Institution of Mechanical Engineers IMechE

Railway Division Chairman's Address- Interfaces and Interactions

24 September 2012

Free Evening Lecture, 17.15 for 18.00


Both technically and commercially, today’s railway is a complex system that involves multiple interfaces, each offering significant people and engineering challenges. The combination of wheel and rail is clearly one of the best known mechanical interfaces in engineering but there are also many other technical interfaces that are critical to the operation of the railway. Organisationally, different businesses have to work together across commercial interfaces to deliver a high quality service to our customers. Taking examples from different areas of activity, the presenter will suggest that all of the interfaces acutely rely on constructive interactions between individuals and groups of people. Whether these are between engineering disciplines, across national borders or across commercial and contractual boundaries, they are all of fundamental importance to a successful railway.

Presented by Bridget Eickhoff, Principal Infrastructure Engineer, RSSB

Since joining British Rail Research as a mathematics graduate in 1977, Bridget has worked in a range of railway engineering posts, most related in one way or another to the wheel-rail or vehicle-track interface. This has included both theoretical and experimental work on ride quality and passenger comfort, on derailment risk and vehicle approval testing, on track geometry and track deterioration. Throughout her career, she has been able to apply engineering knowledge and know-how to practical railway problems and issues, in Britain, elsewhere in Europe and even further afield, as part of consultancy and research work.

Bridget is now Principal Infrastructure Engineer for RSSB (Rail Safety and Standards Board) with responsibility for GB Railway Group Standards related to the interfaces between infrastructure (track, bridges, tunnels and stations) and trains. She also provides GB input into a range of European standards and collaborates in international research projects in related areas.

This lecture is free and open to all.

This lecture will be repeated on the following dates at each of the respective Railway Division Centres- for more information about these, visit the individual centre websites.

North West Centre (Manchester) Wednesday 10th October

South West Centre (Swindon) Monday 15th October

North East Centre (Leeds) Wednesday 17th October

Scottish Centre (Glasgow) Thursday 18th October

Midlands Centre (Derby) Thursday 25th October


Interfaces and Interactions 1

: Bridget Eickhoff, Principal Infrastructure Engineer, RSSB

Duration: 40mins

Interfaces and Interactions 2

Speaker(s): Bridget Eickhoff, Principal Infrastructure Engineer, RSSB

Duration: 40mins