Portrait of Dr Philip Shackleton Dr Philip Shackleton

p.a.shackleton@hud.ac.uk | 01484 472087



After graduating from Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) in 2004 with a First Class Honours degree in Mechanical Engineering, Philip went on to complete his PhD at MMU – entitled An Optimised Wheel-Rail Contact Model for Vehicle Dynamics Simulation.

In 2009 Philip Joined the Rail Technology Unit at MMU where he worked primarily on industry focussed research which covered topics such as: the prediction of rolling contact fatigue and vertical track damage for Network Rail, the measurement of cyclic wear patterns for Docklands Light Railway, constructing a case for the revision of a Railway Group Standard for Rail Safety and Standards Board.

In 2012 Philip moved to the University of Huddersfield along with the rest of the Rail Technology Unit staff, which formed the new Institute of Railway Research. He currently engages in a variety of work including: undergraduate and postgraduate student supervision; European funded research projects; and commercial research, consultancy and innovation activities.

Research and Scholarship

Philip has developed his expertise in the area of vehicle dynamics and vehicle-track interaction which he applies in topics such as: derailment investigation; supporting standards revisions; and damage predictions for assets management.

Philip’s research career started with his PhD entitled An Optimised Wheel-Rail Contact Model for Vehicle Dynamics Simulation. In which he developed a novel wheel-rail contact model and investigated the possibilities for measuring the contact stress at the wheel-rail interface using ultrasonics.                                                  

Philip has contributed to a number of recent European Union Framework 7 (FP7) and Horizon 2020 (H2020) research projects, including DRail, SUSTRAIL and In2Rail. He led the university’s contribution to the EU FP7 SPECTRUM project and continues to lead the IRR’s engagement in the H2020 WRIST project.

Publications and Other Research Outputs


Grossoni, I., Shackleton, P., Bezin, Y. and Jaiswal, J. (2017) ‘Longitudinal rail weld geometry control and assessment criteriaEngineering Failure Analysis , 80, pp. 352-367. ISSN 1350-6307

Zhao, Y., Iwnicki, S., Allen, P. and Shackleton, P. (2017) ‘Mathematical modelling of a full-scale roller rig to improve predictions of vehicle curving behaviour’. In: First International Conference on Rail Transportation, 10-12th July 2017, Chengdu, China


Allen, P. and Shackleton, P. (2016) ‘Wheels v Rails’. In: IMechE Railway Division Seminar, Annual Guest Lecture, 7th December 2016, London, UK , pp. 1-37

Shackleton, P., Bezin, Y., Crosbee, D., Molyneux-Berry, P. and Kaushal, A. (2016) ‘Development of a new running gear for the Spectrum intermodal vehicle’. In: IAVSD 24th International Symposium on Dynamics of Vehicles on Roads and Tracks, 17th - 21st August 2015, Graz, Austria


Shackleton, P (2015) ‘Benchmarks for rail vehicle dynamics simulation’. In: FRA Vehicle?Track Simulation Software Workshop, 30 June - 01 July 2015, Volpe Center, Cambridge, MA

Shackleton, P., Bezin, Y., Crosbee, D., Molyneux-Berry, P. and Kaushal, A. (2015) ‘The Spectrum Bogie’. In: Engineering & Operating New Logistics for a New Parliament: Rail Freight - The Way Forward (REF Tehcnical Seminar), 15 June 2015, Institution of Civil Engineers, Great George Street, London


Shackleton, P., Stow, J., Eickhoff, B. and Osman, M. (2013) ‘Reducing the Diameter of Freight Vehicle Wheels – The Suitability of Q/D as a Control for Wheel-Rail Contact Stress’. In: World Congress on Railway Research, 25th - 28th November 2013, Sydney, Australia

Allen, P., Shackleton, P. and Bevan, A. (2013) ‘Application of In-track Vertical Wheel Load Measurement Data for the Early Indication of Derailment Risk and Wheel Tread Damage’. In: 2nd RRUKA Annual Conference, 21st November 2013, London, UK


Vollebregt, E., Iwnicki, S., Xie, G. and Shackleton, P. (2012) ‘Assessing the accuracy of different simplified frictional rolling contact algorithmsVehicle System Dynamics , 50 (1), pp. 1-17. ISSN 1744-5159


Shackleton, P. and Iwnicki, S. (2008) ‘Comparison of wheel-rail contact codes for railway vehicle simulation: an introduction to the Manchester Contact Benchmark and initial resultsVehicle System Dynamics , 46 (1), pp. 129-149. ISSN 0042-3114


In 2015 Philip was invited to present on the subject of ‘benchmarking’ at the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) ‘Vehicle Track Interaction (VTI) Modelling Best Practices Workshop’ held in Cambridge, MA. The purpose of the workshop was to help inform the FRA’s future expenditure on VTI modelling research activities.

Philip has also acted as peer reviewer for journal articles submitted within his field of expertise.

Associate Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers

Research Degree Supervision

Current opportunities

  • Please contact this member of staff to discuss possible opportunities.

Enterprise Activities

Philip has worked on a large number of commercial consultancy projects for companies such as: Network Rail, the Rail Safety and Standards Board, Docklands Light Railway, the Rail Accident Investigation Branch, the Office of Rail and Road and Mott MacDonald.

Administrative Responsibilities

Undertaking a host of activities related to the group’s research and enterprise activities, these include developing analytical code and tools in Matlab, vehicle dynamics modelling using multi-body simulation software such as VAMPIRE and undertaking onsite track surveys.

Philip is the designated Safety Officer for the Institute of Railway Research.

Teaching and Professional Activities

Philip supervises final year Mechanical Engineering students during their major projects, which focus around the Institution of Mechanical Engineers ‘Railway Challenge’ competition. The annual competition (which forms the railway equivalent of Formula Student) sees the undergraduate students design and build a 101/4” gauge locomotive, before competing with other university and industry teams at the competition weekend.