Meet the team 

The Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education is a leader in railway science and education. With over 100 academics, researchers and professional support staff, it delivers world class research and thought leadership within railways, and offers an expanding portfolio of high-quality education programmes.  


Professor Clive RobertsProfessor Clive Roberts
Director of the Birmingham Energy Institute
Professor of Railway Systems  

Professor Roberts leads a broad portfolio of research aimed at improving the performance and safety of systems, including a strategic partnership in the area of data integration with Network Rail. His research interests lie in the areas of: fault detection and diagnosis; system modelling and simulation; optimisation and data analysis for decision support, applied to railway operations, asset management and command, control and communication systems.

Professor Robetrs serves as a technical expert for the INCOSE (International Council on Systems Engineering) Rail Interest Group (RIG). He is a Visiting Professor at Nanyang University (Singapore) and Beijing Jiaotong University. In 2013 he established, and is now Director of, the Anhui/Birmingham Rail Transportation Research Institute in Hefei, China. He heads a team of 12 research fellows and 24 PhD students. Since 2001 he has published over 100 scientific papers.


Professor Felix SchmidProfessor Felix Schmid
Director of Education 
Professor of Railway Systems

Professor Schmid leads the delivery of MSc programmes in Railway Systems Engineering and Integration and in Railway Risk and Safety Management. Based on these programmes, he has developed short courses on railway systems integration for a number of organisations, including Bechtel, HMRI and London Underground.

Currently, he is supervising 15 PhD students working in areas such as train control algorithms, evaluation of the benefits of systems engineering, human factors in control rooms, freight demand modelling and simulator based train driver training. He co-organised the international conference High Speed Rail 1964-2064: Celebrating Ambition which took place at the University in December 2014. The event attracted over 200 academic and industry leaders in high speed rail. 


Professor Chris BakerProfessor Chris Baker 
Professor of Environmental Fluid Mechanics

Professor Baker worked in the Aerodynamics Unit of British Rail Research in Derby, before moving to an academic position in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Nottingham. Chris moved to the University of Birmingham in 1998 as Professor of Environmental Fluid Mechanics in the School of Civil Engineering. His research interests are in vehicle aerodynamics, wind engineering, environmental fluid mechanics and agricultural aerodynamics.

From 2003 to 2008, he was Head of Civil Engineering and in 2008 served for a short time as Acting Head of the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences. He was the Director of the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education 2005-2014.  He is currently undertaking a 3 day a week secondment to the Transport systems Catapult Centre in Milton Keynes, as Science Director.


Dr Stuart HillmansenDr Stuart Hillmansen
Senior Lecturer in Electrical Energy Systems

Dr Hillmansen is a Senior Lecturer in Electrical Energy Systems and Head of the BCRRE Traction Research Group. His recent research has been supported by the European Commission, EPSRC, Network Rail, Atkins and the Department for Transport. He has re-established the University’s international reputation for traction research and produced fundamental work which has a direct and current benefit to the railway industry. In 2014, Stuart was elected as the Academic Chairman of the Railway Research UK Association (RRUK-A), representing UK universities on the rail industry’s Technical Strategy Leadership Group. 


Professor Mark SterlingProfessor Mark Sterling
Head of School, Beale Professor of Civil Engineering Aerodynamics of trains

Professor Sterling graduated from the University of Nottingham in 1994 with a First class BEng degree in Civil Engineering. He then moved to the University of Birmingham to read for a PhD in Fluid Mechanics/Hydraulic Engineering. Following completion of his doctorate he spent a short period in industry before returning to the University of Birmingham as a Research Fellow in the field of Wind Engineering.

He has research interests in Fluid Dynamics, Wind Engineering and Water Engineering. His research in Water Engineering is mainly directed towards understanding and evaluating the conveyance capacity of rivers, while within the field of Wind Engineering he has carved out two distinct areas of research, namely the effect of wind on plants and the effects of extreme wind events. He has have been involved in a variety of research council and industrial funded projects, has a research portfolio in excess of £3m and has published over 100 journal/conference publications.

He teaches at both undergraduate and postgraduate level on a variety of subjects including Structural Engineering, Water Engineering and Environmental Fluid Mechanics


Dr Andrew QuinnDr Andrew Quinn
Senior Lecturer in Atmospheric Science and Engineering 

Dr Quinn moved to the University of Birmingham as RCUK Research Fellow in Civil Engineering in 2005. His research focuses on the interactions between infrastructure, particularly transport systems, renewable energy and extreme weather events/climate change and how these impact on the resilience of communities and services. 

He was part of the internationally recognised Wind Engineering group at the former BBSRC Silsoe Research Institute. He has been investigator on projects for EPSRC, BBSRC, NERC, defra , EU and industry funded work for many organisations including the UK Met Office and Network Rail. This work has included complex full-scale measurement campaigns supporting high profile projects such as the main Olympic stadium in Stratford, mathematical modelling, and statistical treatments to combine observations and modelling in risk analysis. 


Dr Pietro TricoliDr Pietro Tricoli
Lecturer in Electrical Power and Control 

Dr Pietro Tricoli received his PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Naples Federico II, Italy, 2005.

He was a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI, in 2005. In 2006, he was also a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Nagasaki University, Nagasaki, Japan. From 2006 to 2011 he was a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow with the Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Naples Federico II, Italy. He is currently a Lecturer in Electrical Power & Control with the School of Electronic, Electrical, and Systems Engineering at the University of Birmingham. He is the author of more than 50 scientific papers published in international journals and conference proceedings. His research interests include the use of storage devices for road electric vehicles, tramways, and rapid transit systems, the wind and photovoltaic generation, and the modelling of switching power converters. He is also a member of IEEE and of IEEE Industrial Electronics Society (IES)


Dr Sakdirat KaewunruenDr Sakdirat Kaewunruen
Senior Lecturer in Railway and Civil Engineering 
Year 2 Director 

Dr Kaewunruen is a Senior Lecturer in Railway Civil Engineering. He holds a PhD in Civil Engineering with the particular expertise in Structural Engineering (Railway Infrastructure) from the University of Wollongong (UoW), Australia, and completed a Leadership program at John F Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, MA, USA. He has over 14 years of professional experience in both public and private sectors, and is a Chartered Engineer in both Civil and Structural Colleges. He held visiting appointments at various institutions, including Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Chalmers University of Technology’s Railway Mechanics Centre in Gothenburg Sweden, and Railway Technical Research Institute in Tokyo Japan. He has served on the editorial boards of many international journals, including Structural Monitoring and Maintenance, Shock and Vibration, Journal of Structures, Scientific World Journal, and International Conference of Railway Technology.


Anson JackProfessor Anson Jack 
Director of the Birmingham International Railway Academy [BIRA] 

Professor Jack has recently been appointed to BCRRE to promote international railway benchmarking and other research, and to develop the extensive international relationships the University has already established across the globe. 

He began his career at British Rail where he joined as a graduate trainee in 1979. He also worked at Railtrack and Network Rail, before joining RSSB in 2003. He continues to work at the company as Director of Commercial and Strategy. His credentials also include membership of: the Technical Advisory Board of the International High Speed Rail Association, based in Tokyo; the Transportation Research Board Committee for the review of the Federal Railroad Administration research and development programme; the Organising Committee for the World Congress on Railway Research, and the UK rail industry’s Technical Strategy Leadership Group.


Andy PackhamAndrew Packham 
Head of Railway Research and Education Development 

Andrew provides focus to grow the reputation, breadth and volume of programmes delivered by BCRRE both nationally and internationally. This encompasses Business Development, Programme Management and Resource Management activity, working closely with University colleagues and Industrial and Government partners.

Andrew has worked in the rail industry for over thirty years, previously for British Rail Research, Railtrack, AEA Technology Rail and DeltaRail. He led process improvement and culture change programmes in his role as Director of Transformation for DeltaRail. 


