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Last updated 17th April 2024


Samuel Hawksbee graduated with a first class honours degree (MEng) in Civil and Structural Engineering from the University of Sheffield in 2007. Following a brief period with consultant Mott MacDonald, he returned in 2009 to the University of Sheffield. In 2013, he completed his PhD thesis entitled 3D ultimate limit state analysis using discontinuity layout optimization. Following his PhD, Samuel continued at the University of Sheffield, working on EPSRC and TSB funded projects studying masonry arch bridges. In 2014, he joined the Institute of Rail Research at the University of Huddersfield as Research Fellow.

His work at the IRR has included work on several industrial and EU funded projects. Most recently, he has modelled plastic deformation in rails with a focus on heavily loaded curves with significant freight traffic.  By using non-linear finite element analysis (FEA), his work has highlighted the significant complexities in predicting such plastic deformations. Variations in vehicle operating speed, position of the
wheel-rail contact and rail material can all significantly influence the predictions. Prior to this, he investigated the dynamic performance of a transition system between two track systems. During this time, he has developed links across the rail industry including contacts at the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB), Network Rail and British Steel.


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure

Research Expertise and Interests

  • Rails
  • Plastic Flow
  • Squat
  • Railroad Rolling Stock
  • High Speed Railway


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