Winner of Joseph M Sussman Best Paper Prize awarded to article proposing use of overhead line equipment in earthquake detection

View from above of a french high-speed railway track with overhead line equipment, made of posts, catenaries, wires and power lines to supply bullet trains

In collaboration with the journal’s Field Chief Editor, Izuru Takewaki, Frontiers in Built Environment is delighted to announce that the winner Chayut Ngamkhanong, PhD student at the University of Birmingham, has won the first ever Joseph M. Sussman prize for the best article published in Frontiers in Built Environment — Transportation and Transit Systems in 2018.

In 2018, Frontiers in Built Environment — Transportation and Transit Systems introduced a new prize to commemorate the legacy of late Specialty Chief Editor of the section, Massachusetts Institute of Technology JR East Professor Joseph M Sussman.

Ngamkhanong explains: “This study is the world’s first to investigate the effect of harsh environment on overhead line equipment (OHLE) — the component which supplies the electric power to a train, yet is one of the most vulnerable components of the rail infrastructure. I am very pleased that this research has been recognized through this award.”  This paper contributes significantly to our understanding of the responses of OHLE to earthquakes, allowing engineers to create a more resilient design for this vital part of our infrastructure. Importantly, it presents a possible use of OHLE for earthquake detection, potentially increasing societies’ resilience to such natural disasters. 


Far-Field Earthquake Responses of Overhead Line Equipment (OHLE) Structure Considering Soil-Structure Interaction
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“At this stage in my work, being recognized in this way by the Frontiers in Built Environment community is a special honor and I’m very pleased that my research has been acknowledged by this award. This award also recognized the collaborative efforts of all those who contributed to making this study a reality,” says Ngamkhanong.

The journal’s Chief Editors emphasized the technical merit and originality of this work, adding that “Prof Sussman laid the foundations for many any new innovative ideas and novel concepts of systems thinking approach into socio-technical complexity applied to the railway sector have been truly inspired by Joe’s profound research, teaching and professional contributions.”  The winning paper continues this legacy, and the editors, alongside the Sussman family, would like to extend their congratulations to Chayut Ngamkhanong.

The second Joseph M. Sussman Best Paper Prize will be awarded to the most outstanding research published within Frontiers in Built Environment — Transportation and Transit Systems in 2019.


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