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Project Engineer Southern California Regional Rail Authority/Metrolink
Fiailoa Ah Sue began her railroad career as an intern in Metrolink's engineering and construction department while she was studying civil engineering at California State Polytechnic University-Pomona. After graduation, she was hired full time in the department's public project section.
"She showed great potential and learned railroad engineering and management of railroad projects very quickly," says Metrolink colleague Ron Mathieu, who was Ah Sue's first supervisor at the agency.
When Metrolink launched its positive train control (PTC) project, Ah Sue saw an opportunity to make a difference in railroad safety.
Currently, she is responsible for project engineering oversight of PTC implementation, and also serves as project lead for a new train control and dispatch operation facility under construction.
Ah Sue's inspiration?
"My parents helped establish a good foundation and a good set of values to grow up on. I like to recognize the inspirational qualities of the people around me so that I can pull from a bench of supportive people."
She is in railroading because ... ?
"Living in southern California, the traffic congestion is apparent and something we live with every day. So, it always had been in my mind to go into transportation. Once I started working for Metrolink, I realized there is a lot of potential to make a difference."
Her five-year career plan?
"At 30, I have more of my career ahead of me than behind me, and a lot of the people around me [at Metrolink] are counting down to retirement. Within the next five years, I would like to absorb as much knowledge from those people as I can."
An interesting fact?
"Most people [at Metrolink] are surprised to realize that outside of work I have a more adventurous side. I've been skydiving and bungee jumping."