Travis completed his undergraduate education at the University of Illinois and then later went on to join the Railroad Engineering program as a master's degree student. His research was focused on improving the fuel efficiency and decreasing the emissions impact of railroad freight operations. This work focused mainly on the application of storage technologies to locomotive dynamic brake systems. His research should help to make railroad operations both more fuel efficient and friendlier to the environment while increasing the flexibility of railroad operations. Travis was also interested in the efficiency aspects of passenger rail systems that are used in urban environments.
Painter, T. and C.P.L. Barkan. Prospects for dynamic brake energy recovery on North American freight locomotives,JRC2006-94051. Proceedings of the ASME Joint Rail Conference, Atlanta , GA (April 2006)