As Practice Leader, Gregory B. May, PE, LEED AP BD+C, oversees the strategic pursuits also serves in a Project Manager role for the firm’s freight and rail design disciplines as part of the Rail and Transit business line.
A second-generation railroader, Greg was lucky to be introduced to railroading at a young age as his father, Jeff, worked for Conrail. While growing up, he visited rail yard, bridge, tunnel, and terminal projects with his father. While other children played with toy trains, he got to see and be around the real thing. According to Greg, "One of my fondest railroading memories was getting to check out and actually drive a locomotive (only a few feet) when I was about 12 years old. I was hooked on railroading at that point."
Greg’s family has several generations of engineers, including his father, uncle, aunt, grandfather, and grandmother. This led to interesting dinner discussions, as well as encouragement in math, science, and engineering. Today, Greg is the Manager of Rail and Transit Facility Construction for Urban where he gets to work hand-in-hand with his father, who now leads the firm’s Railroad Division. "It’s not something that most people get to enjoy. It really has connected us more closely and I’m thankful for that," Greg said.
Although Greg’s career began in Philadelphia, it was solidified in Connecticut. While there, he helped oversee the construction of a 300,000-SF component change out shop to serve Metro North Railroad’s new fleet of M8 rail cars and the Connecticut Department of Transportation’s Office of Rails. "An important lesson that I learned early on was that our industry is about people. Relationships are very important. So is one’s reputation. My 10 years in Connecticut reinforced this important idea."
Greg has since returned to Philadelphia where he is leading Urban’s efforts on several freight and passenger rail assignments, including projects nationally for Norfolk Southern. "Working on railroad projects has been a blast," he said. "The freight railroads are amazing. They manage to build, operate, and maintain a nationwide transportation network without public funding." He also aims to expand Urban’s passenger rail business. "Both are very important to the economy of our country," he said.
A Registered Professional Engineer in New York, LEED AP BD+C, NICET II and III, NETTCP, Greg’s studies focused in mechanical engineering at Villanova University and the University of Pittsburgh. He is a member of the American Institute of Steel Construction, American Railway Engineering & Maintenance Right-of-Way (AREMA), American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), American Society of Highway Engineers (ASHE), and National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES).