Research within the School is clustered intotwo themes – Transport; and Resilience and Sustainability. It benefits from being funded by industry, charities and research councils, which encourages innovative thinking andcreates internationally recognised research. We pride ourselves in offering a stimulating research environment and are always keen to discuss research opportunities with individualsf rom a wide variety of backgrounds.
A healthy public transport system is fundamental to the prosperity of any nation. Within the UK, the road and rail network is at the heart of this and raises scientific questions, on its reliability, its future and the effects of climate change on transport systems – its use and its development.
Transport based research at the University of Birmingham has a long history, dating back to the 1960s. Research in highway engineering makes strong advances in pavement structural performance and highway capacity, design, deterioration modelling and maintenance. Railway engineering is underpinned by the multi-disciplinary Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE).
Within Britain, the rail network is at the heart of the transportation infrastructure. Its reliability, its future and the management of the effects of climate change on the use of railway systems are key to ensuring the network’s future success. The Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education brings together a multidisciplinary team from across the university to tackle fundamental railway engineering problems. The team actively engages with industry, other universities through Rail Research UK Association, and international partners.
BCRRE also delivers the MSc programme in Railway Systems Engineering and Integration and the MRes programme in Railway Systems Integration, as detailed earlier in this brochure. There are six main areas of research within BCRRE, covering all aspects of railway engineering:
- Aerodynamics and Environment
- Capacity Management
- Monitoring and Decision Support
- Materials and Testing
- Traction and Energy
- Systems and Control
Further details on the research topics.
Transport and Sustainability
Research in this area includes: long term large scale change and transitions to sustainability; behavioural change; the role of walking and cycling in sustainable transport policy and how these modes might be enhanced; environmental impacts of transport and transport infrastructure, including climate change and local air pollution; road safety and risk, especially consideration of human factors, behaviour and engineering solutions; equity issues in transport; global issues.
Contact information. For information regarding research opportunities in the field of Transport and Sustainability please contact:
Professor Miles Tight, +44 (0)121 414 5071. Email: email@example.com.
Road Management and Engineering
Research in Road Management and Engineering includes road asset management, road management and investment assessment systems, road economics and financing, road development and strategic planning, road
maintenance and operations, road safety, road administration, energy use and vehicle emissions, social benefits from road investments, pavement design and analysis, the development of long-term prediction relationships, data collection and analysis methods, data integrity and information quality.
Research in highway management and engineering informs the MSc programme in Road Management and Engineering. The Group also delivers Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses such as the Senior Roads Executive Programme (SREP) and other bespoke courses and workshops in the areas of road management and financing.
Contact information. For information regarding research opportunities in Highway Management and Engineering, please contact: Dr Michael Burrow, +44 (0)121 414 2626. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Research in vehicle aerodynamics concentrates on the behaviour of road and rail vehicles in cross winds, the development of early warning systems for high winds, investigations of the slipstreams and wakes of vehicles, and the effect of transient pressure loading on train structures due to other trains passing and the passage through tunnels.
Recent work in this area at the University of Birmingham has concentrated on the effects of cross winds on road and rail vehicles, the effects of vehicle slipstreams and the dispersion of pollutants in the wake of vehicles.
Contact information. For information regarding research opportunities in the field of Vehicle Aerodynamics please contact: Professor Chris Baker, +44 (0)121 415 5067. Email: email@example.com
Safety and Reliability Management
This research theme focuses on target risk and reliability, safety-cost analysis based decision making, life cycle analysis, uncertainty analysis, safety-critical software assessment, dynamic and static finite element analysis, and overall safety case preparation for industry. It transfers research in risk and reliability from the construction industry into the transport industry.
Contact information. For more information regarding research opportunities in the area of Safety and Reliability Management, please contact: Dr Min An, +44 (0)121 414 5146. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resilience and Sustainability
Our ability to respond in a sustainable way to the challenges that we and future generations face is at the core of this theme. These challenges may be posed by climate change, regulation and natural disasters, and how we adapt our existing cities to ensure that they are future-proof, gives a flavour of the type of research questions we are concerned with.
However, unlike traditional approaches, we do not restrict ourselves to considering only the structural engineering options; instead we endeavour to ensure that non-structural measures are at the heart of our thinking. Two distinct research areas emerge:
- Long-term resilience of the built environment and built infrastructure, ie, the sustainability of the physical infrastructure into the far future, notably in delivering utility service provision
- Short-term resilience of the built environment and built infrastructure to natural hazards, the severity and frequency of which is often increasing due to climate change
Research topics in resilience and sustainability include:
- Geotechnical Engineering
- Environmental Engineering
- Risk and Reliability Management
- Structural Engineering
- Wind Engineering and Aerodynamics
- Water Engineering
- Highways Management
- Computation Engineering and Modelling
Contact information. For more information about research opportunities in the area of Resilience and Sustainability please contact: Professor John Bridgeman, +44 (0)121 414 3071. Email: email@example.com