FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 22, 2013
Professor Christopher Barkan, University of Illinois RailTEC executive director, (217) 244-6338, firstname.lastname@example.org
Angela Stanford, University of Illinois RailTEC program coordinator, (217) 300-8544, email@example.com
Darrel Berry, Hanson Professional Services Inc., marketing communications manager, (217) 747-9291, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hanson’s pledge continues to help University of Illinois railroad engineering program
From left, Hanson Professional Services Inc. Executive Vice President Robert Cusick, P.E., S.E.; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Professor and Executive Director of the Rail Transportation and Engineering Center (RailTEC) Christopher Barkan; Hanson President and CEO Sergio “Satch” Pecori, P.E., ExecEng; U of I Professor and Head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Amr S. Elnashai; Hanson Executive Vice President John Coombe, P.E., S.E., ExecEng; and U of I Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Director of Advancement John Southwood pose for a photo Monday, April 29, 2013, at Hanson’s Springfield, Ill., headquarters.
URBANA, Ill. — The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Rail Transportation and Engineering Center (RailTEC) recently received another $150,000 donation from Hanson Professional Services Inc. of Springfield, Ill. This gift, to be issued over five years, renews the company’s continued commitment to railroad engineering and the University of Illinois.
Hanson previously pledged $150,000 over five years in support of RailTEC. That gift helped fund a new teaching position and expand the railroad engineering program. Hanson, founded in 1954 by U of I alumnus and former civil engineering faculty member Walter E. Hanson, has been a longtime supporter of the program.
“Hanson has been an invaluable partner in our efforts to rebuild the U of I rail program, and we are deeply grateful,” Professor and RailTEC Executive Director Christopher Barkan said. “Their support has made it possible for us to teach several new cutting-edge courses in rail engineering, thereby attracting many more students and encouraging them to pursue careers in the rail industry.”
For more than a century, U of I’s railroad engineering program — known since 2010 as RailTEC — has been recognized in the rail industry as North America’s premier railroad engineering program. Headquartered within the university’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, the program has the largest selection of courses and broadest array of rail-related research of any North American university. Illinois also is home to an Association of American Railroads Affiliated Laboratory, one of three in the nation.
Supported by Hanson, Amsted Rail Co. Inc. and several major railroads, including BNSF Railway Co., Canadian National Railway Co., CSX Transportation Inc. and Union Pacific Railroad, RailTEC provides leadership in research and curriculum development and encourages students to pursue careers in rail engineering, transportation planning and operations.
Hanson serves as an industry partner to RailTEC as part of a team researching ways to improve concrete crossties and fastening systems for U.S. high-speed passenger rail and corridors for passenger and freight. Hanson also is assisting RailTEC on a high-speed rail feasibility study that RailTEC is conducting for the Illinois Department of Transportation.
“Hanson is committed to advancing the field of railroad engineering, and we’re proud to continue our support of RailTEC and the University of Illinois. We’re excited about the opportunity to work with RailTEC on research and development projects as well as student mentoring. Railroad engineering is an important market for our company. It not only offers potential growth in revenue and number of projects but also professional growth for our employee owners,” said Sergio “Satch” Pecori, P.E., ExecEng, Hanson’s president and chief executive officer and an alumnus of University of Illinois’ civil engineering program.
Hanson is a national, employee-owned consulting firm providing engineering, architecture, planning and allied services. The Springfield headquarters is located at 1525 S. Sixth St., Springfield, IL 62703. The office may be reached by phone: (217) 788-2450 or fax: (217) 788-2503.
For more information about Hanson, visit http://www.hanson-inc.com/. For more information about RailTEC, visit http://ict.illinois.edu/railroad.
About the Rail Transportation and Engineering Center (RailTEC):
For more than a century, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has been the leading academic institution in rail transportation engineering in North America. Building on its strong academic and research programs in rail engineering and transport, RailTEC recognizes the expanding importance of rail transportation to the economy, to society and to a safe and sustainable environment. RailTEC is committed to further growth and development of its teaching and research activities in support of the nation’s need for talented young minds and new technologies for this vital transportation mode.