Prof Gert Els (second from left) attended the lecture with SAAE Fellows Prof James Maina, Prof Elsabe Kearsley, Johan de Koker, Bob Pullen, Felix Reinders and Prof Hannes Gräbe

SAAE Fellow Prof Hannes Gräbe who held the Chair in Railway Safety, sponsored by the Railway Safety Regulator, presented the second 2022 Academy Lecture in the Auditorium at Engineering4 on the Hillcrest Campus of the University of Pretoria on 21 November. Prof Gräbe was associate professor in the Department of Civil Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology (EBIT) at the University of Pretoria.  

Prof Gräbe pointed out that a safer rail network could be achieved in a variety of ways. Any railway operation comprises infrastructure, rolling stock and the human component, responsible for managing the system, operating the trains and maintaining the infrastructure. His presentation focused on the improvement of rail safety through the implementation of a range of technologies. He discussed the development of these technologies, which have been developed for track performance monitoring, vehicle dynamics and passenger comfort, and gave practical examples of how they could and have been implemented on current rail infrastructure in South Africa.   He demonstrated and discussed the role of data presentation on real-time condition and monitoring dashboards to emphasise the availability and usefulness of the various applications.  Prof Gräbe concluded his presentation with an urgent request for the adoption and implementation of these proven technologies for the benefit and safety of railway operations in our country.  

The lecture is available at