2009-2010 Funded Projects

  • Great Lakes Maritime Education Program for K-12 Teachers, Students and Communities
    Ms. Joan Chadde, Michigan Technological University
    The overall goal of the project is to increase K-12 teachers’ understanding of shipping on the Great Lakes, and increase their ability to teach their students about Great Lakes Maritime Transportation in the core subjects of science, math, language arts, and social studies. We will accomplish the following objectives:

    1. Conduct a Great Lakes Maritime Transportation Summer Teacher Institute in collaboration with the Toledo Maritime Academy and University of Wisconsin in Toledo, Ohio, in summer 2010.
    2. Conduct a Mathematics & Navigation Summer Teacher Institute at Michigan Technological University in summer 2010 in collaboration with a ship captain and mathematics instructor.
    3. Conduct two teacher workshops at: Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum at Whitefish Point in Paradise, Michigan; Michigan State Historical Museum in Lansing, Michigan; or other facilities in a Great Lakes state.
    4. Conduct presentation on Great Lakes Maritime Transportation at one state or national conference to recruit workshop and summer institute participants and disseminate teaching tools.5. Regularly update the Great Lakes Maritime Transportation Education website and maintain communication with past participants.
    6. Assemble eight Great Lakes Maritime Transportation Education teaching chests.

  • WebGIFT: Expanding Access to the Great Lakes Geospatial Intermodal Freight Transportation (GL-GIFT) Model
    Dr. Scott Hawker, Rochester Institute of Technology
    In prior GLMRI projects, we developed and demonstrated the value of the Great Lakes Geospatial Intermodal Freight Transport (GL-GIFT) model – an innovative, dynamic, network optimization model for analyzing: (1) the economic, energy, and environmental impacts associated with Great Lakes freight movement, including the ability to make tradeoffs among different freight modes operating in the Great Lakes; (2) decisions related to various highway and intermodal facility infrastructure development; and, (3) decisions and policies aimed at improving maritime transport efficiency in the Great Lakes. GL-GIFT allows users to conduct route analyses based on various network attributes, including: cost, time-of-delivery, distance, energy use, and emissions. Our case studies have shown that Great Lakes marine shipping demonstrates certain advantages when compared to other landside modes.

    This new proposal requests funding to help move GL-GIFT from a desktop computing environment to a web-based platform so that it will be accessible to many users via the internet. We will also develop user-friendly interactions to support case study definitions, data management and sharing, and analysis. We will make this new tool, called WebGIFT-GL, available to GLMRI affiliates and other selected users for a period of at least four months, including an evaluation/training workshop and user support.

  • Evaluation of Integrated Electric Plants for Great Lakes Self-Unloaders
    Dr. David Singer, University of Michigan
    The feasibility and potential benefits of using Integrated Electric Plants in future Great Lakes self-unloaders will be evaluated. Integrated Electric Plants, the all-electric ship, utilize electrical propulsion motors and central station power generation that would power all propulsion, thruster, self-unloading equipment and other ship service needs. Integrated Electric Plants have become a popular choice in recent non-nuclear naval vessels, cruise ships, high technology cargo vessels and many special purpose vessels, such as offshore supply and service vessels and icebreakers. This study will consider arrangements, effects on cargo capacity at constant draft, fuel usage and environmental emissions over all operating modes, maintenance requirements, manning, and overall ship life-cycle economics. The comparison will be made on two notional self-unloading bulk carriers covering the length range from about 660 to 1000 feet.

  • Refinement of the Ballast-Free Ship Concept
    Dr. Michael Parsons, University of Michigan
    The Ballast-Free Ship Concept will be further analyzed and refined to resolve outstanding issues related to its effectiveness and operational practicality and economics. Recent testing has shown that the optimum use of the Ballast-Free Concept could result in a significant improvement in propulsion power requirement. This savings needs to be better understood to ensure that this major advantage will actually be realizable. The remaining confounding situation is that in the laboratory experiments conducted to date it has been necessary to use stock propellers available in the laboratory library. Part of the indicated required power reduction may be due to the stock propellers being more optimal for the Ballast-Free case. An optimum propeller will be designed for the vessel and a new propeller will be manufactured using rapid prototyping. This propeller will be used in the next towing tank experiments. The detailed design of the incorporation of bulkhead isolation valves and their effect on the internal trunk flow will be investigated. Finally, various draft and trim control operational scenarios will be investigated to establish the capability and limitations of the Ballast-Free Concept ballast control in ship operations.