Professor Chris RogersProfessor Christopher Rogers
Professor of Geotechnical Engineering and Director of the Birmingham Centre for Resilience Research and Education 

Professor Rogers graduated in Civil Engineering at Leeds University in 1979 prior to gaining industrial experience as a graduate engineer in a structural engineering consultancy, as a resident engineer monitoring ground works on four sites, and as a site engineer with Mowlem Tunnelling working on the Carsington Dam Aqueduct Tunnel. 

He joined Nottingham University as a Research Assistant in 1982, where he read for his doctorate in the field of buried flexible pipes and subsequently taught for a short period. He joined Loughborough University as a Lecturer in 1986, becoming a Senior Lecturer in 1994 and a Reader in 1997.  He was appointed to a Chair in Geotechnical Engineering at the University of Birmingham in September 1998


Dr Min AnDr Min An
Reader in Project and Transport Risk Management 

After Dr An received a BEng (Hons) and a MSc in Civil Engineering from Xian Jiaotong University, he was a Civil Engineer and then a Chief Civil Engineer in two Design & Research Institutes. He was a Visiting RF at Birmingham University in 1993, and then he joined Heriot-Watt University as a PhD research student in 1994 and was employed as a RF at Liverpool JM University in 1998.  He joined the University of Birmingham in June 2003. 

Dr An has been involved in developing and applying more rational and sustainable safety, risk, reliability and decision-making techniques and methods to facilitate engineering design, construction and maintenance safety and reliability analysis. This work has been sustained over the past twenty years and has resulted in over one hundred technical papers and reports related to railway, road, offshore oil & gas, nuclear, automotive, construction and transportation safety and reliability. He has been awarded one special prize, two first-prizes and two second-prizes in advanced science and technology for his scientific research.


Dr Michael BurrowDr Michael Burrow
Senior Lecturer, maintenance management, asset management and geotechnical engineering

Dr Burrow is a lecturer in the School of Civil Engineering at the University of Birmingham and obtained his MA in Engineering from Cambridge University in 1994, where he studied at Jesus College. After completing his first degree, he joined the University of Birmingham to undertake a PhD in the School of Civil Engineering’s Highways Group. Since the completion of his PhD. He has worked at the University of Birmingham on various highway and railway related asset management, maintenance and systems engineering projects. His research interests are primarily focused on road and railway asset management and he was awarded the Telford Premium in 2005.

Dr Burrow also has a number of external appointments including the Director of Highway Management Services Ltd (HMS), which provides highway maintenance management software and consultancy to road agencies worldwide and he leads the Infrastructure Pole of the European Railway Network of Excellence (EURNEX).


Dr David ChapmanDr David Chapman
Reader in Geotechnical Engineering, monitoring of railway tunnels, high speed trains on soft ground

Dr Chapman qualified with a first class BSc (Hons) degree in Civil Engineering in 1988. He then went on to work in industry as a structural engineer (Oscar Faber Consulting Engineers), before returning as a research associate at Loughborough University for three years investigating ground movements associated with trenchless technologies for installing and renewing pipelines. As a result of this research he was awarded a PhD in 1993. 

After spending six years as a lecturer at the University of Nottingham (1992-1998), he moved to the University of Birmingham as a lecturer in 1998. He was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2002 and then Reader in 2008. He became a member of the Institution of the Civil Engineers (MICE) in 1996 and also a Chartered Engineer (CEng). He is an associate editor of the journal Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology. He is also currently a member of the Géotechnique Advisory Panel and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


Dr Gurmel GhataoraDr Gurmel Ghataora
Senior Lecturer, stabilisation of track, geotechnical engineering

Dr Ghataora graduated from the University of Wales, Cardiff with a BEng (Hons) degree in Civil Engineering. He then continued to undertake research leading to the degree of PhD. After completion of his doctorate he worked as a geotechnical engineer with Douglas Technical Services Ltd before moving to Ove Arup and Partners.

