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Rail Transportation Program at Michigan Tech
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Pasi Lautala
David Nelson
Senior Research Engineer
William Leder
Distinguished Practioner in Residence
William Spoule
NURail Project Researchers Pam Hannon
RTP Support

Pasi Lautala, Ph.D., P.E.

1Research Assistant Professor and Director of Rail Transportation Program

Office: 318 Dillman
Phone: (906) 487-3547
Email: ptlautal@mtu.edu    

Dr. Lautala was appointed in October, 2007 as a Research Assistant Professor and Director of Rail Transportation Program. Pasi has his BS from Tampere, Finland and his MSc. And Ph.D. degrees from Michigan Tech University. Dr. Lautala is leading and coordinating the overall development of the Program and most rail related courses offered at Tech. His previous experience includes work with Finnish Railways prior to his arrival in the US, as well as five years of railroad and highway-engineering consulting experience in Chicago before his return to Michigan Tech. Dr. Lautala is the Principal Investigator for several rail- related research projects in various topics. He is also the Secretary of ASCE Rail Transportation Committee, University Subcommittee Chair for AREMA Education and Training Committee and member of TRB AR040, Rail Freight Transportation Committee.

Link to Faculty Page

David Nelson, M.S., P.E.


Senior Research Engineer

Office: 301 K Dillman
Phone: (906) 487- 1734
Email: dannelso@mtu.edu

David Nelson was welcomed into the RTP this summer as a Senior Research Engineer. He will support activities across the program. Dave brings a BS in Civil Engineering and an MS in Mechanical Engineering which will help as we continue to push for multidisciplinary collaboration across the university. He also has an MS in teaching, including seven years of experience in primary and secondary schools which assists RTP’s development of materials geared towards energizing students at theK-12 level. Daves 20+ years of engineering and management experience with the US Air Force, including an AF tour teaching at the US Air Force Academy, and Maine Department of Transportation bring a unique set of skills and experiences to our program.

William J. (Bill) Sproule, Ph.D., P.E.

Ph.D., Civil Engineering, Michigan State, 1985
M.Eng., Civil Engineering, University of Toronto, 1973
B.S., Civil Engineering, Michigan Technological, 1970

301C Dillman Hall
(906) 487-2568
email: wsproule@mtu.edu

Bill Sproule has over 35 years experience in government, consulting, and university teaching and research in Canada and the United States. He joined the faculty at Michigan Tech in 1996 and is a Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He received a BSCE from Michigan Tech, a M.Eng. in Civil Engineering from the University of Toronto, and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering (Transportation) from Michigan State University. Over the years he has taught a variety of courses in traffic engineering, transportation planning, airport planning, highway design, public transit, and consulting engineering and helped develop the Rail Transportation Program at Michigan Tech. He has a wide range of professional experience and his current research areas include airport ground access and terminal planning, traffic safety, automated people mover systems, and hockey history. Bill has been active in many professional associations and has received several awards including the Michigan Tech Distinguished Teaching Award and the ASCE Robert Horonjeff Award for his work in airport engineering. He is also the Faculty Athletic Representative for Michigan Tech.

Link to Faculty Page

William Leder, P.E.

1Roland A. Mariucci Distinguished Practitioner in Residence
Office: 815 Dow
Phone: 906-487-1647
Email: bleder@mtu.edu    

Bill Leder has forty years experience in government, consulting, university teaching, and research, and is an Adjunct Professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Michigan Tech. He holds a BSCE from Michigan Tech and an MSCE from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  His industry career includes positions with the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and Lea+Elliott, a leading consultant in automated people mover and public transit systems.  Bill teaches Public Transit, High Speed Passenger Rail, Senior Design, and Introduction to Consulting Engineering.

Link to Faculty Page

Pam Hannon
RTP Support
318 Dillman
(906) 487-3065

Pam Hannon is the Coordinator of the Michigan Tech Transportation Institute (MTTI) and supports the Rail Transportation Program through project management and accounting.


NURail Researchers:
In 2012, the seven university consortium, including Michigan Tech, was awarded the first National University Rail Transportation Center (NURail) by the USDOT Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA). The primary objective of the NURail Center is to improve and expand rail education, research, workforce development, and technology transfer in the U.S.

Michigan Tech is expanding its research faculty involved in NURail activities. In addition to Dr. Pasi Lautala, who leads Michigan Tech activities and functions as Associate Director of Education for the NURail consortium, other Tech faculty involved includes Dr. Paul Sanders, Assistant Professor, Material Science and Engineering; Tim Havens, Assistant Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Myounghoon “Philart” Jeon, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Cognitive and Learning Sciences; and Thomas Oommen, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Geological Engineering.

havensTim Havens
Assistant Professor
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Link to Faculty Page




philartMyounghoon "Philart" Jeon
Assistant Professor
Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences
Link to Faculty Page





oomenThomas Oommen
Assistant Professor
Dept. of Geological Engineering
Link to Faculty Page





sandersPaul G. Sanders, PhD
Assistant Professor
Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering
Link to Faculty Page





© 2012 Michigan Technological University
Rail Transportation Program
1400 Townsend Drive
Houghton, Michigan, 49931 - 1295, USA
Phone: 1-906-487-3547
Fax: 1-906-487-2943
Email: rail@mtu.edu

Michigan Technological University is an equal opportunity educational institution/equal opportunity employer

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