The Institute of Railway Research (IRR) within the School of Computing and Engineering at The University of Huddersfield is a world-leading centre in the field of railway engineering and safety.
Our research has helped to improve knowledge of the way in which railway vehicles interact with the track including key performance aspects such as suspension performance, wheel-rail contact, traction and braking. In collaboration with industry and academic partners, this work has led to a number of new tools and techniques which are now used to predict deterioration of railway wheels and rails, to optimise the vehicle track interface, to increase safety and reliability levels, reduce cost and improve performance of the railway system.
A large proportion of the IRR’s research is of special relevance to the agendas of safety, sustainability and carbon reduction. For example, new materials, manufacturing technologies and systems of maintenance and condition-monitoring can increase cost-effectiveness for rail operators, and the transition to electrification can be accelerated by research that will make overhead power distribution much more efficient and reliable.
An example of the close collaboration of the institute with industry has been its long term strategic partnership with RSSB. This allowed the Institute to expand its team by 10 full-time staff and develop a new field of research in the application of big data to understanding and predicting rail safety and operational risk.
In 2014 a grant of £4M from the Regional Growth Fund allowed us to set up the ‘Centre for Innovation in Rail’ (CIR), which has supported the development of innovative new products and growing employment in SMEs in the industry supply chain.
The IRR was a founder member of the UK Rail Research and Innovation Network (UKRRIN) which is a partnership between the railway industry and the leading academic institutions carrying out railway research. The IRR hosts the UKRRIN Centre of Excellence in Rolling Stock.
In 2019 we were very proud that the IRR was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary prize “for research and development that has brought significant improvements to the railway industry.”
Director of the IRR
If you would like to know more about our areas of expertise or wish to discuss research opportunities with the Institute of Railway Research then please contact us on the details below:
Institute of Railway Research
University of Huddersfield
Tel: +44 (0)1484 472030
For directions to the University campus see Campus maps and Directions
The Institute of Railway Research is located in corridor T5 of the Technology Building which is in the centre of the below map.