$5M FRA grant establishes NURail CoE

RailTEC is excited to share that the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has awarded the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) as the selected institution for the Fiscal Year 2022-2023 Rail Research and Development Center of Excellence program. U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), and U.S. Representative Nikki Budzinski (D-IL-13) made the announcement. This $5 million grant establishes the National University Rail Center of Excellence (NURail CoE), a pioneering initiative dedicated to developing the future workforce while advancing research and expansion that enhances the safety, efficiency, and reliability of both passenger and freight rail transportation.

Led by UIUC, the NURail CoE comprises a consortium of nine partner institutions including:

  • University of Illinois Chicago
  • University of Delaware
  • Kansas State University
  • Michigan Technological University
  • Morgan State University
  • Rutgers University
  • University of Texas at Austin
  • Tuskegee University

Under the NURail CoE program, the FRA will provide up to 50% of the cost of establishing and operating the center of excellence and supporting research activities. Each of the nine universities within the consortium will contribute a portion of the total non-federal match.

One of the main efforts across all consortium members will be the development of structured programs that introduce minority and women scholars to the different facets of rail transportation and provide pathways for them to begin rail facility careers.

RailTEC offers the most extensive curriculum in railway engineering and transportation in North America. Led by Professor Christopher P.L. Barkan, the George Krambles Director, RailTEC is a global leader in practical and theoretical research advancing the field in a broad range of rail transit engineering and transportation topics.

To read the FRA announcement click here.

To read the Durbin, Duckworth Budzinski announcement click here.

To read the News-Gazette article click here.

To read the Illinois College of Civil and Environmental Engineering article click here.