Graduate student Ahmed El-Ghandour at poster competition

Summer is a time for many students to take a break from their studies. For Ahmed El-Ghandour, it was time to excel.

El-Ghandour, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CME), won the Three-Minute Thesis Competition during The Railway Academic Conference (TRAC) in Urbana, Ill., on July 13. The competition, among graduate students participating in the NURail consortium, allowed students three minutes and a single PowerPoint slide to present their dissertation research. El-Ghandour’s research, under the direction of CME Associate Professor Craig Foster, focuses on forces and settlement in rail ballast and the substructure of the rail track system.

“I am not surprised that he won,” said Foster. “He put a lot of effort into preparing his presentation, as he does in his research.”
The NURail consortium is a group of partners from seven universities focusing on rail education and research, and is a USDOT OST-R University Transportation Center.

The conference is geared toward building synergy between the AREMA Railway Engineering Education Symposium event and NURail Center education and workforce development initiatives. Building on similar goals and objectives, TRAC informs educators, industry professionals, and students about developments in railroad engineering education and research, workforce development and outreach programs. The sharing of education materials is designed to introduce students to railway infrastructure, operations, engineering, and design concepts.

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Raymond Matthes