An update from two Thai universities, Kasetsart University and Mahidol University, on rail education and research activities
At Kasetsart University in the first seminar of 2018 / 19 teaching will continue giving all under graduate students within the Engineering Faculty the choice of attending an introductory course on Railway Engineering.
The MEng with Rail Specific Subjects continues into its second year with a total of 31 students lead by KURail as the ASEAN International Railway Academy. The programme of lectures will be expanded to include Rail Vehicle Dynamics by Dr Wichai Siwakosit, Safety and Security covering Rolling Stock Design and Standardisation by Professor John Roberts and Railway Maintenance lead by Professor Sittipong Promla former Deputy Governor State Railways of Thailand.
Application for admission to year two of this MEng is still open. The first year of the MEng has included dedicated research topics examples of which specifically for SRT are ‘Wheel Rail Contact’ investigating rolling contact fatigue for metre gauge operation mode, ‘Feasibility Study for PPP on Electrified Freight Corridors’ and ‘The Mechanics of Point Frog Performance’.
Professor Sittipong is mentoring these important research topics. A specific project for Airport Rail Link is ‘Curving Force Analysis’ and project work continues into producing a driver simulator for the BTS in conjunction with the Computer Engineering Faculty.
As the centre of the Thailand Chapter of the Institute of Railway Signal Engineers (IRSE) KURail is preparing a number of IRSE approved courses in various aspects of signalling from design through to maintenance. KURail, as a member of UIC, will continue to support the organisation in the ASEAN community and supplement the online activities in regard to rail education.
Mahidol University is getting ready to welcome their second batch of Master in Rail Engineering programme students in late August 2018. A mixture of academic lecturers as well as visiting professors from international universities and professionals from industry will deliver the curriculum focused on rail operations.
In addition to regular classes, which will take place in weekdays (e.g.Research Methodology) and weekends (e.g. Sustainable Transport and various other core and elective modules), students will have a chance to join some extracurricular activities. In November 2018 two extra short courses open to a wider audience from academia and industry will take place. In early November two visitors from University College London (UK) will deliver a one-day course on metro operations with some examples from London Underground. The following week two industry colleagues from Tyne and Wear Metro (UK) will deliver a two-day course on metro performance techniques used in the UK. Next year in late January 2019 Dr Marin Marinov from Newcastle University (UK) will deliver a short course on metro operations from an academic view.
In February Professor Joern Pachl from TU Braunschweig in Germany will teach a one-week course in Railway Signalling and Operations and in April and May colleagues from Tokyo Tech will deliver two modules: Railway System Components & Standards and Principles of Service & Maintenance Design for Rail System, both open to a wider audience.
Master’s students are also progressing with their research projects, where some of the topics include: ‘Safety culture in metro maintenance environment’, ‘Thai and international design practices for MRT stations’ or ‘Metro operations performance benchmarking’.
In addition to teaching activities, staff at MU is also involved in a number of research projects. An example of a national project delivered by MU team to Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning in Thailand is: ‘A study of systematic train operation planning for Mass Rapid Transit service enhancement’, which includes e.g. a transport app design and a study on metro station names.
Also, a new two-year international research project titled ‘MetroExchange’ with Newcastle University and two more industry partners (BTS and Tyne and Wear Metro) started in April 2018 and will include student research projects both in Thailand and in the UK as well as knowledge exchange activities, such as short courses and a summer school.
We are looking forward to this new academic year and invite academic and industry partners from ASEAN to talk to us about possible collaborations in the future.
Prof John Roberts is a Professor at KURail, Kasetsart University, Thailand and UIC Railway Talents Ambassador
Email: [email protected]