Frontiers in Built Environment are delighted to reveal the winners of the second Joseph M. Sussman Prize celebrating the best articles published in the ‘Transportation and Transit Systems’ section of the journal. The award winning studies selected this year provide valuable insights into more efficient railway engineering infrastructure and present innovative solutions to address the issues related to sustainability and environmental pollution.
The winners are:
The award was created to commemorate the legacy of late Specialty Chief Editor of the section, Professor Joseph M Sussman from Massachusetts Institute of Technology JR East. This winners this year were selected in collaboration with current section specialty chief editor Sakdirat Kaewunruen from the University of Birmingham.
A closer look at the winning studies
Aiming to optimize the efficiency of High-Speed Railways, Panrawee Rungskunroch, Sakdirat Kaewunruen and Zuo-Jun Shen demonstrated that the total weight of rolling stock can be reduced by up to 24% if aluminium and steel are replaced by composite materials. As the authors noted: “the world is encountering a severe global warming issue, and the transportation sector has been counted as a significant CO2 emitter”. The award winning work they produced has huge potential to reduce the amount of energy consumption, carbon emissions and end-of-life waste involved in High-Speed transportation.
Their co-winners, Yajun Jiang and Sanjay Nimbalkar, also focused on railway infrastructure. The authors were motivated by the rapid growth of transportation networks, and the resulting challenge to “maintain the service capability and reduce the safety risk during operation”. By utilising a two-dimensional finite element approach, Jiang and Nimbalkar modelled the effects of a widely used type of earth reinforcement and established what they described as a “better approach to assess effectiveness of geogrid to improve stability of the ballasted rail tracks while helping to curtail the maintenance work”.
The winners’ work is an important contribution to Professor Sussman’s legacy, and has high potential to significantly improve the sustainability of our modern transit systems.