Portrait of Professor Simon Iwnicki Professor Simon Iwnicki

s.iwnicki@hud.ac.uk | 01484 473731


Simon Iwnicki graduated from Manchester University with a BSc in Mechanical Engineering then worked as a maintenance engineer at Chloride Motive Power in the 1980s working on battery production and electric vehicle design. He undertook a PhD in the dynamics of underground railway vehicles sponsored by the National Coal Board at South Bank University in London. He spent 21 years as Lecturer and Professor at Manchester Metropolitan University teaching and carrying out research into the interaction between railway vehicles and track where, in 1998, he set up the Rail Technology Unit which provided expert advice and solutions for the railway industry.

In 2012 he joined the University of Huddersfield as Professor of Railway Engineering and Director of the Institute of Railway Research.

Research & Scholarship

Professor Iwnicki’s main research activities are in the field of wheel-rail contact and computer modelling of railway vehicle suspensions, a small and highly specialised area which has a major influence on the design of railway vehicles and track. He has been working in this area for over 25 years and has built up a substantial international reputation for this work, providing not only valuable practical solutions to specific problems in the industry, but making significant contributions to the understanding of some of the fundamental mechanisms of the wheel-rail interaction on which the safe and economical operation of railways depends.

At the University of Huddersfield Professor Iwnicki leads the Institute of Railway Research (IRR) which has an international reputation for excellent research and support to industry in the core area of railway vehicle dynamics modelling, wheel-rail interface engineering and vehicle-track interaction.

The IRR was set up in 2012 with the transfer of the Rail Technology Unit from Manchester Metropolitan University and plays an important part to the vibrant and rapidly growing research community within the University of Huddersfield which aims to become an internationally recognised research-led institution, solving the problems and answering the questions posed by industry, science and society as a whole.

The IRR is involved in EPSRC and EU funded projects including current projects: DYNOTRAIN which aims to increase the use of computer simulation in the introduction of new railway vehicles and SUSTRAIL and SPECTRUM which aim to increase modal shift of freight from road to rail.

Publications and Other Research Outputs


Dennis, C. and Iwnicki, S. (2013) ‘Special Issue on RRUKA researchProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part F: Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit , 227 (6), pp. 593-593. ISSN 0954-4097

Liang, B., Iwnicki, S. and Zhao, Y. (2013) ‘Application of power spectrum, cepstrum, higher order spectrum and neural network analyses for induction motor fault diagnosisMechanical Systems and Signal Processing , 39 (1-2), pp. 342-360. ISSN 0888-3270

Liang, B., Iwnicki, S., Zhao, Y. and Crosbee, D. (2013) ‘Railway wheel-flat and rail surface defect modelling and analysis by time–frequency techniquesVehicle System Dynamics , 51 (9), pp. 1403-1421. ISSN 0042-3114

Liang, B., Iwnicki, S., Gao, F., Ball, A., Tran, V. and Cattley, R. (2013) ‘Railway Wheel Flat and Rail Surface Defect Detection by Time-frequency AnalysisChemical Engineering Transactions , 33, pp. 745-750. ISSN 1974-9791

Liang, B., Iwnicki, S. and Zhao, Y. (2013) ‘Application of Power Spectrum, Cepstrum, Higher Order Spectrum and Neural Network Analyses for Induction Motor Fault DiagnosisMechanical Systems and Signal Processing . ISSN 0888-3270

Vollebregt, E., Iwnicki, S., Xie, G. and Shackleton, P. (2012) ‘Assessing the accuracy of different simplified frictional rolling contact algorithmsVehicle System Dynamics , 50 (1), pp. 1-17. ISSN 1744-5159

Zhao, Y., Liang, B. and Iwnicki, S. (2012) ‘Estimation of the friction coefficient between wheel and rail surface using traction motor behaviourJournal of Physics: Conference Series , 364, p. 012004. ISSN 1742-6596

Ren, Z., Iwnicki, S. and Xie, G. (2011) ‘A new method for determining wheel–rail multi-point contactVehicle System Dynamics , 49 (10), pp. 1533-1551. ISSN 0042-3114

Baeza, L., Vila, P., Xie, G. and Iwnicki, S. (2011) ‘Prediction of rail corrugation using a rotating flexible wheelset coupled with a flexible track model and a non-Hertzian/non-steady contact modelJournal of Sound and Vibration , 330 (18-19), pp. 4493-4507. ISSN 0022-460X

Ongaro, D., Xie, G., Iwnicki, S., Hemida, H. and Baker, C. (2011) ‘Integration of crosswind forces into train dynamic modellingProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part F: Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit , 225 (2), pp. 154-164. ISSN 0954-4097

Liang, B. and Iwnicki, S. (2011) ‘Independently Rotating Wheels with Induction Motors for High-Speed TrainsJournal of Control Science and Engineering , 2011, pp. 1-7. ISSN 1687-5249

Persson, I., Nilsson, R., Bik, U., Lundgren, M. and Iwnicki, S. (2010) ‘Use of a genetic algorithm to improve the rail profile on Stockholm undergroundVehicle System Dynamics , 48 (sup1), pp. 89-104. ISSN 0042-3114

Bezin, Y., Farrington, D., Penny, C., Temple, B. and Iwnicki, S. (2010) ‘The dynamic response of slab track constructions and their benefit with respect to conventional ballasted trackVehicle System Dynamics , 48 (sup1), pp. 175-193. ISSN 0042-3114

Iwnicki, S., Ekh, M., Nielsen, J., Kassa, E. and Nicklisch, D. (2010) ‘Geometry and stiffness optimization for switches and crossings, and simulation of material degradationProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part F: Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit , 224 (4), pp. 279-292. ISSN 0954-4097

Iwnicki, S (2009) ‘Future trends in railway engineeringProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part C: Journal of Mechanical Engineering Science , 223 (12), pp. 2743-2750. ISSN 0954-4062

Iwnicki, S (2009) ‘The Effect of Profiles on Wheel and Rail DamageInternational Journal of Vehicle Structures & Systems , 1 (4), pp. 99-104. ISSN 0975-3060

Evans, G., Shahzad, F., de Vries, E., Cavalletti, M., Iwnicki, S. and Bezin, Y. (2009) ‘An investigation of sleeper voids using a flexible track model integrated with railway multi-body dynamicsProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part F: Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit , 223 (6), pp. 597-607. ISSN 0954-4097

Iwnicki, S., Bezin, Y., Xie, G. and Kassa , E. (2009) ‘Advances in vehicle-track interaction tools Railway Gazette International , pp. 47-52.

Xie, G. and Iwnicki, S. (2008) ‘Simulation of wear on a rough rail using a time-domain wheel–track interaction modelWear , 265 (11-12), pp. 1572-1583. ISSN 00431648

Xie, G. and Iwnicki, S. (2008) ‘Calculation of wear on a corrugated rail using a three-dimensional contact modelWear , 265 (9-10), pp. 1238-1248. ISSN 0043-1648

Bezin, Y., Iwnicki, S. and Cavalletti, M. (2008) ‘The effect of dynamic rail roll on the wheel–rail contact conditionsVehicle System Dynamics , 46 (sup1), pp. 107-117. ISSN 0042-3114

Shackleton, P. and Iwnicki, S. (2008) ‘Comparison of wheel-rail contact codes for railway vehicle simulation: an introduction to the Manchester Contact Benchmark and initial resultsVehicle System Dynamics , 46 (1), pp. 129-149. ISSN 0042-3114

Xie, G. and Iwnicki, S. (2008) ‘Simulations of roughness growth on rails – results from a 2D non-Hertzian, non-steady contact modelVehicle System Dynamics , 46 (1-2), pp. 117-128. ISSN 0042-3114

Hsu, S., Huang, Z., Iwnicki, S., Thompson, D., Jones, C., Xie, G. and Allen, P. (2007) ‘Experimental and theoretical investigation of railway wheel squealProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part F: Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit , 221 (1), pp. 59-73. ISSN 0954-4097

