ISRET 2018

Monday 16 April (09:00) - Wednesday 18 April 2018 (17:00)

Request for Letter of Invitation

If you require a letter of invitation for visa purposes, please request an application form from Nadeen Taylor. Scan the completed form and send it by email to with the subject line 'Visa invitation letter request'. The invitation letter will be sent via email and it may take up to 5 working days to process.

For more information about the conference, please contact:  

ISRET 2018 Header_and_logo2018 International Seminar for Railway Education and Training

Monday 16th April to Wednesday 18th April 2018, The University of Birmingham, UK

The Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education, in collaboration with its industry based partners MTR Academy of Hong Kong and SMRT Institute of Singapore, invites you to the inaugural International Seminar for Railway Education and Training (ISRET 2018), to be held at the University of Birmingham, from 16th to 18th April 2018.

Demand for the services of the world's railway industry continues to grow rapidly, thanks to accelerating urbanisation and the realisation that the impact of transport activities on the environment must be reduced. Thus, the railways must satisfy the demands of increasingly sophisticated users in ever greater numbers. The passenger expects safety, shorter journey times, greater convenience and more comfort on board, while freight shippers and logistics companies need economic, timely and reliable collection and delivery of goods. Public bodies are having to reduce subsidies and other forms of financial support, while tasking the world's railways with delivering better environmental performance in terms of emissions, noise and vibrations. Today, it is often the railways' competitors that are setting the gold standard in these areas. Thus, excellence and sustained professionalism in all aspects of railway operations, railway engineering and management are becoming critical to the railways' survival and success. Only high standards of education and training will allow the railways to address the challenges of:

  • Lowering the workforce age profile of long established railways, while maintaining competence;
  • Encouraging well-educated and well-trained young people to enter all levels of the railway professions;
  • Developing the high skill levels in design, implementation, operation and maintenance that are necessary for introducing and using complex technologies in the railway industry;
  • Transferring operational and technical expertise from experienced to new staff to ensure the robust performance of all types of railway, from high-speed lines to high capacity urban systems and to trams;
  • Applying best international practice in railway management to use existing infrastructure, rolling stock and other assets to the limit of their capability without  risking rapid degradation, incidents and accidents.

ISRET 2018 provides a forum for senior managers and engineers, educators and trainers, human resources staff, operators, maintainers, government bodies and other stakeholders to present and discuss training and education best practice, new teaching methods and learning technologies and how these might be best applied to serve the modern railway.

Seminar Objectives

The objectives of ISRET 2018 are to:

  • Identify the education and training challenges that must be addressed by the metro and mainline industry;
  • Establish and disseminate best practice in railway education and training;
  • Develop international partnerships between education institutions, training providers and employers;
  • Learn from the education and training expertise of The University of Birmingham, MTR Academy, SMRT Institute, NTAR, NSAR, the High-Speed Rail College in Birmingham and other experts in the field.

To book a place, please click here

                      Seminar Organising Committee (TBC)                                                                                                                        Seminar Technical Committee (TBC)
Carolyn Griffiths, Former Head of RAIB (Chair)Heather Close, University of Birmingham (Chair)
Morris Cheung, MTR Academy, Hong Kong Alex Burrows, Alstom, UK
Joy Grey, University of Birmingham Dr Holly Foss, University of Birmingham
Robert Hopkin, Rail Alliance Dr Mark Ho, MTR Academy, Hong Kong
Prof Clive Roberts, University of Birmingham Huey Ling Kang, SMRT, Singapore
Prof Felix Schmid, University of Birmingham Dr Hongsin Kim, University of Birmingham
Nadeen Taylor, University of Birmingham Francoise Manderscheid, Ecole Nationale des Ponts
Mary Winkles, University of Birmingham Torstein Nielsen, Ramboll, Denmark
  Prof Felix Schmid, University of Birmingham


Format of the International Seminar
 Day Date                 Activities                          
 Day 1:Monday 16th April 2018 Seminar, Exhibition and networking followed by a Gala Dinner at Birmingham Council House (for all delegates).  
 Day 2:Tuesday 17th April 2018 Seminar, exhibition and networking followed by the meeting of a Working Group (by invitation).  
 Day 3:Wednesday               18th April 2018 Education and Training Workshops at the National College for High Speed Rail  

Gala Dinner

In the heart of Birmingham's city centre, the Council House is a beautiful Grade II listed building. Since its opening, this venue has received and welcomed members of the Royal Family, world leaders, businesses and global organisations. This will be the setting for the Gala Dinner on Monday 16th April with a drinks reception from 18:30 and from 19:30 onwards. This event is included in the 2 & 3 day tickets, but tickets are also available for the individual event.

Dress code: Lounge Suit/Cocktail Dress

Keynote speakers

Nathalie Amirault, Head of Expertise Development, International Union of Railways (UIC); Francoise Manderscheid, Director of Masters in Railway Systems, Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussees (ENPC); Sir Terry Morgan CBE, Chairman, Ricardo; Clair Mowbray, CEO of the National College for High Speed Rail (NCHSR); Michelle Nolan-McSweeney, Head of Training Strategy at Network Rail; Simon Rennie, General Manager, NTAR; Daniel Woodland, IRSE and Emanuel Wuethrich, Senior Advisor and Senior Lecturer, SFIVET

Registration Fees

Participation Tier Standard RateUoB Graduate or YRP Member Rate UoB Student Rate
3-day Seminar including Gala Dinner & the Education and Training Workshop at the National College for High Speed Rail                              £530                            £400                              £200                           
2-day Seminar only which includes a seat at the Gala Dinner  £450  £350  £150
Education and Training Workshop at National College for High Speed Rail only  £150  £100  £50
Gala Dinner only £50 £50 £25
Exhibition stand and access for one person to the 2 day Seminar and Gala Dinner  £1000  N/A  N/A


For special room rates at Hampton by Hilton (Broad Street, Birmingham), please click here to book by Friday 16th March.

Other available hotels:

Crowne Plaza Birmingham  Telephone: +44 (0) 121 224 5000
Jurys Inn Birmingham   Telephone: +44 (0) 121 606 9000
Malmaison Birmingham   Telephone: +44 (0) 121 794 3004
Hotel Ibis Birmingham New Street Station   Telephone: +44 (0) 121 619 9000