Ashlee Hurt: A C&S engineer on the go
Before joining Norfolk Southern’s management trainee program in 2013, Ashlee Hurt’s only exposure to the railroad was the coal trains she encountered near Old Dominion University in Norfolk.
“I had no knowledge of the railroad industry,” she said. “The only thing I knew about Norfolk Southern was that there were tracks near ODU, and sometimes I got stopped by the train on the way to school.”
A year after receiving her bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, however, Hurt has become immersed in NS. She learned about the company at an ODU career fair and was impressed by the long line of students waiting to talk with NS recruiters.
“I knew I wanted to do something new and learn something new, and it’s different from any other industry I’ve worked in,” Hurt said. “It’s very fast-paced and is really
a 24/7 operation. You could be troubleshooting a problem at 3 in the morning.”
Working now in NS’ communications and signals group, Hurt has experienced late nights and early mornings. Based in Roanoke, she was promoted in August to engineering associate and now spends much of her time traveling across NS’ system to update micro hot box detectors – heat-sensing devices installed beside main line tracks to detect overheated axle journal bearings on railcars.