Iran's Third International Conference on Recent Advances in Railway Engineering
On April 30th and May 1st 2013 Iran University of Science and Technology (IUST) hosted the third international conference aimed at recent advances in Railway Engineering (ICRARE). Engineer Ali Nikzad, Minister of Transportation and Housing, and Dr. Mehdi Ghazanfari, Minister of Industries and Business, Dr. JabalAmeli, IUST chancellor, Dr. Davood Younesian, chairman at the 3rd ICRARE, Dr. Morteza Bagheri, co-chairman at the 3rd ICRARE, Engr. Ali Akbar Aghaee, head of the Islamic Republic's Parliament's Development Commission, and a few others. Additionally a video speech from the International ::::::::union:::::::: of Railways (UIC) chairman, Vladimir YAKUNIN was broadcasted in this conference. Furthermore, this conference led to the signing of an MOU to create a national rail. Keynote speakers at the conference include Denmark's Technical University of Denmark Professor Hans True, Canada's University of Waterloo Professor Frank Saccomanno, and Portugal's Technical University of Lisbon Professors Jao Carlos Pombo and George Amrosio. Other invited speakers include, Sweden's Lulea University of Technology's Professors Behzad Ghodrati and Alireza Ahmadi, Dr. Esmaeil Tekyehsadat, transport director at ECO, and South Korea's Dr. Tae Wook Kim from the Korean Railway Research Institute. Workshops were held at this conference covering different areas of high speed rail systems.
The third international conference aimed at the recent advances in Railway Engineering (ICRARE) began Tuesday in the Automotive Research Center's conference room at Iran University of Science and Technology. Professors, specialists, researchers and the country's transportation supervisors, researchers and eminent scholars in the railway industry from more than 20 countries, and a group of international ambassadors currently residing in Iran gathered in this conference to discuss the recent developments in Iran's railway advances.
This two day conference was sponsored by the Centre of Excellence in Railway Transportation and the School of Railway Engineering at IUST with the goal to expand the frontiers of knowledge, and engage in the exchange of information regarding industrial engineering through a presentation of new research conducted on high speed rail systems.
The Keynote speakers at the ICRAR2013 conference gave speeches on the following topics. Professor Hans True discussed his work on "The Linear and Nonlinear Critical Speeds" and on "President-International Association for Vehicle System Dynamics." Professor Frank Saccomanno discussed his work on "Hot Spot Identification for Highway Railway Grade Crossings." Professor Jao Carlos Pombo discussed "3D Track Parameterization and Wheel-Rail Contact Modeling." And Professor George Amrosio analyzed the "Dynamics of the Catenary-Pantograph Interaction: from Modeling to Homologation."
Engineer Ali Nikzad, Minister of Transportation and Housing, made the opening remarks. He congratulated the guests on the birth anniversary of the Lady Fatimah (pbuh), and discussed the benefits of railway transportation in comparison to other methods, emphasizing: "Today, we have reached an agreement that the country's railway systems must expand. This issue is highly regarded by the Supreme Leader and confirmed by the head of state." Mr. Nikzad urged that without communication, growth will not be possible, "The Ministry of Transportation and Housing has agreed to instill and support a private sector in the modes of transportation (be it by port, air, rail, or road)." Mr. Nikzad presented statistics that highlight the government's efforts in the expansion of railway transportation, and added, "Currently 8500 kilometers of railway roads are active, and twenty of the country's provinces are attached to this network, while the connections of 11 other provinces are underway.
The Minister of Transportation and Housing commented on two major tasks that are underway for this year, "The first is to produce a limit of 250,000 tons of the country's required rails, and the other is to activate wagon production at its highest." The minister also mentioned that a train with the speed of 250 kilometers an hour no longer meets our demands, "We are prepared to support projects that address this matter."
The next speaker, Dr. Mehdi Ghazanfari, Minister of Industries and Business, also spoke at the opening ceremony, in where he addressed the topic of railway transportation from a trade and business perspective. He stated that "We are currently dealing with issues to simplify domestic and cross-border trading. But before involving the hardware itself, the issue of supervision and hardware management is central." Dr. Ghazanfari emphasized the necessity of a strong business journal, one that can evaluate the country's business infrastructures to benefit from the country's assets in its fullest, and ultimately create suitable grounds for business expansion.
The Minister of Industries and Business acknowledged the many areas of the country's success in providing production infrastructures, and added that "Production will be fruitful and cost-effective when accompanied by a strong business journal. The presence of intermediaries would only show our lack of efforts in the area of production infrastructures." He reminded the audience of Iran's 139th place in 2011 for cross-border trade, adding, "This rank is given through a consideration of ten factors, for which our weakest benchmark is the transport of goods processes, and our strength is in the infrastructure of transportation. A similar analysis can be made regarding the timely receipt of goods and logistical performances. And this means that we are strong in investment, but weak in investment management."
Dr. Ghazanfari confirmed that although railway transportation is very useful to this topic, the market for rail equipments is doing very well around the world – number one companies have sold up to 30 billion dollars of products in this field in the past year. "Similarly, our country has been a part of the importers and exporters of the rail industry equipments. A dynamic export requires a dynamic logistics system." Dr. Ghazanfari expressed the ministry's fullest support for the production of the country's transportation equipment through an exchange of facilities, and Rial resources and working capital.
Engr. Ali Akbar Aghaee, head of the Islamic Republic's Parliament's Development Commission spoke about the importance of rail transportation as opposed to other areas of transportation, adding, "In addition to prioritizing rail transportation in our programs, the Ministry of Transportation and Housing had been asked to provide a database in transportation. Among other tasks in this field, they have formulated a comprehensive transportation design."
Head of the Islamic Republic Parliament's Development Commission addressed the issue of budget allocated towards providing sustainable resources to prevent the occurrence of damages in the country's resources and protect it against unjustly sanctions of the West against the Islamic Republic, adding that " The National Development Fund are among strong re sources that was legislated to set aside 5.26% of oil revenue towards the private sector. In times of sanctions, this fund is considerable support." Mr. Aghaee added, "That in all models of expansion, the government provides the foundations to use private sector resources for development purposes."
In the event, Dr. JabalAmeli, IUST chancellor, in addition to welcoming the guests gave a brief overview of the country's education system in comparison with previous periods, and explained, "The entrance of universities into research fields, with an emphasis on technology is among the higher education characteristics of this era." He added, "That an increase in research and graduate studies created a good opportunity for universities to play an important role in knowledge production and benefit from the country's intellectuals in the best possible manner."
IUST's chancellor emphasized that current large universities have clear and comprehensive programs that have created changes within the country, and that is greatly due to the industry's trust towards the universities and research centers. He said, "We must work hard to create greater interactions between the university and industry, and in this case, railway transportation is among the successful areas of creating this interaction.
In regards to the Higher Council for Science , Research and Technology's designation of the Fast and Speedy Train to IUST, Dr. Jabal Ameli added, "The great investment towards the foundations of railway transportation is among the grounds that provide suitable opportunities for the country's universities and railway transportation industries, which have created great opportunities to flourish."
Dr. Morteza Bagheri and Dr. Davood Younesian gave brief reports about the events of the conference. Dr. Bagheri gave an overview of the accepted papers to the conference, and added that most Farsi submitted papers were about development and in almost all, lines and buildings were topics discussed. Dr. Younesian praised the School of Railway Engineering's 15 years success after its establishment at IUST. He added, "The world's future will be relying heavily on high speed railway systems, and in Iran one of the many projects of the Higher Council for Science, Research and Technology is this very matter."