  • Modal Comparison of Great Lakes Freight Transportation Effects on the General Public
    Dr. Christopher McIntosh, University of Minnesota Duluth
    This project will provide a case study similar to a December 2007 report sponsored by MARAD (A Modal Comparison of Domestic Freight Transportation Effects on the General Public) based on the impact of closing barge traffic on the transportation system in and around St. Louis MO. This project will focus on comparing modal impacts on the Great Lakes from a Soo Lock closure. The case study will provide specific impact measures and effects based on a comparison of the marine system to rail and truck (truck if necessary – see Section 7 for details) for the following categories: cargo capacity, congestion, air emissions, accidents, and infrastructure effects.

  • Economic Impact of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway System (GLSLS) Phase II
    Dr. David Doorn, University of Minnesota Duluth
    The first phase of this project, now underway and to be complete as of October 2009, will determine data needs for Great Lakes Maritime Economic Impact project and address organizational data-related challenges to the impact modeling.

    The second project phase will focus on specific maritime industrial sectors, and the regional study area will be refined to report economic impacts for selected ports and communities. The IMPLAN model as well as models provided by MARAD and others will be utilized to derive the benefits stemming from the port system to the extended communities and the U.S. in general. The impact will look at which industries are directly impacted by the port systems and transportation sectors that extend from them, as well as the secondary economic effects stemming from the direct employment, output and value added measures. The effects will be reported as direct, indirect, and induced economic effects. Secondary impacts will be reported as indirect and induced effects. This evaluation can be extended to include the value projected for future activities of facilities. The impact report will be of interest to all Great Lakes region stakeholders as well as for questions of national transportation policy. Reported impacts can be used to inform affected industries, St. Lawrence Seaway corporations, maritime industries involved with the Great Lakes ports, and government agencies that develop and maintain the Seaway infrastructure.

    A third project phase, Phase III, Great Lakes Maritime Economic Indexes, will build economic indicators to index and measure progress over time for the affected stakeholders. This phase has yet to be formally proposed but will build upon Phase II being proposed here.

  • Developing a Risk Assessment Tool to Predict the Accelerated Corrosive Loss of Port Transportation Infrastructure
    Dr. Randall Hicks, University of Minnesota Duluth
    Coastal communities around the Great Lakes have historically been dependent upon maritime transportation. Even in this challenging economy, planned expansions in the mining and steel industries and growing tourism indicate an even greater future need for adequate port infrastructure. Yet, Lake Superior ports face a severe problem – accelerated corrosive loss of their docks and piers. Although no one has yet proven what causes the accelerated corrosion of steel structures in the Duluth-Superior harbor (DSH), results from previous research indicate an approach that can be used to predict the risk of similar corrosion at other ports within the Great Lakes. During the first year, sulfate, chloride, and DOC concentrations, abundances of iron-oxidizing and sulfate-reducing bacteria, and estimates of accumulated steel corrosion (corrosion tubercle abundance, pit depth) will be measured in the DSH to parameterize a model that predicts the severity (i.e., risk) of accelerated corrosion of steel structures. In a subsequent proposal (second year), data collected from other ports in the Great Lakes will be used to validate this model. Our ultimate goal is to create a tool that can assist economic forecasts companies and governments make to decide when to repair or replace their docks, bulkheads, and piers.

