Seventh International Hydrail Conference
The 7th International Hydrail Conference was hosted by the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education in the Gisbert Kapp Building on the Edgbaston Campus of the University of Birmingham. The conference featured presentations by experts in a wide range of fields related to the development, deployment, and use of hydrogen and fuel cells in railway transportation.
Highlights of the conference included a keynote presentation from the Chief Scientific Advisor to the U.K.'s Department for Transport Prof. Roderick Smith, ScD FREng, and other keynote presentations from Prof. Kevin Kendall FRS, Dr. Jeff Allan, and Prof. Robert Steinberger-Wilckens. In addition to conference presentations, attendees also toured the steam-powered Severn Valley Railway, attended a dinner at the Botanical Gardens, and observed a demonstration of the University of Birmingham's hydrogen-powered locomotive - the first such device to operate in the U.K..
Prof. Roderick Smith, ScD, FREng. - Imperial College of London Presentation PDF | Video Professor Smith is the Chief Scientific Advisor to the Department for Transport. He has also held the Royal Academy of Engineering Network Rail Research Professor of Railway Engineering at Imperial College and is Chair of the Future Railway Research Centre. He is an Honorary Visiting Professor at Central Queensland University, Australia and of the Academy of Railway Science of China and York, City and Oxford Universities in the UK. He was the 126th President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
Prof. Kevin Kendall FRS - University of Birmingham Presentation PDF | Video Professor Kevin Kendall has been researching hydrogen and fuel cells over the past 30 years. He was responsible for the first hydrogen filling station in England, to fuel hydrogen vehicles running on the University of Birmingham campus since March 2008. He is Professor of Formulation Engineering at the University of Birmingham’s School of Chemical Engineering. He began his career in 1969 at British Rail’s Derby Research Laboratories, working in sodium-sulfur battery technology.
Dr. Jeff Allan - Railway Safety and Standards Board Presentation PDF | Video (Japan) | Video (USA) Jeff Allan is head of Delivery, Command Control and Signaling, and Energy at the British Railway Safety and Standards Board (RSSB), an independent not-for-profit company owned and funded by major railway industry stakeholders. He has had a career in railway engineering since 1975, working in the fields of Rolling Stock, Electrification, Signalling, Train Control and Communications. At RSSB, he presently manages a team of Engineers and Project Managers who develop interface standards and carry out research in the topics of Control Command and Signalling and Energy for the GB railway industry. His interest in hydrogen dates back to 2004.
Prof. Robert Steinberger-Wilckens - University of Birmingham Presentation PDF Professor Steinberger-Wilckens is a physicist with a degree from the University of Oldenburg, Germany. He was a Founding Member of the energy and utilities engineering company, PLANET GbR. His projects have included energy efficient building technology; water saving; solar and wind energy; biomass; and fuel cell and hydrogen applications, both mobile and stationary. He was Project Manager—Fuel Cells at Forschungszentrum Jülich from 2002 to Jan. 2012 and was responsible for the Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) development at the research centre. He developed and coordinated the EU-Project “Real-SOFC” under the 6th Framework Programme and more recently the projects TrainHy, FC-EuroGrid, and MMLCR=SOFC. He leads the Centre for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Research and the respective Doctoral Training Centre in Chemical Engineering at the University of Birmingham.
Dr. Holger Busche - Schienenflieger KG Presentation PDF Holger Busche is head of Schienenflotte GmbH, a company founded to initiate innovative rail projects, especially hydrail. Although a geophysicist by training his work incorporates many disciplines including technology, economics, and politics. He is an active advocate for hydrail technology and seeks to engage non-railway-focused organizations in hydrail promotion.
Dr. Dmitry Grigorovich - All-Russian Institute of Railway Transportation Presentation PDF Dr. Grigorovich is Head Executor at the All-Russian Institute of Railway Transportation in the Russian Federation, where he leads the design team developing a hydrogen fuel cell based Power Car system which—by eliminating diesel emissions—enables track crews to work in tunnels safely for up to eight days without high volumes of forced air ventilation. This solves a major problem in the severe cold of Russian winters. [presented by Stan Thompson]
Dr. I. Rex Harris - University of Birmingham Presentation PDF Rex Harris is Honorary Professor of Materials Science in the School of Metallurgy and Materials Science at the University of Birmingham. He has had a life-long interest in rare earth-based magnets and the interaction of hydrogen with these materials. In 2006—in partnership with colleagues Dr. Alex Bevan; Dr. David Book; and Professor Andreas Zuttel of EMPA, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology—he developed a practical demonstration of these combined interests: a hydrogen/battery canal boat driven by a permanent magnet electric motor using NdFeB magnets. Hydrogen is stored on board the vessel in metal hydride.
