Rail Transportation Program (RTP) Director Pasi Lautala (CEE), Assistant Professor Jeffrey Lidicker (CEE) and 20 Rail Engineering and Activities Club (REAC) students attended the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance Right-of-Way (AREMA) annual conference in Chicago recently. Michigan Tech RTP students were recognized for their AREMA scholarship success. Two of the students, Matt Purves (CEE) and Colin Lay (CEE) were selected to serve as student interns for the Conference Operating Committee.
Lautala also presented a collaborative paper “Win-Win: Shortline Railroad and University Team Up for Education and Development” with Darryl Babbitt ’08 (CEE) from Lake Superior and Ishpeming Railroad. Lautala and REAC students represented Michigan Tech as a partner in the first USDOT granted University Transportation Center focused on rail at the National University Rail Center (NURail) exposition booth.
On Wednesday, a (High Speed) Rail Workforce Symposium was conducted by the RTP as a deliverable of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) project granted to Michigan Tech, with Lautala as the PI. The symposium was offered live at the Chicago Hilton and via webinar to approximately 50 total participants. Tribal Technical Assistance Program (TTAP) Director John Velat presented an overview of the technical components of the proof-of-concept web portal being developed. Lautala also gave an overview of the project and served as moderator. Scott Bershing (TTAP) provided the technical capabilities for the webinar and recording of the event.
Earlier in the week, the inaugural Rail Transportation Program Alumni Event, in conjunction with AREMA, was held at the Chicago Hilton where nearly 40 Michigan Tech rail alumni and students gathered for an RTP overview from Lautala. The RTP is a part of the Michigan Tech Transportation Institute (MTTI).