  • Year 4: Building Sustainable Solutions to the Issue of Ballast Water Treatment: Testing Relationships between Propagule Pressure and Colonization Success of Invasive Species
    Dr. Donn Branstrator, University of Minnesota Duluth, along with the University of Wisconsin-Superior’s Lake Superior Research Institute and Great Ships Initiative
    During the last century the use of ballast water by commercial ships has created a highly efficient, global transfer mechanism for invasive species. In an effort to eliminate ballast water as a viable vector, the U.S. Congress passed legislation that requires vessels to manage their ballast water through Ballast Water Exchange (BWE) or Ballast Water Treatment (BWT). It is widely recognized that no BWT technology can be expected to perform with 100% effectiveness. Hence, accepted standards will allow a certain level of biological pollution to escape in the post-treated water. Few experimental data are available from which to quantify levels of invasion risk associated with specific numbers of viable organisms released in ballast discharge (propagule pressure). This presents a serious challenge in identifying permissible thresholds for ballast water treatment technologies that will be environmentally protective. Our project experimentally evaluates the quantitative relationship between the size and frequency of populations of zooplankton in a new environment (propagule pressure) and their colonization success in an effort to provide rationale that will guide the International Maritime Organization in setting BWT standards for discharge. Experiments will be conducted in a series of mesocosms (each 1 m3 volume) housed at the Ballast Water Testing Facility in Superior, Wisconsin.

  • The Great Lakes Maritime Information Delivery System: A Resource for the Regional Analysis of Intermodal Freight Flows in the Great Lakes Region (Phase V)
    Dr. Peter Lindquist, University of Toledo
    This project is the fifth phase of a long-term endeavor to develop and manage a comprehensive data repository and information clearinghouse for the maritime community in the Great Lakes. This proposed phase marks a transition from previous development phases; new approaches will be incorporated into the system featuring automated data collection programs linked to AIS acquisition and web-based entry of dock and port facilities. This phase will also focus on the incorporation and demonstration of analytical tools built into to the project’s Midwest FreightView (MWFV) data delivery system. A new emphasis will also be placed on technology transfer through workshops, standardized documentation of data, user guides, and publications to increase the profile of the system. These objectives are designed to move the system toward self-sustaining longevity by focusing on system applications and creating public-private partnerships with stakeholders in Great Lakes maritime commerce. As with previous phases of the project, this proposed work continues with data collection and management activities and will provide support for maintaining and updating the web site. Furthermore, the project team will continue to work with outside institutions and GLMRI affiliates to deliver data and cooperate in joint research

  • Great Lakes Marine Container Service Feasibility Study: Connecting Green Bay to Global Container Service providers serving ports on the St. Lawrence Seaway (Phase II)
    Dr. Earl Ray Hutchinson, Jr., University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
    This analysis will investigate the feasibility of connecting the Port of Green Bay and its catchment area of approximately 300 inland miles to ocean carriers providing global container service accessing the Great Lakes via the St. Lawrence Seaway. An analysis of potential freight flows, user transportation requirements and container networks operated by Great Lakes vessels will be analyzed. A first year findings report will identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for connecting the Port of Green Bay to global container service providers operating in the Atlantic service.

*Reports are in PDF format. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader.

Latest News:

Inland Waterways LNG Stakeholders Meeting, St. Louis, Missouri

The Great Lakes Maritime Research Institute (GLMRI) in conjunction with and support from the Maritime Administration, Department of Transportation, hosted a meeting of stakeholders to discuss the possibilities of using Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) as a marine fuel for the inland waterways".

Third annual meeting on regional Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) potential held May 21st

LNG experts discussed LNG uses and the safety culture along with their experiences as current users. The afternoon panel highlighted the potential benefits of using LNG, themed "greening the supply chain". More details here.

Meeting to Discuss Base Local Demand and Siting for an LNG Liquefaction Plant

Potential LNG fuel users from mining, agricultural, trucking, rail and maritime sectors met to determine if there is sufficient base load demand within a 200 mile region to warrant development of an LNG liquefaction and fuel transport, storage and distribution network centered in Duluth/Superior. Work continues to consider siting and determine supply chain demand. Presentations from the meeting

Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers Meeting Highlights

The SNAME Section meeting was held on Feb. 13-14 in conjunction with the Great Lakes Waterways Conference in Clevelandl. Read meeting highlights here