METRONET BCV planning director David Packer was elected Railway Civil Engineers Association (RCEA) chairman at the annual general meeting earlier this month.
Packer has spent 29 years in the railway industry. This has included periods with consultant Gibb (now Jacobs) and contractor Balfour Beatty.
But the bulk of his career was spent with British Rail.
Packer will be pushing for more regional RCEA events and also wants to encourage younger railway engineers to join the association.
RCEA member David Dawson said that the association planned to take some of the lectures given at Great George Street on tour to allow the regions to take part in debates.
However, the meeting was still undecided on the question of whether the RCEA should enter into public debates about the railways.
A meeting to discuss the issue is planned for next year.
'The RCEA went through significant changes at the time of privatisation and it cannot afford to stand still, ' said Dawson.
The association hopes to encourage more young engineers to join by introducing a new level of membership targeted specifically at them. It also plans to develop a 'Young Railway Engineer' award.
The RCEA is an associated society of the ICE.