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Graduate student wins award for research poster

Shree Paudel, a master’s degree student in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, was selected as one of three winners of the 2018 Institute of Transportation Engineers Midwestern District Student Poster Competition at the group’s annual meeting held Aug. 20-23 in Minneapolis.

Paudel co-wrote the poster “Snow-proof Marking System Through Electrically Conductive Fly-ash Geopolymer Concrete,” with his faculty adviser Mijia Yang, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering.

The goal of the research is to create an innovative system to melt snow and ice off roads, potentially reducing crashes and saving lives.

Paudel and Yang used fly ash, a waste product in power industries, to make a geopolymer concrete that can conduct electricity. Their testing showed the idea is feasible to generate heat and that the geopolymer concrete is resistant to freezing and thawing.

In the future, the researchers plan to figure out how much energy is needed to melt a specific amount of snow, perform a cost-benefit analysis of the technology and conduct field tests to verify the lab experiments.

The North Dakota Department of Transportation provided financial support for the project.

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