Dr. Stuart Hillmansen - University of Birmingham Presentation PDF Stuart Hillmansen is a Senior Lecturer in Electrical Energy Systems in the School of Electronic, Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Birmingham. He leads the Traction Systems Group and, with a team of five research fellows and six Ph.D. candidates, is engaged in a number of research projects funded by industry, government and the European Commission. He serves as a member of the Future Fuels Technology Group, a collaboration of industry experts who advise the Vehicle/Train Energy System Interface Committee and the rail industry at large, and has presented evidence on railways’ contribution to improving energy use and security to the Select Committee on Energy and Climate Change.
Andreas Hoffrichter - University of Birmingham Presentation PDF | Video Andreas Hoffrichter is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education, where he is conducting research into hydrogen powered rail vehicles and their necessary hydrogen supply chain. Previously, he studied merchant baking in Germany and later graduated with first honors from Aston University, specializing in Transport Management. He has presented hydrail-related papers at several conferences, including the Sixth International Hydrail Conference in Istanbul, Turkey, sponsored by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO-ICHET).
Prof. Andreas Hornung - Aston University Presentation PDF Professor Hornung is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and a Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers. He heads the European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI) at Aston University in Birmingham, UK, a focus for pan-European activities on scientific and technological aspects of biomass production, conversion and utilization of products used for renewable power, heat, transport fuels, hydrogen and chemicals. He currently oversees development of an ERDF-funded £16.5m Centre of Excellence in bioenergy technologies and a focal point for supporting regional business with technology transfer and growth opportunities. This research facility will include a unique industrial-scale power generation plant supplying power and heat for use on the campus. In 2011 Prof. Hornung was appointed as a Green Leader in the West Midlands.
Jason W. Hoyle - Appalachian State University Presentation PDF Jason Hoyle is Research Analyst and faculty member at Appalachian State University’s Research Institute for the Environment, Energy, and Economics. He specializes in leveraging the development of sustainable resources as a source of economic development and growth, is an expert on energy- and climate change-related policy and market issues in the U.S., and regularly consults with local governments and non-profits across the state. He is also a co-founder of the International Hydrail Conference series and for eight years has authored the world’s hydrail information clearinghouse, www.hydrail.org.
Stan Thompson - Hydrogen Economy Advancement Team Presentation PDF Stan Thompson leads the Hydrogen Economy Advancement Team at the Mooresville-South Iredell Chamber of Commerce in Mooresville, North Carolina, USA. In collaboration with fellow presenters Bill Thunberg and Jason Hoyle, he conceived and founded the International Hydrail Conference series in 2005. He coined the term “hydrail” in 2004 in the International Journal of Hydrogen Energy and has made invited presentations on the topic of hydrail in Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Italy, Spain, Turkey, the UK and the USA.
Bill Thunberg - Lake Norman Transportation Commission Presentation PDF Bill Thunberg is currently the Executive Director of the Lake Norman Transportation Commission. During his tenure as Mayor of Mooresville, NC, USA he worked with Stan Thompson to establish the Mooresville Hydrail Initiative, a local initiative dedicated to establishing the United States’ first hydrogen-powered commuter rail system. He was instrumental in establishing the first International Hydrail Conference in 2005, and has continued to offer invaluable support to the conference series in the years since.
Stephen Kent and Jon Tutcher – University of Birmingham Presentation PDF Stephen Kent is a Research Fellow and JonTutcher is a Ph.D. candidate at the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education. Together, they head up the University of Birmingham team that is currently building a 10.25-inch gauge hydrogen-powered locomotive to be entered in this year’s IMechE (Institution of Mechanical Engineers) Railway Challenge competition.
Herbert Wancura - synergesis consult.ing Presentation PDF Herbert Wancura is the Principal of synergesis consult.ing, an international consulting and engineering practice based in Graz, Austria. The core activities of synergesis are: assisting clients in the advancement of alternative energy and power technologies; in research-to-development; and in marketing and policy. He has worked with a variety of fuel cell technologies since 1998 and has been active in building and governing the European Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Technology Initiative (FCH-JU). Previously, he has presented at the Hydrail Conferences in Spain and Turkey.