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Personal profile


Coen van Gulijk is a professor of railway safety and risk at the University of Huddersfield. Coen and his team work on the IT transformation of Safety Management Systems and Risk Analysis for the GB railways. The railway industry will benefit greatly from modern IT business systems to support risk-based decision making and asset management, to deliver cost reductions, performance enhancements and optimisation of the railway industry. Several data-analytical approaches to safety and risk analysis are tested for use on an energy efficient Iceotope PentaGen 1C computer cluster including detection of high-risk red-signal passages on the GB network, risk identification from plain text by NLP techniques, text-to-hash techniques aimed at making NLP techniques more efficient, word-net risk identification, safety enterprise architecture and detection of deviant train driver behaviour from on-board train monitoring systems. The work is performed as part of a strategic research partnership between RSSB and the University of Huddersfield.

From 2007 till 2014, Coen was an assistant professor at the Delft University of Technology on the optimal use of theoretical concepts in Safety and Security and to apply them in various domains including: chemical risk modelling, air-transport security, group-risk decision making, safety management systems and patient safety. In 2013 and 2014 he worked as a visiting assistant professor at the University of Antwerp supporting the newly developed Master of Safety Sciences at that university. From 2001 to 2007, Coen worked on Personal Protection Equipment as a researcher at TNO.

Coen is the Secretary General for the ESRA, the European Safety and Reliability Association.

Research Expertise and Interests

Coen van Gulijk’s research activities are in the field of Rail Safety.  Rail Safety is a relatively broad field where different stakeholders contribute to the safe operation of the Railways. The research is new to the University of Huddersfield and started with the RSSB-Huddersfield strategic partnership on Safety in Railways of which he leads the safety and risk subgroup.  The main research interest is to develop and/or improve risk models that secure the safe development of the Railway Industry in the UK in the long term.  Examples of this include an analysis of the added value of Bayesian Belief Nets for rail risk analysis, prognostics for rail safety, the added value of modern information infrastructures for rail risk modelling, and models for safety management.

Coen is also involved in researching the history of the safety sciences. This research yields a deeper understanding of safety theories and how they have developed over the last century. The insights in history improve our understanding of safety today. His work on security got him interested in the theoretical overlap of safety and security and the relation between high-risk industries and fundamental rights.


  • Risk Management
  • Catalysis
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Analysis
  • Safety
  • Accident Analysis
  • Safety Management
  • Ergonomics
  • Health and Safety
  • RIsk Modeling
  • Industrial Safety
  • Reliability Engineering
  • Probabilistic Risk Analysis
  • Diesel Engines
  • Human Factors
  • Process Safety
  • Chemical Risk Assessment
  • Root Cause Analysis
  • Safety Engineering
  • Aviation Safety
  • Quantitative Modelling
  • Maintenance Management
  • Chemical Safety
  • Soot
  • Maintenance Planning
  • Fire Safety Engineering
  • Occupational Health and Disease
  • Safety Critical Systems

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Coen Van Gulijk is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

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Risk analysis Engineering & Materials Science
Accidents Engineering & Materials Science
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Safety Management Medicine & Life Sciences
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Ontology Engineering & Materials Science
Aerosols Engineering & Materials Science
Netherlands Medicine & Life Sciences

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Research Output 1998 2019

BowTies for the Digital transformation safety management systems

Van Gulijk, C. & McCullogh, P., 2019, HAZARDS 29: IchemE. Derby, Vol. Hazards 29.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Big data

Editorial: Safety, risk and Uncertainties in Transportation and Transit Systems

Matsumoto, A., An, M., Van Gulijk, C. & Kaewunruen, S., 7 Mar 2019, In : Frontiers in Built Environment. 5, p. 1-2 2 p., 25.

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

Open Access

Extracting safety information from multi-lingual accident reports using an ontology-based approach

Hughes, P., Robinson, R., Figueres Esteban, M. & Van Gulijk, C., 23 May 2019, In : Safety Science. 118, p. 288-297 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Van Veiligheid naar Veiligheidskunde

Swuste, P., Van Gulijk, C., Zwaard, W., Lemkowitz, S., Oostendorp, Y. & Groeneweg, J., 24 Feb 2019, VakMediaNet. 496 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBook

3 Citations (Scopus)

A big data modeling approach with graph databases for SPAD risk

El Rashidy, R., Hughes, P., Figueres Esteban, M., Harrison, C. & Van Gulijk, C., Dec 2018, In : Safety Science. 110, Part B, p. 75-79 5 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Data structures
Information Storage and Retrieval
Research Design

Activities 2016 2017

  • 4 Oral presentation

Operational Safety Indicators Using Real Train Driving Data

Rawia El Rashidy (Speaker), Peter Hughes (Speaker), Miguel Figueres Esteban (Speaker), Coen Van Gulijk (Speaker)
8 Nov 2017

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

Driver Competence Performance Indicators Using OTMR

Coen Van Gulijk (Speaker), Rawia El Rashidy (Speaker)
7 Jun 2016

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

Big Data for Risk Analysis: The Future of Safer Railways

Coen Van Gulijk (Speaker), Peter Hughes (Speaker), Miguel Figueres Esteban (Speaker)
7 Jun 2016

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

Big Data Risk Analysis for Railway Safety

Coen Van Gulijk (Speaker), Peter Hughes (Speaker), Miguel Figueres Esteban (Speaker)
31 May 2016

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation