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Released: 7/21/2021 

DRPA/PATCO’s Nicole Ochroch Named to Progressive Railroading ‘Rising Stars of 2021’ List

Authority Associate Engineer is one of 25 professionals in North America who are making a positive impact on the rail industry.

Progressive Railroading magazine has chosen DRPA/PATCO Associate Engineer Dr. Nicole Ochroch as one of 25 professionals selected as a 2021 “Rising Star” in the North American railroad industry. The award recognizes individuals under the age of 40 who make significant contributions, demonstrating leadership and contributing to their communities as an up-and-coming leader in the rail industry.

This year, the Rising Stars program received more than 215 nominations from individuals who work for Class I, regionals, short lines, passenger railroads, transit agencies, government, academic institutions, engineering firms, contractors, and suppliers. The 25 winners were selected based on their contributions to the railroading industry as well as their career achievements, demonstrated leadership, professional association activity, or community involvement. The program aims to discover and identify the industry’s up and comers and their contributions to the rail industry.

From her Progressive Railroading magazine interview, when asked about advice for a new railroader, Dr. Ochroch said, “Stay curious, ask questions and get out on-site whenever possible. The best career advice I have received from both academic and industry mentors is to stay a lifelong learner, continuously advancing what you know and getting out of your comfort zone.”

As an Associate Engineer, Ochroch’s primary responsibilities include managing design and construction contracts for the DRPA/PATCO. Ochroch is currently the lead project engineer on a 22-MW solar installation across seven sites which is expected to provide more than 50% of the total electricity consumption through solar energy for the agency; rehabilitation design of two PATCO station platforms; and various architectural improvements at three PATCO stations. In addition, she is transitioning into a project engineer role for the Glassboro-Camden Line, a new 18-mile light-rail system in South Jersey, that is in the preliminary design phase. Ochroch joined the Authority in 2016.

Ochroch and other Rising Stars were honored in a virtual event on Tuesday, July 20, 2021. All of their stories are profiled on and will be featured in the magazine’s September issue. To view Dr. Ochroch’s profile, click here.

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