Workforce Development

University Transportation Center for Railway Safety Workforce Development

Since its inception in fall 2013, the University Transportation Center for Railway Safety (UTCRS) has engaged over 120 undergraduate and graduate students in its various research, education, technology transfer, professional development, and community outreach activities. These students are mentored by a team of highly qualified and dedicated faculty that is committed to providing a well-rounded education and research experience in the transportation engineering field. Students develop valuable skill-sets through hands-on projects relevant to the railroad industry, co-authorship of journal and conference papers, presentation at local and national symposiums and conferences, and writing theses and dissertations. One of the core missions of the UTCRS is to develop and graduate engineering professionals that are well-prepared to tackle and solve the challenges faced by the transportation industry.

UTRGV Students involved with the UTCRS are primarily of Hispanic descent statistically underrepresented in the professional transportation field (as reported by the Department of Labor Statistics of 2014). Moreover, of the 120 UTCRS students, 35% of them are female, a statistic which more than doubles the national average of 15.7% female workforce in Transportation and Materials Moving Occupations. In fact, six of the eight REU participants who are currently pursuing their graduate studies in transportation engineering fields are females who were not considering continuing their post-graduate education prior to their involvement with the UTCRS.