Development of a railway system component, remote condition monitoring methodology and analysis tools to predict future system deterioration


I come from a little town on the southwestern coast of Sicily in Italy. I studied Environmental and Land Engineering at the Polytechnic University of Turin and got my MSc degree in 2015. During my final year at Polytechnic, I worked on my thesis with a research team on the wear of Tunnel Boring Machine metallic parts in underground space constructions. This gave me the chance to get in touch with the research world for the first time.

After the degree, I joined the Institute of Environmental Geology and Geoengineering (IGAG) of the Italian National Research Council (CNR) on the design of geotechnical monitoring plans for the remote and continuous measurement of stress and displacement of marble quarry supporting elements in Carrara (Italy).

In October 2017, I started my PhD research at AECOM and University of Nottingham as part of the SMARTI ETN programme, working on the ESR4-RaCoMo project. The RaCoMo project tries to understand how the performance of a railway infrastructure system is affected by earthwork deteriorations. The research will deliver a predictive model  for earthwork failures able to help industries in their decision making process.


“RaCoMo” – Development of a railway system component (earthworks, transitions, trackbed, drainage) remote condition monitoring methodology and analysis tools to predict future system deterioration
  • Improve industry understanding of the link between railway asset component deterioration (e.g.earthworks, track transitions, trackbed and drainage) and impact upon both cumulative tracksettlement and catastrophic track failure.
  • Use remote condition monitoring technology to measure multi asset component deterioration andsystem performance.
  • Develop modelling algorithms to assess historical or ongoing performance of components andpredict asset component deterioration and failure over a range of timescales.
  • Develop a methodology for assessing the impact of individual component failure on overall trackperformance and failure.
  • Develop analysis tools to visualise and present modelling outcomes in a way that is easy for railwaymaintenance engineers to understand and use

AECOM will provide expertise with railway trackbed design, monitoring, field trial, site experience. The partnership with strategic partners will provide:

  • UNOTT: design and concept development, synergy with other research initiatives
  • SENCEIVE: transfer of current remote condition monitoring RCM practice and technology to novel applications
  • EIFFAGE: on-site experience, real “live” infrastructure and problem sites

Dr Matthew Brough (AECOM) –

Dr Paul Clarke (AECOM) –

Dr Craig Govan (AECOM) –