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OnTrackNorthAmerica announces research partnerships with Lautala, Jin


Pasi Lautala
Photo: Michigan Tech

Nonprofit think-tank OnTrackNorthAmerica (OTNA) announced last week it has signed working relationships with Pasi Lautala, a professor at Michigan Tech University, and Mingzhou Jin, director of the logistics, transportation and supply chain engineering lab at the University of Tennessee.

"The new partnerships will help OTNA extend the boundaries of knowledge in the field of transportation planning and investment strategy while leveraging our industry experience to guide in-the-field application," said Michael Sussman, president and founder of OTNA, in a press release.

OTNA and Lautala's collaboration is based on recognition that a set of agreed upon measures and values is necessary to guide major investments in infrastructure in order for those investments to be productive and profitable. The measures, data and analytical method have not yet been gathered and agreed on across agency, community and sector lines, Sussman said.

Mingzhou Jin
Photo: University of Tennessee
"It's OTNA's mission to bridge these gaps and enable us to make better decisions, with broader positive social impact, in a timelier manner," Sussman added.

Jin's efforts focus on formulation of OTNA's National Transportation Lifecycle Costs and Benefits Project.

"There is a need to conduct a comprehensive study to provide a unified life-cycle costs and benefits analysis framework for evaluating transportation systems and facilitating performance-based decision making," said Jin.

Founded in 2007, OnTrackNorthAmerica is designed to expand the capacity and footprint of rail transportation within an optimal system in service to the environment, economy and quality of life.


Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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