Manu Sasidharan FIHE

Manu Sasidharan

Department of Civil Engineering
Research Fellow

Contact details

University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Manu Sasidharan is a Research Fellow at the School of Engineering, focussing on asset management of linear modes of transportation.

He investigates questions related to quality, safety and costs associated with operation and maintenance of railway infrastructure, both from an engineering and welfare economics perspective. Additionally, he looks at transport as a means to sustainable development; in the context of everyday mobility of rural and urban population.

Manu has a background in civil engineering and project management, and experience in academia and engineering consultancy.


  • PhD in Risk-Informed Asset Management of Railway Infrastructure, University of Birmingham (ongoing)
  • MSc in Civil Engineering and Management, University of Birmingham, 2014
  • Bachelor of Civil Engineering, Anna University, India, 2013
  • Fellow of the Institute of Highway Engineers


Manu joined University of Birmingham as a Research Fellow, on an EPSRC Impact Acceleration funded project to develop a risk-informed asset management system for aiding investment appraisals and decision making for railway track maintenance. His PhD research adopted a system engineering approach to the analysis of whole-life cycle costs of railways, by combining engineering and econometric principles for selecting cost-effective track maintenance strategies. Manu secured the Prestige Grant from the World Transport Research Society to inform on economic railway track maintenance strategies for railways in different countries.

He is also involved in international research projects which are aimed at promoting rural access as a viable component of the implementation strategies for achieving Sustainable Development Goals in Sub Saharan Africa and South Asia.

He is actively involved in furthering UK-India relationships, while working with research, higher-education institutes and government agencies in both countries.


Research interests

Manu’s research interests are in infrastructure asset management, risk management and welfare economics of roads and railways, and sustainable mobility.

Current projects

Risk Informed Track (RITRAK)

The project is funded by UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) via the Impact Acceleration Account to develop a risk informed decision-making tool for the economic appraisal of railway infrastructure investment decisions. The RITRAK project represents a very significant advance for management of railway track maintenance/renewal. This has huge potential for the economic design and preventative (rather than reactive) asset management of new and existing railway track infrastructure. It would aid the decision makers to invest in the most appropriate maintenance strategies for the railway network so that the maximum return on investment can be achieved for the whole railway system. In practice, this means that the tool can be used by strategists to compare different maintenance strategies over the lifetime of the railway track using a risk informed approach and thereby identify the strategy which is most likely to provide the greatest return on the investment. 

Critical role of Rural Transport in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals

A joint research project in partnership with Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT), and supported by UKAid -funded Research for Community Access Partnership (ReCAP). The project aims to promote sustainable rural access as a viable component of the implementation strategies for achieving Sustainable Development Goals and to ensure its inclusion in the high-level, multi-lateral discourse on sustainable transport and rural development. The joint-project brings in effort to raise the awareness of governments and multi-lateral agencies, in particular development banks and United Nations agencies, to understand the key role of rural transport and rural accessibility in contributing to achieving sustainable development.

Other activities

  • Member of Institute of Asset Management
  • Member of Chartered Institute of Highways and Transportation
  • Member of World Transport Research Society
  • Served on the inaugural committee of Young Rail Professionals - West Midlands as Secretary, facilitating the promotion of innovations within the railway industry.
  • Delegate to the Commonwealth Youth Forum of Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2018 and contributed to developing action plans for achieving the sustainable targets set by Paris Agreement.


  • Sasidharan. M, Burrow. M.P.N, Ghataora. G.S, Eskandari Torbaghan. M, (2017), A Review of Risk Management Applications for Railways, Railway Engineering
  • Sasidharan. M, (2017), Integrated Risk-Asset Management for Enhanced Safety in Railways, GTC, Ministry of Indian Railways


  • Sasidharan. M, (2017), Better Rural Transport is Key to Food Security and Zero Hunger