Final Doctoral Examination This Week for Christian Sakowitz

I am pleased to report that on March 31, 2011, I will be attending the final examination for a Doctor of Science for Christian Sakowitz, a senior developer in our Princeton-based Surface Transportation Group. The exam will be given by Faculty of Civil Engineering at RWTH Aachen University, an internationally acclaimed research university located in Germany. Prof. Dr. Ekkehard Wendler, head of the Institute of Transport Science (VIA) at the University and member of the advisory board of Deutsche Bahn AG, supervised Christian’s thesis entitled “Optimization of train priorities to support the regulation of train services with the assistance of active and deductive databases”.

Christian’s day will be divided into three parts: 1) a “public presentation,” 2) the actual examination, and 3) a reception. Usually the examination is restricted to academics, but I succeeded in obtaining permission to attend the examination (don’t worry Christian – I will not be asking any hard questions).

Christian’s thesis presents a new approach to traffic regulation that separates long-term optimization, such as dynamic train and connection priorities, from the day-to-day train dispatching process, and suggests a cost-effective system implementation based on modern database technologies.

The Institute of Transport Science at RWTH Aachen University is recognized for excellence in academic research in railway operations science, transportation economics, signaling and safety systems / railway operations. Research requires investigations of railway operations using scientific methods, the results of which provide statistical support for decision-making by all aspects of railroad management, including operations, schedule construction and capacity management, infrastructure planning and network planning.

At Oliver Wyman, Christian Sakowitz specializes in the design and implementation of the algorithmic components of MultiRail service planning software. Major contributions include the design and development of two featured optimization models for block planning and locomotive utilization. In addition, Christian is a key member of multiple service design consulting projects in Europe and South Africa.

We all wish Christian much luck on Thursday.

Update: I am very pleased to tell you that Christian passed his Doctoral examination today (March 31st). Congratulations to Dr. Sakowitz!