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Personal profile


After graduating in 1996 with an honours degree in mechanical engineering, Paul joined a consultancy group at Manchester Metropolitan University developing automotive safety systems. In 1998 he embarked upon a PhD programme studying contact mechanics and wheel-rail interaction on a scaled railway roller rig. During this time he became a founder member of the Rail Technology Unit (RTU), a group which specialised in railway vehicle dynamics and wheel rail interaction.

The RTU became a successful and well respected research and enterprise group and in 2012 transferred to the University of Huddersfield to form the new Institute of Railway Research (IRR). Paul joined UoH as the assistant director of the IRR and since joining has helped the group more than triple in size from 9 to 30 staff.

Paul was a member of the bid team which won £4M of Regional Growth Funding to set up the IRR’s new Centre for Innovation in Rail (CIR). The CIR has been launched to support the industry and its supply chain in bringing new technologies to the rail sector. The centre’s goal is to reach out to SMEs and other solutions providers to offer specialist engineering services, funding advice and commercialisation opportunities to help realise the full potential of new concepts or product within the rail sector.

Paul has led the specification, contractual negotiation and procurement of the IRR’s new £2.1M advanced railway rolling contact rig and its £2.4M laboratory/office expansion programmes.

Paul’s enterprise and research activities have led to the initiation of strong university relationships and funding streams with key railway sector partners including HS2, Crossrail, Unipart Rail Ltd and Alstom.

He has achieved wide press exposure for the University with articles/quotes published in the Mail on Sunday, Modern Railways Magazine, Railway Gazette International, The Engineer and the Huddersfield Examiner, together with numerous online sites.

He instigated and led the delivery of an annual residential course for 50 school children on behalf of the Smallpeice Trust and has recently been invited to join the Scientific Committee for the IMechE Railway Division’s annual Stephenson Conference and also deliver the Institute’s annual prestige evening guest lecture.

Research Expertise and Interests

  • Wheel-rail contact 
  • Computer modelling of railway vehicle suspensions
  • Remote condition monitoring 
  • Data analysis 
  • Train braking system optimisation 
  • Railway vehicle pantograph interaction dynamics 

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

  • 13 Similar Profiles
Wheels Engineering & Materials Science
Rails Engineering & Materials Science
Friction Engineering & Materials Science
Wear of materials Engineering & Materials Science
Bearings (structural) Engineering & Materials Science
Lathes Engineering & Materials Science
Pantographs Engineering & Materials Science
Vehicle suspensions Engineering & Materials Science

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2001 2019

  • 9 Article
  • 1 Chapter
  • 1 Conference contribution

Influence of wheel-polygonal wear on the dynamic forces within the axle-box bearing of a high-speed train

Wang, Z., Allen, P., Mei, G., Wang, R., Yin, Z. & Zhang, W., 4 Jun 2019, In : Vehicle System Dynamics.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bearings (structural)
Wear of materials
Dynamic analysis

Multi-objective optimization of electric multiple unit wheel profile from wheel flange wear viewpoint

Cui, D., Wang, R., Allen, P., An, B., Li, L. & Wen, Z., 1 Jan 2019, In : Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization. 59, 1, p. 279-289 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Multiobjective optimization
Multi-objective Optimization

The optimal strength of shear pins: Requirements in point run-throughs

Colantuono, T., Grossoni, I., Allen, P., Molyneux-berry, P. & Borczyk, P., 1 Feb 2018, In : Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part F: Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit. 232, 2, p. 606-619 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Fatigue of materials
Open Access
Computer simulation

Development of a Tram-Train wheel profile for dual-operation running

Crosbee, D., Allen, P. D. & Carroll, R., 21 Apr 2015, Stephenson Conference Research for Railways 2015. Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Vol. 2015-April. p. 95-110 16 p.

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

Open Access
Computer simulation

Activities 2013 2017

  • 3 Oral presentation

Mathematical modelling of a full-scale roller rig to improve predictions of vehicle curving behaviour

Simon Iwnicki (Speaker), Paul Allen (Speaker), Philip Shackleton (Speaker)
11 Jul 2017

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

Wheels v Rails: Applying New Techniques to Optimise Rail Maintenance

Paul Allen (Speaker)
7 Dec 2016

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

Application of In-track Vertical Wheel Load Measurement Data for the Early Indication of Derailment Risk and Wheel Tread Damage

Paul Allen (Speaker), Philip Shackleton (Speaker), Adam Bevan (Speaker)
21 Nov 2013

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation