Magplane Technology, Inc. ("MTI"), is the developer of the Magplane system. Based in Hampton, New Hampshire, USA, the company was founded in the mid-1990s by a group of MIT engineers who developed the basic Magplane concept. MTI organized and led the efforts of over 30 engineers and scientists from the United States Army Corps of Engineers and 10 leading engineering firms, including Raytheon and MIT Lincoln Laboratory, to further develop the technology under the National Maglev Initiative of the United States Department of Transportation.
The company adapted several essential features of the Magplane technology to electromagnetic pipeline transport, and completed a US$2 million demonstration project for the IMC Global Corporation in November 2000. The Company has focused in the last several years on developing projects for several cities in China. The Company will lead the engineering support team in the United States for Magplane China Company supported by a number of major subcontractors described below.
Magplane was initially developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) together with industrial partners. Magplane Technology, Inc. spun off in the 1990s to develop commercial systems.
Prior to spin off from MIT, 60,000 hours of Faculty, staff and graduate student research and development work was done on the basic Magplane concept. During this period a 1/25 scale working model was tested on a 100 meter long guideway to demonstrate the levitation and propulsion properties of the guideway and on-board magnets.
After spin-off in 1992, a 5.6 M$ design concept development was sponsored by the Federal Railway Administration and a 1/5 scale 2 M$ linear motor propulsion system was built as part of a 300 meter-long ore-transport system for one of the major phosphate mining companies.
In organizing the company, Magplane has adopted the philosophy of maximizing the use of outside contractor expertise under the guidance of Magplane's core senior staff who plan and oversee the sub-contract work and protect the intellectual property developed. By taking advantage of prior experience and specific hardware developments by these subcontractors, Magplane will be able to move rapidly to bring the Magplane passenger system to commercial readiness within a two-year period. Magplane intends to manufacture Magplane systems in China for both the China and international market. It is noteworthy that several of the sub-contractors have direct experience with Joint Ventures in China and the technology transfer to those Joint Ventures.
Dr. D. Bruce Montgomery, Chairman of the Board and Chief Technical Officer and acting CEO: Dr. Montgomery is a recognized expert in the generation of magnetic fields for applications including magnetic levitation and propulsion, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, and nuclear fusion confinement devices. His book on Solenoid Magnet Design, first published in 1969 remains a standard reference in the field. He is the author of more than 100 papers on magnet design, superconductivity, and a wide range of magnetic field applications. Prior to retirement from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1996, he was the Associate Director of the Plasma Science and Fusion Center - the largest interdisciplinary on-campus research center at MIT. Early in his carrier he worked for Arthur D. Little and Raytheon. He is currently an emeritus Senior Lecturer at MIT. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1998.
Dr. Montgomery was asked in December, 2006 to be one of four outside experts to review over a six month period the magnet systems for the fusion reactor to be built in Southern France. The experimental reactor, called ITER, is a multi-billion dollar joint project between seven parties that include the European Community, Japan, China and Russia. Dr. Montgomery led the US magnet design team working on ITER prior to leaving the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1996 to join the private sector.
Mr. Binson Du, Vice President, China Operations: Prior to joining Magplane, Mr. Du was active in several China and US industries in management, marketing, and public relations roles. He took important positions in many companies including: Wuhan Rubber Product Factory, Janus Disk Company USA, Junefield Consulting Service Company, Korea Panel Company, Guo Kang Pharmaceutical Development Company, and Well-Star Computer Security & Protection Technology. Throughout his career, Mr. Du was involved in projects including the design and assembly of first computerized system for rubber curing and processing, the design and assembly of a 2000-ton automatic hydro-pressing system, and the establishment of significant market position in China for Janus' disk products. Mr. Du also lead the establishment of several joint ventures in China between American and Chinese companies.
James G. Wieler: General Manager. Jim was most recently responsible for the disassembling, shipping, reassembly, and testing of the M3 Urban Maglev system as it moved from Massachusetts to Shanghai and recent ore handling demonstration projects. Former Sr.Vice President of Magnemotion Inc., a Magplane partner and developer of linear motor propulsion and control systems, with responsibility for key large-motor development and implementation programs; former Sr.Program Manager/System Engineer at Raytheon Co., managing the development and world-wide installation of Doppler weather radar systems.
