Short Line Safety Institute names new director of research, development

Written by Kyra Senese, managing editor
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Kim Davies-Schrils is the Short Line Safety Institute’s (SLSI) new director, Research and Organizational Development.  

Davies-Schrils will be responsible for providing design, development, oversight and analysis regarding the SLSI’s key programs as of April 7. The position will also be responsible for primary research and scientific and technical reports based on the outputs of programs, according to SLSI.

“Kim brings exactly the expertise the Short Line Safety Institute was seeking to assist our team in delivering a systemic analysis of the impact of our work on the industry,” said Tom Murta, executive director, SLSI.  “We have the added benefit of having worked closely with Kim during the development of the Safety Culture Assessment program. We have first-hand knowledge of her capabilities in leading projects focused on human factors, aimed at improving safety culture in the transportation industry.”

Davies-Schrils has a Ph.D. in industrial and organizational psychology with a research specialization that includes topics such as safety culture, fatigue and worker well-being, SLSI said. Davies-Schrils was most recently employed with Volpe National Transportation Systems Center as an engineering psychologist in the Human Factors Division, where she oversaw several research and evaluation projects aimed at improving safety in the railroad industry.

Davies-Schrils has a history of dedication and enthusiasm for research methodology, organizational development and public service. SLSI said she brings years of experience from her work in the federal, academic, private and nonprofit sectors.

“Having been involved with the development of the Short Line Safety Institute, I am looking forward to taking the Safety Culture Assessment Program to the next level,” Davies-Schrils said. “Our immediate priorities will be to conduct a systemic analysis of the impact of the Assessments and other SLSI programs on railroads, and to develop new initiatives as a result of what we learn from the analysis.”

Davies-Schrils is an alumna of Eckerd College, with an MA and a Ph.D. in industrial and organizational psychology from the University of Connecticut.

In October of 2018, RT&S reported that the Federal Railroad Administration awarded the SLSI a $2.4 million grant to allow the institute to boost safety practices and increase the shortline and regional railroad industry’s safety efforts.

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