The Rail Research UK Association (RRUKA) is a partnership between the British rail industry and UK universities. Established in 2010, RRUKA builds on a recent resurgence in university-based railway research, and seeks to enhance already strong collaborative relationships between academia and the railway industry.
The core activities of RRUKA are funded by RSSB and Network Rail.
RRUKA is overseen by an executive committee of elected members.
The aims of RRUKA are:
View the RRUKA Capability Statement for further information on its members' expertise within rail.
Aston research is broadly based; exemplified by collaboration with Chiltern Railways to minimise the impact of disruptive incidents for passengers through improved information sharing, including Operations and Information Management, Safety and Security, Project and Supply Chain Management.
The Department for Architecture & Civil Engineering at the University of Bath is currently active in rail-related areas. Additionally the Centre for Innovative Construction Materials (BRE CICM) carries out innovative research in the field of innovative and sustainable construction materials and technologies.
The Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education brings together a multidisciplinary team from across the University of Birmingham to tackle fundamental and applied railway problems.
Brunel University is currently active in three areas of research directly relevant to the railway industry, all of which are within the School of Engineering & Design: Human Factors and Ergonomics, Materials Processing and Structural Health Monitoring.
Cambridge Rail Research (CRR) at the University of Cambridge is an amalgam of expertise in a wide variety of areas such as wheel-rail interface, sustainability and inclusive design.
City University specialises in highly relevant areas of rail including innovative digital and mathematical modelling of new technologies. It is also home to a network of interdisciplinary activity called the City Collaborative Transport Hub.
From Control Systems and Intelligent Transport Systems through to Lean and Customer Experience, Coventry University offers a broad portfolio of expertise in Rail, in addition to highly transferable skills and experience from the automotive and aerospace sectors.
Cranfield University’s strong links with business through its engineering contributes to rail research. Through a number of centres and research groups the university focuses on the technical, safety and behavioural and business aspects of rail.
The De Montfort University Interdisciplinary Group in Intelligent Transport Systems (DIGITS) is a research group of academics who focus on a wide range of intelligent transport and transport infrastructure systems.
The University of Edinburgh has been actively involved with Railway Engineering since 1997 and supports the international “Railway Engineering” conference series.
The University of Essex is a research-intensive institution and is renowned for its quantitative research capability. It also has several schools and research groups with direct relevance to transport and railways.
The Institute of Sustainable Engineering & Technology within the School of Engineering and Build Environment at Glasgow Caledonian University undertakes research in the railway industry and focuses on providing practical solutions for the industry.
The University of Greenwich contributes to rail research through the Department of Civil Engineering and School of Computing & Mathematical Sciences, (including the Fire Safety Engineering Group (FSEG) and Computational Mechanics Reliability Research Group (CMRG)).
Railway research at Heriot-Watt University investigates the main issues for modern rail networks, which include the need to cope with more traffic, heavier loads and higher speeds.
The Institute of Railway Research at the University of Huddersfield has a strong reputation for excellent research and support to industry in the core area of railway vehicle dynamics modelling, wheel-rail interface engineering and vehicle- track interaction.
The Logistics Institute at the University of Hull is the principal and co-investigator in a number of UK and EU funded research projects in the areas of engineering, technology, manufacturing and logistics.
The Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at Imperial College London houses the Centre for Transport Studies (CTS), which leads a number of major national and international research projects and has extensive links with government, local authorities and industry.
The Broadband and Wireless Communications Research at the University of Kent is internationally renowned for research in wireless systems, antennas and phototonics and its activities have been well funded by European and UK bodies.
The University of Leeds hosts the Institute for Transport Studies (ITS), of which one of the key areas of research is the economics of rail transport.
The University of Liverpool is very strong in research in structural dynamics (concerning vehicle-bridge interactions), signal processing for detection and identification, and sensor / actuator technology. Vibration control and intelligent automatic control are also a strength.
Providing 3D simulation integrated with optimisation solutions for rail transport and risk assessment and safety transport solutions; Design and develop protocols/algorithms for Wireless Networks; Characterisation and predictive analysis of behaviour from 'Big Data' (Customer data).
