Dear members and friends,
On Wednesday Sept 19, the initial segment of California's ambitious $68 billion high speed rail project won the approval of the U.S. Federal Railroad Administration, clearing the way for construction to begin in 2013. Federal authorities approved a 65-mile section of track through the state's central agricultural heartland, from Merced to Fresno, after environmental and engineering reviews were completed.
California's bullet train network, expected to take decades to complete, would eventually connect Sacramento and San Francisco to Los Angeles, with stops along the 800-mile system. Backers of the project hailed the decision as historic for the development of the first high-speed train project in the nation and the start of construction in the central San Joaquin Valley. California's Democratic Governor Jerry Brown signed an initial funding bill for the train project in July that cleared the way for construction of 130 miles of track. Brown says a bullet train network will boost job creation and provide an alternative to car and plane travel in the country's most populous state.
Critics, however, say California can ill afford the $68 billion project that farmers' unions regard as an "imminent threat" to some of the most agriculturally productive land in the United States.
Critics worry that funding for the project will eventually run dry before the rail network can be completed, leaving California with a "train to nowhere" in its agrarian midsection.
Cost estimates for the project, the most ambitious public works endeavor to date in California, have ballooned to $68 billion from $45 billion previously.
To give everyone a first hand report, as well as to educate everyone on high speed rail technology, we have invited two experts: Dr. Tom Tsai and Dr. Lester Lee to give us a Clean Technology Seminar titled:
Global High Speed Rail, with focus on CA
Date: October 15, 2012 (Monday) 7:00 - 9:00 pm (registration starts at 6:30pm)
Venue: ITRI Int'l, 2870 Zanker Rd., Suite #140, San Jose, CA
This seminar will begin with a brief history of the development of High Speed Ground Transport (HSGT), of which High-speed-Rail(HSR) is just one part of it. The other concepts developed earlier including the German and Japanese magnetic levitated vehicles, the US track levitated research vehicle suspended on a cushion of air, and the US linear induction motor research vehicle that was the fastest wheel-on-rail vehicle in the world in 1974 at a speed of 256 mph. Together with a short description of the development of high-speed rail systems in the world will be a description of those attempts of HSR in the United States, including the current program in California. Major technical issues or concerns such as safety and regulations facing the HSR project in California will be discussed. Current status, financial and political issues in California HSR will also be addressed.
Please join us and learn more about this fascinating Clean Tech topic. The seminar will also provide an environment for proactive dialogue on this subject. Don't miss out networking and exchanging your views with other participants. MAKE it a GREAT evening!
CleanTech Group of CIE/USA-SF (formerly CARES)
Speaker Bio: Dr. Tom Tsai
Tom received his BS, MS in mechanical engineering from Taiwan Cheng Kung University, and his PhD in ME from the University of Rochester, Rochester, New York 1969. His professional career covered a broad range of industry and government programs. In the area of rail structures, he managed several national research and development programs at the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Department of Transportation from 1977 to 1982. He managed several test programs for high-speed trains including the German ICE, the Swedish X-2000 and the Spanish Talgo train sets. He was among the technical experts who develop the first ever federal safety standards for passenger rail equipment in USA in 1999.
Beginning as a member of the first official US railroad delegation to China in 1980, he helped transfer various railroad technologies, first in heavy haul freight trains, then high-speed trains, to China over the years until his retirement in 2006. He is a life Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).
He won many service achievement awards from the Departments of Transportation and Defense.
He has published over 75 technical papers on structural dynamics and organized and chaired many international technical conferences.
Speaker Bio: Dr. Lester Lee
Dr. Lester H. Lee is one of the old timers in Silicon Valley. He came to America 50 years ago after finishing high school in China. He is a graduate of Univ. of Illinois and settled in Silicon Valley after getting his Ph. D from Stanford.
He is currently president of Recortec, Inc. a company he started 30 years ago. Recortec is now the oldest Chinese owned hi-tech company in Silicon Valley.
Dr. Lee is the founder and past president of a number of prominent Chinese hi-tech organizations such as CIE, Chinese Institute of Engineers, AAMA, Asian American Manufacturers Association, and MJ, Monte-Jade Technology Association. He has also been extremely active in the Chinese community. He and his wife Helen have been major supporters of all Chinese political candidates in America. He himself is the first ever Chinese appointed to the Board of Regents, the governing body of the 9 campus University of California.
Back in year 2000, he also founded and served as the first chairperson of Northern California Chinese for Peaceful Unification (CPU-NC).
Organizer: CleanTech Group of CIE/USA-SF (formerly CARES)
Chinese American Renewable Energy Society (CARES) founded in 2009 in Silicon Valley by a small group of professionals who shared their common interests in alternative sources of clean energy, energy efficiency, and global environmental sustainability, is to promote renewable energy and clean technology to Chinese American communities by providing a common platform, services, activities and education. Now CARES has merged with the Chinese Institute of Engineers USA San Francisco Bay Area Chapter to become the CleanTech Group of CIE/USA-SF.