Iron Horse awards LU contract for railyard management software

Iron Horse Terminals has awarded a significant research contract to Dr. Maryam Hamidi, assistant professor of industrial engineering, Co-PI Dr. Brian Craig, dean of the College of Engineering, along with Dr. Hamidi’s doctoral of engineering candidate, Mr. Masood Jafari King. The award is to support the
Iron Horse
Masood Jafari King, Dr. Maryam Hamidi, Dr. Brian Craig
development of a railyard management software that Iron Horse Terminals can use to monitor and control traffic in the terminal.

Hamidi recognized the lack of a software management system in the railyard space and along with a team of graduate students, like doctor of engineering in industrial engineering candidate, Masood Jafari Kang, set out to create a software that integrates several data sets, including the inbound and outbound readers, visualizes car locations, and provides a printable map of filtered cars. The software enables managers and operators to access, monitor and do operations more efficiently.

The software provides several reports, including dwell times, arrival and departure time of the cars at the yard, which in future phases will help with optimal allocation of the cars on tracks. Lamar University IT staff supported the project by providing server access.

“In addition to the web version of the app containing these railyard management features and functions, mobile apps will also be developed where users can access the database and perform tasks such as importing or exporting rail cars remotely from any device,” Hamidi said. “The online version of the software, coming along with the web version, will provide the railyard operators with an intelligent tool that records inbound and outbound activity, visualize current, arrival, and departure railcars on a real-time map, facilitate yard monitoring and operations, as well as provides predefined bills and reports.”

“Iron Horse Terminals is excited to see the work and vision of Dr. Hamidi and her team come to life. Our relationship with Lamar University and the College of Engineering has been enjoyable and rewarding thus far. We look forward to seeing the continued work on this project and the efficiencies it will bring to our operations," said Iron Horse Terminals’ General Manager, Cody Birdwell.

“This project squarely represents one of the primary goals of Lamar University College of Engineering: enhancing industry/university collaboration. It’s a win-win for all parties involved,” said Dr. Craig. “The company gains access to a body of knowledge they may not otherwise have access to solve their challenges and the College of Engineering students gain invaluable real-world experience while being mentored by the college’s outstanding faculty.”