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Universities in Europe and the United States Collaborate to Develop Future Railway Engineers

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Marin Marinov


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The rail industry is facing unprecedented levels of retirement and growth over the next five to ten years and it will be a challenge to find new rail professionals for the industry’s workforce. Over the past several decades, universities have abandoned or reduced rail programs and the industry has experienced tremendous changes. Future rail professionals must understand the system complexities, new information technologies, and the global aspects of today’s rail industry. TUNRail is an on-going two-year project funded under the EU-US Atlantis Program that has bought together faculty from several universities in Europe and the United States to examine railway higher education programs, explore opportunities for knowledge exchange and collaboration, and develop materials for new railroad education and research programs. It is the first known effort to bridge the knowledge in rail higher education and the initial step toward continuous collaboration to strengthen the role of railway education and research in academia. The first tasks of the project are an inventory of current rail university programs on both sides of the Atlantic and an industry survey to define the demand for rail higher education and the need for educated professionals in the rail industry. Based on the outcomes the research team is assessing how well current university curriculum meets the demands and address the key aspects of modern rail systems. The research also highlights the similarities and differences between programs in the US and EU and the level of involvement between academic programs and the rail industry. One of the primary outcomes of the project is a Handbook for Rail Higher Education which will be an invaluable resource for the development of new railway education programs. This paper/presentation introduces the TUNRail project and outlines the contents of the Electronic Handbook. It will summarize the research outcomes to date, including the inventory of university rail programs in Europe and the United States, the industry survey and finally approaches for making education more global and teaching strategies more innovative.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Lautala P, Edwards R, Rosario M, Pachl J, Marinov M

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: WCRR - the 9th World Congress on Railway Research

Year of Conference: 2011