Don Graab, retired vice president-mechanical for Norfolk Southern, will speak on campus Tuesday, November 7, 2017, from 12:10 - 1:15 p.m. in the Edith Davis Eve Chapel.
Graab began his railroad career in 1975 with the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad. In 1978 Don joined the Norfolk Western Railway as a training instructor for locomotive maintenance in Roanoke, Virginia. Between 1980 and 1990, Don served on five positions as a mechanical supervisor and general foreman at the Roanoke Locomotive and the Shaffers Crossing Locomotive Shops. He then served as superintendent of the System Assembly Shop in Chattanooga, as master mechanic at Lamberts Point, and then assumed responsibility for locomotive maintenance at Norfolk Southern in 1996. In 2005 Graab was named senior director of the Control Center in Atlanta and promoted to assistant vice president-mechanical in 2007. In 2012 the Norfolk Southern Board of Directors named Graab vice president-mechanical where he was responsible for 6,000 employees maintaining a fleet of 4,000 locomotives and 72,000 freight cars. He retired from Norfolk Southern in March 2017 after nearly 42 years of railroad service.
Graab has been a licensed locomotive engineer, a life time member of the Locomotive Maintenance Officers Association and a keynote speaker for the annual Coordinated Mechanical Conventions. For twenty years, he was an active leader of informal meetings of the “Chief Mechanical Officers” of the nation’s freight railroads. Over the years Graab has written several papers on locomotive maintenance topics and recently co-authored a paper on freight car maintenance. A long-time student of behavioral based safety, Graab has been actively involved in developing and presenting training materials on behavior based safety for managers, supervisors, and union employees as a means of driving improved safety performance.
The event is sponsored by the Penn State Altoona AREMA chapter and the Student Government Association.