Freight Rail Thought Leaders
Dennis SchulzeFreight Rail Technical Director
Our Freight Rail Technical Director, Dennis Schulze is the go-to resource for technical support including staffing and quality reviews. His 30-plus years of transportation industry experience includes railroad and rail transit design, municipal roadway/unity design, structural and general civil design, right-of-way layouts, environmental assessment and permitting, simulation models, feasibility studies, construction administration and project management. Dennis provides technical excellence in freight railroad trackwork and structural design and brings a unique multidisciplinary perspective with a strong background in industrial clients including oil & gas and power & energy.
Tim BennettUnion Pacific Railroad Client Manager, Track Section Manager
As Client Manager for Union Pacific Railroad, Tim Bennett collaborates with HDR's technical and management leaders to develop and deliver a broad range of services to the railroad. Tim also draws upon his technical expertise in railroad civil engineering — including operations planning/studies, track design, construction and maintenance — to serve as Section Manager for our Omaha track design team.
Tim has been fascinated by railroads since childhood. As he grew older, he also developed a great interest in maps, transportation networks and bridges. "I knew by junior high school that I wanted to be a civil engineer. I landed a job with a railroad right out of college and it has been a great ride so far!" During that first job with CSX, Tim worked his way up from Engineering Management Trainee to Assistant Project Engineer to Assistant Roadmaster. His first position in the consulting arena expanded his experience to include commuter rail projects. Tim joined HDR in 1994, and much of his recent project management experience focuses on expanding freight railroad mainline and terminal capacity. Tim currently is leading a large high speed rail project and development of a new major classification yard, both for UPRR.
Mark W. HemphillFreight Railroad Consulting Services Manager
During his 28 years in the railroad industry, Mark Hemphill has served as the U.S. Government's Senior Rail Advisor in Iraq, where he directed reconstruction of the Iraqi Republic Railways, worked for Class 1 and short line railroads in operations and mechanical department management, and held the post of editor of Trains Magazine. As Director of Rail Consulting Services for HDR, Mark puts that experience to the benefit of Class 1, regional and short line railroads, shippers, and public-sector clients to achieve complex projects and seek solutions to today's commercial, strategic and regulatory issues. He provides clients industry-class expertise in commercial, market, and strategic issues, railroad economics, U.S. Surface Transportation Board issues, grant programs administered by the Federal Railroad Administration, and freight and passenger transportation planning, service design and execution.
Ask Mark how he came to be so passionate about railroading, and he'll tell you it was genetics — a combination of a lifelong love for railroads and a natural skillset that matched his desire. "Every day I have spent in railroading has been a day of accomplishment and satisfaction. My role is really one of facilitator, interpreter, and problem-solver, to help all parties to a potential project understand each other and bring it into being."
Kevin KellerVice President, BNSF Client Manager
As a Client Manager, Kevin Keller is responsible for marketing, client management plan development, relationship management, proposal development, project execution, project quality and contract management for all of HDR's projects with BNSF. Kevin also serves as our Freight Rail Market Sector National Director for Environmental Services, Central America Manager and Client Manager for the Panama Canal Authority (Autoridad del Canal de Panama). With more than 25 years of experience in the management, environmental and engineering fields, he has led large, multi-disciplined programs at facilities throughout North America. Kevin also is actively involved in producing grant applications, guiding NEPA efforts for large railroad projects and developing state rail and freight plans. He is dedicated to improving the railroad industry and serves on the Board of Directors for the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance of Way Association, the American Railway Development Association and the U.S./Panama Business Council.
Kevin's work in the transportation industry evolved from previous positions as a state (Florida) and federal (U.S. Department of Energy) regulator. "One of my first assignments in transportation was working as the environmental lead for the design of nuclear cask rail cars for transporting spent nuclear fuel. That led to working with railcar manufacturing companies and railroads, and eventually to a position with BN. I've been working in the rail sector ever since."
Steve LorekEast Region Freight Railroad Program Leader
A former baseball player for the Purdue Boilermakers, Steve Lorek's comfort with wearing many hats has come in handy as his role at HDR has expanded to include East Region Railroad Program Leader, Senior Project Manager and Rail Section Manager for our Cincinnati office. He is directly involved in managing rail projects and coordinating resources for additional projects throughout the Eastern region. During his 15 years in the industry, Steve has developed a comprehensive railroad engineering background that includes railroad inspection, track and bridge assessment, asset management, bridge rating and design, construction management, and maintenance programming. Steve also makes time to serve as a member of AREMA Committee 15 – Steel Structures, acting as Vice Chair of Subcommittee 1 – Design. Additionally, he has contributed as an instructor for the AREMA Bridge Load Rating Seminar.
Steve's path in the freight railroad industry has been influenced by a number of other rail professionals, including and uncle and grandfather who were railroaders, and other mentors who have helped him develop his skills as a railroad engineer.