Home General Interest Professor Felix Schmid steps down

Professor Felix Schmid steps down

Felix Schmid has retired from his post as Professor of Railway Systems Engineering at the University of Birmingham after 15 years.

He moved to Birmingham in 2005 from the University of Sheffield, where he had built up the MSc programme in Railway Systems Engineering over 11 years. Before that, he was a lecturer in Control Systems Engineering at Brunel University for 10 years.

Born in Switzerland, he studied Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Zürich, before moving to the UK to join GEC Traction in 1978.

A huge enthusiast for all things railway and engineering, Felix is a regular judge for the IMechE Railway Challenge and, with partner Bridget Eickhoff, organises the Institution’s annual Technical Tour.

Despite retiring, he still has plenty to look forward to.  He is the chair of the IMechE Railway Division for 2020/21 and has also been appointed Professor emeritus of Railway Systems Engineering at the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education.

In a post on LinkedIn, the Permanent Way institution wished him well. “Over a long and very vigorous career, he has made a huge contribution to railways, inspiring countless students to establish themselves as leaders in our industry in the UK and worldwide,” a spokesperson said.

“He has been a great asset to the PWI, giving talks at our meetings and helping Brian Counter to set in motion the actions that led us to be able to offer professional registration on the way to becoming the full blown Professional Engineering Institution we are today.”

Even though he will still be around, Felix will be sorely missed.

Nigel Wordsworth BSc(Hons) MCIJhttp://therailengineer.com

SPECIALIST AREAS Rolling stock, mechanical equipment, project reports, executive interviews


Nigel Wordsworth graduated with an honours degree in Mechanical Engineering from Nottingham University, after which he joined the American aerospace and industrial fastener group SPS Technologies. After a short time at the research laboratories in Pennsylvania, USA, Nigel became responsible for applications engineering to industry in the UK and Western Europe. At this time he advised on various engineering projects, from Formula 1 to machine tools, including a particularly problematic area of bogie design for the HST.

A move to the power generation and offshore oil supply sector followed as Nigel became director of Entwistle-Sandiacre, a subsidiary of the Australian-owned group Aurora plc. At the same time, Nigel spent ten years as a Technical Commissioner with the RAC Motor Sports Association, responsible for drafting and enforcing technical regulations for national and international motor racing series.

Joining Rail Engineer in 2008, Nigel’s first assignment was a report on new three-dimensional mobile mapping and surveying equipment, swiftly followed by a look at vegetation control machinery. He continues to write on a variety of topics for most issues.

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