William Kaufman: Project Management. Formerly Vice President of Carnegie Mellon Research Institute which served industry and government with R&D in transportation technology, materials development, real-time computer applications for process control, instrumentation and biotechnology
Thomas Keim: Project Technical Review. Principal Research Engineer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Director of the MIT/Industrial Consortium on Advanced Automotive/Electronic Components and systems. Formerly Vice President and Chief Engineer of Kaman Electromagnetics Corporation with responsibility for all technical matters, quality of work, proficiency of staff, engineering documentation and Intellectual Property.
David Cope: Sub-Contract Technical Oversight. Magplane Consultant. President and founder of Engineering Matters. Twenty five years of experience in electromagnetics and motor development. Formerly Program Manager for Maglev at Foster Miller, Inc.
Donald Galler: Sub-Contract Technical Oversight. Magplane Consultant. Expert on Failure Analysis, power electronics and electrical machinery. Registered Professional Engineer
Ted Giras: Manager Magplane Safety Qualification. Formerly Director of the Center for Rail Safety-Critical Excellence at the University of Virginia. Formerly Global corporate vice president and CTO of Ansaldo Signal and Train Control; formerly corporate vice-president of the Advance Technology Group, Union Switch and Signal; formerly President and CEO of Brown Boveri Control Systems, Inc.
Marc Thompson: Sub-Contract Technical Oversight. Magplane Consultant. Expert in power electronics, switching power supplies, DC/DC converters, magnetic design, magnetic suspensions and Maglev.
Alexey Radovinsky: Quality Control of Analysis. Magplane Consultant. Research Engineer, MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center. Expert in magnetic analysis and electromagnetic modeling. Formerly Associate Professor, Deputy head of the Department of Theoretical Mechanics, Moscow Institute for Instrument Building.
Jiarong Fang: China Interface Communication. Expert in magnetic analysis and electromagnetic modeling for Maglev systems. Formerly Research Associate, Institute of Electrical Engineering, Chinese Academy of Science. Formerly Engineer, Center for Research and development, Beijing Automation Technology Institute.
Stephen J. Kochan: Mechanical Design. Mr. Kochan has been the On-Site Technical Manager and New Product Development Innovator for Magplane Technology. Most recently he managed the rigging and installation of a medium speed M3 Maglev demonstration assembly in Shanghai, China. Prior to his time at Magplane, Mr. Kochan worked in various industries, including heavy commercial, and theater machinery markets. Before that, for 10 years Mr. Kochan worked at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) Plasma Science and Fusion Center.
Magplane has selected a strong team of sub-contractors who have extensive prior experience in rail and transit, or in maglev system development. DMJM Harris/Faber Maunsell, SNC-Lavalin and IBI Group are large engineering firms with extensive experience in design and construction management of rail and transit systems. Maglev design and prototype test experience is represented on the team by General Atomics, MagneMotion and Satcom Technology. Other partners bring special skills, for example MIT with Magnetic Analysis, Taylor & Associates with Bombardier-based vehicle and suspension design and the University of Virginia with Safety Qualification programs based on the US Federal Railway Administration regulations.
1. DMJM + HARRIS(www.DMJMHarris.com)
With a multidiscipline staff of 2,215 engineers, construction specialists, and other professionals strategically deployed in offices around the world, DMJM+HARRIS is equipped to meet the most demanding and complex client requirements. The combined revenues of its component firms place the company near the top of Engineering News-Record's lists of leading highway, mass transit/light rail, and marine firms. DMJM+HARRIS is a member of the AECOM Technology Corporation Group. AECOM, headquartered in Los Angeles is a global leader in providing technical professional services within the infrastructure, environmental, and facilities markets. They operate across industry sectors and major geographic markets, leveraging a network of more than 25 major operating offices and 14,200 employees.
As one of the largest transit consulting firms, AECOM have provided services for the Washington Metro; for San Francisco's BART system; and for rail systems in Bangkok, Boston, Chicago, Copenhagen, Dallas, Fort Lauderdale, Hong Kong, Leeds, Los Angeles, New Delhi, New York, Philadelphia, San Juan, and Seattle. They were also recently selected for the design of high-speed rail projects in both Australia and California.
