The Dr. William W. Hay Award for Excellence was established by the AREMA Board of Directors to recognize outstanding achievements in railway engineering and to honor the memory and accomplishments of one of their members and leaders: Dr. William Walter Hay. The purpose of the award is to honor innovative railway engineering procedures, projects and products and the individual(s) who have created and successfully applied them to the railroad industry.
The winner of the fourteenth Annual Dr. William W. Hay Award for Excellence is BNSF Railway for their project, “Rising Above: How BNSF Overcame the 2011 Floods”. The spring 2011 floods from lingering snowmelt and heavy rains across the Northern Plains, were described as the most severe in BNSF’s recent history, specifically because of the length of time significant portions of the network were out of service.
BNSF faced this challenge head-on by establishing command centers in Minneapolis, Minn., Fargo, N.D., Kansas City, Mo. and Lincoln, Ne. Mobile command centers were set up in Pacific Junction, Iowa and Rulo, Ne. A massive engineering effort took shape to prepare and protect track wherever possible and make repairs when needed. This project showed a real sense of the remarkable commitment by hundreds of people and the work that went into maintaining, resorting and keeping BNSF’s trains operating during the summer of 2011.
The winner was announced at the AREMA 2012 Annual Conference & Exposition during the Opening General Session on September 17, 2012 in Chicago, Ill.
Call for Entries for the AREMA 2013 Dr. William W. Hay Award
The selection process for the 15th Dr. William W. Hay Award for Excellence has begun and this year’s chair, Michael W. Franke, a former student of Dr. Hay, has issued a call for entries. The 2012 Hay Award went to BNSF Railway for their project, “Rising Above: How BNSF Overcame the 2011 Floods.”
The Dr. William W. Hay Award for Excellence was established by the directors of AREMA to recognize outstanding achievement in Railway Engineering and to honor the memory and accomplishments of one of their members and leaders: William Walter Hay. Dr. Hay was a professional railroader in both the military transportation service and the private railway industry. He was a consultant on design, construction and operations of railroads and, for more than 25 years, he was professor of railway civil engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He was also a teacher, motivator and mentor for dozens of men and women who chose to enter the transportation industry.
The purpose of the award is to honor innovative railway engineering procedures, projects and products and the individual(s) who have created and successfully applied them to the railroad industry. Criteria for winning the award are:
The development and/or application of new concepts, products or practices including state-of-the-art physical and information-oriented technology.
The enhancement of safety in either the application itself or as a process of procedure which contributes to the overall safety of railroad personnel or railway operations.
Service Performance and Reliability
An undertaking which contributes to more efficient, effective and reliable railway performance, especially as viewed by the railroad’s customers.
Consideration is also given to the project’s objective, stated goals, costs and benefit achievement and the general advancement of the base of railway engineering knowledge.