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She Wears Steel-Toed Boots:


Lisa Stabler, TTCI


March 2018

Lisa Stabler has always considered herself "the odd one." 


Born and raised in Dayton, Ohio, Lisa's fascination with "how things work," was inspired by both her childhood surroundings--home of the Wright Brothers, and the Dayton Electric Lab Company, Dayton was a hub of technology and innovation--and the her parents, who supported her curiosity and independence in spite of her somewhat "non-traditional" career choice.

Lisa's love of learning has led to more than 20 years of success as an engineer in the transportation industry and continues to fuel her passion for problem-solving today.


After receiving her bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Dayton, the first ever in her family to graduate from college, Lisa held key roles at General Motors' Delphi Corporation in Product Engineering, Quality Assurance, and Strategic Planning. In 1999, she "made the switch" to railroading, when she began working for the, then, Burlington

Northern and Santa Fe Railroad. While at BNSF, she served as the Assistant Vice President for Quality and Reliability Engineering where she managed freight car design, advanced research and streamlined processes using the Six Sigma problem-solving method, and improved supplier quality, along with several other assignments throughout her career with the railroad.

Today, Lisa Stabler serves as President of Transportation Technology, Inc. (TTCI).  She became president of TTCI in 2011, after joining the organization in 2010 as Vice President, Operations and Training.

TTCI is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Association of American Railroads (AAR). Located in Pueblo, Colorado, TTCI’s nearly 300 employees perform research, development, testing and training for the global railroad community. TTCI operates the Transportation Technology Center on behalf of the Federal Railroad Administration. With 48 miles of track, numerous locomotives and railcars, and full-size laboratories, TTCI provides a unique ability to help the rail industry operate more safely, more reliably, and more efficiently.

In addition to research and development in the transportation industry, TTCI is also home of the Security and Emergency Response Training Center (SERTC), where first responders experience hands-on HazMat training. Pictured here is a training simulation of a real-life wreck. 

While Lisa notes that many of the innovations that spring from the industry today won't be featured in the headlines, she says that the advancement being made every day are "the bread and butter of the industry."


She describes her current work as her "dream job."

In addition to a Bachelor’s Degree in engineering, Lisa also holds a Master's Degree in Mathematics from Wright State University. She is an ASQ Certified quality professional, and holds several certifications including Six Sigma Black Belt. 

In 2017, she was named "Outstanding Women of the Year" by the League of Railway Industry Women, an annual award presented to women in the rail industry

who demonstrate vision, initiative, creativity and guidance in a leadership role within their professional railway field.

She has been happily married for over 36 years to her "wonderful" husband, Michael Stabler, and is the mother to three children – Anthony (J.R.), Karen, and Chloe. 

At the forefront of research and development in transportation, Lisa Stabler not only pushes the edge of the technology in industry, but also the industry's culture. 


Dedicated to family and a healthy work-life-balance, she encourages managers to send the message "that it's okay to have a family. It's a wonderful thing to have a family."

To read the full transcript of Lisa's interview, click here.

The Stabler family in 2016.

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