Professor Clive Roberts FIRSE FIET

Professor Clive Roberts

Department of Electronic, Electrical and Systems Engineering
Professor of Railway Systems
Head of School of Engineering
Director of the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education Lead for the UK Railway Research and Innovation Network

Contact details

Address
School of Engineering
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT
UK

Clive is Professor of Railway Systems and Head of the School of Engineering at the University of Birmingham.  He is Director of the University’s Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education, which has over 180 researchers. He works extensively with the railway industry and academia in Britain and overseas. 

Clive leads a broad portfolio of research aimed at improving the performance of railway systems, including leading the UK Railway Research and Innovation Network (UKRRIN) - a £92M academia/industry collaboration, as well as initiatives to encourage SMEs to work in the rail sector. In 2017 his group was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Further and Higher Education for supporting the UK and international railway industries. His main research interests lie in the areas of railway systems research including: railway simulation, future control strategies, traffic management and operations, condition monitoring, data integration and cybersecurity, power system design and energy efficiency, and overall system integration. In 2021 The University of Birmingham will take over the operation of the National College for Advanced Transportation and Infrastructure – an initiative that Clive has been instrumental is driving forward.

Clive is a Visiting Professor at Beijing Jiaotong University and Universiti Tun Hussein Onn (Malaysia).  He is a Fellow of the Institute of Railway Signalling Engineers (IRSE) and serves on the IRSE Council, Fellow of the Institute of Engineering and Technology and co-chair of the IEEE Technical Committee on Railroad Systems and Applications. He is the founder of two university spin-out companies, both of which have proceeded to receive industry investment. He is a member of: the Advisory Board for the UK Railway Industry’s Technical Leadership Group and has contributed significantly to the 2020 UK Rail Technical Strategy. He is a member of the Technical Advisory Panel to the Board of SMRT (Singapore), and a Technical Advisor to Guangzhou Metro (China).

Qualifications

• PhD in Electronic and Electrical Engineering (University of Birmingham)
• BEng (Hons) in Electronics (University of Wales, Cardiff)
• MIET

Biography

Clive graduated from the University of Wales, Cardiff with a BEng (Hons) in Electronics in 1996. He then went on to work at Lucas Aerospace in Birmingham as a Software Engineer for just over a year.
In 1997 he joined the University of Birmingham as a Research Fellow and began working on projects looking at railway condition monitoring of railway infrastructure assets.
In 2001 he became a Lecturer. In 2007 he was promoted to the role of Senior Research Fellow and took on the role of Director of Research for the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education. In 2010 he became Professor of Railway Systems.

Teaching

Teaching Programmes
• Year 1 - Student Induction.
• Year 2 - Project Management and Professional Practice
• Year 2 - Electrical Power
• MSc - Railway Systems Engineering for Dependability
• MSc - Small Embedded Systems

Postgraduate supervision

Clive currently supervises a group of 16 PhD students. Most years scholarships are available to able students who have a genuine interest in the area of railway research.

Research

RESEARCH THEMES
Clive’s research interests lie in the areas of: systems engineering; system modelling and simulation; traffic management; fault detection and diagnosis; and data collection and decision support, applied to railway traction, signalling, mechanical interactions and capacity.

RESEARCH ACTIVITY
Current research projects include:
• EC FP7 - Development of Novel Inspection Systems for Railway Wheel-sets (SAFERAIL) www.saferail.net (2008-2011)

• Department for Transport – Railway Capability Trade-offs (2009-2011)

• EC FP7 - High-Speed Inspection of Railway Track Systems (INTERAIL) www.interailproject.eu (2009-2012)

• EC FP7 - Novel Integrated Condition Monitoring (NIMO) for Wind Turbines www.nimoproject.eu (2009-2012)

• AWM - Hybrid Transport System Integration Laboratory www.birminghamsciencecity.co.uk (2009-2014)

• Singapore Land Transit Authority - Single Train Simulator Development (2010-2011)

• Network Rail - Switch locking mechanism analysis (2010-2011)

• EPSRC - Development and deployment of decision support algorithms for railway systems (2010-2011)

• EPSRC - Railway Track for the 21st Century (Track21) www.track21.org.uk

• EPSRC CASE - Development of a semantic data model to support data interoperability in the railway industry (2010-2014)

• EPSRC CASE - Simulation and testing of railway traffic management and train control algorithms (2010-2014)

• Southern Railway - Conductor shoe monitoring (2010-2011)

• National Nature Science Foundation of China - Energy usage optimisation for railway operations (2010-2011)

• EPSRC - Factor 20 Feasibility Study (2011)

• Ascent Dynamics (Hong Kong) – Multi-train simulation for power system dimensioning for Kuala Lumpur Metro (2011)

• Network Rail – Support for intelligent infrastructure (2011-2013)

• EC FP7 - Augmented Usage of Track by Optimisation of Maintenance, Allocation and Inspection of Railway Networks (AUTOMAIN) www.automain.eu (2011-2014)

• EC FP7 - Optimal networks for train integration management across Europe (ON-TIME) (2011-2014)

Publications

• Journal Article - Roberts, C., Goodman, C.J., Dassanayake, H.P., Lehrasab, N. (2002). Distributed quantitative and qualitative fault diagnosis: Railway junction case study, Control Engineering Practice, 10(4): 419-429.

