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"It seems like the more people I talk to, the more I realize just how good of an engineering program LSSU has. I appreciate your classes, your ability to make learning an enjoyable experience, and the hands-on attitude of LSSU as a whole. I am very glad I chose LSSU."

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School of Engineering & Technology

Senior Projects 2013-2014

Team RAS

RAS logo

From left to right: Karl Larsen, Randy Gee, Kevin Danhof, Levi Marchetti, and Taylor Heath

Team RAS: Railway Automation Solutions


  • Kevin Danhof, EE
  • Randy Gee, EET
  • Taylor Heath, ME
  • Karl Larsen, ME
  • Levi Marchetti, CpE

Faculty Advisor:

  • Jon Coullard


  • Pre-tec, Eugene, Oregon

Industrial Customer:

  • Jeff Johnston

Project Description: Team Railway Automation Solutions (RAS) is tasked with designing an automated process for dispensing SpikeFast, a polyurethane based product, into spike holes on wooden railroad ties.  This project is sponsored by Pre-Tec, a division of the Willamette Valley Company, which is based in Eugene, Oregon and is an industry leader in designing and manufacturing automated solutions.

Spike-Fast application device

Over time, the spikes which are used to secure the rails to the railroad ties become loose and can allow the rails to shift which may lead to train derailment. The current solution is to manually insert SpikeFast into the worn spike holes. When cured, SpikeFast mimics the properties of hardwood and allows for a spike to be driven back securely into the original hole.

Team RAS will simulate the automation of this process in a laboratory setting using wooden blocks mounted on a continuous conveyor system.  A SmartVision camera will locate spike holes on the blocks as they pass, and a robot utilizing custom end of arm tooling will dispense SpikeFast into the holes.  The major challenge associated with this project is the need to perform this process while the conveyor is in motion as well as the need to maintain the strict speed requirement of 22 ties per minute.




Links to the 2013-14 Senior Project Teams:

Second place

Design Competition Senior project Team Rock Rover Design & Development qualified to advance to the international student design competition on November 18, 2009.

ASME Student Design Expositions provide a platform for all engineering students to showcase their innovative design and build projects to a broad audience. Bringing practicing engineers, faculty and students into one venue, this program also provides educational and professional development opportunities for exhibitors as well as spectators. For students, it is an opportunity to demonstrate their products or present their design concepts to potential employers and even investors. For industry leaders, the Expos are like career fairs in reverse; an opportunity to observe the landscape of student design, get to know extraordinary engineering students in the region and see first-hand the innovative ideas and skills students can bring to their companies.

Apply Today!

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