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. Let’s make the 14th Annual Event even better for the next generation of railroad industry professionals!

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
Monday, September 14
3:15 – 4:15 PM ET

Five pre-selected panelists from various areas of the railway industry, with various years of experience will discuss the types of projects they have worked on, the career paths they’ve taken, and answer questions from the audience (for prospective railroaders).

  • Welcome by AREMA President, Edward D. Sparks, II, PE
  • Introduction of Panel Members
  • Q&A
Tuesday, September 15 – Thursday, September 17 
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM ET
Three days of networking where sponsors will help welcome prospective railroaders, student participants and those who are new to the industry in a career-fair style atmosphere. 


Blanca Obregón
Rail Team Leader

Blanca Obregón, PE graduated from Texas A&M University in 2004 with a BS in Civil Engineering. Blanca has 16 years of experience in the analysis, design, and estimating of railway, highway, and roadway projects. In working at TranSystems for the past 9 years, she has worked on various projects including capacity improvement, industry track, yard and terminal, and commuter rail projects. Blanca is a senior rail engineer in TranSystems’ Houston office as well as TranSystems Rail Practice Community Leader. She is a member of AREMA's Committee 24 and an occasional instructor for the Track Alignment Design Seminar.


Aaron Dean
Design Engineer
Pettibone/Traverse Lift, LLC 

Aaron Dean is currently a Design Engineer for Pettibone/Traverse Lift, LLC, a heavy equipment manufacturer based out of Baraga, Michigan. Pettibone specializes in the design and manufacture of heavy material handling equipment for the oil & gas, construction, and railroad industries. Aaron is the lead design engineer for the Speed Swing product line, a multi-purpose railroad construction crane. He has been with the company on a part-time basis since 2017 and full-time since 2019. In his current position, Aaron works directly with many Class 1 railroads and railroad construction contractors, ensuring that they have the right equipment to get the job done and keep the freight moving. Aaron graduated from Michigan Technological University with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a Minor in Railroad Transportation. While attending school, he was also the president of Michigan Tech’s AREMA Student Chapter from 2016 to 2018. 

Anna Delheimer
Project Engineer – Public Projects & Capital Expansion
BNSF Railway

Anna Delheimer is a Project Engineer in the Engineering Services Department for BNSF Railway. She attended the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (UIUC) and received her bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. Anna first got involved in the railroad industry by joining the AREMA Student Chapter at UIUC.  During her summers, she worked for the Illinois Department of Transportation and then BNSF Railway. After graduation in 2013, she returned to BNSF in the Maintenance-of-Way Department.  Anna has held a variety of jobs in Maintenance-of-Way and has had the privilege to live all over the US. Now she’s happily working in the construction group in Seattle, WA, where she manages design and construction for capital expansion. In her time outside of work, Anna enjoys outdoor activities and baking. She has really enjoyed her time working in the industry.  
Giovanni DiDomenico
Track Engineer
Kiewit Engineering Group

Gio DiDomenico is a Track Engineer at Kiewit Engineering Group in Denver with 6 years of experience in track design and construction inspection. After several years as a design consultant, he now supports Kiewit's design-build transit projects with development of final design plans and construction engineering support. He has been an AREMA Member since 2013, and currently serves on Committees 5 (Track) and 12 (Rail Transit). Locally, Gio has formed a group for young professionals in the rail industry in Chicago. Gio graduated with a BS in Civil Engineering from Colorado State University (2013) and an MS in Civil Engineering from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2015).
Scott Tatzel
Area Manager/Engineer
Koppers Railroad Structures

Scott Tatzel is an Area Manager/Engineer for Koppers Railroad Structures (KRS) based in Madison, WI.  Scott has been with KRS for 11 years specializing in the design, rating, inspection and management of timber, steel and concrete railroad bridge rehabilitation and construction projects throughout the United States.  He has a Bachelor’s degree in structural engineering and is a licensed professional engineer in several states.  Scott is also an active Member of AREMA.
John Wrobel
Golden Spike Signal

John Wrobel is the President of Golden Spike Signal, an engineering firm specializing in railroad signal design. Since its founding in 2015, Golden Spike Signal has completed over 200 at-grade crossing designs and continuously works to lower the cost of design through automation. John graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha with a bachelor’s degree in Electronics Engineering. His other interests include training for ultra-endurance events and 3D printing a life-size R2-D2 replica.


To become a Meet the Next Generation Sponsor contact Lindsay McNicholas.