Faculty Profile

Christopher P. L. Barkan

Civil and Environmental Engineering
 Christopher P. L. Barkan
Christopher P. L. Barkan
Professor
1245 Newmark Civil Engineering Bldg
205 N. Mathews
Urbana Illinois 61801
(217) 244-6338

Administrative Titles

  • George Krambles Faculty Fellow
  • Executive Director, Rail Transportation and Engineering Center (RailTEC)

Primary Research Area

  • Transportation Engineering

Education

  • Ph.D. Biology State University of New York at Albany, 1987
  • M.S. Biology State University of New York at Albany, 1984
  • B.A. Liberal Arts Goddard College, 1977

Biography

Christopher P.L. Barkan is Professor, Executive Director of the Rail Transportation and Engineering Center (RailTEC), and George Krambles Faculty Fellow in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.￿He received his B.A. (1977) from Goddard College and his M.S. (1984) and Ph.D. (1987) from the State University of New York at Albany.￿ He held a postdoctoral fellowship at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center before joining the Association of American Railroads (AAR) in 1988 where he worked for 10 years in the Research & Test and the Safety & Operations departments in Washington, D.C.￿ He joined the faculty at the University of Illinois in 1998.

Dr. Barkan teaches courses in railroad transportation engineering, railway signaling and operation, and advances in rail technology.￿ Since coming to the University of Illinois, he and his colleagues have expanded the rail curriculum from one course to six, the largest of any North American university, including a new course in 2010 on High-Speed Rail Engineering.￿ He is also working with colleagues at other colleges and universities, leading efforts to expand rail transportation and engineering academic programs and opportunities nationwide.

Dr. Barkan's research interests are in railroad transportation safety and risk analysis, hazardous materials transport, energy efficiency, rail capacity, railroad infrastructure and operating economics, and the development and cost-effectiveness of new rail technologies.￿ In his role as Director of the University of Illinois rail program, he has principal responsibility for the railroad engineering research and academic activities and coordinates and supports faculty and students, conducting research on a wide range of topics to improve rail safety, reliability and efficiency.

He has extensive contacts in the railroad and rail supply industries and at the railroad regulatory agencies in both the U.S. and Canada.￿ Dr. Barkan serves as the Director of the AAR Affiliated Laboratory at the University of Illinois and Deputy Director of the Railway Supply Institute (RSI)-AAR Railroad Tank Car Safety Research and Test Project, a cooperative program of the tank car and railroad industries conducting research on improving tank car safety.￿ He maintains frequent contact, coordination and collaboration with the railroad research staff at the Transportation Technology Center Inc. in Pueblo, Colo., and with Association of American Railroads (AAR) headquarters staff in Washington, D.C., as well as senior engineering and technical staff at major North American railroads.

Dr. Barkan is a former member of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Committee on Transportation of Hazardous Materials and the Committee on Railroad Track Structure System Design.￿ More recently he served as Chairman of the TRB Railway Systems Section from 2000 to 2003 and the TRB Rail Executive Board from 2004 to 2007.￿ He also served as a member of the TRB Group 2 and Technical Activities Councils from 2000 through 2007.￿ He was a member of the TRB Committees studying the Feasibility of a Hazardous Materials Transportation Cooperative Research Program, and Reviewing the U.S. DOT Strategic Plan for Research & Development.￿ He is currently a member of the TRB Committee for Review of the Federal Railroad Administration Research and Development Program. Dr. Barkan also serves as an academic member of the AAR Railway Technology Working Committee, the principal committee with oversight responsibility for the North American rail industry's cooperative research program. He is Chairman of the Rail Transportation Committee of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Transportation and Development Institute, and is Chair of the 2010 Joint Rail Conference, a cooperative effort of ASCE, ASME, IEEE, AREMA and TRB whose theme is "High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail."

Before coming to the University of Illinois, Dr. Barkan was Director of Risk Engineering in the Safety and Operations Division of the AAR, and prior to that was Senior Manager in the AAR's Research & Test Department. In these positions he had principal responsibility for directing the railroad industry's cooperative research programs on risk analysis, tank car and hazardous materials transportation safety, and railroad pollution prevention and environmental remediation and waste management technologies.

Dr. Barkan is an author or editor of more than 100 railroad-engineering papers, reports, chapters or books on a range of topics. He and his students have won several awards for research presented at international conferences and papers in peer-reviewed journals.￿ He has been an invited speaker at conferences, universities and corporations throughout North America, as well as Europe and Asia.

Academic Positions

  • Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering, UIUC, 2009 ￿ Present
  • Executive Director, Rail Transportation and Engineering Center (RailTEC), 2010 - Present
  • Director, National University Rail (NURail) Center, US DOT Tier 1 University Transportation Center, 2012 - Present
  • Director, Association of American Railroads Affiliated Laboratory, UIUC, 1998 ￿ Present
  • Deputy Director, Railway Supply Institute - Association of American Railroads: Railroad Tank Car Safety Research and Test Project, 1989 - Present
  • Director, Railroad Engineering Program, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1998 - 2010
  • Associate Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering, UIUC, 2001 ￿ 2009
  • Senior Scientist, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1998 ￿ 2001

For more information

Major Consulting Activities

  • Association of American Railroads, 1999-2001, 2005-present
  • US DOT Research and Innovative Technology Administration, 2010-2011
  • Transportation Research Board, 2006-2007

Research Statement

Dr. Barkan's research interests are focused on risk assessment and management, railroad transportation safety and accident prevention analysis, optimization modeling of rail safety improvement, environmental and human health risk of hazardous materials transport, railroad freight train aerodynamics and energy efficiency strategies, rail capacity analysis and enhancement, railroad infrastructure and operating economics and development and cost-effectiveness of new rail technologies. For more information, visit the RailTEC and NURail Center websites.

Research Interests

  • My research focuses on rail transportation safety and environmental management and draws upon the fields of operations research and applied economics with specific applications of risk analysis, optimization and statistical methods. My most important research has led to improvement of train accident and hazardous materials transportation safety, quantitative assessment of tank car safety design, and methods to prevent fuel spillage and associated environmental contamination. My research has provided decision support information and led to the adoption of new codes and standards of practice in the transportation industry. In addition to these areas, I have research underway or completed on topics related to rail transportation infrastructure design, railroad energy efficiency, rail terminal operations reliability and efficiency, and optimization of investment in rail line capacity. I am also collaborating on research with colleagues in the UIUC ECE and MSE Departments on development of several advanced technologies to automate railroad equipment and infrastructure inspection and health monitoring.

Books Edited or Co-Edited (Original Editions)

  • Reis, H. and C.P.L. Barkan 2002. (Eds.) Nondestructive Testing for the Railroad Industry, Topics on Nondestructive Evaluation (TONE) Series -Volume 5, The American Society for Nondestructive Testing, Columbus, Ohio. 267 pp.
  • Andes, R.P., C.P.L. Barkan, P.T. Kostecki, and E.J. Calabrese (Eds.) 1998. Principles and Practices for Diesel Contaminated Soils: Volume VII. Amherst Scientific Publishers, Amherst, MA. 182 pp.
  • Barkan, C.P.L., P.T. Kostecki, and E.J. Calabrese (Eds.) 1997. Principles and Practices for Diesel Contaminated Soils: Volume VI. Amherst Scientific Publishers, Amherst, MA. 121 pp.
  • Barkan, C.P.L., E.J. Calabrese, and P.T. Kostecki (Eds.) 1996. Principles and Practices for Diesel Contaminated Soils: Volume V. Amherst Scientific Publishers, Amherst, MA. 204 pp.
  • Barkan, C.P.L., P.T. Kostecki, and E.J. Calabrese (Eds.) 1995. Principles and Practices for Diesel Contaminated Soils: Volume IV. Amherst Scientific Publishers, Amherst, MA. 208 pp
  • Kostecki, P.T., E.J. Calabrese, Barkan, C.P.L (Eds.) 1994. Principles and Practices for Diesel Contaminated Soils: Volume III. Amherst Scientific Publishers, Amherst, MA. 241 pp.
  • Kostecki, P.T., E.J. Calabrese, Barkan, C.P.L (Eds.) 1994. Principles and Practices for Diesel Contaminated Soils: Volume II. Amherst Scientific Publishers, Amherst, MA. 157 pp.

Chapters in Books

  • Chuang, S.L. Hsu, A., Young, E., Barkan, C. Reiff, R., Schroeder, M. Williams, D. & Johnson, T. 2002. Fiber-optic sensor technology for railroad technologies. In, H.L. Reis and C.P.L. Barkan, Eds. Nondestructive Testing for the Railroad Industry, Topics on Nondestructive Evaluation (TONE) Series -Volume 5, The American Society for Nondestructive Testing, Columbus, OH, pp. 89-100.
  • Flaherty, J.M., Geiger, S.C., Sowko, D.M., Jones, B.H., Andes, R.P., and C.P.L. Barkan 1998. TPH analytical verification protocol for multiple field sites. In R.P. Andes, C.P.L. Barkan, P.T. Kostecki, and E.J. Calabrese, eds. Principles and Practices for Diesel Contaminated Soils: Volume VII. Amherst Scientific Publishers, Amherst, MA, pp. 109-172.
  • Flaherty, J.M., Jones, B.H., Nakles, D.V., Andes, R.P. and C.P.L. Barkan 1997. Comparison of analytical methods for use in evaluating the risk from petroleum hydrocarbons in soil. In C.P.L. Barkan, P.T. Kostecki, and E.J. Calabrese, eds. Principles and Practices for Diesel Contaminated Soils: Volume VI. Amherst Scientific Publishers, Amherst, MA, pp. 41-79.
  • Hockensmith, E., J.E. Waggener, and C.P.L. Barkan 1994. The environmental impact of lubricating railroad rails. In P.T. Kostecki, E.J. Calabrese and C.P.L. Barkan, eds. Principles and Practices for Diesel Contaminated Soils: Volume II . Amherst Scientific Publishers, Amherst, MA, pp. 43-69.

Selected Articles in Journals

Articles in Conference Proceedings

  • Greve, M.J., M.S. Dersch, J.R. Edwards and C.P.L. Barkan. 2015. Evaluation of Laboratory and Field Experimentation Characterizing Concrete Crosstie Rail Seat Load Distributions. Accepted, In: Proceedings of the 2015 Joint Rail Conference, San Jose, CA, March 2015.
  • Lovett, A.H., C.T. Dick and C.P.L. Barkan. 2015. Determining Freight Train Delay Costs on Railroad Lines in North America. In: Proceedings of the International Association of Railway Operations Research (IAROR) 6th International Conference on Railway Operations Modelling and Analysis, Tokyo, Japan, March 2015.
  • Scheppe, A.J., J.R. Edwards, M.S. Dersch and C.P.L. Barkan. 2015. Quantifying Lateral Wheel Loading Variation Using Truck Performance Detectors. In: Proceedings of Transportation Research Board 94th Annual Conference, Washington, D.C, January 2015.
  • Tang, H., C.T. Dick, B.M. Caughron, X. Feng and C.P.L. Barkan. 2015. A Project Selection Model for Improving Running Time and Operating Cost Efficiency on a Passenger Rail Corridor. In: Proceedings of the International Association of Railway Operations Research (IAROR) 6th International Conference on Railway Operations Modelling and Analysis, Tokyo, Japan, March 2015.
  • Williams, B.A., M.S. Dersch, J.R. Edwards and C.P.L. Barkan. 2015. Quantification of Lateral Forces in Concrete Crosstie Fastening Systems. In: Proceedings of Transportation Research Board 94th Annual Conference, Washington, D.C, January 2015.
  • Wolf, H.E., S. Mattson, J.R. Edwards, M.S. Dersch and C.P.L. Barkan. 2015. Flexural Analysis of Prestressed Concrete Monoblock Crossties: Comparison of Current Methodologies and Sensitivity to Support Conditions. In: Proceedings of Transportation Research Board 94th Annual Conference, Washington, D.C, January 2015.
  • Atanassov, I., C.T. Dick and C.P.L. Barkan. 2014. Siding Spacing and the Incremental Capacity of the Transition From Single to Double Track. In: Proceedings of the 2014 Joint Rail Conference, Colorado Springs, USA, April 2014.
  • do Carmo, T.B., J.R. Edwards, R.G. Kernes, B.O. Andrawes and C.P.L. Barkan. 2014. Mechanistic Behavior of Concrete Crosstie Fastening System Rail Pad Assemblies. In: Proceedings of the 93rd Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC, January 2014.
  • do Carmo, T.B., J.R. Edwards, R.G. Kernes, B.O. Andrawes and C.P.L. Barkan. 2014. Laboratory and Field Investigation of the Rail Pad Assembly Mechanistic Behavior. In: Proceedings of the 2014 Joint Rail Conference, Colorado Springs, CO, April 2014.
  • Greve, M.J, J.R. Edwards, R.G. Kernes, M.S. Dersch, C.P.L. Barkan, J. Mediavilla and B.M. Wilson 2014. Analysis of the Relationship Between Rail Seat Load Distribution and Rail Seat Deterioration in Concrete Crossties. In: Proceedings of the 2014 Joint Rail Conference, Colorado Springs, CO, April 2014.

Invited Lectures

  • Rail Transportation Engineering Big Data and Analytics at the University of Illinois
  • Rail Transportation of Crude Oil and Ethanol
  • Crude by Rail: Findings from Risk Research
  • New Initiative Needed to Prevent Railroad Trespassing & Suicides
  • University of Illinois Rail Transportation and Engineering Center and the National University Rail Center
  • Risk Analysis of Rail Transport of Flammable Liquids
  • Risk Analysis of Rail Transport of Petroleum Crude Oil in Unit Trains
  • Safety Analysis of Railway Tank Cars Transporting Flammable Liquids
  • Optimizing Rail Transportation Safety Improvement
  • National University Rail (NURail) Center

Other Publications

  • Annual Report of Hazardous Materials Transported by Rail, Report BOE-1, 2011, Association of American Railroads, Bureau of Explosives. Produced Annually 2001 ￿ 2016.
  • Annual Report of Non-Accident Releases of Hazardous Materials Transported by Rail, Report BOE-2, Association of American Railroads, Bureau of Explosives. Produced Annually 2001 ￿ 2016.
  • Barkan, C.P.L, X. Liu and M.R. Saat. 2015. Enhanced Tank Car Design Improves the Safety of Transporting Crude Oil and Alcohol by Rail. TR News. 298: June - August, pp. 41-43.
  • Chadwick, S., R. Saat, T. Dick and C. Barkan. 2014. Understanding the risk of level crossing derailments. Railway Gazette International. 170: March, pp. 28-32.
  • Barkan, C.P.L., M.R. Saat, F. Gonz￿z, III and T.T. Treichel 2013. Cooperative Research in Tank Car Safety Design, TR News 286: 12-19, Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, Washington, DC.
  • Barkan, C.P.L. 2009. Renewing the Partnership, Railway Age, October 2009, pp. 25-26.
  • Barkan, C.P.L. 2008. Building an Education Infrastructure for Railway Transportation Engineering: Renewed Partnerships on New Tracks, TR News 257: 18-23, Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, Washington, DC.
  • Barkan, C.P.L. 2008. Moving toward green: Forty years of railroad environmental practice. Railway Age, October 2008 pp. 24, 26-27.
  • Barkan, C.P.L. 2005. Book Review of: H. Roger Grant. Follow the Flag: A History of the Wabash Railroad Company. J. Illinois History 7: pp. 321-323.
  • Anand, P., C. Barkan, D. Schaeffer, C. Werth. and B. Minsker 2003. Environmentally Sensitive Chemicals Risk Analysis. (Confidential Report). Railroad Engineering Program, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL. (for the Association of American Railroads).
  • Annual Report of Hazardous Materials Transported by Rail - Calendar Year 2010, Report BOE 010-1, 2011, Association of American Railroads, Bureau of Explosives, Transportation Technology Center, Inc., Pueblo, CO.

Journal Editorships

  • Associate Editor ￿ Rail Transportation ￿ Journal of Transportation Engineering (ASCE) Special Rail Transportation issue of JTE, published 2010
  • Invited Member ￿ Editorial Panel ￿ Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit Special Issue on Heavy Haul and Innovative Development, 2012
  • Invited Member ￿ Editorial Panel ￿ Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit Special Issue on Heavy Haul and Innovative Development, 2010
  • Reviewer ￿ Journal of Transportation Engineering (ASCE)
  • Reviewer ￿ Accident Analysis and Prevention (Elsevier)
  • Reviewer ￿ Computer-Aided Civil and Infrastructure Engineering (Blackwell)
  • Reviewer ￿ Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board (TRB)

Professional Societies

  • Member - TRB Committee on Railroad Operating Technologies: 2011 ￿ present
  • Member - TRB Committee on Railroad Freight Transportation: 2011 ￿ present
  • American Railway Engineering and Maintenance of Way Association Member - Environmental Engineering Committee, 1989-present
  • American Railway Engineering and Maintenance of Way Association Member - Education Committee, 2003-present
  • Co-Chair ￿ Joint Rail Conference (ASCE, ASME, IEEE, TRB, AREMA, INFORMS, APTA, NURail), April 15 ￿ 18, 2013 University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN
  • Co-Chair ￿ Joint Rail Conference (ASCE, ASME, IEEE, TRB, AREMA, INFORMS, APTA, NURail), April 16 ￿ 18, 2014, Colorado Springs, CO
  • Co-Chair ￿ Joint Rail Conference (ASCE, ASME, IEEE, TRB, AREMA, INFORMS, APTA, NURail), April 16 ￿ 18, 2015, Mineta Transportation Institute, San Jose State University, CA
  • Invited Member ￿ International Association of Railway Operations Research, Scientific Advisory Committee, Rail Tokyo, 6th International Conference on Railway Operations Modelling and Analysis, Chiba Institute of Technology, Japan, 23-26 March 2015

