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Coventry University Rail Research and Education Capability

Coventry University combines a base of academic excellence with a focus on applied research - innovation, knowledge transfer and service provision. We offer a range of capabilities that are or could be applied to rail. The following capabilities are aligned against Rail Research UK’s six thematic areas of: - Control, Command and Communication; Energy; Infrastructure; Rolling Stock; Customer Experience and Information.


1.      Integrated Transport and Logistics ‘Grand Challenge Initiative’

Coventry University have identified several 'Grand Challenges' as critical areas of future applied research focus and substantial growth, one of which is Integrated Transport and Logistics. This initiative is supported by multidisciplinary academic expertise from across the University Group; including design, ergonomics, human factors, socioeconomics, intelligent transport systems, telecommunications, logistics and architecture.


Passenger Experience: Understanding user behaviour, including the motivations and barriers to journeys, is critical to solving transport related problems. Integrated transport needs to embrace holistic design principles and create the user experience – recognising the emotional aspect of a journey is just as important as the operational. Projects explore individual expectations of public transport use and target those communities who use it. (Customer Experience)


Transport Infrastructure and Environment: Learning more about the whole journey life cycle from the moment a person leaves home until they reach their destination is central to this area of research and developing a user-focused design. Co-modality has the potential to improve multi-mode freight and the increase in use of public transport. Environmental issues are also considered in relation to the need to travel.


Transport Design: Understanding transport user behaviour to inform the retrofitting of existing vehicles and the design of new public transport vehicles and services is a central area of research. Coventry University is already a leader in the area of product and automotive design, and by understanding travel behaviour needs it helps to shape improvements in modes and distances of travel. (Rolling Stock)


Logistics: Devising innovative solutions for the movement and storage of goods, data and services supports the UK logistics sector. Demand chain, production chain and supply chain issues are growing in number and complexity. The need to reduce costs and improve services means freight companies are looking for innovative solutions such as Lean and Six-Sigma – areas in which Coventry University has considerable experience. (Control, Command and Communication)


Intelligent Transport Systems: Improving air quality, safety and emissions and enhancing mobility and social inclusion is an important focus of the Integrated Transport & Logistics Grand Challenge. The need to move people and goods quickly, efficiently and cheaply is essential to economic success and for supporting social inclusion. To reduce congestion and the strain on transport systems a combination of technology, policymaking and behaviour change is needed. (Control, Command and Communication; Energy)


Socio Economic Issues: Exploring the economic opportunities for business and local economies is a major area of research in the move towards low carbon, integrated and sustainable transport systems. Coventry University has significant experience of identifying growth sectors in this area. Further research will focus on the outcomes of improved integrated, intelligent transport and logistic services for economies and society. (Information)


Civil Engineering: We also have substantial civil engineering facilities and have carried out a number of projects in the past, including:


2.      Other Areas

Through the wider University Group, we offer additional business solutions primarily through Coventry University Services Ltd, and our wholly owned subsidiary ACUA Ltd.


Our University Schools, Faculties & Professional Services, deliver and manage commercial contracts through Coventry University Services Ltd - specifically consultancy, and professional learning and development programmes. Expertise encompasses a wide range of sectors, allowing delivery of bespoke consultancy services and custom designed training solutions for a variety of industries. These include Business and Professional Services, Health and Life Sciences, Engineering, Manufacturing, Construction, Creative, and IT.


ACUA Ltd is an international provider of leadership and employee development solutions - driving business growth and improving organisational performance. Working in partnership, ACUA Ltd develop learning solutions that are individually tailored to meet the needs of business. The National Training Awards recognised ACUA Ltd in 2010 for their work in partnership with organisations to improve organisational performance.


Located in the Innovation Village at Coventry University’s Technology Park is the Serious Games Institute (SGI) and the Simulation Centre. SGI enables and facilitates the growth of serious games, virtual worlds and connected industry specialists by supporting research and development into the use and effects of these products, platforms and technologies. The Institute provides a close interface between high-level applied academic research at Coventry University and leading edge technology companies in the field of game-based learning.


The Simulation Centre is virtual reality facility that includes a double-height auditorium space utilising an immersive IMAX theatre and live action situations for realistic simulations of real life scenarios. The simulation centre can provide intensive training in railway infrastructure management, offering significant cost savings and risk reduction to the industry.


Bridging the gap between vocational and trade based learning and Higher Education,  Coventry University College Ltd draws on the excellence in teaching and learning and the extensive experience of Coventry University. The College operates independently from the University as a separate organisation, in its own building and with its own staff - all based on the Coventry University campus. Coventry University College is designed for people who want to benefit from high quality courses but who have decided that the traditional student experience is not for them. The College offers a range of study programmes to achieve academic qualifications; including Foundation Years, HNCs and HNDs in a variety of subject areas.


External Links: We work in partnership with a number of rail industry and public transport organisations, including Centro (through which we are a member of the Green Transport Charter), the Rail Research UK Association, and Bombardier. We also have strong links in an advisory capacity with the Transport Select Committee.


For further information, please contact Leyna Cowie, Head – Corporate Partnership Unit, Coventry University, or on +44-7974-984624.

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