Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
American Public Transportation Association

 Director-Engineering and Commuter Rail Operations


Reporting directly to the Vice President, Member Services, this position serves as the equivalent of APTA's Chief Engineer. The Director will lead APTA’s rail and bus engineering initiatives. This involves working closely with industry, academia, and federal partners. Lead transportation technical committees by providing key expertise in the development of new research programs and standards, U.S. government federal rule development, and major rail and bus programs. Support peer reviews, regulatory and standard reviews as well as supporting other APTA staff and members on engineering and technology related topics. This position will also serve as APTA lead on Commuter Rail topics including leading many of the PRESS standards working groups, supporting Commuter Rail committees and acting as a liaison with the FRA.


Staff Advisor of the following committees:

  • Commuter Rail Committee, overseeing subcommittees and technical forums in rail vehicle design, rail track design, light rail, streetcar, noise and vibration, tunnel ventilation, major capital building programs and project delivery methods;
  • Rolling Stock Equipment Technical Forum examining innovative vehicle design, energy storage technologies component optimization and development of maintenance methods to reduce cost and complexity of major system overhauls; both with rail, commuter rail and bus fields;
  • Track, Noise and Vibration Technical Forum to assist in areas of transit system noise and vibration specifically in urban environments;
  • Rail Standards Policy and Planning Committee guiding and prioritizing the selection and promulgation of industry standards for light rail, heavy rail and commuter rail (FRA jurisdiction).

Maintain leadership with key professional and technical organizations in areas such as:

  • Development of rail transit engineering safety standards through committees/organizations such as ASME and AREMA. Lead meetings, guide decisions regarding adoption of specifications and provide technical direction of proposed standards;
  • As applicable will coordinate with the international transit industry on the engineering and technology topics. This may include international standards on previously mentioned subject areas as well as in support of other APTA industry engagement needs;
  • Support and engage with academia and research agencies on technical topics like vehicle dynamics.

Responsibility for the following:

  • Support and coordinate with other APTA staff on industry engagement and collaboration on transit initiatives such as engineering automation systems and electronic payment systems. Coordinate and support APTA staff, committees and members on transit technology topics;
  • Development of research and associated programs for innovations in energy utilization, vehicle emissions and operating efficiency, vehicle design including new safety features, and new non-metallic structural components to reduce vehicle weight and improve manufacturing processes; 
  • Technical systems and engineering coordination with FTA, FRA and DHS;
  • Develop industry standards to be referenced in federal rule making language that promotes safety and guides industry manufacturers on the system designs and operation;
  • Serve as APTA representative to the FRA Rail Safety Advisory Committee (RSAC) and specifically the Engineering Task Force (ETF) on High Speed Rail;
  • Provide leadership of key technical standards development in response to requests from FRA and NTSB;
  • Develop program plans as needed to support engineering initiatives;
  • Lead the development of special research grant proposals for innovations such as train braking design, crashworthiness innovation, energy storage, cyber security and others;
  • Maintain coordination with international standards development organizations as applicable.

Other major roles and responsibilities:

  • Conference planning and execution, including providing guidance to committees on proposing sessions, establishing a key message, select candidate sessions to receive continuing education as a professional engineer; Rail Conference and Annual Meeting, plus other conferences outside of APTA including ASME Joint Rail Conference;
  • Develop and maintain relationships with APTA’s partners such Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Federal Transit Agency (FTA), Transportation Research Board (TRB), U.S. Federal Reserve Bank; and various industry associations such as American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Association of American Railroads (AAR), American Rail Engineering and Maintenance of Way Association (AREMA) and the International Standards Association (ISO);
  • Provide Transit Agency Peer Review/Major Problem Quick Response Review for highly technical topics including tunneling, emergency tunnel ventilation, vehicle design, procurement, program management, project delivery methods, engineering, capital programs, and engineering organizational design among others;
  • Provide expertise and support on rail and bus equipment design, technology and issues related to structures, dynamics, vibration, rail vehicle system modeling, crashworthiness, material mechanics, fare collection and mobile phone technology among others;
  • Collaborate with other APTA staff on engineering and technology related issues that may include guidance on industry responses to proposed federal regulations and other advisories;
  • Provide written and on-camera media interviews on topics related to technology, new developments in public transportation and safety;
  • Public speaker at conferences on engineering, technology and transportation;
  • Publication of technical papers;
  • Conduct research in rail transit, bus transit and commuter rail technology, design, maintenance, innovative technologies, fare systems and mobile applications, and related areas;
  • Represent APTA in jointly planning technical Joint Rail Conferences including participants from universities and technical organizations such as ASME, Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), AREMA, AAR, TRB, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), and the National University Rail Center (NURail).


  • Development of research objectives guiding APTA committees, the APTA Board of Directors and agency CEOs on project priorities and standards development beneficial to the public transportation industry;
  • The degree to which APTA is well positioned to embrace new innovations in technology and has developed meaningful relationships with industry and government organizations to move programs forward;
  • The degree to which engineering disciplines and technologies are supported within the organization and key strategic plans developed for building expertise and developing staff to meet future challenges;
  • The degree to which programs are managed to ensure proper representation by transit systems regarding issues in rail transit technology, design, operations, maintenance, procurement and materials management and related areas;
  • The degree to which research is conducted with meaningful results which are of utility to APTA’s members, with timeliness of research activities, and with effective communication of the results; and the quality and effectiveness of all other support given to APTA objectives and APTA members’ requirements.


Candidate must have 8 years minimum of related experience, including demonstrated project and/or technical management expertise. B.S. degree in Engineering is required with a preference of a PE certification. Direct experience in engineering at a transit agency or direct support of a transit agency is preferred. Must have excellent oral and written communication skills and the ability to work effectively with people and organizations as well as work independently and under pressure meeting multiple deadlines. Must be willing to travel to support reviews, committees and conferences.

Copyright © 2017 American Public Transportation Association
1300 I Street NW
Suite 1200 East
Washington, DC 20005
Telephone (202) 496-4800 | Fax (202) 496-4324
Logo Usage | Staff Intranet