University of Birmingham Chancellors Court

Kevin Blacktop, Head of Delivery at the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE) has been appointed as Institution of Mechanical Engineers (I.Mech.E.) Worcester Area Committee Chair.

The Worcester Area is part of the wider Midlands Region with over 10,600 members and is one of the largest in the UK. The committee organises a broad range of technical lectures, site visits and social events, intended to appeal to engineers and their friends and family. It can also assist with achieving membership and continuous professional development.

Kevin said, “I have been working with I.Mech.E. for a number of years and I am excited to take on the role as chair. I am looking forward to working with the committee to deliver engaging events for the engineers of Worcestershire and STEM events for the next engineering generation.”

Kevin has worked at the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE) at the University of Birmingham since July 2018, managing a number of major projects. This includes managing the launch of the UK’s first hydrogen train this summer, which is expected to gain significant interest in the industry and beyond. Previously he worked at Network Rail in the Research and Development function for seven years and prior to this helped develop a number of rail projects such as the extension of the Birmingham Cross City Line to Bromsgrove and the upgraded Cross City Service to Redditch.

He is also Chair of the National Robotics Network (NRN), a network of industry end user, supply chain and academic organisations who seek to work collaboratively through an open innovation hub to deliver intelligent robotics for a wide variety of industry sectors.

IMechE Worcester’s mission on behalf of the national organisation is to promote the Institution and mechanical engineering in general, following the Institution’s themes of Energy, Environment, Transport, Manufacturing and Education. It encourages teachers and their students to understand engineering and to consider the profession as a career and participate in many STEM activities each year.


The Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE) at the University of Birmingham is the largest university-based centre for railway research and education in Europe, developing world-leading new technologies alongside renowned higher education programmes. BCRRE is also part of the UK Rail Research Innovation Network (UKRRIN) and leads the Centre of Excellence in Digital Systems. In 2018, Rail Alliance was welcomed into BCRRE.