Sheng, X., Thompson, D., Jones, C., Xie, G., Iwnicki, S., Allen, P. and Hsu, S. (2006) ‘Simulations of roughness initiation and growth on railway railsJournal of Sound and Vibration , 293 (3-5), pp. 819-829. ISSN 0022460X

Perez, J., Stow, J. and Iwnicki, S. (2006) ‘Application of active steering systems for the reduction of rolling contact fatigue on railsVehicle System Dynamics , 44 (sup1), pp. 730-740. ISSN 0042-3114

Liang, B., Iwnicki, S. and Ball, A. (2003) ‘Asymmetrical stator and rotor faulty detection using vibration, phase current and transient speed analysisMechanical Systems and Signal Processing , 17 (4), pp. 857-869. ISSN 0888-3270

Liang, B., Payne, B., Ball, A. and Iwnicki, S. (2002) ‘Simulation and fault detection of three-phase induction motorsMathematics and Computers in Simulation , 61 (1), pp. 1-15. ISSN 0378-4754


Iwnicki, S (1999) The Manchester Benchmarks for Rail Vehicle Simulation . Vehicle System Dynamics. London, UK: Taylor & Francis . ISBN 978-90-2651-551-4

Book Section

Björklund, S., Enblom, R. and Iwnicki, S. (2009) ‘Wheel-rail contact mechanics ’. In: Wheel-rail interface handbook. Cambridge: Woodhead. . ISBN 978 1 84569 412 8

Xie, G., Iwnicki, S., Vila, P. and Baeza , L. (2009) ‘An investigation of rail corrugation with a coupled, flexible, rotating wheelset, a flexible track and a non-steady contact model’. In: CM2009 Conference proceedings. : CM2009. . ISBN 978-88-904370-0-7

Liang, B. and Iwnicki, S. (2007) ‘An Experimental Study of Independently Rotating Wheels for Railway Vehicles’. In: Proceedings of the 2007 IEEE International Conference on Mechatronics and Automation, August 5 - 8, 2007. : IEEE. .

Xie, G. and Iwnicki, S. (2006) ‘Prediction of wear on a corrugated rail using a three-dimensional contact model’. In: Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Contact Mechanics and Wear of Rail/Wheel Systems. : Institute of Materials Engineering . . ISBN 1876855274

Iwnicki, S (2006) ‘Introduction’. In: Handbook of Railway Vehicle Dynamics. Abingdon: CRC Press. pp. 1-3. ISBN 9780849333217

Liang, B., Iwnicki, S. and Swift, F. (2004) ‘Independently Rotating Wheels With Induction Motors for High Speed Trains’. In: Proceedings of ASME 7th Biennial Conference on Engineering Systems Design and Analysis . Manchester, UK: ASME. pp. 21-26. ISBN 0-7918-4174-X

Iwnicki, S. and Bezin, Y. (2001) ‘Simulation as a tool for assessing the match between track and vehicle standards ’. In: Infrarail 2001: developments in the railway industry. : ICE Publishing. pp. 19-23. ISBN 9780727742407

Conference Item

Abobghala, A., Pislaru, C. and Iwnicki, S. (2013) ‘Optimising the energy efficiency of rail vehicles by a novel application of integrated active control method for vehicle traction and steering systems’. In: Next Generation Rail 2013, 15 - 16 July 2013, The Crystal, London

Bezin, Y., Alonso, A., Zacher, M., Eickhoff, B., Xie, G. and Iwnicki, S. (2011) ‘A study of the boundary conditions for the evaluation of railway track conicity’. In: 22nd IAVSD Symposium, 14-19th August 2011, Manchester Metropolitan University

Iwnicki, S (2009) ‘The effect of profiles on wheel and rail damage’. In: 2nd International Conference on Recent Advances in Railway Engineering (ICRARE-2009), Sep 27-28, 2009, Iran University of Science and Technology, Tehran, Iran