DMJM+HARRIS's projects can be found almost everywhere around the world. The firm's proven record of success includes Planning and Environmental Services, Transit, Airports, Highways and Bridges, Marine, and Energy projects. Examples of this success include such mega projects as the Tren Urbano Heavy Rail System in San Juan Puerto Rico, the Central Artery Tunnel in Boston Massachusetts, and the Baltimore Metro System. Internationally, the firm has excelled with projects like South Korea's Dangsan Bridge, Turkey's Ankara Metro System, and Southern Peru's Torato River Dam.
2. FABER MAUNSELL(www.fabermaunsell.com)
The Maunsell Group, who recently merged with Faber, is a multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy practice which was first established in Hong Kong in 1970. The Group currently employs over 2,000 full-time resident staff in Hong Kong and elsewhere in China. The Group merged with the AECOM Group in 2000. The merged group currently employs over 15,000 staff in 150 locations, including 25 major operating offices and generates revenues in excess of US$1.7 billion annually. Three of the Maunsell Companies most relevant the Magplane project include:
Maunsell Consultants Asia Limited whose projects include: Civil/Structural Engineering; Urban Development; Highways; Railways; Maritime; Traffic & Transport; Project Management; Scheduling; Programming. Maunsell Geotechnical Services Ltd whose projects include: Geotechnical Engineering; Slopes Inspection & Stabilization; Foundations; Deep Excavation; Site Formation. Maunsell China Engineering Services Ltd whose projects include: Urban Development; Highways; Railways; Maritime; Sewerage/Drainage; Water; Traffic & Transport.
Maunsell has two major offices in Shenzhen (south China) and Shanghai, having a total staff of about 300. In addition, they have a number of smaller project offices operating in Beijing, Chongqing, Zhuhai and Zhongshan on specific projects. They also have three JV companies in the Mainland, one in Shanghai and two in Nanjing.
Maunsell has been providing consultancy services in Mainland China since 1982, initially working on the bank projects and then shifting to local clients in the recent years. Up to now, they have undertaken hundreds of projects in China. Area of services they provide includes feasibility study, design and project management on highways (bridges and tunnels), metro/transit, facilities/buildings, port, environmental engineering and transportation planning.
Recently, they have provided services on the urban metro projects in several major cities which include Shanghai, Nanjing, Shenzhen, Beijing, Wuhan and Guangzhou. They also pursuing the high speed rail opportunities on the Mainland by teaming up with the local design institutes.
3. SNC - Lavalin (www.LNCLavalin.com)
SNC-Lavalin is among Canada's largest firms and has a strong presence in Asia. They typically provide electrical and mechanical systems, as well as full responsibility for project management, systems engineering, system integration, testing and verification. They also provide a full range of operations and maintenance services, as well as strategies to improve our customers' existing services.
The Ankara Metro is an SNC-Lavalin project with regional relevance. SNC-Lavalin planned, financed and negotiated a fixed-price, turnkey package for this $900-million dual-track, heavy rail system. Completed in 1997, the Ankara Metro can move 70,000 people per hour, per direction, along its 12-station, 14-kilometre system. SNC-Lavalin provided total project management and led a Canadian-Turkish consortium through the financing, design, construction, testing and commissioning phases of this fully automated metro line. The system features elevated, underground, depressed, open and at-grade sections. The contract also involved the following: preliminary and final design, construction of civil and building works, design and installation of trackwork and power rail, fare collection, power supply and distribution, systems engineering and integration, design and supply of the automatic train control system, communication subsystems, vehicles, maintenance equipment, auxiliary vehicles, testing and commissioning.
Also of Asian relevance is the Kuala Lumpur LRT-2 project in Malaysia. SNC-Lavalin was responsible for overall project management of the mechanical and electrical works, and turnkey design, supply and installation of the traction power system and guideway elements, including trackwork and power rail, for this 29.5-kilometre, 24-station LRT system. The system, which is now in operation, uses fully automated, driverless ALRT technology, similar to that of Vancouver's SkyTrain.
In addition to the mechanical and electrical works for the Kuala Lumpur LRT-2 System, SNC-Lavalin was awarded four design-build contracts totaling $125 million for civil infrastructure: a two-level rapid transit tunnel and two underground stations in an environmentally sensitive area - a riverside - with difficult construction conditions, and a 29.4-kilometre pre-cast cabletray and walkway.
