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Know a High School Student Interested in Rail?
January 14, 2019

NURail Partner Michigan Technological University is hosting the 10th Annual Rail and Intermodal Transportation Summer Youth Program on July 7 – 13, 2019 in Houghton, MI. Student in grades 9 – 11 are encouraged to apply. This program is designed to create awareness and stimulate interest in the areas of rail and intermodal transportation. Registration is open, scholarships are available, and applications are due by May 1.

Watts Named NURail Student of the Year
November 15, 2018

Travis J. Watts, currently a Graduate Research and Teaching Assistant in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Kentucky (UK), has been named the 2018 National University Rail (NURail) Center Student of the Year. In his time at UK, Travis has studied Transportation and Geotechnical Engineering, with an emphasis on Railway Engineering. His primary research interest is mechanistic track design. As the recipient of this award, Travis will receive an honorarium from NURail in recognition of his outstanding technical research, record of publications and presentation academic performance, and professional leadership plus the cost of attendance to the 98th TRB Annual Meeting, two free registrations to the CUTC Banquet, and a certificate from US DOT.

University of Kentucky Poster Winners
September 28, 2018

Left to Right: Ethan Russell, Aaron Cole, Liam Dancey, Brent Thompson, and Travis Watts; before departing to the AREMA Meeting

Five University of Kentucky (UK) RailCats attended the Annual American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (AREMA) meeting in Chicago in September 2018. RailCats is the UK AREMA Student Chapter. Their poster received second place from among numerous submittals from schools all over the country. Civil engineering alumnus and current graduate student Travis Watts’s research on mechanistic track design served as the focus for the poster.

Click here to see their poster.

2018 NURail Annual Meeting
August 14, 2018

NURail held its annual meeting in conjunction with TRB's Summerail at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum in Chattanooga, TN on August 1-3, 2018. Travis Watts, a graduate research assistant at the University of Kentucky – Lexington, presented his work on "Crosstie/Ballast Interfacial Pressure Measurement and Analyses" on Wednesday afternoon while Tyler Dick, RailTEC's Senior Research Engineer and Director of Education, gave his presentation Friday morning on "Influence of Traffic Complexity on Railway Hump Classification Yard Capacity". The meeting included a technical tour on Thursday.

Rail University Transportation Center Leaders
June 5, 2018

The leaders of the three rail University Transportation Centers (UTC) attended the Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC) meeting in Minneapolis, MN from June 4-6, 2018. From left to right are: Dr. Harry Tang, Director of the University Transportation Center on Improving Rail Transportation Infrastructure Sustainability and Durability at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Dr. Chris Barkan, Director of the NURail Center at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and Dr. Constantine Tarawneh, Director of the University Transportation Center for Railway Safety at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

NURail Presence at JRC
April 19, 2018

Michigan Tech graduate student, Alawudin Salim, giving his presentation on "Using Naturalistic Driving Study Data to Investigate Driver Behavior at Highway-Rail Grade Crossings" at JRC.

NURail partner schools attended the 2018 Joint Rail Conference (JRC) in Pittsburgh, PA on April 18 – 20. In addition to NURail related members giving over 25 presentations, they were also Session or Track Organizers, Co-chairs of the Organizing and Planning Committee, and Technical Program Committee members. JRC is an international conference and the premier technical event in the U.S.A. including all disciplines for freight and passenger rail transportation; mechanical, electrical, civil, and systems engineering, as well as rail safety, planning, design, manufacturing, financing, operations, and management.

Springfield Students Welcomed by NURail Center
March 12, 2018

The NURail Center welcomed Hanson Professional Services Inc. and a group of middle and high school students from Springfield, IL to Engineering Open House (EOH) on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus on Saturday, March 10. EOH is an annual student-led event featuring two days of exhibits and competitions that showcase the engineering students and is open to the public at no cost. Hanson’s group of 17 students plus 6 adults spent the day examining a portion of the over 250 interactive exhibits on display spread throughout 17 different University buildings.

Click HERE for more news.

Featured Project

Upcoming Events

JAN13 - 17 2019

Washington, DC
Transportation Research Board (TRB) 98th Annual Meeting

APR9 - 12 2019

Snowbird, UT
2019 Joint Rail Conference

AUG7 - 9 2019

Lansing, MI
Michigan State Campus

Michigan Rail Conference

Who We Are

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:

University 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


NURail Center
1239B Newmark Engineering Laboratory, MC-250
205 N. Mathews Avenue
Urbana, IL 61801

Tel: (217) 244-4999
Fax: (217) 333-9464