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RTSA Special Event (jointly with IMechE): Felix Schmid – “The Long History and Exciting Future of Railway Systems Thinking”
December 10, 2020 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm UTC+10
This special event is co-hosted with Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE)
Felix Schmid, Chair of the Railway Division of the IMechE for 2020-2021, has chosen ‘The Long History and Exciting Future of Railway Systems Thinking’ as the theme for his Chair’s Address.
He will briefly discuss the concept of the railway as a system of systems and he will reflect on some of the good (and not so good) examples of systems thinking during the early development of the railway as a means of transport for goods and people. He will review some of the major technical breakthroughs that enable today’s high performance railways and he will reflect on some recent developments, where he had an involvement. Felix will argue that not all technological progress is entirely fit for purpose. He will also include some thoughts on his career as an engineer and innovative educator
Born in Zürich, Switzerland, Felix Schmid graduated from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology with a degree in electrical and electronic engineering. Following a brief career in software analysis in his home country, he moved to Manchester, England, to work for GEC Traction as a locomotive control systems engineer.
In 1982 he became a research engineer at UMIST and later a research assistant at the University of Salford. He then joined Brunel University as a lecturer in computer integrated manufacturing. In 1993, he took up a post as a railway inspector with the Swiss Federal Office of Transport but realised quickly that he was not suited to a civil service role. After a year, he returned to Britain and a senior lectureship at the University of Sheffield, where he was employed to develop the MSc programme in Railway Systems Engineering. In 2005, Felix and the programme transferred to the University of Birmingham and the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education. Between 2005 and 2019, he managed three railway related masters programmes and he still supervises research in the areas of railway control, railway operations and systems engineering.
Felix became a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 2003. He is on the Board and the Executive of the Railway Division and has led four Railway Technical Tours between 2016 and 2019. He is currently involved in the planning of the Railway Technical Tour 2020. Felix Schmid has provided contributions to many IMechE railway conferences and seminars, including ten Young Members’ seminars. He is also a fellow of the Institution of Railway Signalling Engineers and of the Permanent Way Institution.
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