Bezin, Y., Farrington, D., Davies, C., Penny, C., Temple, B., Kassa, E. and Iwnicki, S. (2009) ‘The dynamic response of a slab track construction and its benefits with respect to conventional ballasted track’. In: 21st international symposium on dynamics of vehicles on roads and tracks, 17-21st August 2009, Stockholm, Sweden

Baker , C., Bouferrouk, A., Perez , J. and Iwnicki, S. (2008) ‘The integration of cross wind forces into train dynamic calculations’. In: 8th World Congress on Railway Research (WCRR 2008), 18 - 22 May 2008, Seoul, Korea

Xie, G. and Iwnicki, S. (2007) ‘Simulations of roughness growth on rails: results from a 2D non-Hertzian and non-steady contact model’. In: 9th International Workshop on Railway Noise, 04 - 08 Sep 2007, Munich, Germany

Bezin, Y., Iwnicki, S. and Cavalletti, M. (2007) ‘The effect of dynamic roll on wheel rail contact conditions’. In: 20th international symposium on dynamics of vehicles on roads and tracks, 13-17th August 2007, Berkeley, California

Bezin, Y., Cavalletti, M. and Iwnicki, S. (2005) ‘Understanding the wheel-rail interface using an integrated flexible track simulation tool’. In: MSC.Software 2005 Virtual Product Development Conference , October 24 - 26, 2005, Hilton Munich Park, Munich, Germany

Jaiswal, J., Blair, S., Stevens, A., Kay, T., Iwnicki, S. and Bezin, Y. (2002) ‘A systems approach to evaluating rail life’. In: Railway Engineering Conference, 3-4th July 2002, London

Bezin, Y., Iwnicki, S., Stow, J., Blair, S. and Kay, T. (2001) ‘Development of a method to predict stresses in rails using ADAMS/Rail and ABAQUS’. In: 16th European ADAMS User Conference , November 14-15, 2001 , Berchtesgaden, Germany

Bezin, Y., Iwnicki, S. and Guerguil, N. (2001) ‘Modelling leafspring suspensions for virtual acceptance test’. In: 2nd international workshop on freight vehicle design, April 2001, Manchester UK


Professor Iwnicki is the academic Co-Chair of Rail Research UK and Deputy Chairman of the Railway Division of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. He is Editor in Chief of Part F of the Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (the Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit) and Editor (responsible for railway matters) of the journal Vehicle System Dynamics. In 2011 he was the host of the IAVSD conference on dynamics of vehicles on roads and rails. He has over 100 publications and the ‘Handbook of Railway Vehicle Dynamics’ which includes contributions from many of the leading experts is the established text in this field. in 2000 he set up and coordinated an international benchmarking exercise to assess the suitability of the various computer packages available for this type of work which was published as the ‘Manchester Benchmarks for Rail Vehicle Simulation’ and is widely used by researchers.

Enterprise Activities

The Institute of Railway Research supports the railway industry through direct enterprise activities and has significant experience of problem solving for mainline freight and passenger sectors as well as light rail vehicle and track engineering and wheel-rail interface management.

Projects carried out include assessment of the impact of changes in vehicle fleets on maintenance costs, analysis of vehicle derailments and prediction of reductions in damage due to adoption of alternative wheel and rail profiles.

Examples of major industry clients in the UK include RSSB, Network Rail, and many vehicle manufacturers and light rail operators.

Administrative Responsibilities

  • Director of the Institute of Railway Research
  • Academic Co-Chair of RRUKA (Rail Research UK Association)
  • Deputy Chairman of the Railway Division of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers
  • Deputy Coordinator of the General Engineering Unit of Assessment at the University of Huddersfield within the Research Excellence Framework.

Teaching and Professional Activities

Professor Iwnicki’s main teaching activities are in dynamics and applied mechanics at Undergraduate and Postgraduate level.

He co-organised an annual Course in Vehicle Track Interaction for the Railway Industry at Emmanuel College Cambridge from 1997 to 2005 and is currently running a biennial summer school in Railway Rolling Stock in Krakow.

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