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CEE at Illinois graduate student offered Fulbright grant

7/11/2018 3:06:11 PM

Eleven University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign students and young alumni have been offered student Fulbright grants to pursue international educational, research and teaching experiences across the globe this coming year.

As the flagship international educational exchange program of the U.S. government, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program builds international relationships to solve global challenges. Based on their academic and professional achievement as well as their demonstrated leadership potential, approximately 2,100 U.S. citizens will travel abroad for the 2018-19 academic year through the Fulbright program.

This year’s recipients from the University of Illinois include civil and environmental engineering student Thomas Roadcap. Roadcap, of Champaign, Ill., and a graduate of Champaign Central High School, earned a B.S. in civil and environmental engineering from Illinois and is pursuing an M.S. in that field. He has been offered a Fulbright grant to conduct master’s research in Munich on railroad track safety and design. Several recent train derailments around the world have resulted from the failure of rail-fastening systems due to lateral and longitudinal track loads, and these have inspired Roadcap’s research. In typical railroad track, the fastening system is the component that holds the rails in place on the crossties. Through laboratory work, modeling and fieldwork, Roadcap hopes to gain a deeper understanding of the load environment of fastening systems, which will lead to improvements and prevent future train derailments. While in Munich, he also plans to participate in jazz performance, Bible study groups, a German language course and yoga classes, and to travel throughout Germany by rail to learn more about the nation and absorb the “user’s viewpoint” for his research. After completing a master’s degree, Roadcap plans to work in the railroad industry.

See the full story, with all recipients, at