Future of Rail Conference 24 February 2023 – University of Wollongong

The RTSA is supporting this event, RTSA National Chair Roy Unny will be speaking about micro-credentials in Rail.

The Future of Rail Workshop is 1 day in-person workshop to address the everyday needs of a multi-disciplinary work force that plans, designs, constructs, operates and maintains the nations rail infrastructure.

Distinguished Professor Zhengyi Jiang, Director of ARC Industry Transformation Training Centre (ITTC) in Rail (2018 – 2022) & ARC ITTC for Innovative Composites for the Future of Sustainable Mining Equipment (2023– 2027), jointly with Deputy Director ARC ITTC in Rail, Olivia Mirza, and Centre Chief Investigators Mike Meylan and Jayan S. Vinod, invites participation from university students and their supervisors, ECRs, engineers, engineering researchers, engineering managers, and others in the rail sector.

Rail testing facility at Russel Vale: University of Wollongong

Rail testing facility at Russel Vale: University of Wollongong

Snapshot of ARC ITTC Rail

$7.3 million rail training centre, prioritising inter-disciplinary research and industry engagement, training and development of 21 PhD students and 3 postdoctoral fellows. About 95 per cent of the centre’s publications in top quartile journals (2020).  Research outcomes have led to trial testing of new rail sleepers for Transport for NSW, and seeded a now established research project with Metro Trains Sydney. Additional projects are contributing to train safety.

RTSA member discounted rate

$396 AUD per person

Click here to register.

Workshop Agenda

The full day, in person sessions on 24 Feb 2023, at the University of Wollongong (UOW), includes four core technical modules in the morning, a visit to an instrumented track test demonstration at the Russell Vale Rail Test Facility during lunch session, and an industry panel session in the afternoon featuring a number of invited industry speakers.  The participants will have the opportunity to experience first-hand some of the large scale and robust physical testing models at the UOW.   Opportunities at a new ARC major investment awarded to UOW will also be presented.

Lunch, bus trip and post workshop refreshments are complementary for the one-day workshop.  An informal dinner at the Lagoon Wollongong Beach, is optional.


Morning sessions – Four core technical modules

The morning sessions on 24 Feb are based on and further developed from four core technical modules presented in by the trainers as online short courses to the railway industry in July & August 2022.  The workshop contents are designed and delivered by the above four highly experienced chief investigators (trainers), who are all leaders in their fields. All sessions are to be highly interactive. This workshop will focus on implementation and deeper development of the necessary technical essentials. It will be presented in industry friendly terminology and technical language.

  • Defining problems for solutions, by Professor Olivia Mirza, Western Sydney University – This lecture is about industry-academia two-way relationships. The presentation will cover the initial conversation between industry and academia, and how to keep this partnership active and open for discussion. In this relationship, academia has to understand the industry needs. The innovative solution needs to have agreement by both parties. With the industry support, innovation solution can be applied to real life project(s).
  • Deep learning applications for infrastructure projects, by Professor Mike Meylan, The University of Newcastle – Almost every business in Australia could benefit from the applications of AI. The question

    is whether it is cost effective to do so, and whether it is the right time to do so. So we are going to talk about the implementations and processes of how, why, and when to do it. There will be high level, big picture material and the opportunity to ask questions and give input. There will be examples where this technology could be implemented in the railway industry.

  • Design and maintenance of ballasted tracks, by Associate Professor, Jayan S Vinod, University of Wollongong – The presentation will cover the fundamental knowledge of track geotechnology, leading to the ballast design. In addition, there will an interactive session to discuss problems faced by industry. This presentation will draw on the use of some of the large experimental testing facilities available at UOW for physical model testing of ballast and track.
  • Early vendor involvement (EVI) for applications, by Distinguished Professor Zhengyi Jiang, Director of the ITTC – Rail Facility, University of Wollongong – This presentation will highlight fundamentals and prototyping of new products or devices, showing real application of the research findings and issues of industry partners, providing service for the requirement from end users, and enhancing the exchanges between academia and industry researchers. We will use engineering language to facilitate attendees’ understanding.


Lunch session – Test demonstration at the facility at Russell Vale (RV)

The RV facility enables testing of a real-size (1:1 scale) instrumented track section. The track section will be subjected to continuous cyclic loading via two pairs of dynamic actuators. The test will be carried out under a 15-25 T axle load at a frequency of 15HZ (around 60-80 km/hr at standard gauge tracks). The testing facility is capable of capturing track settlements, lateral deformation, transient vertical and lateral stresses, rail and sleeper acceleration, and ballast breakage.


Afternoon Industry led session

It is anticipated some of the key areas of interest to the rail industry, including assessment of current condition of assets and potential extension of design life, micro-credentials for the rail industry and application of remote and non-destructive technologies will be addressed in the industry led session. Those interested in addressing any of the above topics or other key industry interest areas can contact the Manager, ARC – ITTC Rail, Helen Jiang, [email protected].