Transportation Systems Design, Inc.
6543 Girvin Drive, Oakland CA 94611 USA
Voice: +1 510.531.8411 - Fax: +1 510.531.7372



The TSD Team

Tom Sullivan

Ron Tolmei

Dave Turner

John Selke

John Cipollone

Charla Wimmer

Veronica Alencar

Connie Hwang

Alan Sullivan


TSD provides consulting, design, and marketing services to the rail transportation industry worldwide. Our associates have decades of diverse technical experience in rail transportation technology, system safety, and hardware/software design. Services range from independent technical reviews to the detailed design of safety-critical embedded systems and subsystems. Founded in 1994, TSD is based in the San Francisco Bay Area in Northern California, USA.

Our expertise includes specification development, systems safety evaluation and commissioning of automated train control systems, including traditional signal systems and CBTC systems; rail vehicle network specification and design; spread spectrum and ultra wideband RF communications; EMI/EMC measurement and analysis; and propulsion and embedded computer systems design. Expertise includes real-time safety-critical software development, assembler, high level language and network programming; circuit board design and development and electronic systems packaging for harsh rail environments. In addition, TSD consultants have extensive experience with traditional fixed-block signaling systems; conventional and solid state interlockings; value engineering, cash handling systems and software; database design; data and control networks; and expert witness services. See Capabilities.

TSD associates have provided management, engineering, and technical design services and advice to the world's leading Transportation Providers including: MTA New York City Transit, Chicago Transit Authority, Korean National Railway, Los Angeles County MTA, San Francisco  Bay Area Rapid Transit District, Washington, DC METRO, San Francisco Municipal Railway, Taiwan High Speed Rail Corporation, Taiwan National Railway, and Walt Disney Company. Consultants/Non-profits/Regulating Agencies include Arinc, APTA, Bechtel, Booz Allen & Hamilton, California Public Utilities Commission, CalTrans, China Ministry of Railways, IEEE, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, Korea Rail Research Institude, Lawrence Berkeley Labs, Klauder and Associates, LonMark International, NASA, PB Transit & Rail Systems, Transit Standards Consortium, Transportation Research Board, United States Navy, TRW, and Washington Group International. Suppliers include Alcatel, Ansaldo/US&S, Alstom, Bombardier, Berkeley Nucleonics, CAF, Echelon, GE (formerly, Harmon), Hughes Aircraft Company, Mitsubishi, Lockheed Martin, Rockwell International, Rotem, Sumitomo/Nippon Sharyo,  Siemens, TRW, and Vapor Rail.  

TSD's relationship with The George Washington University Center for Professional Development allows TSD to offer accredited courses in advanced train control at your facilities or ours. 1-3 day semi-custom short courses can also be arranged. 

For immediate consideration please call TSD at:  +1 (510) 531.8411.  


TSD Capabilities
Identify the desired skills and then click on on the initials of the associate
in the column headings to find additional information about that Associate.

Skill  \ Associate

Traditional Signaling X X   X X        
Traditional Train Control X X X X       X  
Advanced Train Control X X X X X       X
Advanced Train Control Technology Training & Courses X                
Project Management X X X X   X      
Vehicle Systems X X X   X       X
Transit Experience X X X X X X   X X
Software Design X X X X   X X   X
Hardware Design X X   X X     X X
Real Time Systems X X X X X X X X  
Hardware & Software Systems X X X X X   X X X
Communications X X X X X   X X  
Advanced Communications X X           X X
System Safety X X X X X     X X
Database Design           X X    
Fare Collection & Cash Handling Systems           X      

Expert Witness



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Tom Sullivan

Tom with IC#2.gif (79617 bytes)

Detailed Resume

Mr. Sullivan is experienced with the design, specification,  test and integration of real-time process control systems for the rail transportation industry. He is actively involved with several standards efforts that promote the use of open interoperable and consensus-based standards. 

As Chief Signal Engineer for the San Francisco Municipal Railway in the 1980s, Tom led specification development and procurement of Muni's Communications Based Train Control (CBTC) program. Today, CBTC allows Muni to operate more than twice as many trains per hour it did previously with its manual fixed-block system. As NYCT's Director of New Technology Train Control, Tom led its multi-Billion dollar New Technology Train Control Program. The decision by NYCT to upgrade to CBTC technology helped stimulate a major new effort by signal firms worldwide to accelerate development of this next generation train control technology.

Tom is a co-founder and Secretary of IEEE's highly regarded Rail Transit Vehicle Interface Standard Committee. Tom is also a Member of the Board of Transit Standards Consortium and co-chairs with NYC Transit LonMark International's Transportation Task Group that is developing open interface Profiles for networked railcar systems. 

As Contributing Editor to Railway Age magazine, Tom has written numerous articles on advanced technology for rail transportation and published articles in transportation journals worldwide. He has presented numerous technical papers at TRB, APTA, IEEE on advanced train control systems and standards and has been invited to speak on these topics around the world. In the late 1990's Tom began teaching the industry's first courses in CBTC and Advanced CBTC  at The George Washington University's Center for Professional Development in Washington, DC. These intensive, well received short courses are now available on-site with full GWU accreditation.

Mr. Sullivan has provided consulting services and training to international high speed rail consortia, state regulating agencies, international rail research institutions, transportation and communications firms, network and advanced radio communications suppliers, railcar builders, train control system suppliers, transit agencies and standards development organizations. Tom received his B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley in 1970.

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Dr. Ron Tolmei, Ph.D

Dr.Tolmei has over 30 years experience in the design, test, and implementation of advanced, engineering technology systems with an emphasis on reliability, safety, and fault-tolerant design methodology. Dr. Tolmei was Manager of Research and Development for San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART). In that capacity he was involved in projects  that increased system operational reliability, safety and performance. Activities included the use of computerized fault-tolerant electronic control systems.

As a Senior Staff Scientist at Rockwell, Dr. Tolmei worked on the hardware and software control of the space shuttle's main propulsion system and developed a cost-effective alignment system that saved millions of dollars per year in operating costs. As a Principal Staff Engineer at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, Ron was involved with the design of high reliability, and fault-tolerant computer systems for high-speed rapid transit systems. Dr. Tolmei has extensive experience analyzing system failures, design errors, equipment failure modes, machine hazards and manufacturing defects. He has identified accident causes and their impact on safety and operational reliability, examined patents for validity and possible infringement and provided electrical engineering expert analysis and testimony for major law firms. Accomplishments include technical and financial analysis involving design methodology, concepts, operational constraints, safety, and commercial viability of technical project in the United States, Europe and Far East.

Ron received his BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of New Haven in 1965 and his MS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Vermont in 1969. He received his Ph.D in Electrical Engineering from the University of Missouri in 1972.  Dr. Tolmei has been issued several patents in engineering technology and authored numerous technical papers, articles, and publications in the United States and Europe.

Back to Matrix David B.Turner

Turner Web Page

Mr. Turner is President of Turner Engineering Company (Tenco) where he manages the development of advanced control, communication, and information systems for high-tech, transportation and industrial applications.

Recent projects include electromagnetic compatibility programs for BART, Chicago Metra, Long Island Rail Road, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Agency, TA, New York City Transit, and Sacramento RT;  communications-based safety-critical advanced train control systems for San Francisco Airport, New York, SF MUNI, SF BART, and mainline railroad use;  advanced spread spectrum communication system development; new rail vehicles for Los Angeles, New York, Portland, San Francisco BART, and San Juan PR; Intelligent Transportation Systems, People mover, Maglev, and cargo mover designs and concepts; advanced medical devices; and consumer products. 

Mr. Turner is a senior member of the IEEE, and a member of the SAE, IRSE, and the AAR. He holds Bachelor degrees in Electronics Engineering and English from the University of California, Berkeley and Columbia University.  He has published papers in IEEE, UMTA, and Nuclear Science journals, and was a member of the IEEE standards committees for software V&V guidelines and wireless networks.

For additional information, see: Turner Engineering

Back to Matrix John B. Selke. P.Eng
John Selke.jpg (25104 bytes) Mr. Selke has over 20 years of experience in the analysis, design and development of real-time train control systems for the transit and freight rail markets. During his 13 years at Alcatel Canada, Selke participated in the successful development of Communication Based Train Control systems for projects all over the world. For the past several years John has been an independent consulting engineer involved with automatic train control systems and engineering.

Working initially as a software developer in Alcatel Canada's safety-critical software team he moved to Vancouver in 1984 to lead the software integration testing for the first phase of the highly successful Vancouver SkyTrain Light Rail Transit system. As Project Manager for the Phase II and Phase III extensions of the system, he successfully managed the design, implementation, and testing of both the hardware and software.

As Manager, West Coast Operations until 1994, Mr. Selke led the team that developed the Second Generation Vehicle Control Center computer a safety critical subsystem of Alcatelís Seltrac's Communication Based Train Control system. The VCC is an embedded system on industrial grade IBM PC platforms. Software was developed using the Yourdon Structured Design methodology and is approximately 200,000 lines of code. The project was completed on time and met all of its targets to improve train handling capacity, system reliability, and software maintainability and has proven to be highly success in over four years of revenue service. As VCC Product Manager from 1994 to 1995, John managed the adaptation of this new technology to an upgrade of the signaling system for the San Francisco Municipal Railway, a new transit system in Kuala Lumpur, and an extension to the Docklands Light Railway in London, UK.

John received his Bachelor of Applied Science (Electrical Engineering), from Queen's University, in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, in 1982.

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John Cipollone

Detailed Resume

Signal Innovations

Mr. Cipollone is a specialist in the design, implementation and application of fail-safe electronic products for use in railroad signaling. He is familiar with practical discrete designs, digital designs, and single and multiple microprocessor design environments along with being innovative in noise suppression techniques, high reliability, and fault tolerant design techniques. 

Mr. Cipollone has experience with most test measurement tools and railroad signaling equipment and applications. He also has experience with UMTA EMI measurement procedures and analysis techniques. He is familiar with IBM computer applications for railroad signal applications and is experienced with signal systems on all Class I, most smaller railroads, and many domestic transit operations. International experience includes Australia, Mexico, Brazil and many European rail signal systems.

A 27-year veteran of the railroad signal supply industry, Mr. Cipollone's long industry career has resulted in many innovative products and economic solutions, specializing in track circuits and electronics replacements for vital signal components. His firm, Signal Innovations, provides support and service for all Electro Code products and applications, as well as all legacy products manufactured by Electro Pneumatic Corporation.

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Charla A.Wimmer

Charla A. Wimmer Ms. Wimmer has over 29 years experience with the design of micro, mini, and mainframe computer systems. Her experience includes both software and hardware design and development. Charla has written interfaces to large safety-critical plant information systems and laboratory instruments and is experienced with hardware-software interfacing of AtoD and DtoA converters, strain gauges, keypads, LCD and LED displays, motor controller, braking systems, solenoids, stepper motors, pneumatic actuators, amplifiers, IEEE 488, modems, parallel and serial protocols.

Software development experience includes  C, C++, Pascal, Basic, 808X assemblers, Informix 4gl, Informix ESQL/C, cross-assemblers and in-circuit emulators. Operating system experience includes system design and interfacing using Unix, TCP/IP, Microsoft Windows OSs, SCO and Altos Unix, DEC OSF/1, DEC Ultrix, RSX11, Informix (Online, Standard Engine, ISQL, NewEra), Sybase Server/SQL, CAI TDM, and other legacy systems including DOS, CP/M and MP/M. Computer hardware experience includes current and legacy systems including Compaq , Atlos 1000, Altos 2000, Dec Alpha Servers, DECStation 5000, Data General Avion, IBM/PC, and DEC PDP 11 and S-100 hardware and software.

Charla received her BS in Computer Science in 1979 from the University of Utah.

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Veronica Alencar

Veronica M. Alencar Ms. Alencar has over 30 years experience with electronic systems, system safety, and advanced transit vehicles. Her experience includes the software design of embedded microprocessor-based systems for the computer test industry and commissioning and testing of state-of-the-art heavy rail transit vehicles. She recently assisted SF BART in the software re-design and testing of modifications to vehicle safety-critical software system and has been involved with safety certification of a communications based train control system.

Veronica's computer systems experience includes assembly language software design, system test, and safety-critical software for the rail transportation and medical electronics industries. She has also developed and written software for light pulse generators with 150 pico-second transition times for the communications industry; and automated test equipment for the computer rigid media industry. Design experience includes hardware and software development using 8- and 16-bit microprocessors using cross-assemblers and C and Pascal cross-compilers, in-circuit emulators, debuggers, configuration control software and other software management tools.

A US citizen, Veronica received her BS degree in Electronic Engineering in 1973 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. In 1978 and she received a US National Science Foundation scholarship to complete post-graduate work in Electrical Engineering at the University of California at Davis. She is fluent in Portuguese and English. Currently she employed by a public transit agency in California and available for limited consultations when not in conflict with her current employment.

Back to Matrix Connie Hwang
Connie Hwang.jpg (5625 bytes) Ms. Hwang's experience in the computer industry dates back 34 years when she worked on compiler development and later as a systems programmer responsible for mainframe operating systems management. With the advent of the minicomputer, she was involved in research and development of real-time systems and process control applications. Her current work is in development of database applications for PCs, with experience in enterprise client server environment. She has an extensive background in requirements and benefits analysis, systems design, software implementation and operations.

Specific project experience includes the design and implementation of a highly successful automated cash handling system for a major US rail transit agency. Work included writing specifications, negotiating procurement of microprocessor based counting equipment and associated interfaces and peripherals; personally undertaking the system and software design, programming, installation and operations. She also developed and has extensive experience with cash management software for rail transit system.

Other software development experience include the maintenance and enhancement of a yard vehicle control system for a rail transit agency; the design and development of an automated materials handling system used in construction for production control; the automation of a milling machine used in steel fabrication; the design, test, and implementation of a risk management and claims tracking system for public transit vehicle liability used by a major claims adjusting firm for public transit agencies.

Back to Matrix Alan Sullivan

Alan Sullivan.jpg (45932 bytes)

Mr. Alan Sullivan (no relation to Tom Sullivan) is a professional Electrical Engineer with over 20 years experience in the definition, analysis, project management, and acceptance testing of real-time train control systems for the transit and freight rail markets. He has been involved with the design, test and commissioning of many advanced communications based train control systems including Kuala Lumpur, Vancouver SkyTrain, and Docklands Light rail and SF Muni. Systems experience include SF Muni's second generation vehicle control center, axle counters, station and central equipment and the field testing and commissioning of vital and non-vital software.

Alan received his Bachelor of Applied Science in Electrical Engineering at the University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario Canada in 1983. Other education and Training includes Yourdon Structured Systems Analysis, Software Productivity Centre, Software requirements Management and Analysis at the University of British Columbia.  He is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC.

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Transportation Systems Design, Inc. -
Phone: +1 510.531.8411  Fax: +1 510.531.7372

Revised: October 09, 2004