The Virtual Railroad Environmental Seminar (vRRES) on 27 – 28 October 2020 was a resounding success with over 450 registrants from 14 countries and five continents. In addition to the outstanding technical presentations, it was noted that the seminar showcased the growing number of women in the field and provided them with an outreach and networking opportunity. This year women made a significant impact by being over half of the presenters (including the keynote speaker), the chair of the Environmental Affairs Committee and half of the nominees (and the winner) for the AAR Environmental Excellence Award.
The AAR Environmental Excellence Award is the industry’s highest honor for environmental professionals and was awarded by Robert Fronczak, AAR, to Meaghan Atkinson of CSX. She is a manager of environmental programs at CSX and leads the railroad’s effort to implement some of the most ambitious greenhouse gas targets in the transportation sector. In addition to Atkinson, seven other railroad environmental professionals were nominated for the award. They were Laura Fotiou of Amtrak, Karla Graf of CN, Tara Hill of Kansas City Southern, Josh Raglin of Norfolk Southern Railway, Joel Strafelda of Union Pacific Railroad, Sean Strong of Watco Cos. LLC, and Nic Winslow of BNSF Railway Co.
Recordings of the seminar presentations will be made available to registered attendees on Thursday, 5 November 2020 for one month. After a one-month viewing period, recordings of authorized presentations will be posted to the RailTEC YouTube Channel and will be available to the public. See the full seminar program here.
Mark your calendars now for next year’s Railroad Environment Conference (RREC) on 2-3 November 2021.