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Friday, December 8, 2023

Professor Roger Goodall 1946 – 2022

Rail Media is sad to announce the death of Professor Roger Goodall, an outstanding engineer and Fellow and past chair of the IMechE Railway Division. Roger passed away in August after a short battle with cancer.

Roger was instrumental in many key railway engineering innovations including the development of a suspension controller design for an experimental Maglev vehicle in 1976 which became the world’s first operational Maglev system at Birmingham Airport in the UK.

After graduating from University of Cambridge in 1968, Roger initially worked at Brush and BAE systems. In 1970 he joined British Rail’s Research Division in Derby, where he spent 12 years in industrial research.

He took up a position as a Lecturer at Loughborough University in 1982, followed by promotion to Senior Lecturer and a period as Head of Department (Electronic and Electrical Engineering) from 1990-94. Roger was awarded his Chair in Control Systems Engineering in 1994 and established the Control Systems Research group at Loughborough during the mid-2000s. He was also Director of the University’s EPSRC’s Systems Engineering Doctorate Centre from 2005 to 2009.

In 2013 Roger was appointed to a second Professorship in the Institute of Railway Research at the University of Huddersfield, and he contributed to research at both Loughborough and Huddersfield until very recently.

Roger’s research was concerned with a variety of practical applications of advanced control, usually for high performance electro-mechanical systems. His projects were characterised by strong industrial collaboration, having worked with companies such as Alstom, BAE Systems, Bombardier Transportation.

In 2002 Roger led the experimental demonstration of an actively-stabilised high-speed railway bogie and more recently with colleagues at Loughborough University, the development of algorithms for low adhesion detection and the development of a novel railway track switch. He received many awards, including the IMechE’s prestigious James Watt International Gold Medal.

Alongside his many outstanding achievements and awards Roger was a kind and supportive colleague to all those around him.

Roger’s funeral took place on 14 September at the village hall in Tealby, Lincolnshire.

Image credit: Loughborough University

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