Archives—February 2013

Civil Engineering Graduate Seminar

Civil Engineering Graduate Seminar, Thursday, February 28, 2013, 4:00 to 5:00 pm, Room 642 Dow
Speaker: Hamed Pouryousef, Ph.D. candidate

Title: Railway Capacity and Evaluating the Results and Features of Two Capacity Simulation Tools on the Shared-use Corridors


The majority of passenger rail services in the United States (U.S.) operate on the shared-use corridors with freight rail. These types of operations tend to be challenging due to high heterogeneity, particularly in terms of reliability of service and capacity availability. The projected growth in demand for rail transportation is likely to exacerbate the situation. Similar to the U.S., the European passenger rail services are generally operated on shared-use corridors, but the infrastructure conditions and the operational priorities and patterns typically allow more reliable and higher speed passenger operations in comparison to the U.S. trains.

Both continents use capacity and simulation software to analyze capacity allocations and operational limitations. However, the effects of the software selection haven’t been investigated. This research reviews two common simulation tools developed in the U.S. and Europe, Rail Traffic Controller (RTC) and Railsys, respectively. The paper reviews the structure and the main components of these two simulation tools. It will also present the outcomes of running RTC and Railsys through a given segment of shared-use track based on the same rolling stock, operation and signaling characteristics and analyze the similarities and differences between the outcomes of RTC and Railsys.

Antonio Velazquez Hernandez: Exceptional Graduate Student Scholar

The Graduate Research Colloquium (GRC) was held on Feb 21-22, 2013. GRC was organized by the Graduate Student Government (GSG). Graduate students from all departments at Michigan Tech presented their research and ideas to other students and faculty in the form of oral or poster presentations. A group of judges that consists of faculty (and/or some invited members of industry) evaluated student’s presentations to award prizes to the best 1st, 2nd and 3rd presentations from each session (oral and poster). There are also three honorable mention awards given in both oral and poster presentation sessions. Continue reading

2013 Railroad Night

Railroad Night, hosted by Railroad Engineering and Activities Club (REAC)
with a chance to meet the rail industry alumni and officials.

Keynote speaker for Railroad Night 2013 was Robert C. VanderClute (left)
Sr. Vice President Safety and Operations, Association of American Railroads;
2012 Recipient of Railway Age’s W. Graham Claytor Jr. Award for
Distinguished Service to Passenger Transportation, shown here with Brian Sykes, Norfolk Southern,
and Dr. Pasi Lautala, Director of the Rail Transportation Program, Michigan Tech Continue reading

CN Donates $500,000 to Rail Transportation Program

CN, North America’s Railroad, announced today it has donated $500,000 to Michigan Technological University’s Rail Transportation Program to create the CN Endowed Fellowship in Rail Transportation. This brings CN’s total funding to the program to $750,000.

Building on the CN Rail Transportation Education Center that opened in 2010, the endowment will support rail transportation-related projects and research, as well as hardware and software resources for students, and provide student scholarships.


Civil Engineering Graduate Seminar

Civil Engineering Graduate Seminar: Thursday, 21, 2013; Room 642 Dow, 4:00 pm
Mary Christianson, PhD candidate will present a second seminar concerning an alternative bonding agent to the use of Portland cement. Topic: Geopoly-what? Part II: Developing glass-based geopolymer mortars
In part I of the Geopoly-what? series, CEE grads and faculty were introduced to the basics of geopolymers, a low-CO2 binder capable of performing equally to or better than ordinary portland cement in terms of mechanical and durability performance. Part II of this series offers a recap of the mechanisms behind geopolymer technology followed by a look into the development of glass-based geopolymer mortars activated with NaOH. A review of those materials currently used in geopolymer reseach as well as a discussion of the viability of glass for use in geopolymers will also be presented.

Civil Engineering Graduate Seminar

Civil Engineering Graduate Seminar; Thursday, February 14, 2013; Room 642 Dow; 4:00 pm; Bill Bulleit, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering; “Thinking About Engineering: Is Philosophy Useful?” What makes engineering different from other disciplines? How do engineers do what they do? Is there such a thing as engineering knowledge? How do engineers make decisions under uncertainty? Does philosophy have anything to say about engineering? The seminar will address and begin to answer these and other questions.