Rail Transportation Program (RTP) News Briefs

Rail Transportation Program Announces AREMA Scholarship Recipients

Pasi Lautala, Director of the Rail Transportation Program (RTP), co-authored a spotlight article on the USDOT Research and Innovative Technology (RITA) the only Tier 1 University Transportation Center (UTC) focused on rail. Lautala is associate director of education for the NURail (National University Rail Center) center, a consortium of seven universities including Michigan Tech, led by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) and collaborating on the research theme of shared rail corridors. Lautala’s article, “NURail – Developing a Generation of Railway Professionals” is located online.

The American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (AREMA) Educational Foundation recently selected the recipients of their 2013 scholarship campaign. Michigan Tech Rail Transportation Program (RTP) students received more awards than any other university with 7 of the 36 scholarships granted to these students:

* Dylan Anderson: Michigan Tech Alumni Scholarship
* Chris Blessing: AREMA Committee 27–Maintenance-of-Way Work Equipment Scholarship
* Anthony Passariello: Michigan Tech Alumni Scholarship
* Sean Pengelly: AREMA Committee 18–Light Density & Short Line Railways Scholarship
* Nicholas Lanoue: REMSA Scholarship
* Hamed Pouryousef: AREMA Educational Foundation Scholarship
* Irfan Rasul: AREMA Committee 30–Ties Scholarship

The AREMA Foundation provides scholarships to engineering students who are specializing in the railway industry and supports other educational and training endeavors that help to ensure the future of the profession.

All scholarship recipients were members of the Railroad Engineering and Activities Club (REAC), a multidisciplinary student organization for those with an interest in rail.

RTP New senior research engineer

David Nelson, PE, has joined MTTI’s Rail Transportation Program July 2013 as a senior research engineer. This position will conduct and support educational, research, and program development activities. Dave Nelson will facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration among faculty with common interests in transportation and work towards the establishment of a nationally recognized research program. This position will also actively collaborate with industry as partners and to attract external funding.

Rail Transportation Program (RTP) at National Conference

Rail Transportation Program (RTP) Director Pasi Lautala (CEE) and seven students traveled to Knoxville, TN to attend and present at the 2013 Joint Rail Conference (JRC) held April 14 to 18. Lautala made a presentation during the opening plenary session, “Railway Engineering Education Symposium (REES)–Universities and Industry Collaborate to Develop Railway Education,” and co-authored and presented Evaluating the Results and Features of Two Capacity Simulation Tools on the Shared-Use Corridors, with RTP PhD student Hamed Pouryousef (CEE). In addition, Lautala was the organizer and Session Chair for two National University Rail (NURail) Center Sessions. Pouryousef chaired a session on infrastructure development.

In the Education/Student Project session, the Senior Design team of Justin Breeland (ECE), Jake Glair (ECE) and Jeff Langlois (ECE) showcased their project, “Locomotive Sand Tank Level Sensing System,” sponsored by Union Pacific Railroad. Additionally, Kyle Pepin (CEE) and Yidan Lou (MEEM) represented their Senior Design team’s, “Redesign of Type E Rail Car Coupler,” sponsored by the NURail Center and Rail Transportation Program. Alex Hardy, a PhD student (MEEM), also attended the conference and presented results of his research project with John Hill (MEEM), “Creating Scanning Pattern Maps of Driver Fixations during Hazards.”

RTP Director in Europe

Pasi Lautala (CEE), assistant professor and director of the Rail Transportation Program, presented in several European countries. Lautala presented a paper “Identifying and Meeting Challenges to Securing and Educating the Next Generation of Rail Industry Workforce in the US” in the 2nd UIC Congress in Rail Training in St. Polten, Austria. Lautala also provided a guest lecture on railway capacity at the Technical University of Braunschweig, Germany, and conducted discussions for research collaboration with Open Track Railway Technology and with University of Newcastle upon Tyne in the United Kingdom.