Roberto Palacin
Rail Systems Group


Senior Research Associate leading the Railway Systems Research Group at NewRail, Roberto has a background in Mechanical Engineering, Design and Railway Systems Engineering. He has been involved in research projects on subjects such as development of innovative railway concepts, innovative intermodal systems, urban transport, intermodality of the European rail network and development of modular concepts for high-speed.

Research interests include mobility and mass-capacity, connectivity,  the development of ergonomic and design-led railway environments and improving railways energy efficiency.

He led a MarieCurie RTN on composite materials in transport and coordinated the EC-funded project SafeInteriors (Train Interior Passive Safety for Europe). He is currently Principal Investigator for the CleanER-D project (Clean European Rail Diesel), Viajeo Plus (International Coordination for implementation of innovative and efficient urban mobility solutions), OSIRIS (Optimal strategy to innovate and reduce energy consumption in urban rail systems) and MERLIN (Sustainable and intelligent management of energy for smarter railway systems in Europe: an integrated optimisation approach).

In CleanER-D  he is involved in research on emerging technologies for after-treatment systems, hybridisation of traction systems and sustainability of railway systems. Roberto's input to OSIRIS is related to the definition and development of operational requirements and needs for urban rail systems as well as the integration of technical results and economic assessment for Decision Support.

Other recent concluded projects include SafeInteriors (train interior passive safety for Europe), EBSF (European Bus System of the Future), MODTRAIN (Innovative modular vehicle concepts for an integrated European railway system), HST Connectivity (study on High Speed rail connectivity in northwest Europe) and RAILTEST (Inventory of Railway Test Installations in Europe and Detection of Synergies between them).

Esteem Indicators

Esteem indicators include:

-Evaluator for the European Commission’s FP7 research program (2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013);

-Member of the National Evaluation and Foresight Agency (ANEP), Spain(2006-to date);

-Peer reviewer for ImechE Part F: Rail and Rapid Transit Journal (2013); 

-Peer reviewer for European Transport Research Review Journal (2012);

-Peer reviewer for International Journal of Crashworthiness (2009);

-Peer reviewer for the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) books section (2009);

-Peer reviewer for Engineering Structures Journal (2008);

-peer reviewer for the Transport Research Arena-TRA2012 (2012)

-Scientific committee member for the International Congress on Rail Technology, 12-14 April, 2010 (Spain);

-Peer reviewer, organising committee member and session chair at the 13th European Conference on Composite Materials (ECCM13), Stockholm (Sweden) 02-05 June 2008

-Expert Member, Working Group on Passenger Intermodality, LINK European Forum (2008)

-Member of the evaluation panel for the CENIT Programme, part of the Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI) a Spanish public organisation under the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (2006, 2008).

-Expert Evaluator for the Vienna Technology and Science Fund on the Science for the Creative Industries programme (2006).

-Panel member and speaker at the conference “Beyond Rail”, Brussels, 2006, on the future of high speed rail in Europe;

-Session Chair and speaker at the SAMPLE 2006 Conference, Paris 2006 on the composite materials in transport topic.

-Organising Committee and Speaker at Rail Systems Engineering Conference, Derby (UK),’05



  • CleanER-D: Clean European Rail-Diesel
    Project Leader(s): Mr R Palacin
    CleanER-D is a research project partly funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme. It aims to develop, improve and integrate emissions reduction technologies for diesel locomotives and rail vehicles...
  • D RAIL
    Project Leader(s): Professor Mark Robinson
    D-RAIL will focus on freight traffic, identifying root causes of derailment of particular significance to freight vehicles, which have a wider range of operating parameters (as a result of the huge range in loads, speeds and maintenance quality) than...
  • EBSF - European Bus System of the Future
    Project Leader(s): Mr R Palacin
    EBSF, the European Bus System of the Future, is one of the largest surface transport R&D projects ever undertaken by the European Union with a consortium of 47 partners and a total budget of EUR 26 million...

-MEng Mechanical Engineering Stage 3 project supervision and assessment (MEC3096 & MEC 3098);

-MEng Mechanical Engineering Stage 4  "Enginering tomorrow's railway" module co-supervision and assessment (MEC4006);

-MEng Mechanical Engineering Stage 4  team project supervision and assessment (MEC8099);

-MEng Mechanical Engineering Stage 4  "human-systems interaction" module (MEC8028);

-MSc Rail Freight and Logistics-module leader for "rail environment and energy" (MEC8039);

-Annual guest lecture  to Supply Chain Management undergraduate students (MKT3011) and Supply Chain postgraduate students (NBS8501);

-RailNewcastle Summer School, "Energy Use For Sustainable Rail" plus project supervision