Ice & Snow Engineering Research Opportunities in Civil Engineering

Ed Adams, Dan Miller, Ladean McKittrick, Kevin Hammonds

205 Cobleigh Hall

Research Overview

In the broad research area of Ice and Snow Engineering, researchers at MSU work in the laboratory and in the field studying the material properties of ice and snow in all its forms and phases. As part of a dedicated effort to better understand the Earth’s cryosphere, research areas include

  • Snow mechanics
  • Snow hydrology
  • The radiative properties of snow
  • The remote sensing of snowcovers
  • Ice sheet and glacier rheology
  • Advanced techniques for the microstructural characterization of ice and snow

Utilizing MSU’s unique and world-class Subzero Science and Engineering Research Facility (SSERF), housed within the Civil Engineering Dept., researchers have access to eight walk-in cold rooms, all with specific functions and capabilities including an environmental testing chamber, a NASA certified clean room, a structural testing chamber, and a microstructural characterization laboratory used for optical microscopy, particle velocimetry, and X-ray computed micro-tomography. Researchers also have access to two scanning electron microscopes equipped with cryo-stages for use with ice and snow specimens.

When not working in the SSERF, researchers travel to the field to study ice and snow in its natural environment. Typical research destinations include the Arctic and Antarctic regions of the world as well as nearby ski areas and national parks, depending on the type of research being conducted.

Representative Publications

Adams, E., and R. Brown (1983), Metamorphism of dry snow as a result of temperature gradient and vapor density differences, Annals of Glaciology, 4(1), 3-9.

Adams, E. E., and D. A. Miller (2003), Ice crystals grown from vapor onto an orientated substrate: application to snow depth-hoar development and gas inclusions in lake ice, Journal of Glaciology, 49(164), 8-12.

Hammonds, K., and I. Baker (2017), Quantifying damage in polycrystalline ice via X-Ray computed micro-tomography, Acta Materialia, 127, 463-470.

Hammonds, K., & Baker, I. (2017). The effects of H2SO4 on the mechanical properties and microstructural evolution of polycrystalline ice. Journal of Geophysical Research, under review.

Hammonds, K., R. Lieb-Lappen, I. Baker, and X. Wang (2015), Investigating the thermophysical properties of the ice–snow interface under a controlled temperature gradient, Cold Regions Science and Technology, 120, 157-167

Miller, D., and E. Adams (2009), A microstructural dry-snow metamorphism model for kinetic crystal growth, Journal of Glaciology, 55(194), 1003-1011.

Miller, D., E. Adams, and R. Brown (2003), A microstructural approach to predict dry snow metamorphism in generalized thermal conditions, Cold Regions Science and Technology, 37(3), 213-226.

Miller, D., R. Tichota, and E. Adams (2011), An explicit numerical model for the study of snow's response to explosive air blast, Cold Regions Science and Technology, 69(2), 156-164.

Stanton, B., D. Miller, E. Adams, and J. A. Shaw (2016), Bidirectional-reflectance measurements for various snow crystal morphologies, Cold Regions Science and Technology, 124, 110-117.

Walters, D. J., and E. E. Adams (2014), Quantifying anisotropy from experimental testing of radiation recrystallized snow layers, Cold Regions Science and Technology, 97, 72-80.