It is with great sadness that RailTEC received news of the passing of Dr. Ernest J. Barenberg on January 19, 2021. Dr. Barenberg, CEE professor emeritus and alumnus, was instrumental in establishing and growing the Railroad Engineering Program, the forerunner to the current Rail Transportation and Engineering Center (RailTEC).
Starting in the early 1980’s, Dr. Barenberg continued the legacy of rail research and teaching at Illinois that had been under the leadership of the renown Dr. William W. Hay from 1947 to 1977. Dr. Barenberg developed a program encompassing all aspects of rail engineering (civil, mechanical, and electrical). While the program funded many rail research projects across multiple departments, Dr. Barenberg’s primary interest was railroad track systems, given his deep understanding of the performance of concrete pavements and transportation facilities.
Dr. Barenberg served as director of the Association of American Railroads (AAR) Affiliated Laboratory at Illinois from its inception in 1983 until his retirement in 1998, when Professor Christopher P.L. Barkan arrived at Illinois.
For Dr. Barenberg’s detailed obituary, please click here.