The nation’s foremost rail research organization will be led by Pueblo-native Kari Gonzales who won unanimous support from the board of Transportation Technology Center, Inc (TTCI), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Association of American Railroads (AAR). The nearly 20-year TTCI veteran steps into her new role as the organization undergoes a transformation in its services and facilities, which will enhance and maintain its place as the rail industry’s research partner of choice.

“It is with great pride that I announce Kari Gonzales as TTCI’s next President,” said Ian Jefferies, TTCI board chairman and AAR president and CEO. “The Board and I knew she was the only choice to carry TTCI’s proud legacy forward as it forges an even more innovative tomorrow. Having served across all segments of the organization, Kari knows firsthand the unparalleled capabilities of its researchers and has the vision to help chart its course for the future.”

Since June, Gonzales has been serving as TTCI’s Acting President where she oversaw the organization’s ongoing research initiatives and led the long-term strategic plan and future facility development. Prior to this, Gonzales served as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for TTCI where she was responsible for company-wide strategic planning and business functions associated with day-to-day operations.

“Under Kari’s leadership, I am confident that TTCI will remain the rail industry’s premier research partner as it puts technology to work advancing operations, efficiency and sustainability,” said Lance Fritz, Union Pacific chairman, president and chief executive officer. “While there are many exciting changes ahead, one fundamental piece will remain the same – TTCI will still be home to the most trusted rail researchers and innovators.”

As TTCI works to build its next generation services, the organization remains focused on providing the exceptional technical and research services customers value while delivering them in a more responsive, nimble way. TTCI has and continues to solidify its future capital expenditure and facilities plans to support essential safety, technological and operational research. In her new role, Gonzales will spearhead the organization’s long-term strategic planning to ensure it can continue to fulfill its critical role as a world-renowned expert serving the rail industry.

“For nearly 20 years, I have been privileged to work with some of the most enthusiastic, brilliant problem solvers who are uniformly committed to advancing rail technology in the U.S. and globally,” said Kari Gonzales. “I am honored to lead this dynamic organization into the future. Together, we will combine time-honored expertise with new vision to create tomorrow’s transportation solutions.”

Upon joining TTCI in 2000, Gonzales worked as an engineer where she excelled in conducting research and managing a diverse set of projects. She has authored or coauthored more than 25 technical publications as a part of her work. In 2012, Kari became the inaugural candidate for TTCI’s Railroad Exchange Program where she spent a year with BNSF Railway in Fort Worth, TX on the railroad’s Condition Based Maintenance team before returning to Pueblo.

Gonzales holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines as well as a Master of Business Administration from Regis University, Denver. In 2014, she was selected as one of Progressive Railroading’s “Rising Stars.”