During my four years of undergrad in Metallurgical Engineering at Jadavpur University in my hometown of Kolkata, India, I did an internship in a steel foundry where I worked on designing molds of locomotive wheels, side frames and bolsters of freight cars and worked in the metallurgy lab and steel melt shop. Then after my undergrad, I worked as a technical engineer in Vesuvius, India for two years before coming to Michigan Tech to pursue my MS and PhD. At Vesuvius, I worked on manufacturing of refractory used in continuous casting of steel. After my PhD, I joined Advanced Forming Technology (AFT) in Longmont, Colorado where I worked on manufacturing of precision metal parts through powder metallurgy and injection molding. I was doing research on manufacturing, sintering processes of various superalloys, stainless steels and other exotic materials. After working at AFT for 3 years, I was looking forward to doing more research with less involvement in the manufacturing industry. Thus, I pursued a career in railroad research at TTCI which brought me back to the rail industry after 12 years and I have been here for almost 3 years!
At TTCI, we have 52 square miles of area with over 50 miles of different test tracks with varying curvature and grades where cutting edge technological research takes place. The Facility for Accelerated Service Testing (FAST) at TTCI has a 2.7-mile loop where we have our own heavy axle load freight train that runs every night for more than half a year. The AAR sponsored projects include testing of latest generation rails, rail lubrication technologies at FAST and in revenue service of the different Class I freight railroads across USA and Canada.
I manage some of the rail projects at TTCI, including AAR sponsored research as well as commercial projects. My job responsibilities include data collection, failure and fatigue analysis, rail life modeling, metallography along with writing technical articles for journals and magazines. Other engineers assist me in collecting data and conducting experiments. Often, I visit freight railroads and transit agencies when they have rail failure issues and they contact TTCI for solutions.
I cherish my memories at Michigan Tech and feel proud to be an alumnus. The education and tools I learned during my MS and PhD have paved the way for achieving continued success in my research. During my stay at Michigan Tech, I published six journal articles and numerous conference papers and that’s something I still continue to do at TTCI.