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Impact of transient aerodynamics on railway infrastructure and operations

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  • Full or part time
    Dr A Quinn
    Prof C Baker
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

The movement of rail vehicles creates a variety of aerodynamic features which impact on passenger comfort, safety and reliability of services. Railway standards and certification ensure such criteria are met by all services but it has been shown that in some cases these standards are conservative and inhibit faster operation by modern rolling stock, for example by imposing speed restrictions through some tunnels. As part of existing ongoing research a large body of measurements of transient aerodynamic features have been measured on an operational train. Such data potentially represent an opportunity to review the existing railway standards in terms of a probabilistic risk assessment and make recommendations about where restrictions are overly conservative. The project would involve analysis of the data collected, modelling of specific events to validate understanding, conducting risk assessments and making recommendations. The project might also involve additional full-scale measurements, model-scale or computational modelling of specific cases where appropriate. Such work would be conducted in conjunction with a range of industry stakeholders and would seek to make recommendations for changes to appropriate standards.
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Funding Notes

This research project is one of a number of projects at this institution. It is in competition for funding with one or more of these projects. Usually the project which receives the best applicant will be awarded the funding. The funding is only available to UK citizens or those who have been resident in the UK for a period of 3 years or more.

Non-UK Students: If you have the correct qualifications and access to your own funding, either from your home country or your own finances, your application to work on this project will be considered.


Baker C J; Jordan S; Gilbert T; Sterling M; Quinn A; Johnson T and Lane J. (2014) Transient aerodynamic pressures and forces on trackside and overhead structures due to passing trains. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part F, Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit. 228(1) 37-70.
Baker, C J; Quinn, AD; Sima, M; Hoefener, L and Licciardello, R. (2013) Full-scale measurement and analysis of train slipstreams and wakes: Part 2 Gust analysis. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part F: Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit. doi: 10.1177/0954409713488098

How good is research at University of Birmingham in Civil and Construction Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 18.10

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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