The School of Electronic, Electrical & Systems Engineering at Loughborough University (home to the Control Systems Group with expertise in areas of active suspensions and mechatronic) and the Loughborough Design School are integral in rail research.
The University of Manchester has rail expertise across three schools: Mechanical Aerospace & Civil Engineering; Electrical & Electronic Engineering; and Materials, each of which have specialist collaborative centres and active research groups.
Manchester Metropolitan University has three groups which work within the field of rail technology: the Sensing and Imaging Group (SIG), the Surface Engineering Group and the Applied Chemistry Technologies Group (ACT).
Newcastle University’s Centre for Railway Research (NewRail) acts as an interface between the rail industry and academic, and provides a focus for rail transport research activities across Europe.
Rail Research at the University of Nottingham brings together a wide range of work including human factors, control systems and technologies, infrastructure asset management, track bed structures, satellite positioning, structural health monitoring and power electronics.
Queen Mary University of London undertakes research in risk management and reliability, analysis of network complexity and economics of cities including transport.
The University of Reading provides expertise in the areas of engineering, mathematics and chemistry; in particular energy and infrastructure for on board train and rail network; and further novel surface solutions for rail adhesion and traction.
The multidisciplinary Rail Research Group at the University of Salford covers a range of strategic areas, including railway condition monitoring, vehicle dynamic s and control, wheel-rail contact, traction control, acoustics and vibration and civil engineering.
The University of Sheffield has existing railway research expertise within the Faculty of Engineering, and hosts the Railway Innovation & Technology Research Centre, funded by Network Rail.
The Centre for Infrastructure Management (CIM) at Sheffield Hallam University’ provides R&D and a professional service to the construction, transport and infrastructure sector.
The University of Southampton has extensive expertise and experience in rail research, covering areas such as track systems, earthworks, bridge scour, noise and vibration, demand and capacity modelling, timetabling, appraisal, human factors, tribology and signalling.
The following departments at the University of Strathclyde have worked closely with the rail industry: Psychology, Electronics and Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Statistics, Marketing, Computing and Information Sciences, and Chemistry.
The University of Surrey is currently active in three areas of research directly relevant to the rail industry, all of which are based at the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences: Climate Change Adaptation, Deterioration and Whole Life Analyst and Interlocking Systems - Safety Analysis.
Sussex is a progressive university that cultivates world leading research. Fundamental interests, within Engineering, represent the convergence of control, dynamics, and signal-processing activities applied to transportation with strong focus on energy efficiency and CO2 reduction.
The Swansea Railway Verification Group at Swansea University is active in many rail-related research areas, supported through various industry grants and works closely with Invensys Rail, which has provided full and partially funded research opportunities.
Research at the Centre for Transport and Society (CTS) focuses on the social context of travel behaviour, promoting greater travel equity and low carbon choices, and developing innovative methodologies.
TRL is an internationally recognised independent transport research centre, whose research and advice supports governments and the private sector, helping them to make informed decisions based on sound scientific evidence.
One of the world-leading Transport Research Centres, rail research at UCL includes Metro operations, Railway and Town Planning, Railway Efficiency and Regulations, Construction Project Management etc.
WMG at the University of Warwick hosts one of the seven High Value Manufacturing Catapult centres in the UK.
The University of York hosts the High Integrity Systems Engineering (HISE) group has strong industry links and expertise within areas of safety case construction and maintenance, system safety assessment, and formal verification of software.
The University offers relevant expertise and services to rail and railway networks across many differing areas. We provide academic applied research and consultancy services in a variety of areas.
StressMap at The Open University (OU) host world-leading research activities in materials engineering, structural integrity, forensic engineering, engineering failures, creep, metal fatigue, plasma and lead-free solder. StressMap has a global reputation for the quality of its work and has established a leadership in the field of residual stress measurement in particular. The University of York hosts the High Integrity Systems Engineering (HISE) group has strong industry links and expertise within areas of safety case construction and maintenance, system safety assessment, and formal verification of software.