May 14, 2021
Running on Roadways: Meet Brian Welch, Raleigh’s Transportation Trailblazer
By: Lillian Minix
Brian Welch has been running for as long as he can remember. From daily morning runs to full-blown marathons, this Richmond-native-turned-Raleigh-transplant has logged thousands of miles in his lifetime, and he doesn’t plan to put on the breaks any time soon.
Brian works in our Raleigh Transportation group as a project manager. He holds several licenses including Professional Engineer in both Virginia and North Carolina and an Advanced Work Zone Traffic Control certification in Virginia. With a background in all things transportation, it seems that his work also transcends his personal passion for running.
In fact, Brian found his calling when his enthusiasm for running recently collided with his passion for transportation engineering via the first-ever Timmons Group companywide run/walk challenge.
Some Timmons Group running and walking fanatics (Brian included) formed a band of trailblazers for the challenge that began in February. Brian was one of 125 Timmons Group employees who tied up their laces and hit the roads, trails, treadmills, and greenways for a companywide “Boulders to Dallas” run/walk-a-thon. The challenge: Team up with colleagues to run and/or walk the 1,291 miles from our Richmond, Virginia headquarters to our Dallas, Texas office in 13 weeks.
“When I saw the email come through, I was so excited about it because I had a marathon already lined up,” Brian says. “Training for the marathon during the challenge was perfect timing and a great way to interact with coworkers who have a similar passion.”
Brian ran the mile, 2-mile, and 5K during his college years at Virginia Tech where he graduated with a BS in Civil Engineering. He says his wife runs marathons and helped him work up to longer distances over the years. They enjoy training on the local Raleigh trails at Umstead State Park, Neuse River, and the American Tobacco Trail.
“I haven’t really had the chance to run on roadways that I’ve managed or designed in Raleigh yet, but when I lived in Richmond I used to run on the Capital Trail which is a project I provided support for a few years ago,” Brian says. “I am excited for some of my projects in Raleigh to come to fruition in the next few years so I can enjoy them as a runner too.”
Brian was a project engineer in the transportation design group when he lived and worked in Richmond. “I worked with design, mostly. My team provided engineering calculations, stormwater design, road widening services, traffic signal design, and other transportation infrastructure services,” Brian says. He relocated to the Timmons Group Raleigh office and brought his passion for transportation with him. Now, Brian is a project manager for the Raleigh Transportation Group and his team offers a variety of services to local clients. “It’s an amazing atmosphere and I feel really challenged daily,” he says.
One of the biggest challenges Brian encountered in his transition from Richmond to Raleigh was relearning the state Department of Transportation’s rules and regulations. “The shift from VDOT to NCDOT standards was a unique challenge. Learning their processes from a technical angle and where to find information was difficult, but once I was able to get myself up and running (no pun intended) things went smoothly from there.”
Brian says what he does in the Infrastructure Group is really rewarding. “We work a lot with the states and towns to provide sustainable, long lasting transportation solutions that are benefiting the community. It’s a very tangible job in that way, and it’s very fulfilling.”
Making an even more unique impact on his transition between offices and states was the Covid-19 pandemic. “Virtual communication has been particularly necessary during the pandemic, especially for me because I’m really like an extension of the Richmond transportation team. So, to be able to keep in contact with my team members has been pertinent. And now, we’re broadening our use of virtual tech to our company culture with events like happy hours, trivia nights, and app-based events like the Boulders to Dallas run/walk.”
The Boulders to Dallas run/walk was a lofty goal, even for those who wear their shoes out as often as Brian does (he revealed he needed new trainers halfway through the challenge). But this was not only a time to train for his second-ever marathon, which ironically, was this past Saturday. Brian also uses his time running to contemplate happenings at work including a new design software that he’s been researching for several months.
All in all, Brian contributed over 560 miles to his team’s final 1,343 miles in the Boulders to Dallas challenge.
Brian is joining the next challenge, “Dallas to Arizona”, but he says he’ll be taking a break for the next few weeks to let a few other coworkers get a head start!
Are you interested in joining the Timmons Group Infrastructure team? With openings in a variety of positions across multiple offices, Timmons Group offers professional development opportunities, a unique company culture experience, and competitive pay and benefits. Check out our open positions at timmons.com/careers.