Christopher Barkan

Professor University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Christopher P.L. Barkan is Professor and George Krambles Director of the Rail Transportation and Engineering Center (RailTEC) 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, advances in rail technology and graduate seminars in various rail transportation topics. Since coming to the University of Illinois, he and his colleagues have expanded the rail curriculum from one course to ten, the largest of any North American university. He is also working with colleagues at other colleges and universities, leading efforts to expand rail transportation and engineering academic programs and opportunities nationwide.

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Recent Posts


New Rail Technology is Aiming to Revitalize More Rail Infrastructure as an Alternative to Trucking

Christopher Barkan - September 6, 2023

Innovation in the world of rail infrastructure is often thought of as new train designs or faster speeds. But a paradigm shift is brewing in the way goods are transported across rails.

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