In addition to his role as executive director, Michigan State says Hoffrichter has joined the team as Burkhardt Professor in Railway Management. Hoffrichter is from Germany and has lived in England for 10 years, which the school says extends the team's international perspective.
He holds a bachelor's degree in transport management, a master's degree in railway systems engineering and integration, and a Ph.D. in alternative energy sources for rail vehicle propulsion, which won the prize for the best Ph.D. in the School of Electronic, Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Birmingham in 2013. His experience includes program creation at the University of Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education, serving as a research fellow and technical lead for rail research at the WMG (formerly Warwick Manufacturing Group) within the University of Warwick, and producing research that was published in several peer-reviewed journals and presented internationally.
Michigan State has updated its Railway Management Certificate Program to treat railways as a system, covering freight supply chain integration and efficient/value-added transportation of passengers. A modular program structure covers a wide range of railway management topic areas, particularly the integration and complexity of modern railway systems, including strategy, operations, marketing and sales, finance, asset management and interfaces between engineering disciplines.
In a statement, Michigan State said, "MSU's no. 1 ranking in supply chain management brings expertise enabling freight railways to become fully integrated contributors to the supply chain success of their shippers and customers. The university is uniquely positioned to help all railway leaders expand their skills, with its breadth of coverage across the railway system, deep knowledge and leadership in railway management, and partnerships across the world with academic institutions, organizations, and the rail industry."