Sustainable Transportation Seminar

CIVIL AND ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING SEMINAR SERIES

Maglev: Sustainable Transport For The 21st Century & Beyond

Kevin C. Coates

Executive Director, North American Maglev Transport Institute (NAMTI)

Friday, October 30, 2009

120 Olsson Hall

2:00 PM 

Abstract

America’s highways and airports are overcrowded. Suburban sprawl continues unabated. Oil, gas and electricity prices spike and then plummet, throwing world economies into uncertainty.  This cycle will continue, and likely intensify as long as political and industry leaders attempt to apply old solutions in the face of continued explosive growth.   The nearly simultaneous convergence of rapidly increasing world demand for energy and increasing demands on transportation systems will eventually force America to reassess its present land development and transportation policies. America must find ways to link any new policy with more sustainable energy and transportation solutions.

Augmenting the existing car/air travel duopoly will not be easy, but without high capacity passenger (rail or maglev) modes between cities, intercity travel will continue to become more and more difficult. For many cities in the U.S., traffic levels are already unacceptable and the situation continues to deteriorate. If America is to regain its competitive edge, an important step must be to adopt more workable and sustainable transportation solutions.

High-speed magnetic levitation transportation is the first logical step industrialized countries can take to free themselves from short haul air travel between city pairs and reliance on oil for intercity travel.  Non-contact maglev technology is a faster, safer, and more cost effective alternative to steel wheel rail technology. The technology lasts longer, costs less, and has much lower environmental impact than traditional high-speed rail or short haul air travel.

The CEE seminar series is open to the University community.  CE undergraduate students are especially invited to attend.

Refreshments served at 3:00 PM in THN D204 (CEE Lounge)

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