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People News: HDR, HNTB, NS

Written by Carolina Worrell, Senior Editor
Buzz Berger (pictured) will lead HDR’s railway design technical services.

Buzz Berger (pictured) will lead HDR’s railway design technical services.

HDR selects Buzz Berger as Railway Design Leader. Also, HNTB welcomes Steven Mudge as Fleet and Facilities Technical Director; and Norfolk Southern (NS) selects Will Miller as the newly appointed Director Public Engagement.

HDR announced Sept. 27 that it has selected Buzz Berger, PE, to serve as Railway Design Leader, a role that the firm says functions as the Senior Technical Advisor for freight rail services.

In this role, Berger will lead quality assurance, resource availability and development, as well as project delivery for HDR’s freight rail work. He will play a major role in hiring and coordinating with technical leaders to provide exceptional service to HDR freight rail clients. Berger has been with HDR for nearly a decade and will continue his work on major projects for clients as a senior project manager, working out of the firm’s office in Walnut Creek, Calif.

Berger has nearly 30 years of experience, including field and management positions with Class I railways. He brings expertise in a wide range of rail engineering disciplines, including project development and planning, track, signal, freight and passenger facilities, grade crossings, and third-party projects. He also understands the fundamental economic and competitive considerations that shape the rail industry.

“After 10 years with HDR, I’m still amazed not only at the depth and breadth of our talent, but also our team’s dedication to helping our clients achieve their goals,” Berger said. “This role is fundamentally about enabling the entire HDR network to bring our collective knowledge, practical railroad experience, and skillsets that extend far beyond the railway industry to create lasting value for our clients.”

“Buzz draws on his practical experience to think strategically, solve complex engineering and stakeholder challenges, and lead projects through all phases of the delivery process,” said HDR Freight Rail Director Bill Hjelholt. “Many of our clients already know him, trust him and appreciate his ability to find win-win solutions. He will be a great asset to our technical teams and clients globally in making freight rail projects come to life.”

HNTB announced Sept. 28 that Steven Mudge has joined the firm as Fleet and Facilities Technical Director and Vice President, serving the firm’s transit and rail practice.

A nationally recognized expert in transit vehicles, facilities and operations, Mudge will serve as a key technical resource supporting clients as they modernize and grow their fleets of buses, trains and other vehicle rolling stock and support facilities, HNTB said.

Mudge joins HNTB following a 24-year career with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) where he held various roles directing and monitoring safe and efficient operation of the agency’s rail and ferry services. While at the MBTA, Mudge managed an annual budget of more than $350 million and oversaw administration of detailed operating agreements between the MBTA and private contractors who ran the rail and ferry services. He supervised and coordinated the daily work of technical, managerial and clerical staff and led development of long-range maintenance, service and equipment plans to continually improve safety, reliability and service delivery. As a consultant, Mudge also provided support to MBTA senior managers, Massachusetts agencies and agencies outside the Commonwealth in railroad and water transportation-related matters.

After completing his service with the MBTA, Mudge held senior leadership roles at other engineering consulting firms, leading transit projects across the eastern U.S. This work included leading the Virginia Railway Expressway (VRE) facilities and vehicle long-range plan; overseeing the integration of light rail vehicles on the $818 million Ion light rail transit and bus rapid transit network for the Region of Waterloo Rapid Transit Division in Ontario, Canada; early action construction for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) South Coast Rail project; and the State of Connecticut’s rolling stock and facilities planning for the opening of the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield passenger service line.

Mudge holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electronic engineering technology from Fitchburg State College. He is a member of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) where he serves on several working groups and committees, including the Wheel Rail Interface working group, the Rail Vehicle Wheelset Back-to-Back Measurement and Monitoring practices; Commuter, Intercity and High-Speed Rail Standards: Emergency Lighting System Design for Passenger Cars; and the Zero Emission Fleet committee. He is also a member of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

“We are thrilled that Steve has joined us here at HNTB,” said HNTB National Transit and Rail Market Sector Leader and Senior Vice President Ronnie Hakim. “His extensive background and national expertise in all manner of transit vehicles and facilities, combined with his passion for delivering innovative and high-quality solutions, aligns perfectly with our clients’ focus on investing in sustainability and expanding mobility for the communities they serve.”

NS announced Sept. 28 that Will Miller will serve as the railroad’s Director Public Engagement, a new role focused solely on collaborating with the communities it serves.

According to NS, the Director Public Engagement will “help marshal resources to improve railroad infrastructure and engagement with local leaders and their citizens.”

“For centuries, railroads have helped build towns and cities across our country. Over time, infrastructure has overlapped, creating unique intersections and circumstances for communities near railroad tracks. To help address those, the Director Public Engagement will serve as the company’s point person on issues such as: at-grade crossings, public events that cross railroad tracks, right-of-way maintenance needs, and others,” NS said.

As the newly appointed Director Public Engagement, Miller will lead a cross-departmental team to identify solutions and then coordinate and monitor their implementation. Miller has been with NS for more than 17 years. Most recently, he served as Public Safety Director and began his career as a Conductor Trainee. He also served as a member of Operation Lifesaver’s (OLI) National Advisory Committee for 11 years, in addition to working on development and implementation of safety projects and programs throughout the NS network.

“We’re deeply enmeshed in the communities across our 22-state footprint. We provide high-paying jobs, ship the food that feeds families, and move the goods that power our nation’s economy. Norfolk Southern has a responsibility to be a good corporate citizen, and this new role will help deliver on that commitment,” said Norfolk Southern President and CEO Alan H. Shaw. “We’re focused on collaborating with communities and their leaders on projects that benefit them, while maintaining the critical role of rail to our national economy.”

“I’ve seen firsthand how railroads and communities can partner together,” said Miller. “This is an opportunity for Norfolk Southern to take an industry-leading role and be a champion for local leaders.”

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