Penn State and Wabtec Corp. have formed strategic partnership for energy management, battery technology and machine learning research, and for professional and talent development.
“This strategic alliance continues our long-standing relationship with Penn State and affords us access to a world-class research institution with all of the resources to bring new innovations to the market,” said Alan Hamilton, Vice President of Engineering at Wabtec, which is based in Pittsburgh.
In recent years, Wabtec and Penn State have partnered on recruitment efforts as well as research on the optimization and management of energy storage systems. Additionally, Wabtec and Penn State Behrend (Erie, Pa.) created a weeklong science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) camp for middle school girls in western Pennsylvania. For eight years, the focus of the free program has been to encourage interest in robotics, electronic circuits, chemistry, energy management and other STEAM topics. More than 400 girls have participated.
Currently, Wabtec and Penn State are collaborating on a data analytics project for large-scale battery systems. “Penn State is evaluating existing and emerging techniques for data mining and testing them against real data from the FLX Drive Battery Locomotive prototype,” Wabtec Senior Business Communications Leader Tim Bader told Railway Age.
The new strategic alliance is “a model for how universities and corporations can successfully work together to solve real-world challenges,” Assistant Vice President of Corporate Engagement Melissa Erekson said. “In addition, it will expand opportunities for talent development and learning among Penn State students and continuous learning for Wabtec employees through engagement with the Education Alliance Program at World Campus.”
In other developments, Wabtec received a $233 million order for 25 hybrid locomotives from MTA in July.