RRUKA’s first University Showcase

Welcome to Cranfield University by Prof Andrew Starr, Head of the Through-life Engineering Services Institute and RRUKA Executive Committee Member

RRUKA organised the first ‘University showcase’ at Cranfield University on 24 May 2016.

These events are great platforms for Universities to present their research and facilities to industry.

RRUKA played a ‘match maker’ role by bringing together a cross industry group interested in visiting state-of-the-art academic facilities and a relevant RRUKA Institutional member.

The Technical and Standards Forum (T&SF) group, managed by the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) and chaired by Simon Green, Southern Railway, held their monthly meeting at Cranfield University in the morning. Over 20 TOCs representatives attended the meeting.

This was followed by a networking lunch and a number of short presentations on ongoing projects about autonomous maintenance for high value assets and optimisation of wheel set maintenance and rolling contact fatigue. To conclude, the group attended a very interesting tour of three labs available on campus:

  • the crash investigation lab, led by Dr Matt Greaves
  • the virtual and augmented reality, led by Dr John Erkoyuncu
  • and the Integrated Vehicle Health Management, led by Dr Zakwan Skaf

IMG_5798 IMG_5797


Photos: The group at the Crash Investigation Lab, where the University trains investigators to gain hands-on experience in dealing with real evidence and simulation of accidents. The lab includes a model of the Pendolino train involved in the Grayrigg accident (on the left) and real wreckages of train, airplanes and boats.

Do you know… Cranfield offers an MSc in Safety and Accident Investigation for Rail Transport as well as Applied Rail Accident Investigation Workshop Series for rail professionals.

The visit provided Cranfield academics a great networking opportunity and highlighted potential collaborations for future work.

The members of the T&SF group would like to thank RRUKA for the opportunity and the staff from Cranfield University for their hospitality.

Mark Molyneux, Head of Engineering, ATOC, said:

“Many thanks for allowing ATOC to host our Technical and Standards Forum meeting at Cranfield University. After the meeting, our train operator members greatly appreciated the tour of the facilities which gave us all a unique insight into the range of activities and services that Cranfield are able to offer in terms of accident investigation, asset management and virtual/augmented reality.

Of particular interest to me was to discover that the aviation, defence and automotive sectors also experience significant problems identifying the root cause of faulty components and the “No Fault Found” initiative that Cranfield University are pioneering has immediate relevance to the rail industry.”

If you are part of a cross-industry group and would like to organise one of your meetings at an RRUKA University, or if you are a University and would like to host a ‘showcase’ visit, please get in touch with us at secretariat@rruka.org.uk.


From right: Hugh O’Neill, Professional Head of Rolling Stock, RSSB; Prof Andrew Starr, Cranfield University; Giulia Lorenzini, Partnerships Manager, RSSB/RRUKA

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