Category: News

Articles appearing in MTTI Home.

Michigan Tech and the NURail Center Consortium

NURail Center logo.

Michigan Tech was mentioned by Trains Magazine and Progressive Railroading as one of the inaugural institutional members of the new National University Rail Center of Excellence (NURail CoE). The University of Illinois hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony May 29 to celebrate the center’s opening.

The NURail Center is a nine-university consortium led by RailTEC at The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. The center includes The University of Illinois Chicago, University of Delaware, Kansas State University, Michigan Technological University, Morgan State University, Rutgers University, University of Texas at Austin, and Tuskegee University.

The $15 million center will advance research solutions to improve the safety, efficiency, and reliability of passenger and freight rail.

Pasi Lautala on the New High-Speed Railway Connecting Las Vegas and Los Angeles

Pasi Lautala on CBS News 24/7.
CBS News 24/7: Pasi Lautala, Director, Rail Transportation Program at Michigan Technological University

Pasi Lautala (CEGE) was interviewed by CBS News in a segment about the start of construction on a high-speed railway connecting Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Once finished, the railway will allow passengers to travel between the two cities in about two hours at speeds of 186 miles per hour or higher.

Lautala is the Associate Dean for Research in the College of Engineering, a professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering, and director of the Rail Transportation Program, Michigan Tech Transportation Institute.

Watch the interview at CBS News 24/7.

Pasi Lautala as an inset video with two news anchors for CBS News Travel Watch.
CBS News 24/7: Construction Begins on High-Speed Rail Line Connecting Los Angeles to Las Vegas

CN, Alumni, and Friends Scholarship Winners Spring 2024

Ryan Miller

Ryan Michael Miller

I’m a second year Construction Management major taking the Railroad Transportation Minor. I was elected to be the Railroad Engineering and Activities Club Treasurer for the 2024 semesters. I’ve always been fascinated with transportation but I recently got involved with the railroads through my internship this past summer and discovered I absolutely love the industry, driving my decision to make rail transportation my focus throughout my career. Receiving this scholarship will greatly help me to achieve my goals of graduating with a Construction Management degree with a Rail Minor.

Brendan Tanner

Brendan Nathaniel Tanner

I’m Brendan Tanner, a civil engineering major with a focus on structures and a minor in railroad transportation. Prior to coming to Michigan Tech, I worked as an engineering student for the Michigan Department of Transportation’s Office of Rail for 2.5 years, which prepared me for my role as Vice President of REAC and allowed me to share my knowledge and passion for the rail industry with my fellow huskies. This scholarship means that I can continue to focus on promoting and educating others about the rail industry through REAC.

Abigail Smith

Abigail Rose Smith

Major: Mechanical Engineering
REAC Involvement: Since being at tech I have served as President, Vice President, and Marketing Officer of the REAC club and have had the privilege of attending two AREMA conferences.

“Since getting the freshman year scholarship, and being in our AREMA student chapter all four years of college, I have had the chance to seriously develop my leadership skills, network with our alumni, and take courses pertaining to rail. The Rail Transportation Program has really given me a great circle of folks these last few years and I am thankful for all the opportunities it has given me.”

Learn more about the Michigan Tech Alumni and Friends Scholarship.

Spring 2024 Albert J. Reinschmidt Memorial Scholarship Winner

Mohammad Anas Taeb

Mohammad Anas Taeb

I arrived at MTU as Fulbright Scholar and gained my master’s degree in civil engineering in summer 2021 and am currently pursuing a Ph.D. while working on the research project titled “Developing an LCA Framework for Railway Track Maintenance Operations.” My introduction to AREMA and REAC occurred during the “Railway Engineering” class. Over the past two years, I have participated in AREMA conferences, providing me with valuable opportunities to connect with industry experts and committee members. Additionally, I attended the Railroad Environmental Conference (RREC) in both 2022 and 2023. During the latter, I had the privilege of presenting on the “Life Cycle Assessment Project for Railway Track Maintenance,” sharing insights from the project’s endeavors.

Apart from my involvement with REAC, I have been engaged in the FRA’s “Tracks to the Future” program for the past two years. In this role, I coordinate activities tailored for high school students, involving the preparation of materials, and delivering classroom instruction. Recent environmental changes and improved access to data aspire me to work on seeking optimal sustainable solutions aligned with the railway industry’s evolving economic and environmental objectives. Before embarking on my academic journey at MTU in 2020, I already had gained eight years of project and construction management experience. I also hold Project Management Professional (PMP)® credentials since 2017.

What This Scholarship Means

I am sincerely grateful for being awarded the Albert J. Reinschmidt railway scholarship. This support will further encourage me to dedicate myself fully to my research and studies, enabling me to contribute meaningfully to the field of sustainable railway infrastructure.

Tracks to the Future 2024: Support Student Travel

Please give by March 20, 2024.

We will be making initial selections for the campus locations during the week of March 18.

The third iteration of Tracks to the Future program registrations are rapidly progressing. This year we have 200 slots at 10 different Universities! One of our goals is to have the program available for students regardless of their financial status. FRA covers the program costs, but transportation to the host sites is not covered. Last year, 1 in every 6 students received transportation support. If you want to help the students to learn of rail transportation, below is how to provide a corporate donation that supports student travel. All donations come to Michigan Tech, who will reimburse students requesting assistance across all 10 campuses either fully or partially (depending on amount available) based on students’ actual travel expenses.

How to Support Travel

Make a Donation

Donate to the Michigan Tech Fund by March 20, 2024. Please give to the Rail Transportation Program General Support fund, which supports student travel and its administration.

How to Give

If you would like to support Tracks to the Future student travel, please select the level of contribution below. The fund designation “Rail Transportation Program General Support (CEGE)” is already selected for you. Please fill out the contact information and billing address, then select Give Now. Send email to Amanda ( to confirm your donation. Please send your company logo. Thank you in advance for supporting the next generation of railroaders.

Levels of Support

Platinum: $2,000 and up supports eight students. (Panel Discussion Slot and Logo in Materials)

Diamond: $1,000 supports four students. Brand Representation (Logo in Materials)

Gold: $500 supports two students. Brand Representation (Logo in Materials)

All companies who support are recognized on the website and in program materials.

Confirm Your Donation

Send email to Amanda ( to confirm your donation. Please send your company logo.

Print the Support Flyer

Student Action

Students submit “travel cost estimate” to Tech for approval prior to the event.

Students submit expenses for Tech reimbursement after the event.

Map of the US with several states colorized to show origin of participating students.
Students from many states in the Great Lakes, New England, South, West Coast, and Texas regions participated in 2023.

2024 Michigan Tech RTP Railroad Scholarships

Deadline: January 10, 2024

Michigan Tech Rail Transportation Program scholarships are proudly sponsored by the CN Endowment Fund and by generous donations from our alumni, other industry supporters, and friends. This year, we are also the benefactors of Albert J. Reinschmidt Memorial scholarship. Michigan Tech became only the third university eligible university for the scholarship.

The exact number and size of scholarships (except AJR scholarship) will depend on the level of donations we receive, but we have traditionally awarded 3–4 scholarships annually for Michigan Tech students with interests in the railroad industry.

Award Information

$2,500 – Albert J. Reinschmidt Memorial Scholarship (one)

Eligibility: Applicants for the Albert J. Reinschmidt Memorial Scholarship must be pursuing an academic interest in the railway industry.

$1,000-1,500 each – CN Endowment Fund and Michigan Tech Alumni and Friends Scholarships

Eligibility: Applicants for the Railroad Scholarships must be an undergraduate student at Michigan Tech University in good standing and interested in the railroad industry. Open to all disciplines.

Application Process

To apply for Railroad Scholarships, complete the Google form and email your transcript to Pam Hannon by January 10, 2024.

Please also visit RTP Scholarships for more information or see Pasi Lautala.

Application package must include:

Successful applicants will be informed of awards by the early part of the Spring 2024 Semester.

2024 AREMA Educational Foundation Scholarship Application

Deadline: December 29, 2023

The AREMA Educational 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.

To be eligible for consideration, applicants must be enrolled in a Graduate or Undergraduate program leading to a degree in Engineering or Engineering Technology in a curriculum which has been accredited by the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (or comparable accreditation in Canada and Mexico).

AREMA membership is required, and applicants should apply for complimentary Student Membership here before attempting to submit a scholarship application.

Learn more at the AREMA Foundation and apply.