“This 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,” says Mr Alan Hamilton, vice-president of engineering at Wabtec.

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,” says Wabtec’s senior business communications leader, Mr Tim Bader.

The new partnership is “a model for how universities and corporations can successfully work together to solve real-world challenges,” says Ms Melissa Erekson, Penn State University’s assistant vice-president of corporate engagement. “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 Programme at World Campus.”

In recent years, Wabtec and Penn State have partnered on recruitment efforts as well as research on the optimisation and management of energy storage systems.

Additionally, Wabtec and Penn State have previously collaborated in running a week-long science, technology, engineering, arts and maths (Steam) camp for middle school girls in western Pennsylvania for the past eight years, in which more than 400 girls have participated. The focus of the free programme has been to encourage interest in robotics, electronic circuits, chemistry, energy management and other Steam topics.