Atkins Builds Rail Capability in North America

March 23, 2015

Atkins is enhancing its rail presence in North America with new key hires nationwide and a new design center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

“We see rail as key to providing a better quality of life in US cities over the coming decades. However, transit agencies have been challenged by a lack of skilled resources, specifically in rail specialties,” said Atkins’ L. Joe Boyer, CEO, North America. “Creating our new design center in Pittsburgh and hiring key staff in the Northeast and California are the first of many steps we are taking to deliver the world-class rail capability Atkins is known for to our North America clients.” 

David Thurston, Ph.D., PE, a senior technical director, will lead the company’s transit and rail design center in Pittsburgh and rail technical staff in North America. With more than 35 years of experience in rail systems engineering and integration, Thurston has delivered dozens of major systems around the country — many incorporating the latest technologies in positive train control and high speed rail.

Thurston is active on numerous professional organization working groups and committees, and he is chairman of the North American Section of the Institution of Railway Signal Engineers.

Dan Mesnick joined Atkins as program director for asset management based in Edison, New Jersey. His 30 years of industry experience include expertise in rail and transit condition assessment, maintenance-of-way planning, operations and maintenance costing, and State of Good Repair program development. An expert at developing strategies to improve agencies’ operational efficiencies, Mesnick has worked with more than 30 transit and commuter rail systems nationwide.  
Mesnick has served on Transportation Research Board and American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association committees for railway design and maintenance.

Jonas Radstrom joined Atkins as national rail systems director in San Francisco, California, focused on major systems programs nationally and rail and transit project development in the Western US. He has more than 20 years of broad rail systems experience for clients such as Dallas Area Rapid Transit, Houston Metro, Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Capital Metro), Caltrain, Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART), SoundTransit, and Charlotte Light Rail Transit. 

Sergio Callen, a regional business development manager at Atkins in New York City, will lead Atkins’ growing systems engineering business throughout the Northeast. He brings more than a decade of hands-on experience in high speed rail, subways, and light rail systems and systems integration in both consulting and design-build environments.

“We are very pleased to bring Dave, Dan, Jonas, and Sergio on board,” said Jon McDonald, senior sector manager for Atkins’ transit and rail business in North America. “Exceptional technical skills, passion for doing great work for clients, and desire to improve the industry are what we are looking for at Atkins. This team exemplifies those principles.”