Dr. William W. Hay Award

The Dr. William W. Hay Award for Excellence was established by the Directors of AREMA to recognize outstanding achievement in Railway Engineering and to honor the memory and
accomplishments of one of their members and leaders: William Walter Hay.

Dr. Hay was a professional railroader in both the military transportation service and the private railway industry. He was a consultant on design, construction and operations of railroads and, for over 25 years, he was a Professor of Railway Civil Engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He was also a teacher, motivator and mentor for dozens of men and women who chose to enter the transportation industry.

Entries should be received by: May 24, 2024

The purpose of the award is to honor innovative railway engineering procedures, projects and products and the individual(s) who have created and successfully applied them to the railroad industry. Criteria for winning the award are:

  • Innovation - The development and/or application of new concepts, products or practices including state-of-the-art physical and information-oriented technology.
  • Safety - The enhancement of safety in either the application itself or as a process of procedure which contributes to the overall safety of railroad personnel or railway operations.
  • Service Performance and Reliability - An undertaking which contributes to more efficient, effective and reliable railway performance, especially as viewed by the railroad’s customers.
Consideration is also given to the project’s objective, stated goals, costs and benefit achievement, and the general advancement of the base of railway engineering knowledge. If you are mailing your submission, please send six (6) copies of your entry. Each entry should include a brief description of the project, specifically focused on how it deals with and achieves the Hay Award Criteria and a cover letter with contact information. Any additional information which will aid in understanding the scope, impact and success of the entry will be appreciated.

The Hay winner provides a 5–10-minute video highlighting their project to be shown during the 2024 AREMA Annual Conference and at various times throughout the year. In addition, the 2024 winner is expected to present at the 2025 AREMA Annual Conference.

Please contact Alayne Bell information.

Submit Entries

Platform Chats - Hay Award Podcast

Dr. William W. Hay was a railroader and educator who mentored generations of leaders in the rail industry and his influence is still felt today, over 20 years after his passing. But who was Dr. Hay? Why were those who knew him inspired to create the Dr. William W. Hay Award for Excellence in his honor? In this episode, host Walt Bleser sits down with Michael Franke, Chair of the Hay Award Selection Committee and a former student of Dr. Hay, Chris Barkan, PhD a Professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign who still uses the textbook written by Dr. Hay as part of his curriculum, and Mat Fletcher of Hanson Professional Services Inc.  In 2020, Hanson won the Hay Award for their project, “Norfolk Southern’s Grand River Bridge Emergency Repairs in Brunswick, Missouri.” They discuss what made Dr. Hay so important to them, what the Selection Committee is looking for in a Hay Award-winning project, and the greater role previous winning projects have played in education. These guests all come from different backgrounds, but they do have one thing in common, the notable Dr. William. W. Hay. You won’t want to miss this episode .

2023 Hay Award Winners Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis, TranSystems, and Burns and McDonnell for their project - Merchants Bridge Main Span Trusses & East Approach Replacement

Previous Winners of the Dr. William W. Hay Award

2023: Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis, TranSystems, and Burns and McDonnell for their project - Merchants Bridge Main Span Trusses & East Approach Replacement

2022: CSX and North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) – Carolina Connector Intermodal Project 

2021: Canadian National Railway Company – New McComb Bonnet Carré Spillway Bridge

2020: Hanson Professional Services Inc. – Norfolk Southern’s Grand River Bridge Emergency Repairs in Brunswick, Missouri

2019: KiwiRail – Rising to Meet the Challenge – Main North Line Earthquake Recovery Project in New Zealand

2018: Arup – The Fulton Center in New York City

2017: Washington State Department of Transportation and BNSF Railway – Improvements for Passenger Rail Service and Reliability on BNSF Railway in Washington State

2016: TranSystems – CREATE P-1 Englewood Flyover in Chicago

2015: Union Pacific Railroad and BNSF Railway – Tower 55 Multimodal Improvement Project

2014: Union Pacific Railroad – Santa Teresa Terminal

2013: Utah Transit Authority – FrontRunner South Commuter Rail Line

2012: BNSF Railway – Rising Above: How BNSF Overcame the 2011 Floods

2011: CSX Intermodal Terminals, Inc. – Northwest Ohio Intermodal Terminal Project
2010: Norfolk Southern Railway – Heartland Corridor Clearance Improvement Project

Union Pacific Railroad Company – Frazier Slide Clean-up and Construction Project on the Cascade Subdivision in Oregon

2008: Union Pacific Railroad Company – Grant Tower Realignment Project

2007: Norfolk Southern Railway – Keystone Buildout Project

2006: CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern Railway – Hurricane Katrina Recovery Efforts

2005: TranSystems Corporation – Renaissance of a Junction – the Kansas City Junction

2004: Port Authority of New York & New Jersey – Restoration of PATH Commuter Rail Service to Lower Manhattan, NYC and Exchange Place, Jersey City

2003: Port Authority of New York & New Jersey and AirRail Transit Consortium – JFK International Airport AirTrain

2002: The Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority – The Alameda Corridor Project

2001: CSX Transportation – B&O Capacity Improvement Project

2000: Amtrak – NE Corridor Improvement Project

1999: BNSF Railway Company – Thayer Blitz Project