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Rail News Home People

September 2013

Rail News: People

Rising Star: Kevin Nichter


Kevin Nichter

Kevin Nichter [AGE 37]

Vice President of Rail Products and Services
Lilee Systems

Kevin Nichter intended to go into broadcasting when he began his studies at Western Kentucky University. While still in high school, he served as the on-air talent for some local TV and radio programs.

"Everyone said to me, 'You really should go into radio,'" he says.

But it was the technical side of communications that really interested Nichter. He combined his interests to earn a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering technology with a minor in broadcasting. Turns out his education was a good fit for the railroad industry, where he landed right out of college. His first job: Safetran Systems Corp. (now part of Siemens Rail Automation Corp.), where he designed and deployed railway communication and signaling systems.

In April 2011, Nichter became director of product line management at Lilee Systems, where he has helped create a market for Lilee's software-defined radio and wayside messaging service products. He provides technical expertise for many products and services, including those related to positive train control.

In August, Nichter was promoted to vice president of rail products and services at Lilee.

Nichter's inspiration?

"Sun Tzu. There are countless examples of real-world application of Sun Tzu's principles in the industry, I just wasn't aware of them until I read the 'Art of War.' I've always admired the way he would take a given situation — say, taking on an opponent who is numerically stronger than you — and utilize an appropriate strategy to achieve your objectives."

His five-year plan?

"I'd like to help railroads achieve an ROI on the communications network that they are deploying for PTC and deliver some innovative technologies to solve problems that had to be put on hold to deploy PTC."

An interesting fact?

"I am an avid collector of World War II antiques and memorabilia. It's a pretty diverse collection."

His favorite off-the-clock activities?

Traveling with family; playing guitar, bass, drums and mandolin; gardening; serving as a Boy Scout leader and soccer coach.

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