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Chairholder Profile

Luc Faucher

Luc Faucher

Cégep de Sept-Îles

Chair title

NSERC Industrial Research Chair for Colleges in Railway Operations and Maintenance

Chair program

Industrial Research Chair for Colleges


Chairholder since since 2013


The NSERC Industrial Research Chair for Colleges in Railway Operations and Maintenance research program focuses specifically on railway operations involving the use of long, heavy trains in isolated northern areas. In this regard, the Quebec North Shore offers a unique testing ground given the large mining companies operating there and the major infrastructure available for moving mineral resources from mining sites to processing and shipping locations. The optimal use and reliability of railway equipment are of paramount importance under such conditions.

The Chairís research will permit more effective monitoring of rail equipment as well as improvements in the equipment. Instrumentation of various components of the rolling stock and the rails will improve maintenance planning and network reliability through the implementation of data capture and transmission systems, modelling and simulation, the establishment of failure models and the implementation of advanced maintenance practices. The Chairís program also covers operating parameters such as human factors and energy efficiency. Research will be undertaken to develop methods to address the various stresses placed on the equipment by different freight loads, distances travelled, weather conditions and route configurations.

Luc Faucher, who holds a PhD in metallurgical and materials engineering, is Senior Chairholder. He has authored numerous publications in the field of materials engineering. Réjean L. Bélanger, who has a masterís degree in engineering and an MBA, is Co-chair. He has extensive experience in the rail sector. Support will be provided by the research team of the Institut technologique de maintenance industrielle, a college-level technology transfer centre affiliated with the Cégep de Sept-Îles, and in particular by the centreís scientific coordinator, Drishtysingh Ramdenee, who is completing a PhD in mechanical engineering. The industrial partners are ArcelorMittal Mines Canada, Cliffs Natural Resources, Rio Tinto IOC and Tshiuetin Rail Transportation Inc., an SME; they have made their facilities, equipment and specialized staff available to the Chair program.

The benefits of the research program for the partner companies relate to maintaining their global competitiveness through a reduction in production costs, while addressing sustainable development concerns related to the environment, health and worker safety. In addition, the partners want the railway network to be able to handle significant increases in production. These corporations are served by a large pool of subcontracting SMEs, which will also benefit from the Chairís activities. The research advances will make a significant contribution to the development of a skilled workforce.


  • ArcelorMittal Mines Canada
  • Cliffs Natural Resources
  • Rio Tinto IOC
  • Tshiuetin Rail Transportation Inc.

Contact information

Cégep de Sept-Îles
Institut technologique de maintenance industrielle
175 de la Vérendrye
Sept-Îles, Québec
G4R 5B7

Tel.: 418-962-9848, ext. 373
Fax: 418-968-8205

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