October 2015: Illinois had over 50 attendees at Railway Interchange 2015, the combined annual conferences of AREMA, RSI and RSSI held in Minneapolis, MN on 4 – 7 October. Included among them were RailTEC faculty, research engineers, staff and at least 37 students and their railway engineering prowess was on display in several ways. AREMA organized a “Student Quiz Bowl” competition, consisting of four rounds of questions related to railroad engineering, operations, history and trivia. Nine teams from different universities competed and Illinois had two teams, who took first and fourth place.
AREMA also held a student research poster competition and RailTEC grad students, Samantha Chadwick and Henry Wolf, took first and second place, respectively, while Darkhan Mussanov took first in the undergraduate category presenting work supported by the Illinois REU program.
RailTEC faculty Tyler Dick, Riley Edwards, Tim Stark, Erol Tutumluer and their students, as well as several RailTEC alumni authored papers that were presented in the conference technical sessions and/or proceedings.
AREMA also presented its annual William W. Hay Award for Excellence (named for former UIUC professor) to a joint BNSF-Union Pacific team for their Tower 55 multimodal improvement project in Fort Worth, Texas. The principal consultant for this project was HDR Engineering who also participated in the award ceremony. During his previous employment with HDR, RailTEC Senior Research Engineer, Tyler Dick was extensively involved in the Tower 55 engineering design.
The RailTEC Alumni Dinner, which was co-sponsored by Hanson Professional Services, Inc., was held on Sunday, October 4 at Rock Bottom Restaurant. Approximately 80 RailTEC faculty, research engineers, staff, students, alumni and industry representatives attended the event.