SNC-Lavalin was also a turnkey contractor for the Kuala Lumpur Monorail System. The scope of work included the design, supply and installation of the traction power substations and the power rail system. In addition, SNC-Lavalin acted as an advisor to the owner on system engineering/integration and on design/construction interface issues.
4. British Columbia Rapid Transit Company (www.answer.com/topics/advanced-light-rapid-transit)
BC Rapid Transit Company is the Build and Operate contractors for the Vancouver Skytrain. The Skytrain system has an annual ridership of 46 million passengers per year, and 150,000 passengers per day. The trains operate under automatic driverless control. The company has 360 employees involved in operations and maintenance. The Skytrain has a world-class reputation as of one of the most efficient transit operations, and serves as a model for many system being developed and supplies engineering services to new and existing systems throughout the world.
5. University of Virginia Center of Rail Safety-Critical Excellence (www.ece.virginia.edu/trainsafety/public/overview.php)
The mission of the Center of Rail Safety-Critical Excellence is to provide a unique collaboration between the University of Virginia's (UVA) School of Engineering and Applied Science and the Association of American Railroads (AAR) to enhance the risk assessment capabilities for railroads, high speed, freight and transit railways, commuter lines and maglev systems. All of these sectors plan to deploy control systems and/or advanced highway grade crossings. A requirement of Performance-based Safety Standards is the quantification of safety that is the central mission of the Center. The Center is directed by Professor T. Giras, assisted by Professor Zonghi Lin.
The UVA Center of Rail Safety-Critical Excellence has been involved in risk assessment of three major transit rail systems: (1) the Los Angeles Metro Green Line, (2) the Copenhagen Metro, and (3) the New York City Transit Canarsie (L) Line. The Center of Rail Safety-Critical Excellence has been tasked by Maglev, Inc. of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to support the safety risk assessment Safety Case required to meet the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Rule of Applicability (RPA) that provides the enforcement of safety for revenue service. A Predictive Safety Assessment Tool Set Framework has been developed, along with a safety plan that will ensure compliance to the FRA Processor-based Regulatory Rule.
6. IBI Group (www.ibigroup.com)
The IBI Group is Canadian owned and controlled, with offices in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Boston, Denver, Seattle, and Irvine. It was founded in 1974 with an original base of 30 professionals in Toronto and Vancouver and currently employs some 300 persons. The firm represents a unique combination of analysts and designers, and engages in research, planning, design, and implementation activities. Recent projects include Boston's Logan International Airport Intermodal Connector, Ottawa-Carleton Rapid Transit Development Program, Vancouver Rapid Transit Planning, and the Southern Californian Association of Governors Maglev Project study.
1. GENERAL ATOMICS (www.GA.com/atg/ems.php)
General Atomics (GA) is one of the leading industrial research and development organizations in the United States. Its major area of research, development, and production is in the sector of energy and defense. Approximately 1,500 personnel members, made up of experts in advanced engineering and science fields working in various technical groups. GA has performed over 2,500 government and commercial contracts, valued over US$ 3 billion. These include numerous programs involving design, development, and installation of complex, advanced engineering systems.
Under the 2000 Urban Maglev Program of the United States Federal Transit Administration (FTA), GA leads a team to develop maglev technology for the purpose of providing a solution to urban and regional transportation problems.
GA is a partner in the American Magline Group for a Super-Speed Las Vegas to Southern California Maglev Project, which includes Transrapid International, Booz-Allen & Hamilton, and Hirschfeld Steel, formed to implement Transrapid technology in the Western United States. GA would provide the propulsion system, consisting of the electrical supply, power conditioning, inverters, and linear motors. In the United States, studies are underway for a maglev system connecting Las Vegas with Southern California, with possible north-south extensions throughout California.
GA has been awarded a contract by the United States Navy for the program definition and risk reduction phase of the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System Program, which includes the production of a full-scale, reduced-length, fully integrated prototype to replace the current generation of steam catapults on aircraft carriers.
GA has extensive experience in the application of power electronics to solve demanding technical problems. Recent activities include the design and development of a hybrid electric power conditioning system to provide power for land combat vehicles. In other efforts, GA designed and built a high-current-density solid-state switch for an Air Force electromagnetic gun technology program and designed electromagnetic launchers for torpedoes and aircraft carrier catapults.
The Maglev Programs at GA report to Dr. Richard Thome who worked with Dr. Montgomery for many years at MIT.
