Mr Stephen Kent MSc FHEA

Department of Civil Engineering
Teaching / Research Fellow

Contact details

Birmingham Centre for Railway Research & Education
School of Engineering
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Stephen Kent is a Teaching / Research Fellow at the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE).

Stephen spent 16 years working in the UK railway industry in areas including wheel / rail adhesion and vehicle dynamics. Since joining the University in 2010, he has supported the University’s MSc in Railway Systems Engineering and Integration MSc course, and undertaken a wide range of research in areas including hydrogen traction and rail decarbonisation.


  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2017)
  • MSc in Railway Systems Engineering, University of Sheffield, 1998
  • Chartered Member of the IMechE (1998 to 2022)
  • BEng (Honours) in Mechanical Engineering, Heriot-Watt University, 1993


Stephen qualified with First Class Honours in Mechanical Engineering from Heriot-Watt University in 1993. He then joined British Rail Research, initially working for the Track and Civil Engineering Department. During this time, he started his MSc in Railway Systems Engineering on a part time basis at Sheffield University. He then spent several years as a key member of the Braking and Adhesion Team.

During this time, the company changed to become AEA Technology Rail where Stephen became a member of the Vehicle Dynamics Team. After a number of years working in this area, the company changed again to become DeltaRail, where he took on the role of Strategic Bid Manager.

Stephen joined the BCRRE team at the University of Birmingham in 2010 as a Teaching Fellow, supporting the University’s MSc in Railway Systems Engineering & Integration (RSEI) programme. His role was then expanded to include a wide range of railway research including the development of hydrogen traction for rail, and the decarbonisation of rolling stock.


  • MSc in Railway Systems Engineering and Integration
  • Advanced Topics in Railway Engineering (4th Year MEng)

Other activities

Stephen represents academia on the rail industry’s Independent Powered Traction Working Group.


  • DECARB: Whole Life Carbon Reduction in Trains Through Effective Design and Specification – RSSB Research Report T1237 (RSSB, 2022)
  • Project Hyd-Energy: Feasibility and Concept Design of Future Hydrail Enabled Railway Depots (RSSB, 2020)
  • Options for Traction Energy Decarbonisation in Rail – RSSB Research Report T1145 (RSSB, 2018)

View all publications in research portal