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

  • 18 Similar Profiles
Wheels Engineering & Materials Science
Rails Engineering & Materials Science
Bearings (structural) Engineering & Materials Science
Wear of materials Engineering & Materials Science
Condition monitoring Engineering & Materials Science
Axles Engineering & Materials Science
Friction Engineering & Materials Science
wheels Physics & Astronomy

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

Research Output 2001 2020

Condition Monitoring of Motorised Devices for Smart Infrastructure Capabilities

Mistry, P., Lane, P., Allen, P., Al-Aqrabi, H. & Hill, G., 6 Jan 2020, Smart City and Informatization: 7th International Conference, iSCI 2019, Guangzhou, China, November 12–15, 2019, Proceedings. Wang, G., El Saddik, A., Lai, X., Martinez Perez, G. & Choo, K-K. R. (eds.). 1st ed. Springer Singapore, p. 392-403 12 p. (Communications in Computer and Information Science; vol. CCIS 1122).

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

Condition monitoring
Fault detection
Fast Fourier transforms
Signal processing
1 Citation (Scopus)

Analysis of vibration and temperature on the axle box bearing of a high-speed train

Wang, Z., Cheng, Y., Allen, P., Yin, Z., Zou, D. & Zhang, W., 12 Aug 2019, In : Vehicle System Dynamics.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bearings (structural)
Railroad cars
Light trailers

Coupled Dynamic Behaviour of a Transmission System with Gear Eccentricities for a High-Speed Train

Wang, Z., Yin, Z., Wang, R., Cheng, Y., Allen, P. & Zhang, W., 5 Dec 2019, (Accepted/In press) In : Vehicle System Dynamics.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Railroad cars
Traction (friction)
Condition monitoring
Open Access
Dynamic models
Vehicle transmissions
Dynamic response
1 Citation (Scopus)
Open Access
Wear of materials
Fatigue of materials

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

Press / Media

Going Greener

Paul Allen


1 Media contribution

Press/Media: Other

£120,000 project to eliminate freight train carbon emissions

Paul Allen & Messaoud Mehafdi


2 items of Media coverage

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Maintaining light rail

Adam Bevan & Paul Allen


1 item of Media coverage

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Elizabeth Line Opening Date Delayed by Nearly a Year

Paul Allen


1 item of Media coverage

Press/Media: Expert Comment