Student Projects

RTP students have the opportunity to be involved in projects and research. Student projects develop organizational skills, real-life project experience, ability to work with clients, and interactive hands-on learning. There are two primary avenues for students to get real life project experience: Senior Design or Enterprise. 

The general objective of the Senior Design Project is to provide an opportunity to successfully complete a major, semester-long assignment integrating a range of civil and environmental engineering disciplines and skills.  This course serves as a transition between traditional teaching and professional practice.

Enterprise teams perform testing and analysis, make recommendations, manufacture parts, develop products and processes, provide services, meet budgets and schedules, and manage multiple projects. Faculty members act as coaches and mentors. Industry sponsors advise and guide. Enterprise projects can be one or more semester's long.

Students are welcome to contact any of the RTP Faculty members for new projects.

Scroll down or search our student Project Archives to check out completed and ongoing projects. 

 

Projects

Principal Investigator: Cin/Optic Media
The Rail Transportation Program revolves around preparing students to create the future of the rail industry. Cin/Optic Media is a Michigan Tech Enterprise partnering with RTP and NuRail to create a promotional video and materials. Cin/Optic is developing a video that will highlight the opportunities that RTP offers to students as well as taking a closer look at the ever growing rail industry and how students in the RTP will be contributing to the future of the transportation industry. With the help of Cin/Optic the RTP will demonstrate the benefits of rail initiatives and how rail can reduce environmental impact significant in the transportation industry.
Sponsored by: NURail Center
Project Schedule:
Dec, 2013 to May, 2014
A multidisciplinary team of 13 students completed a track design project to improve capacity of the Lake Superior and Ishpeming Railroad. The team designed two rail sidings, including cost estimates and construction plans, and analyzed the impact of the improvements on the LS&I system.
Project Schedule:
Sep, 2009 to May, 2010
Principal Investigator: Dr. Pasi Lautala
In the Spring of 2013, a Michigan Tech Senior Design Team investigated ways to improve the railroad coupler to increase reliability and effectiveness. 
Project Schedule:
Apr, 2013
Principal Investigator: Dr. Pasi Lautala
During the fall of 2013, Senior Design Students in the Department of Mechanical Engineering - Engineering Mechanics investigated a conversion application for disused centerbeam-type railcars. The design team evaluated means and methods of converting the cars for other purposes, such as flat cars. 
Project Schedule:
Dec, 2013
Contaminants on the wheel of a railcar can have an adverse impact on the railcars themselves. One location where it can be particularly dangerous is in hump yards, where buildup of contaminants can reduce the effectiveness of retarders, which are used to slow down railcars being gravity-fed over a "hump" into the classification yard. 
Project Schedule:
Sep, 2015 to Apr, 2016
Principal Investigator: Dr. Pasi Lautala
During the 2015-2016 school year, Senior Design Students from Michigan Tech investigated various improvements to the Lake State Railway's Saginaw Yard. Work included proposed imporvements to allow for 9000-foot unit train parking, drainage improvements, a locomotive wash facility, and other improvements around the facility to reduce trespassing incidents. 
Project Schedule:
Sep, 2016
Principal Investigator: Dr. Pasi Lautala
During the 2014-2015 school year, a Michigan Tech Team of Senior Design Students from the Electrical Engineering Department designed and evaluated a device to measure the effectiveness in rail shunts, commonly used as protection to on-track workers by "fouling" the track circuit, showing the track as occupied.
Project Schedule:
Apr, 2015
Principal Investigator: David Nelson
In the Spring of 2015, Michigan Tech Senior Design students from the Department of Civil Engineering investigated site design and planning for Wayne Industries in Wayne, Michigan. The project focused on civil site design near the CSX-NS Wayne Junction, as Wayne Industries was looking to further develop their property. 
Project Schedule:
Apr, 2015
Principal Investigator: David Nelson
During the 2017 Spring Semester, a Team of Michigan Tech Senior Design students from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering investigated design options for rail and road transportation access to the Sawyer International Airport site, located south of Marquette, MI. 
Project Schedule:
Apr, 2017
Principal Investigator: David Nelson
During the spring of 2017, a team of Michigan Tech Senior Design students investigated site planning and design at the Longyear Pesheeke Wood Yard, located between Nestoria and Ishpeming along the Canadian National Railway Railroad. 
Project Schedule:
Apr, 2017

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Rail Transportation Program
1400 Townsend Drive
Houghton, MI. 49931-1295
 
Phone: 1-906-487-3547
Fax: 1-906-487-2943

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