Next Generation Rail Conference 2015 recognises innovative railway research

Marcelo Blumenfeld - Next Generation Rail Award
Photograph: Peter Alvey 

Marcelo Blumenfeld Mendonca from the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education at the University of Birmingham won Best Poster for his research on New Metro Systems for 2050 at the Next Generation Rail Conference 2015 last week (Wednesday 1 - Friday 3 July 2015).

The Next Generation Rail Conference, organised by Rail Research UK Association (RRUKA) in collaboration with Young Railway Professionals (YRP) and Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) Future Railway Programme, brings together aspiring rail leaders and educators in order to foster collaboration and innovative thinking.

Keynote speakers included:

  • Kathrin Obst, Director of the European Federation of Inland Ports (EFI)
  • Neil Robertson, CEO, National Skills Academy for Railway Engineering

The poster exhibition provided entrants in the Best Poster competition with a chance to showcase an academic research or an industry project they have been involved in and engage in conversation with other delegates and get their feedback.

Marcelo Blumenfeld Medonca’s research into New Metro Systems was recognised as best poster out of 12 finalists, UK and internationally. His research combines an innovative use of bio-inspired control systems in rail operations, with an optimised operations model that solves the speed inefficiency of metros in large urban areas. As opposed to traditional centralised models, this concept adopts vehicle-to-vehicle communications in order to enable the emergent properties of self-organisation, which in turn, can reduce costs and increase the resilience of systems in reaction to disruptive events.

Marcelo Blumenfeld Mendonca, said:

It was my first time attending the Next Generation Rail conference and I couldn’t be happier with the experience. The conference itself was a very fruitful event to interact with other young professionals from industry and academia, who are looking for innovative ways to improve the railways. Also, the additional workshops included in the programme made it even better, as we could develop skills that will certainly be crucial in our careers. And finally, taking part in the poster competition, and subsequently winning, was an absolute honour. It was a brilliant opportunity to showcase my research and receive feedback from the other attendees. I look forward to participating again next year.