After many years in industry he came to the University of Birmingham in 1990, where he is now a senior lecturer in Geotechnical Engineering. Since joining the University he has undertaken consultancy work for a range of companies including: DTS Raeburn Ltd., Jackson Contractors (Preston) Ltd., ICI, Ove Arup and Partners and Shropshire County Council. He is Admissions Tutor for the postgraduate taught programmes in the School of Civil Engineering and the Welfare Tutor for all students.


Dr Colin GoodmanDr Colin Goodman
Honorary Professor of Rail Traction Systems 

Dr Goodman completed his MA and PhD degrees at Peterhouse, Cambridge, and then spent three years designing industrial automation at GEC before joining the University of Birmingham to conduct research on power-electronic traction control that subsequently broadened into other aspects of railway systems.

Since 1974, as a founder-member of the Traction Research Group, he has worked in continuous collaboration with international companies in the rail business and undertaken government supported research work. He was leader of the Group for seventeen years. He has always had strong links with the Far East, particularly Hong Kong and Japan and has had direct support from the Mass Transit Railway in HK and Central Japan Railway. He was part of a team involved with the EPSRC in setting up a national Rail Systems Research Centre. This led to the establishment of Rail Research UK (RRUK), with its HQ at Birmingham. Until retirement in October 2007, he was Theme Manager for Whole System Performance for RRUK. 

Since fully retiring in 2007, he has held an Honorary Readership and still contributes to the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education, giving lectures and guiding research. 


Dr Hassan HemidaDr Hassan Hemida
Birmingham Research Fellow

Dr Hemida has more than ten years of experience in both academia and industry, running research projects that involve steady and unsteady simulations of single and multiphase flows. He has a PhD in Trains Aerodynamics and a Licentiate (Diploma) of Engineering in the field of Thermofluids. Although, he has focused much of his work on wind loads on ground vehicles, he has conducted other successful projects that involve multiphase flow, heat transfer, combustion, mass transfer and shape optimization. He has established a strong world-wide reputation in the field of CFD and its application for train aerodynamics.  He has been involved in many research projects, looking at slipstream and side-wind forces on trains and buses, sponsored by RRUK, Network Rail, and Swedish agency for academic research (VINNOVA), Scania and Bombardier.

Beside his expertise in CFD, he has also been involved in a number of projects including Finite Element Analysis of Train-Rail interaction. The quality of his research has been recognised through 13 journal papers and over 20 peer reviewed conference papers, one of them has been awarded the Best Conference paper in 2007.


Dr Nilanjan MukherjeeDr. Nilanjan Mukherjee
Birmingham Research Fellow 

Dr Nilanjan Mukherjee received MEng. Degree (First Class) in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, India in 2009.

From 2009 to 2011 he was the Engineering Research Centre (ERC) of Tata Motors Ltd as a development manager where he was involved in power electronic converter and control strategy development for energy storage integration in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) drive train. He joined the Power Engineering and Power Electronics (PEPE) group at the University of Aston, Birmingham, in 2011 where he completed his PhD in Power Electronics in 2014.

He was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Aston University following his PhD. He is currently working as a Research Fellow in Electrical Power & Control group within the School of Electronic, Electrical, and Systems Engineering at the University Of Birmingham. He is also a member of IEEE and the IEEE Industrial Electronics Society (IES).


Dr Andrew TobiasDr Andrew Tobias
Senior Lecturer in Operations Management
Deputy Head of Teaching and Learning 

Dr Tobias’ interest in operations management can be traced back to the mid-1980s at Lucas Industries where he first became involved with using discrete simulation and various systems modelling approaches in production engineering. This work had included the design of manufacturing systems, associated business control systems, and interfaces to suppliers and customers - all in the context of very rapid and radical change management. He moved to the University of Birmingham in 1988 to teach operations management more widely at graduate level and, in the wake of twenty-five years researching systems modelling, now focuses his efforts upon teaching our three MSc programmes: Engineering Management, Operations Management and Project Management.


Dr Haralampos Evdorides
Asset management systems, infrastructure performance modelling

Dr Charles Watson
Teaching fellow