Meet our team

Prof. Zili Li obtained his BSc and MCs degrees in Mechanical Engineering at Southwest Jiaotong University, Chengdu, China, in 1988 and 1991, respectively. He obtained his PhD degree in Computational Mechanics on numerical solution of rolling contact at Delft University of Technology in 2002. He worked between 1999 and 2005 at TNO, the Dutch organization for applied sciences, on multibody dynamics and finite element methods, as well as their applications in crashworthiness. He joined the group of Railway Engineering in 2005. He chairs the group of Rail Systems & Monitoring.

  • Wheel-rail contact mechanics: friction, rolling, adhesion; in statics, in continuum dynamics, in coupled wheel-track interaction system.
  • Wear: simulation and experiment.
  • Rolling contact fatigue (RCF): initiation and development; loading conditions; damage mechanisms and relation with micro-structure of materials; magic wear rate and RCF; profile design for wheels and rails.
  • Vehicle dynamics and train-track interaction: Application of advanced wheel-rail contact models; train-S&C interaction; derailment; modeling of flexible track.
  • Health monitoring and asset management: instrumentation and signal processing; life cycle costs management; key performance indicators.
  • Field and laboratory experiments and tests: design, instrumentation, data acquisition and processing; train-borne and track side; strain gage, accelerometers; laser Doppler vibrometery scan, fixed and on moving frame.
  • Modelling: multi-body dynamics (MB) for vehicle dynamics; train-track interaction; crash worthiness; boundary element method (BEM) and finite element method (FEM) for contact mechanics and crash worthiness. Virtual testing.
  • Translation of scientific research findings into engineering applications.

There are no researches published yet by Zili Li

Wheel–Rail Impact at Crossings: Relating Dynamic Frictional Contact to Degradation
February 8, 2017
by Zilong Wei, Chen Shen , Zili Li, [...]

Robust and predictive fuzzy key performance indicators for condition-based treatment of squats in railway infrastructures
October 1, 2016
by Ali Jamshidi, Alfredo Núñez , Rolf Dollevoet, [...]

Automatic Detection of Squats in Railway Infrastructure
January 1, 2016
by Maria Molodova, Zili Li , Alfredo Núñez, [...]

Validation of a finite element model for axle box acceleration at squats in the high frequency range
January 1, 2016
by Maria Molodova , Zili Li , Alfredo Núñez, [...]

Parameter study of the axle box acceleration at squats
December 1, 2015
by Maria Molodova, Zili Li , Alfredo Núñez, [...]

Experimental investigation into the condition of insulated rail joints by impact excitation
December 1, 2015
by Maider Oregui, Maria Molodova , Alfredo Núñez, [...]

3D FE modelling and validation of frictional contact with partial slip in compression–shift–rolling evolution
October 9, 2015
by Zilong Wei, Zili Li , Zhiwei Qian, [...]

Improvements in axle box acceleration measurements for the detection of light squats in railway infrastructure
August 1, 2015
by Zili Li, Maria Molodova , Alfredo Núñez, [...]

An investigation into the vertical dynamics of tracks with monoblock sleepers with a 3D finite-element model
February 18, 2015
by Maider Oregui, Zili Li , Rolf Dollevoet

An Explicit Integration Finite Element Method for Impact Noise Generation at a Squat
January 1, 2015
by Zhen Yang, Zili Li , Rolf Dollevoet

An investigation into the modeling of railway fastening
December 4, 2014
by Maider Oregui, Zili Li , Rolf Dollevoet

Identification of characteristic frequencies of damaged railway tracks using field hammer test measurements
August 27, 2014
by Maider Oregui, Zili Li , Rolf Dollevoet

A new methodology for monitoring high frequency wheel-rail interaction
January 1, 2014
by Zili Li

A novel on-train measurement system for early detection of squats and other track defects
January 1, 2014
by Zili Li

Axle box acceleration: Measurement and simulation for detection of short track defects
May 18, 2011
by Maria Molodova, Zili Li , Rolf Dollevoet

Squat growth – Some observations and the validation of numerical predictions
May 18, 2011
by Zili Li, Rolf Dollevoet , Maria Molodova, [...]

Squat treatment by way of minimum action based on early detection to reduce life cycle costs
January 1, 2011
by Zili Li

Differential wear and plastic deformation as causes of squat at track local stiffness change combined with other track short defects
January 1, 2009
by Zili Li, Xin Zhao , Rolf Dollevoet, [...]

An investigation into the causes of squats—Correlation analysis and numerical modelling
October 30, 2008
by Zili Li, Xin Zhao , Coenraad Esveld, [...]


Design and Maintenance of Railway Vehicles(Master Civiele Techniek, 2015/2016, ECTS: 4)


- William Alexander Agnew Meritorious Award/Clarence Noel Goodall Award, by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) on 24th of September, 2012, for the paper Field investigations into the performance of magnetic track brakes of an electrical multiple unit against slippery tracks. Part 1: Adhesion improvement, authored by Osoar Arias-Cuevas and Zili Li, published in Proc. IMechE, Part F: Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit, 225 (2011) 613 – 636.

- Best student paper award (1st place, to my PhD student Marija Molodova), for the paper by Marija Molodova, Zili Li, Alfredo Nunez and Rolf Dollevoet, Monitoring the railway infrastructure: Detection of surface defects using wavelets, presented at the IEEE 16th International Intelligent Transportation Systems Conference, 7 – 9 October, 2013, the Hague, the Netherlands.

- Best student paper award (to my PhD student X. Zhao), for the paper by Zhao, X., Li, Z., Esveld, C. and Dollevoet, R., The Dynamic Stress State of the Wheel-Rail Contact, presented at the 2nd IASME/WSEAS International Conference on Continuum Mechanics, 15-17 May, 2007, Portoroz, Slovenia, 127-133. Zili Li

Professor Rail Systems & Monitoring

+31 (0) 15 278 23 25
Building: 23, room S2 2.36

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