Registered Student Attendees** have access to many events held in conjunction with the AREMA 2018 Annual Conference & Exposition including:

  • Opening & Closing General Sessions
  • Technical Sessions with almost 80 presentations
  • Networking Opportunities
  • Over 200 Exhibits from various contractors, suppliers and consulting firms in the Exposition Halls

Registered Students will receive further information via email on attending the various Activities listed below.

**Student Picture ID & current course schedule required by non-member students to register as a Student Attendee.

Sunday, September 22

8:30 – 10:00 AM

Leadership Working Brunch

10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Headshot Lounge

10:30 – 10:45 AM


11:00 AM – Noon

Presentations by Industry Experts

1:00 – 2:30 PM

AREMA Committee 24 Collegiate Quiz Bowl

2:45 – 5:00 PM

Student Poster Competitions

3:00 – 5:00 PM

Student Showcase

4:00 – 5:00 PM

Student and Professional Networking Social

Monday, September 23

6:30 – 7:00 AM

Continental Breakfast/Winning Posters’ Display

1:00 – 5:00 PM

Headshot Lounge

2:00 – 3:00 PM

Meet The Next Generation Panel Discussion

3:00 – 5:00 PM

Meet The Next Generation Networking Reception

Leadership Working Brunch

This will be a time for the student chapters to discuss their successes and lessons learned as well as share leadership perspectives between students from across the country. This is also an opportunity to provide ideas and feedback to AREMA on how they can help make students’ experience through the chapters, AREMA membership and conference a success. This event is intended for one student and one adviser from each chapter. Sign-up is required to participate.   

Headshot Lounge

Take this opportunity to get a professional headshot taken that can be used on your social media and resume. Plan to dress in business attire and schedule time to stop by. This photo will be great for future career planning!


This session will provide information on the conference, AREMA, and the railroad industry to assist students in making the most out of your conference and AREMA experience. 

Presentation #1

Title: Submitting a Winning AREMA Scholarship Application

Presenter: Charley Chambers, Senior Railroad Consultant

Description:  This presentation will provide students information on how to submit their scholarship application in a way to improve their chances of receiving an award. Items to be discussed are: history of the program, how the applications are judged, judges tips and insights, chances of winning a scholarship (about 1 in 3 now), challenges to both the students and student chapters to submit more applications, and the upcoming changes to the scholarship program.

Bio: Charley Chambers attended the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology where he received his bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1969. He has over 50 years of railroad related experience.  Charley has gained engineering skills and practical knowledge from his time spent with the Montana Rail Link and Milwaukee Road organizations. While working for railroad related construction firms he gained experience as track superintendent, project engineer, and senior estimator. Charley joined Hanson Professional Services in 1997 as Senior Railroad Engineer working in the Bellevue, Washington office on projects involving railroad engineering, and construction engineering management.  He retired from Hanson as Regional Vice President in 2017. Charley has been a member of AREMA Committee 24 Education and Training for over 48 years and is a past chairman. The AREMA Practical Guide to Railway Engineering was developed while he was the chairman of the committee.  He also has served as a member of AREMA’s Board of Directors.

Presentation #2

Title: Careers in the Railroad Industry

Presenters: Jennifer Esola, BNSF, Manager Engineering Administration and Bill Hjelholt, HDR, Inc., Freight Rail Market Sector Director

Description: Two career railroad industry professionals will provide an overview of the various opportunities for college graduates within the railroad industry.  The presentation will cover descriptions of the different departments within a Class I railroad and the types of career paths available.  The discussion will also include perspectives on working for a consulting firm serving railroads, public agencies, and private entities.  The presentation’s goal is to cement each student’s commitment to remaining within the railroad industry! We’re Recruiting!!

Bios: Jennifer Esola attended Texas Woman's University where she received her bachelor’s degree in English and Education. Currently she is attending Texas Christian University where she is attaining her MBA. Shortly after beginning a career in teaching, Jennifer decided that she wanted to change career paths and pursued a career at BNSF Railway. Jennifer has been at BNSF for 6 years and has held various roles. She began as a union employee in a clerical position where she was responsible for updating train reporting. After a year, she moved into an exempt role where she supported construction products customers and then agricultural customers. From there, she moved to the technology training team where she was responsible for training NextGen projects to BNSF employees and contractors. In her current role, Jennifer is responsible for recruiting, hiring, and mentoring new Engineering employees in the Management Trainee and Intern programs.

AREMA Committee 24 Collegiate Quiz Bowl

Test your railroad knowledge in this year’s trivia-style team Quiz bowl competition. Guidelines for the competition are below. Each Student Chapter is allowed at least one team in the competition. Additional teams from a Student Chapter can sign-up on a first-come, first-serve waiting list. In addition, there are two Members-At-Large teams. These teams are reserved for individuals that are not members of a Student Chapter, but would like to participate. Sign-up is required to participate.

Guidelines for Quizbowl

Student Poster Competitions

Hop on board for the 2019 Undergraduate and Graduate poster competitions.  These events provide students with the opportunity to showcase their knowledge, expertise, and experiences within the railroad industry.  Undergraduate and Graduate competitions will be judged separately, based on guidelines that reflect each level of education.  Each University will be allowed at least one graduate and one undergraduate entry into the competition.  Additional entries will be put on a waiting list.  Spectators are encouraged to attend this event to learn about emerging research in the railroad engineering field or just what the students are up to related to the railroad industry.  The guidelines and entry form are provided below. Sign-up for this event is required.  

Guidelines Graduate Poster Competition 

Guidelines Undergraduate Poster Competition

Poster Competition Entry Form


Student Showcase

New to the conference this year, students will have the opportunity to share their research, chapter activities, projects, hobbies, etc. in a student showcase. Participation can be on an individual or group basis. Sign-up is required to participate. See guidelines below for additional information.

Guidelines for Student Showcase

Student and Professional Networking Social

Mingle, network, and connect with other students and railroad industry professionals at this year’s Student and Professional Networking Social. This will be an interactive event, so come ready to engage your fellow railroad industry members, in addition to viewing posters in the Poster Competition and Student Showcase items. 

Meet the Next Generation

Hosted by AREMA and Committee 24 – Education & Training
The Meet the Next Generation Event has been extremely successful in years past and continues to grow each year with more attendees and companies hosting tables at the Networking Reception. We hope to make the 13th Annual Event even better!

This Event will provide:

  • Prospective employees and students the opportunity to learn about the railway industry and meet industry representatives.   
  • Industry representatives a chance to establish relations with potential employees.

Panel Discussion
Five pre-selected panelists from various areas of the railway industry, with various years of experience will present the types of projects they have worked on in their job and answer questions (for prospective railroaders).

  • Welcome by AREMA President, James K. Kessler, PE
  • Introduction of Panel Members
  • Presentations 
  • Q&A

Networking Reception
A two hour Networking Reception welcomes prospective railroaders, student participants and those who are new to the industry. This event is a great opportunity to network with industry representatives!