While the railroad industry is the leader in long-haul freight transportation in the United States, recruiting students to leadership roles in the industry is challenging. A new Guidebook for Railway-themed K-12 STEM Outreach Activities is now available. It contains descriptions of educational activities designed to introduce students to the railroad transportation mode through the lens of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) concepts. The activities in the manual cover a wide variety of railroad topics and the hands-on activities are intended to provide students with knowledge through experiential learning that also increases their awareness of railway transportation technology. This guidebook was funded by NURail and the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association.
Faculty, students, and alumni from NURail partner and affiliate schools participated in the AREMA 2020 Virtual Conference & Expo held September 13 - 17. From giving presentations, participating on panels, and winning poster competitions, NURail was well represented during the conference. The winner of the Undergraduate Student Poster Competition was Walter Friesel from NURail partner school, Michigan Technological University. His poster was titled: "An Analysis of the Effectiveness of Locomotive Horns at Active Grade Crossings". After winning the competition, Walter had the opportunity to talk about his research during a live Q&A session. NURail was also one of 80 exhibitors at the Expo.
The Virtual Midwest Rail Conference was a resounding success with over 270 participants and 32 interesting and timely presentations. This was the second Midwest Rail Conference and the first as a virtual platform. NURail's Tyler Dick, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), presented "Operational Aspects of Precision Scheduled Railroading" in the first breakout session. Several NURail partners and affiliates were members of the conference planning committee while NURail partners Chris Barkan (UIUC), David Clarke (University of Tennessee, Knoxville) and Reg Souleyrette (University of Kentucky) were conference moderators. The event was held on August 11 - 12 and the theme was "Sustaining Midwest Rail".
Due to COVID-19 concerns, the 2nd Midwest Rail Conference has shifted to a virtual platform. This event will be held on August 11 - 12 from 9:00 am - 1:00 pm (Central Time) and registration is now open. Regular registration before the end of July is only $25 and late registration is $50. The theme for this year's conference is "Sustaining Midwest Rail". The conference features two days of presentations on all things rail, and will include keynote presentations by Mike McClellan, VP Strategic Planning for NS and Joe McHugh, VP State Supported Business Development for Amtrak. A draft program and registration information can be found at at the conference web site here.
The winners of the 2020 American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (AREMA) Educational Foundation scholarships were recently announced. Fifteen of the 34 AREMA scholarships awarded went to students attending NURail Center partner schools and an additional four went to NURail affiliate members. For a complete list of names and their awarded scholarships, click here. The AREMA Educational Foundation provides scholarships to engineering students who are specializing in the railway industry and supports other educational and training endeavors that help to ensure the future of the profession. Congratulations to all!
The NURail Center is a rail-focused seven-university consortium led by the Rail Transportation and Engineering Center (RailTEC) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
We are a Tier-1 University Transportation Center (UTC) under the US Department of Transportation (DOT) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research & Technology (OST-R) program working to improve and expand rail education, research, workforce development, and technology transfer.
Members of the consortium are:
of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
University of Illinois at Chicago
College of Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Michigan Technological University
University of Kentucky
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
Tel: (217) 244-4999
Fax: (217) 333-9464