Service on Department Committees

  • Organizer of the William W. Hay Railroad Engineering Seminar series, a semi-weekly, on-campus, seminar on railroad engineering topics featuring UIUC and visiting academic, industry and government speakers. 2000 - present

Service to Federal and State Government

  • Invited Testimony ￿ U.S. Government Accountability Office, Report to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and U.S. House of Representatives - Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Report on Electronically Controlled Pneumatic Brakes ￿ 29 March and 7 April 2016.
  • Invited Testimony ￿ U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Science, Space and Technology, Subcommittee on Research and Technology, Washington, DC, 18 June 2014.
  • Invited Panel Member and Testimony - National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Forum - Rail Safety: Transportation of Crude Oil and Ethanol, 22-23 April 2014 Washington, DC.
  • Invited Member - American Petroleum Institute/Association of American Railroads Joint Working Group on Crude Oil Transportation by Rail, Mitigation Sub-Group, April ￿ July 2014
  • Invited Testimony ￿ U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials, Springfield, IL, 11 June 2013.
  • Association of American Railroads (AAR), Director - AAR Affiliated Laboratory at University of Illinois: Provide leadership, technical guidance and coordination for approximately 5-7 faculty and their students on a variety of railroad engineering and advanced technology research projects on behalf of the AAR and the railroad industry, 1998 - present
  • Association of American Railroads (AAR) Participate and advise AAR Committees: Railway Technology Working Committee, Risk Management Working Committee, Tank Car Committee, Hazardous Materials Committee, Environmental Affairs Committee, 1989 - present
  • Railway Supply Institute & Association of American Railroads (RSI-AAR) Deputy Director - Railroad Tank Car Safety Research and Test Project: Provide railroad industry technical expertise, data collection, and analysis on a cooperative, industry-funded program studying tank car safety, 1989 - present
  • Railway Supply Institute & Association of American Railroads (RSI-AAR) Participate and advise RSI-AAR Tank Car Engineering Committee, 1990 - present
  • Association of American Railroads, American Railway Engineering and Maintenance of Way Association, American Railway Development Association, American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association, Railway Association of Canada Principal Organizer - Annual Railroad Environmental Conference, 1999 - present
  • American Railway Engineering and Maintenance of Way Association - Education Committee Developing instructional materials on railroad engineering for use in university transportation engineering courses

Other Outside Service

  • Invited Member - American Petroleum Institute/Association of American Railroads: Joint Working Group on Crude Oil Transportation by Rail Mitigation Sub-Group, 2014
  • Invited Member - Advisory Panel: Dow Chemical-Union Pacific Railroad-Union Tank Car: Next Generation Rail Tank Car for Toxic Inhalation Hazard (TIH) Materials, Flammable Gases and Environmentally Sensitive Chemicals, Midland, MI, 2006 ￿ 2007, 2007 ￿ 2008

Teaching Honors

  • Michael S. DeLarco Educator Award, DuPage Railroad Safety Council (2016)
  • George Krambles Faculty Fellow (2006-present)
  • Incomplete List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by their Students (2005, 2015, 2016)

Research Honors

  • Outstanding Paper Award from the Transportation Research Board Committee on Transportation of Hazardous Materials (2016)
  • National Association of Railroad Passengers Academic Award (2012)
  • T.A. Stewart-Dyer/Frederick Harvey Trevithick Award from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (with Ph.D. student Y.C. Lai, M.S. student J. Drapa and other coauthors) (2008)
  • Young Researcher Prize at the Eighth World Congress on Railway Research (awarded to M.S. student, Darwin Schafer, for paper coauthored with Barkan) (2008)
  • Co-recipient of the 2007 William Alexander Agnew Meritorious Award/Clarence Noel Goodall Award from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (with Y. Chen, F.V. Lawrence & J.A. Dantzig) (2007)
  • Co-author on paper that won Best Paper award in Environmental category presented at International Heavy Haul Association conference, Rio de Janeiro (first author and presenter, Ph.D. student P. Anand) (2005)
  • Smithsonian Postdoctoral Fellowship (1987-1988)
  • Ben Smith Memorial Award, SUNY Albany (1986)
  • University Award for Academic Excellence, SUNY Albany (1983, 1985)
  • Van Tyne Memorial Award, American Ornithologists￿ Union (1983)
  • Chapman Memorial Award, American Museum of Natural History (1983)