Baneavisen November 2015

Thursday 05 Nov 15

International expertise for the “INTELLISWITCH” research-project

Spanish Alejandro de Miguel Tejada is on the team that researches how switches are maintained at the best.


The research project "INTELLISWITCH" is about getting better view of the condition of the switches, to see if it is possible to reduce the maintenance costs. The project was launched half a year ago in a collaboration between the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and Rail Net Denmark.

And there have been international interest to be in the research team. Spanish researcher Alejandro de Miguel Tejada, who has a PhD in rail technology from the Universities of Madrid and Porto, is working in a research position - a postdoctoral - at the institute DTU Mechanical Engineering, where he is associated with the project.

Alejandro de Miguel Tejada’s ph.d. has among other things dealt modelling and simulation of the degradation of the track in the transition between railway embankments and underpasses, which is a well-known problem within the railway. This experience shall be used in the “INTELLISWITCH” project in order to model and simulate the degradation of the switches, when trains pass over them.   

"For me it is a good opportunity to use my knowledge. The project shares several elements with the topics in my doctoral thesis, so it was natural to apply for the position. And for me it is an opportunity to participate in a very exciting research project, says Alejandro de Miguel Tejada.

The "INTELLISWITCH" project is carried out in collaboration with Technical Operations and four different institutes at DTU.

Alejandro de Miguel Tejada has been working on the INTELLISWITCH project at DTU for six months. And he will be part of the project for a further two and a half years.

"Based on the existing data and new measurements I will be involved in analysing the data we get from the switches, so we can get more knowledge about how the switches are worn. There are several causes such as the condition of the whole track, the metal parts and of course the trains running on the track, "says Alejandro de Miguel Tejada.

Between theory and practice
For Alejandro de Miguel Tejada it makes good sense, that the INTELLISWITCH project is organized in a close cooperation between scientists from DTU and colleagues in Rail Net Denmark.

"We can have a lot of calculations for how and why a switch gets torn and worn, but we will get nowhere if we haven’t got data from the track and get them calibrated with our calculations. The results from our research will not end in a report, which will be put on a shelf and never used. The results will be used in “real life”, and by having Rail Net Denmark and DTU are working together on the project, we ensure that the research is relevant, "says Alejandro de Miguel Tejada.

The major part of Alejandro de Miguel Tejada's work is spent on the INTELLISWITCH project. That is in contrast to the engineers in Technical Operations, who also has a number of other tasks during the week.

Differences in working methods
Alejandro de Miguel Tejada is happy to be in Denmark. The first Although the working language of the project is English, he considers learning Danish, now he will be working in Denmark for further two and a half years.

 Although he considers it natural to work with Danish scientists and engineers, there are differences in the way of working together in southern Europe and Denmark.

"In Denmark you have a different way of working together. The participants in the projects are working on an equal base and contributes with their expertise .That provides a certain flexibility which I like and which in my opinion gives good results, "says Alejandro de Miguel Tejada.