Institution of Mechanical Engineers IMechE

The Intelligent Railway - How Can Railway Condition Monitoring Help Us Predict and Plan for the Future?

04 April 2011

In order to achieve the improved performance, in terms of punctuality and capacity, that is required for the future, the railway system must become more dependable. Today’s railway must improve further its levels of reliability and availability, while continuing to reduce its costs. Condition monitoring has the potential to help by: reducing the number of service affecting failures, and thus reducing delays; limiting the need for specific inspection tasks, which is currently a major cost to the industry; improving asset knowledge through continuous in-service monitoring, and hence providing better information from which asset managers can base more informed investment decisions.

This address will present the state-of-the-art in railway condition monitoring, in addition to providing details of future applications that are being developed as part of research projects taking place at the University of Birmingham in collaboration with British and international stakeholders. Case studies from both the rolling stock and infrastructure domains will be presented, as well as details of research that is taking place on associated data management and decision support systems.

Professor Clive Roberts, University of Birmingham

Clive is Professor of Railway Systems at the University of Birmingham and Director for Railway Research for the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education. His original PhD work focussed on railway condition monitoring of railway infrastructure assets. Building on his original work, over the last 14 years he has developed a broad portfolio of research aimed at improving the performance of the railway system. His current research interests lie in the areas of: systems engineering; system modelling and simulation; traffic management; fault detection and diagnosis; and data collection and decision support, applied to railway traction, signalling, mechanical interactions and capacity. He leads the University’s contribution in a number of large EPSRC, European Commission and industry funded projects. He works extensively with the railway industry in Britain and overseas. He currently leads a team of 11 research fellows and 16 PhD students.


The Intelligent Railway

: Professor Clive Roberts, University of Birmingham

Duration: 90 minutes