The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) announced the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) as the selected institution for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022-2023 Rail Research and Development Center of Excellence (CoE) program.
The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) has been awarded up to $5,000,000 to establish the National University Rail Center of Excellence (NURail CoE), an 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 the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, the NURail CoE comprises a consortium of nine partner institutions, including the University of Illinois Chicago, University of Delaware, Kansas State University, Michigan Technological University, Morgan State University, Rutgers University, University of Texas at Austin, and Tuskegee University.
More About the NURail CoE
The NURail CoE will appropriate its resources towards research areas encompassing a range of topics.
Potential research topics may include the development of groundbreaking technologies to advance rolling stock, Positive Train Control systems, human factors, rail infrastructure enhancements, shared corridor solutions, grade crossing safety innovations, trespasser prevention strategies, inspection technology advancements, remote sensing applications, rail systems maintenance approaches, network resiliency solutions, operational reliability enhancements, energy efficiency measures, and other pioneering subjects aimed at promoting and improving rail transportation.
“This summer, I had the chance to visit the Urbana-Champaign area to celebrate investments we’re making there to improve railroad safety,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “We are proud to provide UIUC with funding to establish the National University Rail Center of Excellence, which will pursue pioneering research and innovation to make railroads safer across the country.”
Under the NURail CoE program, 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 NURail CoE consortium will contribute a portion of the total non-Federal match, demonstrating their commitment to the advancement of rail research and development.