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People News: WSP USA, HNTB, Integrated Rail and Resources Acquisition Corp.

Written by Carolina Worrell, Senior Editor
John Rohner (left), Newel Jensen (middle) and Kitty Barkley (right) have joined WSP USA Southwest Mountain District's senior leadership team.

John Rohner (left), Newel Jensen (middle) and Kitty Barkley (right) have joined WSP USA Southwest Mountain District's senior leadership team.

WSP USA announces new arrivals to the Southwest Mountain District’s senior leadership team, including John Rohner, Newel Jensen and Kitty Barkley. Also, Diana Timpson joins HNTB as Senior Project Manager of Rail Transit in the firm’s Seattle office; and Integrated Rail and Resources Acquisition Corp. (IRRX) announces the appointment of Jason Reeves and Rear Admiral Ronald “Curt” Copley as new Independent Directors to the company’s Board of Directors.


Engineering, environmental and professional services consultancy firm WSP USA announced Nov. 22 that it has added Kitty Barkley, Newel Jensen and John Rohner to the senior leadership team in the firm’s Southwest Mountain district, part of the West region at WSP, covering all business and projects in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

Barkley (Santa Fe), who transferred from WSP Australia, now serves as Vice President/Senior Director and District Business Line Leader for Planning; Jensen (Salt Lake City) joins the firm as a Vice President and Major Projects Manager; and Rohner (Denver) joins the firm as the Colorado/Wyoming Transportation Business Leader.

“We welcome this outstanding group to our senior leadership team in this district,” said Shaun Grimm, WSP USA Senior Vice President and Southwest Mountain District Lead. “These three are exceptional professionals whose experience and expertise will greatly support our growth in this district.”


In her new role, Barkley will “lead the growth of the planning team and provide technical leadership and business development support to the district.” She also builds relationships with clients in the district.

According to WSP USA, Barkley offers more than 30 years of experience in the environment and infrastructure industries, where she has been responsible for leading large, multidiscipline teams on major rail and highway projects in the U.S., Southeast Asia and Australia. Previously based in Sydney, Australia, Barkley worked on Sydney Metro and Fast Rail projects. She also served as the regional environmental manager for the California High Speed Rail (CHSR) Program, where she was responsible for the environmental teams working in the Central Valley project sections.

Barkley is a graduate of the University of North Carolina with a bachelor’s degree in communications and Clemson University with a master’s degree in urban/regional planning.


As Vice President and Major Projects Manager, Jensen will “direct project development from conceptual and preliminary engineering to final design and plan, organize and supervise engineering activities for major projects.”

Jensen has served as an Executive Project Manager and Engineer with experience in transit and highway design-build. Previously, he served as a Vice President for a global engineering firm, where he led the design teams for bus rapid transit, light rail transit and highway projects in Utah and throughout the west. Jensen returns to WSP, having worked for the firm from 2012 to 2015, during which time he served as Project Director for the Provo-Orem Bus Rapid Transit Project on behalf of the Utah Transit Authority (UTA).

Jensen is a graduate of Brigham Young University with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, and the University of Utah with a master’s degree in civil engineering.


As Senior Director and Local Business Leader, Rohner will “develop and implement marketing strategies and coordinate workshare with offices across the West Coast.” Additionally, WSP adds, he will “provides coordinated leadership with other local and national business line leaders for the pursuit of transportation focused highway, bridge, roadway corridor, transit and rail, multi-modal and aviation-based transportation improvements, and support client and project opportunities for all WSP’s services.”

Rohner has 23 years of experience designing highway and bridge projects, as well as 13 years managing teams of bridge engineers and technicians. He previously served as Vice President and Deputy Colorado Alternative Project Delivery Lead at a global engineering firm, as well as its Southwest Bridge Group Leader and Project Manager.

Rohner is a graduate of Iowa State University with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in civil engineering. In 2016 he was part of a Bridges to Prosperity contingent that constructed a 51-meter suspension bridge in Panama.


HNTB announced Nov. 21 that Diana Timpson, PE, PMP, has joined the firm as Senior Project Manager of Rail Transit in the firm’s Seattle office. She brings more than 20 years of industry experience to her new role as Design Manager for the West Seattle and Ballard Link Extensions.

HNTB Senior Project Manager of Rail Transit Diana Timpson, PE, PMP

Currently in preliminary engineering, the Sound Transit project, according to HNTB, is one of the “most transformative infrastructure projects in Seattle’s history, and one of the largest light rail expansion projects in the U.S. today.” Timpson will support multidiscipline team management and design delivery for this and other rail transit programs regionally and nationally.

“Diana brings a high level of experience and expertise to HNTB and will play an integral role in advancing our rail transit programs,” said Brad Miller, PE, HNTB Group Director and Office Sales Manager for Washington state. “Her depth of knowledge in design, program management and transit construction management will be invaluable serving our rail transit clients across the nation. We are thrilled to welcome Diana to our team.”

Prior to joining HNTB, Timpson spent 16 years with KPFF Consulting Engineers in Seattle, most recently as Senior Project Manager and Associate. In that role, she led design from planning through construction support, leading multidiscipline teams on a wide range of transit projects, including Colman Dock and Mukilteo Ferry Terminal for Washington State Ferries, Tukwila Sounder Station for Sound Transit, and Community Transit’s Kasch Park Base Expansion. Her transit experience ranges from bus maintenance to multimodal facilities, including commuter rail and light rail stations, ferry terminals and garages.

Timpson also has more than 10 years of experience in managing the analysis, design and detailing of various structural systems for transit facilities, parking structures, and commercial, residential and industrial buildings. Earlier in her career, she served as a Project Assistant in the architecture industry in Boston, delivering documentation management, construction support, drafting, graphics support and work planning management.

“I’m excited and honored to join HNTB, a firm renowned for its technical excellence and for delivering extraordinary transportation projects across the U.S.,” said Timpson. “This role brings the opportunity to work on projects that are particularly challenging for their scale and complexity. I look forward to helping HNTB deliver solutions for our clients–on the West Seattle and Ballard project and on future transit projects–to meet the changing needs of residents and commuters.”

Timpson holds a Master of Structural Engineering from Cornell University and a B.S. in civil engineering from the University of Massachusetts Lowell. She previously earned a B.A. in philosophy from Colgate University.


IRRX, “a blank check company formed for the purpose of effecting a merger, share exchange, asset acquisition, stock purchase, reorganization, or similar business combination with one or more businesses” on Nov. 21 announced the appointment of Jason Reeves and Rear Admiral Ronald “Curt” Copley as new Independent Directors to the company’s Board of Directors.

The appointments follow the company’s filing of a Form 8-K with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) disclosing the changes to the Board’s composition adding Reeves and Copley to replace Richard Bertel, Edmund Underwood, Rollin Bredenberg and Troy Welch, who resigned, effective Nov. 30. According to the company, IRRX’s sponsor “accepted the resignations of the current board members, who were originally appointed as independents, but now are considered insiders.” The proposed board changes, IRRX says, “allow the company to maintain a majority independent board as required by the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).”

Following his military service as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army, Reeves worked in the oil and gas industry for more than 25 years and brings a wealth of energy industry knowledge and experience. Copley recently retired as a career intelligence officer from the U.S. Navy and served as the most recent commander of the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI). He also served previously as the Deputy Director for Operations for combat support at the National Security Agency (NSA), as well as the Director of Intelligence for the International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) functioning as the Senior Intelligence Officer in the Afghanistan Theater of Operations.

IRRX has also decided to reduce the composition of the Board from seven members to five “in anticipation of forming an expanded new Board with the target company post-deSPAC.”

According to the company, IRRX signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) and is currently under “a binding exclusivity period with a specific industry target company and these Board changes will bring necessary expertise and leadership moving forward.”

IRRX also announced that current Vice-Chairman, President and COO Mark Michel has been promoted to Chairman and CEO; Timothy Fisher, current Senior Vice President and Chief Acquisitions Officer, has been promoted to Vice Chairman, President and CFO; and Hank Didier, current Vice President of Investor Relations, has been promoted to Secretary.

Additionally, the company is also relocating its headquarters from its current Fort Worth location to 400 W. Morse Boulevard, Suite 220, Winter Park, Fla., to “be closer to its sponsor.”

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