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Rail News: People
Rising Stars 2019: Dustin Hall
Dustin Hall, 32
Security Through Safe Design Inc.
Nominator's quote: "Mr. Hall is a security project lead for a multi-billion-dollar rail project. His rapid advancement has been due to his admirable work ethic. He has proven to be a resourceful, creative, courteous, supportive team member who thrives on challenge and continues to want to learn to optimize and share his knowledge." — William VanRyswyk, Security Through Safe Design Inc.
Why did you pursue a career in the rail industry?
I started my career in physical security after returning from travels overseas. One of the first projects I worked on as a security consultant was an light-rail transit project.
I am pleased that my company — Security Through Safe Design Inc. — continues to innovate and work in the rail industry. The new age of rail is dawning; growth of rail networks is vital in addressing major contemporary issues such as energy use, pollution and climate change, and the efficient movement of people and goods.
Describe your education after high school.
After high school I pursued an education in biology and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in science with honors from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.
That said, I’ve never stopped learning. I love to read and I’m always coming across new ideas in books or articles. Mistakes provide excellent learning opportunities, and I make my share of them. But the most important lessons I learn is from being in nature. For any imaginable problem, nature has already developed myriad elegant solutions.
How are you making a difference in the rail industry?
I am working to set the bar high for physical security in the public transit-rail environment. In my role as a security consultant, I was intimately involved in the development of the first stand-alone security certification program for a public transit-rail project in Canada. I approach every new project with the intention to do better, to integrate security more completely into the design of facilities and systems, and to more effectively identify, mitigate and manage vulnerabilities and risk.
What is an interesting, unusual or little known fact about you?
I am a certified permaculture designer. In my spare time I enjoy designing and developing systems and techniques to support transition to ecologically regenerative lifestyles.
What was your very first job?
Picking raspberries with my friends on a small farm near my house. We were very conscientious berry-pickers and sampled berries regularly to ensure quality was up to par.
What is your philosophy toward life and/or your career?
Always leave things a little better than how you found them.
What is your advice to new railroaders who want to advance their careers?
Ask questions. Listen before speaking to be understood. Read more. Do your best.
What do you think will be the biggest trend to affect railroading over the next decade?
In the coming decades more and more people in cities and suburbs will be looking for alternatives to personal vehicles for their transportation needs. I believe commuter and light rail will become the go-to mode of transport for these populations. As such we’re going to see a huge boost in ridership on existing networks and in public demand for the development of new ones.
Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.