• Journal Article - Takagi, R., Goodman, C.J., Roberts, C. (2003). Modelling passenger flows at a transport interchange using Petri Nets, Proceedings of the IMechE: Part F – Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit, 217(2): 125-134.

• Journal Article - Weston, P., Ling, C.S., Roberts, C., Goodman, C.J., Li, P., Goodall, R.M. (2007). Monitoring vertical track irregularity from in-service railway vehicles, Proceedings of the IMechE: Part F – Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit, 221(1): 75-88.

• Journal Article - Weston, P., Ling, C.S., Goodman, C.J., Roberts, C., Li, P., Goodall, R.M. (2007). Monitoring lateral track irregularity from in-service railway vehicles, Proceedings of the IMechE: Part F – Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit, 221(1), 89-100.

• Journal Article - Hillmansen, S., Roberts, C. (2007). Requirements for energy storage devices in hybrid railway vehicles: a kinematic analysis, Proceedings of the IMechE: Part F – Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit, 221(1): 135-143.

• Journal Article - Bocharnikov, Y., Tobias, A., Roberts, C., Hillmansen, S., Goodman, C.J. (2007). Optimal driving strategy for traction energy saving on DC suburban railways, IET Research Journal: Electric Power Applications, 1(5): 675-682.

• Journal Article - Chen, J., Roberts, C., Weston, P. (2008). Fault diagnosis for railway track circuits using neuro-fuzzy systems, Control Engineering Practice, 16(5): 585-596.

• Journal Article - Garcia, F., Lewis, R., Tobias, A., Roberts, C. (2008). Life cycle costs for railway condition monitoring, Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, 44(6): 1175-1187.

• Journal Article - Papaelias, M., Roberts, C., Davis, C. (2008). A review on non-destructive evaluation of rails: State-of-the-art and future development, Proceedings of the IMechE: Part F – Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit, 222(4): 367-384.

• Journal Article - Papaelias, M., Lugg, M., Roberts, C., Davis, C. (2009). High-speed inspection of rails using ACFM techniques, NDT&E International, 42, 328-335.

• Journal Article - Lewis, R., Roberts, C. (2010). Using non-monotonic reasoning to manage uncertainty in railway asset diagnostics, Expert Systems with Applications, 37(5): 3616-3623.

• Journal Article - Silmon, J., Roberts, C. (2010). Using functional analysis to determine the required performance: railway level crossings safety equipment case study, Reliability Engineering and System Safety, 95(3): 216-225.

• Journal Article - Meegahawatte, D., Hillmansen, S., Roberts, C., Falco, M., McGordon, A., Jennings, P. (2010). Analysis of a fuel cell hybrid commuter railway vehicle, Journal of Power Sources, 195, 7829-7837.

• Journal Article - Silmon, J., Roberts, C. (2010). Improving switch reliability with innovative condition monitoring techniques, Proceedings of the IMechE: Part F – Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit, 224(4): 293-302.

• Journal Article - Chen, L., Schmid, F., Dasigi, M., Ning, B., Roberts, C., Tang, T. (2010). Real-time train rescheduling in junction areas, Proceedings of the IMechE: Part F – Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit, 224(6): 547-557.

• Journal Article - Stewart, E., Weston, P., Hillmansen, S., Roberts, C., (2011). Using bogie-mounted sensors to understand the dynamics of 3rd rail current collection systems, Proceedings of the IMechE: Part F – Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit, 225(2), 219-227.

• Journal Article - Lu, S., Hillmansen, S., Roberts, C. (2011). A power management strategy for multiple unit railroad vehicles, IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology, 60(2), 406-420.

• Journal Article - Easton, J., Davies, J., Roberts, C. (2011). Ontology engineering: The “What’s”, “Why’s”, and “How’s” of data exchange, International Journal of Decision Support System Technology, 3(1), 40-53.

• Government Report – Hillmansen, S., Roberts, C., McGordon, A., Jennings, P. (2008). Calculation of Energy Consumption of Hybrid High Speed Trains, published by the University of Birmingham for the Department for Transport.

• Government Report – Hillmansen, S., Roberts, C., McGordon, A., Jennings, P. (2008). Calculation of Energy Consumption of Commuter Trains, published by the University of Birmingham for the Department for Transport.

• Roberts, C., Schmid, F., Connor, P., Ramdas, V., Sharpe, J. (2010). A New Railway System Capacity Model, published by Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) for the Department for Transport.

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