The dates for RREC 2016 are November 1-2, 2016. We hope to see you there!
In the News
RailTEC to be featured on “Great American Railroad Journeys”
Riley Edwards, left, talking with BBC series host, Michael Portillo.
Oct. 2016: BBC’s “Great American Railroad Journeys” series host Michael Portillo traveled to Champaign on 23 September to film part of the series’ second season. Portillo and his production crew visited local railroad sites including RailTEC’s Research & Innovation Laboratory (RAIL). While at RAIL, Portillo was filmed learning how to apply a rail strain gauge to capture the loads from trains that are being imparted into the track, first by cleaning the rail and then by tack welding the gauge onto the rail. Click here to see photos from their visit.
Portillo has been using an 1879 copy of Appleton's Guidebook to the railroads of the United States and Canada, and is traveling across the U.S. by train, making stops at important historical sites and learning about influential historical events and famous Americans. In Season 1 of this travel documentary series, Portillo travel down the East coast from Niagara Falls to Jamestown, Virginia. This season he is on a journey from St. Louis, MO to the Grand Canyon. Season 2 will debut in the UK in early 2017 after which the BBC will open up the series to other networks. Last season’s episodes may be watched on YouTube.
Postdoc Opportunity in High Speed Rail
Oct 2016: This opportunity creates a rich potential for world leading research to contribute to the knowledge of high speed rail and to influence the decision makers of the future. The “Birmingham-Illinois Partnership for Discovery, Engagement and Education” (BRIDGE) Fellowship program brings together international research teams in the UK and USA to recruit high-potential, early-career researchers to contribute to the research and academic excellence of both institutions across four key areas. One of these key areas is international high speed rail. The successful applicant will work in two of the world’s leading centers for research into railways; Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE) at the University of Birmingham and the Rail Transportation and Engineering Center (RailTEC) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Applications due November 7. For additional information, please click here.
Sept 2016: Congratulations to Chen-Yu Lin, the winner of a 2016 Frank J. Richter Scholarship. This award is given annually by the American Association of Railroad Superintendents (AARS). The winners are evaluated on past transcripts, activities and honors, academic contributions (publications) and letters of recommendation. RailTEC has had five other students receive this scholarship.
Trespassing: A RR Safety Issue
Sept 2016: In her September 18 article Mary Wisniewski, the transportation reporter and Getting Around columnist for the Chicago Tribune, quoted Chris Barkan, Professor and Executive Director of RailTEC. The article discusses how trespassing has become the top railroad safety issue and how Pokémon GO is the latest hazard. As part of their safety research, Dr. Barkan challenged his students to come up with ideas to include in the Pokémon app that would discourage trespassing and encourage safe behavior at grade crossings. The article mentions that one of the suggestions by the students was that Pokémon GO players should lose a cartoon “buddy” if they trespass near tracks. Click here to read the article.
Barkan Receives Educator Award
Sep 2016: Chris Barkan, Professor and Executive Director of RailTEC, received the Michael S DeLarco Educator Award given by the DuPage Railroad Safety Council (DRSC). The award was presented at DRSC’s “Prevent Tragedy on the Tracks” conference in Oak Brook, IL on September 15, 2016 where Dr. Barkan was an invited speaker. This honor was given for his outstanding efforts to help promote railroad safety and was named after Michael S. DeLarco who lost his life in a train accident. DRSC is a nonprofit organization made up of railroad professionals, government officials, law enforcement, engineers, educators and private citizens who are dedicated to improving railway safety. Pictured above are UIUC student Lijun Zhang; Chris Barkan; Lanny Wilson, DRSC Chairman; and Weixi Li, UIUC student. Also attending the event was UIUC student Siyao Luan. To see Dr. Barkan’s presentation, click here.
For over a century the University of Illinois has been a leader in railway engineering research and education. Beginning with Talbot's fundamental work on railroad track design, and Schmidt & Tuthill's work on train energy and power requirements, through Hay's textbook on railroad engineering, The U of I has a distinguished record of accomplishment and remains highly respected by today's railroad engineering community.
What we do:Education
Inspire and sustain students and faculty interest in rail engineering and transport. Teach courses and offer a curriculum in rail engineering and transportation. Place Graduates in rewarding positions in rail engineering, transportation planning, and operations. Understand the critical educational issues in rail transportation, and develop practical, effective solutions.
Understand the critical research issues in rail transportation, and develop practical, effective solutions. Conduct practical and theoretical research in critically important current topics in rail engineering and transportation. Communicate the results of this research to the rail transportation community.
Provide knowledge and expertise to university, industry, government, and public on rail transportation and engineering topics.