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July 2017



Rail News: People

Rising Stars: Joshua Engel-Yan, Metrolinx



Joshua Engel-Yan, 38

Director, research and planning analytics
Metrolinx

Job description: Engel-Yan has worked in railroading at Metrolinx for eight years. He provides the evidence and analysis to inform the agency’s transportation planning and investment decisions. He leads teams of technical experts who specialize in ridership forecasting, mapping and economic modeling. In addition, Engel-Yan is responsible for the Metrolinx business case framework, which is aimed at ensuring that project assessments consider benefits and costs from a range of angles.

Education: Bachelor’s of applied science in systems design engineering, University of Waterloo; master's of applied science in civil engineering, University of Toronto

Nominator’s quote: "When faced with a challenge, Josh brings a unique combination of analytical skills in rail planning and a strong aptitude for teamwork and leadership … In addition to his projects at Metrolinx, Josh is making a difference in the industry by furthering the knowledge base about rail planning. He is a regular contributor to professional journals and an active participant in professional organizations, such as the Transportation Research Board, Institute of Transportation Engineers and Transportation Association of Canada." — Leslie Woo, Metrolinx

How did you get into railroading?
During my graduate studies in civil engineering, I became very interested in urban sustainability and how cities can be designed to have a lower environmental footprint, while supporting a high quality of life for their residents. Since transportation is a key way in which engineers get into the planning game, I joined a transportation planning consulting firm, IBI Group, after graduating. At IBI, I had the opportunity to work on the development of Metrolinx's first Regional Transportation Plan. In 2009, I joined Metrolinx in the planning department. One month after I joined, Metrolinx merged with GO Transit, the regional rail and bus service provider. I have learned a lot about railroading in the passenger-rail sector since then.

What advice would you share with a first-year railroader?
Seek out a range of experiences, but don’t be afraid to specialize. If you can become an expert in one topic in your team or your organization, it can create opportunities for growth and exposure that may not normally be available to junior staff.

What inspires you?
Building strong teams. For my last three management positions at Metrolinx, I have been the first person to hold the role. In each case, I have had the opportunity to take existing staff, bring on new people, and build the team around a core mandate and set of values. This is not always smooth or easy, but I have been very lucky to have excellent staff that is passionate about Metrolinx’s vision to plan and deliver transformative solutions that connect people, places and communities.

What do you enjoying doing when you’re not at work?
I have three beautiful daughters: twin 9-year-olds and a 6-year-old. My youngest daughter has a physical disability. I volunteer at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital where my youngest daughter receives services. I’m the co-chair of the Family Advisory Committee that advises the hospital on how they can make their programs and services more client- and family-centered. I get a lot of personal satisfaction out of this work because I can use my personal experiences to help ensure kids and their families receive the best programs and services at Holland Bloorview.

Rising Stars 2017 Award Winners:


Winnie Chang
Winnie Chang

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Nick Chodorow
Nick Chodorow

Belt Railway Co. of Chicago


Robert Gordon
Robert Gordon

National Transportation Safety Board


Travis Kelly
Travis Kelly

Texas Central Partners LLC

Darrell Krueger
Darrell Krueger

BNSF Railway Co.


Michael Lefevre
Michael Lefevre

Brightline (All Aboard Florida)

Michele Malski
Michele Malski

Short Line Safety Institute

Julie Mink
Julie Mink

Tealinc Ltd.


Myat Ohn
Myat Ohn

HNTB

Annka Robinson
Annka Robinson

Dallas Area Rapid Transit/Trinity Railway Express

Danielle Ross
Danielle Ross

Spectrum Inc.


Mike Stickel
Mike Stickel

Lake State Railway Co.

Sarah Touey
Sarah Touey

Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon


Stu Towner
Stu Towner

Watco Cos. LLC

 



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