On the Road: AREMA Conference 2018

David Nelson, advisor for the Railroad Engineering and Activities Club (REAC), and seven students attended the annual American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-way Association (AREMA) meeting from Sept. 15-17 in Chicago. The AREMA conference is the largest annual railway conference in the U.S.

The Exhibit Hall - where companies large and small market and show off their contributions to the railroad industry

As part of the student activities, the REAC team, consisting of Alex Christmas (ECE), Maya Price (ECE), Kyle Dick (SCS), Smruti Dash (EEE) and Thomas Wall (ECE) placed 3rd in the student quiz bowl. Additionally, four Tech students were recognized for winning scholarships from the AREMA Educational Foundation.

Christmas was also successful in the undergraduate student poster competition, taking the 2nd place with a poster he and Dick developed about their project “North American Railroad Signal Aspects and Indications Demo." The poster describes their project to 3-D print a set of railroad track signals covering all the possible signal combinations for North America, complete with colored LED lighting. Dick included a computer program with over 4000 lines of code to demonstrate more than 130 different light combinations.

Alex Christmas & Kyle Dick's winning signal demonstration poster

On the final day of the conference, Nelson presented “How Do Drivers Behave at Highway-Rail Grade Crossings – Comparison of Data from Actual and Virtual Environments” in the Signals and Communications session of the conference.

To conclude their stay at the conference, REAC joined the Illinois Institute of Technology in touring the Chicago Transit Authority's heavy repair shop at Skokie. AREMA's newest (IIT) and oldest (MTU) student chapters look forward to working together more in the future! 

Students from Michigan Tech and IIT at the CTA's Skokie Heavy Repair Shop