8-11 June 2008
Rapid growth in the rail industry, combined with high rates of retirement in the near future, has resulted in a substantial increase in the industry’s need to hire new engineering graduates. Currently, rail engineering education at the university level is limited, which causes difficulty in attracting engineering students to the railroad engineering profession. To foster the growth of rail engineering education within universities, the AREMA Foundation and AREMA Committee 24 – Education and Training, organized an event called the Railway Engineering Education Symposium (REES). The goal of the event was to provide engineering professors with rail curriculum to take back to the classroom.
REES was held from June 8-11, 2008, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The symposium included two days of discussion on railroad engineering materials, current and future research, and a visit to a local railroad facility. The classroom portion of the symposium involved presentation and discussion of the lecture materials that was also provided to the professors. Time was also set aside for presentation and discussion of railroad research activities and opportunities, and the current state of railroad engineering education. The field visit provided professors the chance to see the railroad environment first hand and illustrate the possibility of conducting organized field trips in cooperation with railroads near their respective institutions as part of their instructional activities.