Student Presentations and Activities

COVID-19 kept students away from each other and changed the way they prepare for their careers. Due to this, we modified our outreach efforts to provide virtual, hybrid and in-person outreach events. 

In the past year, virtual platforms enabled our department to reach students statewide like never before to connect them with professionals and provide them with valuable information and opportunities.

Past Presentations and Outreach Activities

Here are examples of a few presentations that we did in the past!

Mock-Up Space User Testing

Graphic with a state capital & bucket of popcorn.

Sacramento State University

With the California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) purchasing their first set of trains as early as next year, we are deep in the design process. The Authority is ensuring that stakeholders and the public are a part of this design and feedback process. The Authority has created a ‘white mock up space’ with three life size train cars. We are inviting various stakeholders to participate in user testing to give us feedback on these mock ups. We are excited to welcome students into this space to provide the feedback and recommendations from a student perspective during a 2-3 user testing sessions. In November 2023, Sacramento State students with the American Society of Civil Engineers became the first group of college students to participate in user testing of train interior mock up spaces. Students get a full background presentation on the project and design process and then work directly with designers to walk through the train car mock ups.

Central Valley Construction Tour

Graphic with a state capital & bucket of popcorn.

San José State University – Mineta Transportation Institute Summer Program

With 119 miles under construction, The California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) is proud to offer student construction tours in California’s Central Valley. These tours allow students to set foot on future high-speed rail structures and speak directly to experts that are building the nation’s first true high-speed rail systems. In July, we hosted a construction tour with high school students from the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) summer program at San José State University. Students are provided a safety vest and hard hat and step foot on active construction sites, providing them a once in a lifetime opportunity to walk on structures before trains are running.


Graphic with a state capital & bucket of popcorn.

University of California, Davis

UC Davis Policy and Popcorn – The Policy & Popcorn series provides an informal setting for UC Davis students, researchers, faculty and staff to learn more about the policy process and how to better engage. The sessions are hosted monthly by the Policy Institute for Energy, Environment, and the Economy in close partnership with the Institute of Transportation Studies, the Energy and Efficiency Institute and other key policy leaders around UC Davis. Leaders from the California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) joined to discuss policy opportunities and challenges associated with the rail project.

Classroom Visits

Students in a classroom watching a presentation.

University of California, Merced

Policy and Politics of CHRS at UC Merced – Members of the Authority’s communications staff joined UC Merced’s inaugural Intro to Civil Engineering Course for a hybrid presentation on the policy and politics of large infrastructure projects. The Deputy Director of External Affairs, Deputy Regional Director of the Central Valley and Student Outreach Coordinator provided a short overview of the project and had a Q&A session with the students. The students were in-person at the UC Merced campus and the Authority speakers were brought in via Zoom. We chatted with students about the importance of stakeholder engagement and impacts of political landscapes for a project as big as California high-speed rail.

Club Visits

People on a zoom meeting making peace signs that are recognized as the USC “fight on” sign.

University of Southern California

USC Undergraduate Planners at Price – Undergraduate Planning at Price (UP) is a student-run club that represents the needs and interests of undergraduate urban planning students. It is open to anyone interested in urban planning related topics. High-speed rail planners joined students in their weekly meeting to discuss how high-speed rail integrates with major transportation hubs like the LA Union Station. Students also received a statewide overview of progress on the high-speed rail project.


A group of people stand under a tent and behind two tables smiling. The group is tabling at a fair.

Fresno State University

CHSRA has set up outreach tables / booths to provide general information on the project tailored to the event (IE. Earth Day / Sustainability Day) where we spoke specifically on the projects benefit on the environment. On Earth Day and Clean Air Day, we worked with the Fresno State Sustainability Club and coordinated an outreach table at their event. They host both Earth Day in the Spring and Clean Air Day in the fall on campus. We spoke with students about the California high-speed rail project and how it will help protect the environment by reducing traffic congestion and pollution through its numerous sustainability efforts.  


