Industry-university student collaboration to develop sustainability metric for concrete tie production

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



This paper presents the sustainability assessment and a prototype sustainability model, completed by students in the Michigan Tech University (MTU) Transportation Enterprise (TE), for a concrete tie production plant owned by L.B. Foster's wholly owned subsidiary, CXT, Inc. (CXT), located in Spokane, WA. The paper will provide a short introduction of the Undergraduate Enterprise Program at Michigan Tech, discuss the organizational commitments, coordination and communication needed between partners to conduct the project and highlight some of the challenges and lessons learned during the project. It will summarize the outcomes of the project investigations and modeling efforts with emphasis on the prototype environmental sustainability model to calculate the carbon footprint of the CXT plant and to assess possible areas of improvement. The paper will also review parallel research conducted on recycling methods for concrete ties. Copyright © 2012 by ASME.

Publication Title

2012 Joint Rail Conference, JRC 2012