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The Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE) and SMRT Institute (SMRTi) have signed a collaborative agreement (13 September 2016) to formalise a partnership in training and education.

The agreement will serve as a platform for future collaborations, including finalisation of BCRRE’s contribution towards SMRTi’ s graduate engineering and training development programmes. It comes just a few weeks after BCRRE signed a research-focussed collaborative agreement with SMRT and prior to two SMRT employees taking part in modules from BCRRE’s MSc in Railway Systems Engineering and Integration.

Professor Andy Schofield, Pro-Vice Chancellor & Head of the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences and Mr Gerard Koh, Chief Corporate Officer, signed the agreement on behalf of the University of Birmingham and SMRTi, respectively. They were witnessed by SMRT delegates Ms Madelene Lee Ee Leen, Vice President; Mr Vincent Lee, Manager, Curriculum & OJT Design and Development; and Mr Alan Tan, Manager, Engineering Competency Development. Academics from the University of Birmingham were also present, including Dr Holly Pike, Teaching Fellow in BCRRE; Professor Felix Schmid, Head of Education of BCRRE; and Professor Clive Roberts, Director of BCRRE.  Professor Roberts commented, “We are delighted to formalise this side of our relationship with SMRT and we are looking forward to a successful programme of teaching and study in Singapore to complement our research projects.”
Mr Gerard Koh added: “This agreement between BCRRE and SMRT paves the way for a deep collaboration in railway engineering and operations education, and in research. The agreement is part of a wider SMRT effort to nurture our rail engineers with a world class post graduate education, and to expose them to the best-of-class practices. This is core to our strategy to uplift reliability and maintenance standards.

So far, in working with the BCRRE team, we are very encouraged by their professionalism and enthusiasm, and we optimistic of a fruitful relationship in the years ahead.”

In October 2016, BCRRE will start to provide strategic, high-level technical and managerial education to graduates and employees within SMRT. This will form part of SMRTi’s ‘Step-in’ 3-year professional training programme for its graduate-level workforce. Participants will be awarded a Postgraduate Certificate in Urban Railway Engineering, Singapore by the University of Birmingham upon successful completion. Engineer Chatership from the Institution of Engineers Singapore (IES) is also expected to be achieved post-completion.

Students will gain a thorough appreciation of urban railway systems and business, together with project management, asset management and engineering-specific modules according to their work specialisation.. The programme’s immediate relevance and application will be enriched with the contributions of industrial lecturers, together with University staff who will teach at SMRTi.


  • The Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education are leaders in railway science and education. The Centre has over 130 academics, researchers and professional support staff, delivering world class research and thought leadership within railways, and offers an expanding portfolio of high-quality education programmes. Close relationships with the rail industry mean that the Centre’s research and teaching draws in real-world situations and prepares graduates for the challenges of the future.
  • SMRT Institute (SMRTi) is the training and development arm of SMRT Corporation (SMRT) which is Singapore’s premier multi-modal land transport provider. SMRT’s core businesses are in rail operations, maintenance and engineering as well as in bus, taxi and automotive services, alongside integrated businesses in retail, media and marketing, as well as properties and retail management.