Two people at a booth holding “I will ride” signs.

California Transit Association

California Transit Foundation Annual Conference – Conferences offer crucial opportunities for students to explore careers and inspire professional and personal goals. We participated in the annual California Transit Association conference where our staff discussed our communications strategy during the pandemic and how we were able to reach various communities in a physically distanced world. We also participated in the conference with a vibrant blue and yellow booth staffed by Information Officers with a passion for sharing facts about HSR.


People sitting around tables outside.

Fresno City College

California High-Speed Rail Engineering Networking Event – Fresno City College hosted an in-person engineering networking event on campus. About 30 engineering students attended. The lunch and networking event kicked off with a statewide presentation from our Student Engagement and Outreach Coordinator followed by a Central Valley project update from a Central Valley Information Officer. It was followed by a discussion from high-speed rail engineers of Tutor-Perini/Zachry/Parsons. After, the group broke out for an outdoor lunch so students and the high-speed rail professionals could connect one-on-one.

Some Additional Information About Our Engagement 

Webinars: Webinars offer great opportunities to connect with regional, statewide, national and international groups! We love collaborating with organizations to bring California high-speed rail into the conversation.

Classroom Visits: We work with all types of schools and educational programs to provide club and classroom presentations to discuss progress on California’s high-speed rail project. High-speed rail is a dynamic project that calls upon professionals in a variety of career fields. You can request a presentation from one of our staff members and we will do our best to attend. If you are interested in requesting a speaker you can email or fill out the request form on the Speakers Bureau page. You can also utilize our many online resources on our Student Resources page. These resources serve as a great way to start talking about the California high-speed rail project with students.

Club Visits: Student led clubs and organizations provide students with opportunities to explore careers and build community on their campus. Our department can provide your club with a presentation on the high-speed rail project and time to meet with professionals who are a part of our team. If you are interested in requesting a speaker you can email or fill out the request form on the Speakers Bureau page.

Conferences: Conferences are an important part of a student’s career development, exploration, inspiration for students to achieve professional and personal goals. We want to be part of your student conference in California! As student organizations and campuses explore hybrid models and bring back some more in-person conferences, we want California high-speed rail to be part of the discussion. We are eager to bring in our professionals to discuss their careers, the high-speed rail project, and lead information sessions with students. For statewide and international conferences, we will review and participate on a case-by-case scenario.

Presentations We Offer

Sustainability in Civil Engineering, Station Planning and Everything In-Between – The Authorities green practices in planning, construction and operations and third-party standards and validation that is setting a new green standard for transportation infrastructure projects.

High-Speed Rail Construction in the Central Valley – We will detail some our most notable structures in the Central Valley such as the San Joaquin River Viaduct, Hanford Viaduct and Cedar Viaduct. You can take a closer look at these structures on

Building Policy for the Nations First High-Speed Rail – Authority staff will detail the history of the California High-Speed Rail project, progress and challenges of the project and provide foundational knowledge to understand  mega infrastructure transit projects in California, the United States and all over the world.

California High-Speed Rail: General Project Overview & Regional Update – Want to keep the update general and high-level? We can share where we are now in 2022 and timeline for major milestones coming in the next few years.

Diverse Jobs on the California High-Speed Rail – Staff from various departments discuss their work individually and the collaboration across fields. Our last presentation included a panel with Small Business, Engineering, Communications and Human Resources.

Landing a State Job – A Career in Public Service – Authority staff will detail pathways for careers with the state of California, review exams, experience and various job classifications.

Contact Us

California High-Speed Rail Authority

770 L Street, Suite 620

Sacramento, CA 95814

(916) 324-1541

The California High-Speed Rail Authority makes every effort to ensure the website and its contents meet mandated ADA requirements as per the California State mandated Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 Level AA standard. If you are looking for a particular document not located on the California High-Speed Rail Authority website, you may make a request for the document under the Public Records Act through the Public Records Act page. If you have any questions about the website or its contents, please contact the Authority at