Director, Advanced Energy Innovation
Mike Swaney is the Director of Advanced Energy Innovation at BNSF Railway. He is responsible for the identification, evaluation, and adoption of zero and near-zero emissions technologies at BNSF. Mike joined BNSF in 2006 and has served in various capacities across the organization including roles in Strategic Sourcing, Mechanical, Maintenance-of-Way, Operations Support, Technology Services and Environment & Sustainability. Mike holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in finance from Texas A&M University and a Master of Business Administration from Southern Methodist University.
Mike will will discuss battery electric and hydrogen locomotives, electric hostlers, and hybrid cranes. As in many industries, BNSF Railway is focused on the environment and how these new technologies may replace current practices. How these technologies are expanding not only at BNSF Railway but within the industry will also be addressed.
Group President, Digital Electronics Business
Nalin Jain is Group President of Wabtec’s Digital Electronics Business, leading efforts to help railroads, shippers, miners, ports and terminals improve efficiency, unlock productivity and create pathways to automated operations while enabling safer operations. The comprehensive Digital Electronics portfolio consists of software applications and a broad selection of mission-critical controls systems, including Positive Train Control (PTC).
A native of India, Nalin brings nearly 30 years of commercial, product management and executive leadership experience, in rail, aerospace and infrastructure sectors, including over seven years in rail industry.
Preceding his current role, Nalin served as Group President of Wabtec’s Global Equipment business, leading Wabtec’s comprehensive global locomotive, mining, marine, stationary and drill portfolios. Prior to that role, Nalin led GE Transportation’s International business activities in key markets like APAC, China, Australia, Europe and Africa. He was responsible for expanding the business footprint and global capabilities across these regions. He previously served as CEO for GE Aviation and GE Transportation in South Asia. Prior to GE, he was Director Global Partnerships with Bombardier Inc. He began his career with the French engineered materials company Saint–Gobain occupying different positions of increasing responsibility.
Nalin has a bachelor’s degree in Engineering from National Institute of Technology, Surat and an MBA from the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad.
Nalin will discuss digitization of rail and will review three areas. The Opportunity – The Railroad is complex, and despite technological advances, is still rich with opportunities for innovation. Beneficiaries – Digitization of rail is multi-faceted in terms of the benefit. When railroads operate more efficiently, the environment, shippers, and the railroads themselves benefit. The Technologies – Tie innovation opportunities to technologies are capturing the headlines (AI, Machine Learning, Data Analytics).
Walter F. Bleser, II, PE
Walt Bleser, PE, currently serves as President of ARE Corporation and remains Principal of Unabridged Structures, LLC. Prior to this role he was the President of SENSR Monitoring Technologies, LLC. He has over twenty years in the North American railway vertical working with every Class I railroad, major commuter railroad and several transit agencies. Named a Progressive Railroading Rising Stars Top 20 under 40 in 2013 and again an honorable mention by Railway Age for Top 20 under 40 in 2019. He has done everything from design and inspection of structures to implementing technology that makes railroads more efficient through the use of structural health monitoring systems and cloud based bridge asset management programs. Walt is an active participant in AREMA, currently serving as a Director, Structures Functional Group on the Board of Directors. He is the previous Chair of Committee 7, Timber Structures, and a subcommittee chairman of Committee 10, Structures Maintenance & Construction, aiding in the production of the organization’s Bridge Management Best Practices.
Walt will introduce and moderate this session.