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Award Ceremony

Professor Vukan R. Vuchic, Docteur Honoris Causa

The Cnam will present Professor Vukan R. Vuchic with the title of Honorary Doctorate and will discuss of public urban transportation and high speed rail lines. This will be an important event for Franco-American cooperation in the rail industry.

Under the auspices of Valerie Pécresse, Minister for Higher Education and Research
Christian Forestier, Chairman of the Conservatoire national des arts et métiers,
presents the Honoris Causa award delivery of The Conservatoire des arts et métiers to
Vukan R. Vuchic.
UPS Foundation Professor of Transportation Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania.

The development of the TGV in the United States: A new locomotive to drive the economy

Franco-American cooperation in the rail industry dates back to the 1930’s. Initially commercial (sale of tickets), it quickly moved on to an industrial level.
French companies began to establish themselves in the US in the 1980’s via the TGV Company. The goal at the time was to promote high speed rail transportation in the United States, starting with Florida.
30 years later, in 2009, the Obama administration revisited the French idea as part of a giant project designed to boost the American economy:  more than 10 billion dollars are to be invested for the development of ten high speed railway lines in the United  States.
The Americans appreciate French knowhow  and services: Alstom supplied subway cars to the city of New-York in 2007, and at end of 2008, Geodis secured a major contract with IBM for its internal logistics, in 2009 Keolis won its first development contract in Virginia and Veolia, who is   now the number one private operator for public  transportation in North America, has also began a contract in July 2010 with the city of Phoenix (one of the most important contracts of this type in the  United States).
Today, the tenders that several American States are about to launch following the initiative of Barack Obama will represent historical opportunities for the French railway industry that must face  competition from other countries such as Germany, Spain, Japan, Korea, etc. The competition will begin in 2011 and should first concern the Tampa-Orlando link.
“The French system is superb (…), France is the country that opened the way for high-speed train” recently declared Ray Lahood, the US Secretary of Transportation, during a tour of a Parisian station. The Americans appreciate the pioneer status of French railways, with experience and technological expertise that correspond to their requirements in terms of reliability and safety. These assets will be valuable in enabling the French rail industry to win this new challenge and thus build a new locomotive to drive the economy forward.


March 10, 2011
14h - 19h

amphi Abbé-Grégoire

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The Honorary Doctorate

The Honorary Doctorate is one of the highest international academic distinctions. It is awardedby the French nation to foreign academic personalities for eminent work in the Humanities, Sciences and Technology.

A work of international standing dedicated to the public urban transportation industry.

Born in 1935 in Belgrade, Vukan R. Vuchic graduated from the University of Belgrade in 1960. He began his career as an engineer in Europe before moving to the United States where he graduated in 1965 with a PhD from the University of Berkeley. He obtained American citizenship in 1968, and has become the international academic reference for engineering of onboard systems applied to transportation. Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. Prof. Vuchic is now in charge of the UPS Foundation Chair dedicated to this theme. Through his expert advisory role with companies and public authorities, Vukan R. Vuchic has greatly influenced the construction of urban transport networks throughout the world. He is among the engineers who have received the highest number of distinctions in this century and is the author of many international publications and reference books, including his famous Urban Public Transportation Trilogy.
  • Transportation for Livable Cities : Center for Urban Policy Research. Rutgers University.
    1999. 376 pages.
  • Urban Transit : Operations, Planning and Economies. John Wilet & Sons. 2005. 660 pages.
  • Urban Transit Systems and Technology. John Wilet & Sons. 2007. 618 pages