technical committee member in the Prestressed/Precast Concrete Institute and the American Concrete Institute, and she is a licensed professional engineer.

Her primary role will be project director, ensuring that project developments and results meet Michigan Tech’s internal quality standards and that sufficient resources are available for the timely completion of the project. She will also play a significant role in all tasks, especially bridge modeling and the lab and field testing tasks.

Larry Sutter, Ph.D.

Dr. Sutter is the Director of MTTI and Director of the USDOT sponsored University Transportation Center for Materials in Sustainable Transportation Infrastructure (UTC-MiSTI). He has an extensive background in materials characterization and has conducted research on concrete pavements, the effects of deicing chemicals on concrete pavements and bridges, and using recycled and secondary materials in concrete applications. Dr. Sutter is actively involved with research through the National Cooperative Highway Research Program and brings the team expertise in material characteristics, especially material related distress in concrete bridge decks. He will contribute significantly to the project through his expertise in material characterization measures relative to concrete durability and assessment of the deterioration of transportation materials.

Devin Harris, Ph.D.

Dr. Harris is the Donald F. and Rose Ann Tomasini Assistant Professor in structural engineering in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Michigan Technological University. He will be an active team member in this project directing the bridge modeling, laboratory testing and field demonstrations. His research experiences have focused primarily on innovative materials in civil infrastructure, including Ultra-High Performance Concrete (UHPC) and the Sandwich Plate System (SPS) technology. Dr. Harris is experienced in experimental testing, including live load testing and field instrumentation of bridges.




Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI)



Robert Shuchman, Ph.D.

Dr. Shuchman is Co-Director of MTRI. He is the lead remote sensing researcher and senior technical director on the Transportation Applications of Restricted Use Technology (TARUT) Study. He has 35 years of experience in applying remote sensing to solving issues, and has contributed to over 70 technical articles and presented over 80 technical papers. He has served as principal investigator on more than 50 programs dealing with SAR imaging of ocean and terrestrial features and as a SIR-B, ERS-1, and JERS-1 principle investigator. On the Environmental Task Force (later MEDEA), Dr. Shuchman explored the use of classified government systems to provide environmental and global climate change information.

Joe Burns, Ph.D.

Dr. Burns is a Senior Research Scientist and manager of MTRI’s Sensor and Signal Processing Technologies Laboratory, which is developing new sensing and communications technologies for remote sensing, telematic, and biomedical applications. Dr. Burns has over 20 years of experience in the development, analysis and exploitation of microwave and optical remote sensing systems, and has extensive expertise in the areas of electromagnetic analysis, simulation and measurements, and signal and image processing. He has led several research programs developing innovative measurement and signal processing techniques for remote sensing applications.

Recently, Dr. Burns has worked in a variety of research areas, including biomedical signal processing with a special emphasis on sleep research applications, alternative energy and environmental metrics, as well as novel remote sensing concepts. Dr. Burns’ experience and leadership will add depth to the project team in remote sensing applications.

Colin Brooks

Colin Brooks has 15 years of experience in applying remote sensing and GIS to a variety of issues. He is manager of MTRI’s Environmental Science Lab and will lead the decision support system development as well as interface with remote sensing technologies. He has applied high-resolution remote sensing to solving transportationrelated issues in three on-going research projects, such as mapping wetlands and hydrologic flow near transportation corridors and creating inventories of roadway assets. He has led the development of decision support tools that can be used by Great Lakes stakeholders to analyze impacts of contaminated sediments on human health in the Great Lakes as part of the GLEAMS Center project. He has a Master’s of Environmental Management degree from with a focus on resource ecology (1993) and a Bachelor of Science degree in Pre-Forestry (1992) that included a thesis on rapid remote sensing of coastal land cover.




Center for Automotive Research (CAR)



Richard Wallace

Richard Wallace, M.S., is a Senior Project Manager with CAR. He serves as the project manager for CAR’s vehicle-infrastructure integration efforts with the Michigan Department of Transportation and plays a leading role in CAR’s work on current projects involving technology for transportation infrastructure monitoring. He will take a lead role in the technical evaluation and economic assessment tasks, as well as liaison with MDOT. Prior to rejoining CAR in April 2007, Mr. Wallace held the position of Research Scientist with the Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI). At MTRI, Mr. Wallace served as one of the lead scientists for MTRI’s “Transportation Applications of Restricted Use Technology Study” and led two of the four pilot studies that MTRI implemented in cooperation with the Michigan Department of Transportation, including those associated with traffic queues and delay and estimation of AADT with remote sensing.




Project Partner

Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT)