2013-2014 Luce Scholar
Sam Chadwick is a graduate research assistant with the Rail Transportation and Engineering Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). Her research is focused on improving safety at highway-rail grade crossings by minimizing the risk of train derailments. She earned her B.S. in Civil Engineering from UIUC in 2010, concentrating in transportation and structures. As a recipient of an International Engineering Fellowship, Sam spent a year at L'Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Géologie in Nancy, France where she studied geotechnical engineering and completed a minor in French. The freedom of visiting dozens of French cities without once setting foot in a car fueled Sam's love of passenger rail travel, and prompted her to pursue a career in passenger rail in the U.S. She worked as an engineering intern for HNTB Corporation in Chelmsford, MA during the summer of 2010, designing light rail, commuter rail and high-speed rail systems for implementation throughout North America. Sam also served as President of the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (AREMA) Student Chapter at UIUC in 2011, sharing her knowledge and passion for rail with other students and the Illinois community. She believes that addressing the growing need for transportation capacity with rail rather than roads can make American cities cleaner, safer and more sustainable, ultimately improving quality of life for everyone. In her free time, Sam enjoys a variety of activities including skiing and cooking. She is a lifelong musician, with more than ten years of training as a flautist and handbell ringer, and currently sings with UIUC's Oratorio Society as a soprano.
Sam is placed with the Taiwan High Speed Rail Corporation (THSRC) headquartered in Taipei. A principal provider of high speed railway passenger transportation services in Taiwan, THSRC currently operates eight stations along a high speed rail line that runs approximately 214 miles along the west coast of Taiwan, from the national capital Taipei to the southern city of Kaohsiung, with a top speed of 186 mph.