Efficient and Cost-effective Rail Maintenance

Professor Peter Woodward has a PhD in the field of numerical geotechnics from the University of Manchester. He joined Heriot-Watt University in 1994 as a lecturer in Geotechnical Engineering and in 2010 was promoted to Professor of Railway Technical Engineering. During his PhD he worked for WS Atkins in the field of earthquake engineering, analysis and design.

Prof. Woodward has been seconded to industry for 1 day per week working on the application of polyurethane geocomposites to railway track stabilisation and reinforcement – XiTrack. This patented technology was spun-out from Heriot-Watt University and is now widely used across the UK railways and increasingly internationally.

 Balfour Beatty were investigating ways of reducing both the cost of maintenance and the amount of maintenance required when they became of Peter’s work with XiTrack. Through Balfour Beatty’s knowledge of what was required and how it may be applied to make the product and the idea work on an operating railway. Use of this system led to a three time increase in the speed of deployment of repairs.

Learn more about this innovation and its’ application in the video below.

If you are interested in learning more about consultancy services available through Heriot-Watt, please contact us and we will work with you to tailor a consultancy programme that meets your requirements please contact Iain McEwan, Business Development Executive at I.McEwan@hw.ac.uk.

Industry Day Speaker – Dr Guy Walker

Dr Guy Walker, Lecturer in the School of the Built Environment, will discuss ‘Roadworks ahead: How human factors are being used to design faster, safer traffic management” at the Industry Day, 2013.

Dr Guy Walker

Dr Guy Walker is a lecturer in Infrastructure and Transports in Heriot Watt’s School of the Built Environment. He specialises in transportation engineering on the undergraduate Civil Engineering courses, and Human Factors Engineering on the Safety & Risk post-graduate programmes.

Starting out as a Research Fellow, Dr Walker has worked with Brunel University, where he and his colleagues were awarded the Ergonomics Society’s President’s Medal  for the impact and practical application of their human factors research. From there he became a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Southampton before joining Heriot Watt in 2009.

Dr Walker is also the author/co-author of a number of highly regarded publications, including over 70 journal articles and 10 books, including a major text on Human Factor methods. His current areas of research include:-

  • Human Factors Methods – Referring to the role of humans in systems, in areas such as transportation, the energy sector and the built environment.
  • Intelligent Transport Systems – Using Human Factors research to resolve problems resistant to conventional Technological  interventions.
  • Extending Human Factors – Improving the current ‘state of the art’ in response to the challenges of the information age, using sociotechnical systems theory and complexity science in order to understand modern Human Factors problems.

Dr Walker is also member of the Edinburgh Research Partnership in Engineering & Mathematics, a consortium ‘dedicated to world-class research, innovation and education in engineering and mathematical science’.

Dr Walker will be speaking during Parallel Session 4 – ‘Networks & Infrastructure’

To book your place at Industry Day 2013, please click here.

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