Future Railway Systems: Mechatronics and Autonomy for Railway Infrastructure

University of Birmingham - Civil Engineering; Railway Engineering

Railway infrastructure systems (such as track switches and level crossings) rely upon mechanical technology which has changed very little over the last two centuries. Our researchers at the Birmingham Centre for Rail Research and Education are challenging conventional thinking and working to transform the design and operational concepts of rail systems. The vision is for future systems to be autonomous, self-monitoring and self-maintaining; they will make the most of robotics and automation techniques that have the potential to dramatically improve performance and reliability. This project will take state-of-the-art algorithms from the fields of control systems, mechatronics and artificial intelligence and develop them to provide new solutions for rail. The efficacy of the proposed methods will be demonstrated through a combination of industrial strength simulation and laboratory concept demonstrators.

The PhD will be based in the School of Engineering at Birmingham University and the successful candidate will join the Control Systems team at the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE).  The BCRRE holds a world leading position in the sector. We also lead the UK’s premier rail research activity, UKRRIN (the UK Rail Research and Innovation Network), through which we have strong links to the industry. Our team of internationally recognised academics are leading experts in a range of fields from railway engineering, to mechatronics, control, systems engineering.

A good first degree (typically BEng or Masters) in Engineering or equivalent Science subject is required.

We welcome applications from students with their own funding. Also, strong candidates will be considered for a scholarship which would include: Full funding (fees + EPSRC stipend) for home/EU students, fees for O/S students.

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Midlands of England