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Published November 20, 2007
Volume 15, Number 11



Transdyn Thrives as Manager of Vital Infrastructure
Public Agencies Rely on Hacienda Firm for Systems that Manage Water, Traffic, Power


Thomas McPharlin at a workstation in Transdyn’s computer lab. The
computer displays shows information about a pumping station at a reservoir.


By Barbara Lewis
NETWORK Editor


Transdyn, provider of custom computer control and management systems, has served clients in the utility, rail and transportation industries for more than 20 years. Recently the company moved its corporate headquarters within Hacienda to roomier quarters at 4256 Hacienda Drive, Suite 100. There, about 50 employees - the executive team, engineering managers, technicians and software developers – are busy meeting the demand for their services, internationally.

“We got our start working with water treatment plants providing systems, most of them based on Environmental Protection Act (EPA) requirements for water quality,” says Thomas McPharlin, vice president of systems technology. “About 1990, we ventured into the traffic market with the Hanging Lake Tunnel project in Colorado. Rather than managing water, we were now managing automobiles and ventilation, signs, and all the equipment that you might find on a highway.”

Soon after, Transdyn began working with electric power and gas distribution and rail management systems. The common denominator among all of the projects is that they are part of the national infrastructure and under the responsibility of cities or other government agencies.

McPharlin notes that nearly all Transdyn’s infrastructure clients have been directed by the Department of Homeland Security to conduct “vulnerability assessments” and, as a result, many need surveillance capabilities and more secure computer systems. “Certainly since 9-11, the security aspects of our systems have become much more important, a major aspect of our projects in the past few years,” McPharlin observes. “For instance, in the traffic arena, video camera surveillance is extremely important, particularly in structures such as bridges and tunnels. A stopped car in a tunnel could be a simple stall, which you’d want to clear as soon as possible, in any case, or it could be someone with a destructive mission in mind.”

Currently, a large number of Transdyn personnel are working on a transportation management system in Melbourne, Australia as well as in China, where the company has installed 17 different natural gas distribution systems in Hong Kong and throughout the region.

Somewhat closer to home, Transdyn has an ongoing relationship with New York City’s Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), which operates all of the city’s transportation systems – subways, toll bridges and tunnels. Transdyn’s systems are on all the toll bridges and tunnels in New York and its system provides power management for the subway system.

Locally, Transdyn has worked on BART’s airport extension. Other large nearby customers are the City of San Francisco’s water department and, recently, Contra Costa County’s waste water treatment plant in Concord.

“We are a systems integrator,” explains McPharlin. “We assemble the necessary hardware components and install DYNAC, the software we have developed, which is used in all our projects. We are able to customize the software to suit each client’s needs, adding modules to deal with water plants, traffic, rail, whatever is required.”

According to McPharlin, a major opportunity for Transdyn now is working with foreign companies from Australia and Europe, who have purchased many of the large toll road infrastructures across the United States. These companies have agreements to manage the roads for, typically, 30 to 50 years. They collect the tolls, but are required to maintain and expand the roads as needed. “We are working with those companies to provide computer systems to manage the roadways,” McPharlin says.

“No matter where our work takes us across the world, Hacienda is the perfect location for our headquarters,” McPharlin concludes. “We wanted to be centrally located in the Bay Area in order to attract top technical people and, with the proximity of BART during the past few years, that position has been enhanced even further.”

Since 1995, Transdyn has been a wholly-owned subsidiary of publicly-traded Powell Industries. In addition to its Hacienda headquarters, the company has offices in Atlanta, Norfolk, VA and the New York City area. More information on the company and its services is available at www.transdyn.com.

 

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