Joined September 2008
I joined British Rail Research as a graduate because it was the most interesting job I was offered, and the rail industry provided lots of opportunities. I graduated in Maths from Cambridge University, and went straight into an engineering role. I’ve been a professional engineer ever since: BRR supported me in becoming a Member, and later Fellow, of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE).
I am a technical expert in vehicle dynamics and interactions. This covers a range of topics including track damage, wheel-rail contact, derailment, vehicle ride and passenger comfort. At BRR I was involved in both the practical, experimental work and the theoretical developments, including on what is now the ‘Vampire’ vehicle dynamics software. I got the opportunity to become involved in European standards work, expanding my knowledge and my network. I moved up the organisation, taking on management roles, while still maintaining technical involvement.
I joined RSSB in 2008. Initially my focus was on vehicle-track interaction. I advised European committees and supported R&D projects. In 2010, I took on the role of Professional Head of Infrastructure, which allowed me to become more involved in standards work and lead the Infrastructure Standards Committee. I stepped down from that role in 2016 to concentrate again on the technical areas. I’m still involved in standards, but now also provide input into a range of R&D and Innovation projects. Along the way, I became involved in developing the industry strategy on the Platform Train Interface and have found that another very interesting and technically challenging area.
RSSB supported my voluntary role of Chairman of the IMechE Railway Division in 2012-2013 and, more recently, my appointment as an Honorary Professor at Birmingham University and as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. I thoroughly enjoy the wide variety of opportunity that the rail industry offers.