RTSA awards

2014 Dr. Sagheer Abbas Ranjha

Post Graduate Thesis Award 2014

THESIS: Effect of head wear on rail under head radius stresses and fracture under high axle load conditions

2014 Post Graduate Thesis Award


Dr. Sagheer Abbas Ranjha

 Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

Place of Study: Swinburne University of Technology

The research for the thesis, and related publications, was conducted to evaluate the possibility of the rail failure risk associated with rapid fracture behaviour of pre-existing Rolling Contact Fatigue cracks and fatigue damage at the radius under the head. Particular attention is given to the qualitative assessment of the transition to crack growth in the presence of a tension spike at the under head radius.

A study was conducted to investigate the unstable growth of single and multiple pre-existing Rolling Contact Fatigue cracks, especially the tendency for a rail break due to rapid fracture under high axle loads. These conditions are typical to those experienced in Australian heavy haul iron ore railways.

Dr. Sagheer Abbas Ranjha receiving the 2014 Post Graduate Thesis Award from Adam Morris, RTSA Victoria Chapter Chair

2014 Post Graduate Thesis Award

Runner Up

Mr. Shah Sanjar Nafis Ahmad


Research Masters Degree

Thesis: Ensuring track safety and reducing unnecessary train speed restrictions in hot weather by the application of a unified track stability management tool


Place of Study: Central Queensland University

The thesis, and related publications, assesses the practices and procedures that are adopted by different railways to manage track stability and prepares a gap analysis. This is with the objective of identifying best practice and assisting in the development of a common track stability management standard.

From the results of the gap analysis and an understanding of the theory of track buckling a tool to better manage track stability was developed which offers guidance on scheduled inspections and the imposition of speed restrictions. The underlying research was supported by the CRC for Rail Innovation.

Shah Ahmad receiving the 2014 Post Graduate Thesis Runner-Up Award from Clive Shepherd, RTSA Queensland Chapter Chair