Dr Abdollah Malekjafarian was awarded €486,807 from Science Foundation Ireland under the Frontiers for the Future call for a project called “Automated and Rapid Fault Diagnosis of Railway Tracks using In-service Train Measurements (Di-Rail)”. This project will bring the latest advances in machine learning from computer science into structural health monitoring and railway engineering to develop an innovative solution for railway infrastructure assessment and maintenance. Instead of conventional railway track monitoring approaches such as inefficient method of ‘walking the track’ and expensive approach of using ‘track recording vehicles’, this project proposes using inexpensive, frequent and widely available data measured on in-service trains to monitor railway track condition. This approach does not disturb service provision and can provide real time data on track condition which has a substantial potential to revolutionise railway maintenance sector.

Di-Rail will be implemented over the next three years, in collaboration with Prof. Eugene OBrien, Prof. Eleni Mangina, Prof. Vikram Pakrashi and Dr Fatemeh Golpayegani from UCD, Dr Cathal Bowe from Irish Rail, Dr Paraic Quirke from Murphys, and Dr Vasilis Dertimanis from ETH Zurich.