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Maider Oregui obtained her Mechanical Engineering degree from Universidad de Navarra, Spain, in 2009.  She received her PhD degree from Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands, in 2015. She is currently a Postdoctoral researcher at the Section of Railway Engineering in Delft. In 2014, Dr. Oregui received the UIC Young Researcher Award for her Ph.D. research. The award is part of the biennial UIC Innovation Awards, and recognizes young engineers and researchers who have made significant contributions in rail research and innovation (Inteational Union of Railways UIC is the worldwide organization for railway cooperation).

During my PhD work on Vertical railway track dynamics: from measurements to numerical modelling  - characteristic frequencies and rail-railpad-sleeper interaction, some of my research activities were:

    • Develop innovative and state-of-the-art finite element (FE) track numerical models with focus on the fastening system.
    • Combine measurements and numerical models for in-detail analysis
    • Analyze statistically field hammer test measurements as input for the development of condition monitoring systems
    • Collaborate with Edilon)(Sedra: propose and assess a laboratory test method to derive the dynamic behavior of railpads
    • Trial tests and data analysis to assess the ability of the axle box acceleration (ABA) system to detect the tightness condition of rail joints\' bolts
The 3D finite element models, the information obtained from fitting simulations to measurements and the statistical analysis of a large number of field measurements contributed to a better understanding of track dynamics. This information can be useful in a near future to plan the maintenance schedule in a cost-efficient way and with an optimum use of the resources available.

Vertical railway track dynamics: from measurements to numerical modelling

Extending the service life of railway tracks is a challenge for infrastructure managers as tracks have to withstand harder service conditions for longer time and at lower costs. Regarding the service conditions, the railway transport moves towards faster and heavier trains which accelerate the degradation of the tracks. To improve safety, high cost maintenance measures are taken, for example grinding of the rail top or rail replacement. A better understanding of the interactions and physics occurring in the complex vehicle-wheel-rail/track system helps slow-down the deterioration, and consequently, lowers the life-cycle costs. To gain insight into the dynamics of tracks, hammer test measurements and numerical models are often combined. In my PhD project, I have combined sets of field hammer test measurements, which were examined at healthy and damaged conditions, and state-of-the-art models of the sleeper-fastening-rail interaction. From the examination of measurements, contributions are made in these three aspects. First, a method that considers the intrinsic variability of tracks is proposed to define the baseline state of tracks. Second, possible characteristic frequencies of damaged insulated rail joints are identified. Third, a statistical method to identify the characteristic frequencies of damaged railway tracks is presented. As a feasibility study, the rail surface defect squats are investigated in two ballasted tracks. The identified characteristic frequencies are expected to be useful in the development of early-detection vehicle-borne inspection systems. The numerical analysis of the 3D FE models and the comparison to field measurements results in three contributions. First, insight is gained into the main characteristics that define the dynamic behavior of tracks with monoblock sleepers. Second, a 3D FE model is developed for tracks with monoblock sleepers to derive track parameters. Third, the influence of the fastening representation in the vertical dynamic behavior of tracks is extensively investigated. Maider Oregui Echeverria-Berreyarza didn't provide more information.

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