2. MAGNE MOTION (www.magnemotion.com)
MagneMotion's roots are at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where the company's founder, Professor Richard Thornton, developed new and innovative technologies that provided a significant leap forward in the practical implementation of linear motor propulsion and control systems. The main focus at MagneMotion is the development of linear motors, associated control systems and their application to material and people transport systems. MagneMotion's patented position sensing and control techniques allow for extremely precise control of acceleration and deceleration to permit the safe transport of sensitive or fragile loads. The vehicle or moving element can also be indexed and positioned with great accuracy. MagneMotion has developed a state-of-the-art control system with a fault tolerant architecture that can safely and efficiently manage many vehicles on a common network of track. Key features include intelligent management of traffic flow for maximum throughput, redundant communication between control modules for exceptional fault tolerance and built in self-diagnostics and troubleshooting for rapid identification of impending and existing malfunctions.
3. MIT PLASMA SCIENCE AND FUSION CENTER (www.psfc.mit.edu/technology_engineering)
The Engineering Division at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Plasma Science and Fusion Center is an interdisciplinary engineering group with broad experience in research, development, testing and fabrication of superconducting, conventional, and permanent magnets, magnet materials, conductors, components and systems. The Division was headed by Dr. Montgomery until his retirement in 1996. The Division has developed outstanding computational capabilities for structural and electromagnetic analyses, which have been successfully applied to a large range of projects. This includes the development of unique magnetic field mapping software, and field and force computational skills, as well as detailed stress analysis; magnet safety analysis; magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) magnet design and construction; magnetic separation systems for water treatment and materials separation; and magnet design for maglev ground transportation, space, biomedical/surgical, and naval applications.
4. SATCON TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION (www.SatCon.com)
Satcon Technology Corporation manufacturers and sells power and energy management products from three business divisions. Satcon Power Systems manufactures systems for distributed power generation, power quality and factory automation, including inverter electronics from 5 kilowatts to 5 megawatts. SatCon Electronics manufactures and sells power chip components; power switches; RF devices; amplifiers; telecommunications electronics; and hybrid microcircuits for industrial, medical, and aerospace applications. SatCon Applied Technology develops advanced technology in digital power electronics, high-efficiency machines and control systems with the strategy of transitioning those technologies into products.
The SatCon Magmotor Division specializes in providing cost-effective electromechanical motion control solutions to equipment manufactures serving several high-tech markets including semiconductor, machine tool, factory automation, automotive and medical. Magmotor offers a broad range of brush and brushless servomotors, servo motor amplifiers, controller, distributed I/O, and power supplies, as well as custom designed motors, frameless motors, motor controllers and MagLev products and custom assemblies.
SatCon designs have been applied in a number of government and commercial markets. Customers include United Technologies, Lockheed Martin, Chrysler, General Motors, Ford, Delco Remy America, Westinghouse, TRW, Carrier, York and Applied Materials, along with the Office of Naval Research, DARPA, CECOM, NASA, and DoE.
SatCon has a Joint Venture manufacturing company in China in the greater Sanghai region who manufacture rotary Synchronous Motors Professor James Kurtley of the Electrical Engineering Department at MIT is Chief Scientist for SatCon Technology.
5. TAYLOR RAYNAULD AMAR & ASSOCIATES (www.traa.ca)
Taylor Raynauld Amar & Associates is and independent company established in 1984 providing engineering, management and consulting services in the area of rail vehicle design, acquisition and operations. Their expertise extends to locomotives, passenger and freight cars and transit vehicles. There core competencies include specifications development, system and structural design and project management. Their list of clients includes Alstom, Bombardier, B.C. Transit, CAD Railway services, Canac Ltd., Canarail Consulting Services, Canadian Pacific Consulting Serices, and GE Transportation Systems. Typical projects undertaken for Alstom include responsibility for complete design of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit Rail Diesel Cars. Projects for Bombardier include applications studies of gas turbine engines for high speed passenger locomotives for the Amtrak North East Corridor, technical evaluation of the TGV high speed train for North American Operations, aerodynamic studies of the Channel Tunnel Shuttle Cars, system design coordinator for the Kuala Lumpur Light Rail Vehicles, and development of conceptual designs for the high speed passenger locomotive to haul LRC passengers in South Korea.