Global Announcements

  • Spring MATERHORN-X Field campaign is a success!
  • NSF Summer Student Program University of Minnesota-Duluth
  • Scott Speckart successfully defended his PhD on Monday April 29, 2013.
  • BLLAST field experiment video is now available here.
  • Sustainability growing at the U with the GCSC

Spotlight

Scott Speckart

Scott Speckart

Hometown: Salt Lake City

Program: PhD

Research Interests: My interests include: the examination of atmospheric dispersion both numerically and experimentally. The numerical aspect spans from Lagrangian dispersion models to simpler Atmospheric dispersion models (ADE). Comparing these model results with measurements from the field is very rewarding. My research has implemented these models and methodology to understanding the problem of near source deposition of PM10 generated from traffic on unpaved roads.

I am also interested in the modeling of turbulence. This includes the implementation of simple mixing length models to more complex Large Eddy Simulation (LES). The application of these methods Atmospheric flows to smaller scale engineering flows is of great interest to me.

Publications:
Speckart, S., Pardyjak, E., Quick response modeling of windbreaks (Manuscript under preparation).
Speckart, S., Pardyjak, E., Veranth J.V., Parameters that influence the removal of PM10 in the near source zone downwind of unpaved roads: suggested by field studies and confirmed by numerical solution (Manuscript under preparation).
Holmes, H.A., Pardyjak, E.R., Speckart S.O., Alexander A., 2011. Comparison of indoor/outdoor carbon content and time resolved PM concentrations for gas and biomass cooking fuels in Nogales Sonora. Atmospheric Environment 45:7600-7611
Pardyjak, E.R., Speckart, S. O., Yin F., Veranth J.M., 2008. Near source deposition of vehicle generated fugitive dust on vegetation and buildings: Model development and theory. Atmospheric Environment 42: 6442–6452
J. Veranth, S. Speckart, B. Addepelli, and E. Pardyjak, 2010: Development of windbreak dust control models for roadway fugitive dust mitigation and transport flux, AAAR 29th Annual Conference, Portland, OR, 25-29 October 2010. Paper Number: 8.B.16
John M. Veranth, Kevin Perry, Eric Pardyjak, Scott Speckart, Raed Labban, Erin Kaser, John Watson, Judy C. Chow, Vic Etyemezian, Steve Kohl, “Characterization of PM2.5 Dust Emissions from Training/Testing Range Operations." Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) Project SI-1190 August 2008)
John Veranth, Scott Speckart, Eric Pardyjak, “Experimental and modeling study of particle deposition near roads.” (American Association for Aerosol Research (AAAR) Reno Nevada, September 2007)
H.A. Holmes, S. O. Speckart and E. R. Pardyjak, 2007: Comparison of the time evolved spatial distribution of urban PM2.5 concentrations during burning and wind-blown high PM events in Yuma, AZ, Amer. Meteor. Soc., Seventh Symposium on the Urban Environment, San Diego, CA, 10-13 September 2007, paper 8.5.
Eric Pardyjak, Prathap Ramamurthy, Scott Speckart, “Development of a windbreak dust control strategy tool for communities in arid climates such as the US-Mexico border region.” (Southwest Consortium for Environmental Research and Policy (SCERP) Annual Technical Conference, Tucson Arizona, December 2006)
Eric Pardyjak, Scott Speckart, “Assessment of windbreaks as a dust control strategy for communities in arid climates such as the US-Mexico border region.” (Southwest Consortium for Environmental Research and Policy (SCERP) Annual Technical Conference, San Diego January 2006)
Veranth , J., S. Speckart, E. Pardyjak, V. Etyemezian, Experimental and numerical studies of near source fugitive dust transport, American Association for Aerosol Research, 2005 Annual Conference, Austin, Texas October 17 - 21, 2005.
Scott Speckart, Eric Pardyjak, Vic Etyemezian, Fang Yin, John Veranth,” Computational Modeling of Near-Source Deposition of Fugitive Dust on Vegetative Surfaces.” (Air and Waste Management Association Conference, Minneapolis Minnesota, June 2005)

Optimization of Urban Designs for Air Quality and Energy Efficiency

A real-time simulation of dispersion in an urban domain

E.R. Pardyjak (Mechanical Engineering)

P. Willemsen (University of Minnesota - Duluth)

Intellectual Merit
Over the past three decades, urban planners have attempted to make cities more sustainable by espousing higher density urban design concepts such as Compact Cities, Walkable Communities, and New Urbanist developments. It has been argued by some urban planners that the per capita energy use and air pollution emissions in densely built cities are less than in their more sprawling less dense counterparts. However, as urban density increases, the ability for pollutants to be transported out of the urban area is inhibited. This complex interaction between various types of urban form and their potential energy use and air quality is poorly understood. The critical need addressed by the proposal is to increase knowledge for how environment and urban form interact. Our hypothesis is that urban structures and layouts exist which can minimize energy use while also minimizing air pollution exposure. The purpose of this proposal is to investigate this complex interaction for various types of urban structures and to develop a design strategy for optimizing urban form under a variety of constraints. Our approach will be to develop an extremely fast and inexpensive energy use and dispersion modeling tool for urban areas that builds on our previous work. The modeling system will utilize the unique computational parallelism afforded by graphics processing units (GPUs, that are regularly utilized in the video game industry), to run many simulations in an effort to train an optimization algorithm for determining optimal designs for urban structures and their layout. We will also utilize an interactive and immersive virtual environment to provide unprecedented understanding and refinement of the complex physical processes associated with the energy balance and pollutant dispersion in an urban setting.
Broader Impacts
We expect that the modeling capabilities that will be developed through this work will aid urban planners in developing useful and novel planning strategies to improve the sustainability of modern cities. To help ensure this, we will work with urban planners throughout the model development process. We also believe that this work will aid architects by providing them with a tool that not only analyzes isolated buildings, but also provides understanding regarding the interaction of multiple buildings during the design process. In addition, this proposal has a substantial outreach component designed to provide a unique educational opportunity for American Indians, Alaskan Natives, and other minorities to learn about various aspects of modeling in environmental engineering. Through our program, American Indian students from Northern Minnesota will be invited to a weeklong interactive learning symposium during each of the three years of the grant.