Resilience Engineering Research Group
Alumni PhD Page

Alumni PhD Students

Hector Reyes speaking at conference 2

Hector Reyes Campana

Head of Engineering and R&D, Chilean Army, Maintenance Division

Thesis title: Generalised Fleet Maintenance Modelling


As an officer of the Chilean Army, to be part of the Resilience Research Group (RERG) at the University of Nottingham (UoN) has been one of the most important professional and academic opportunities in my life. My meetings with my supervisor, Professor John Andrews and knowledge acquired through the doctorate process allowed me to develop new maintenance strategies for the defence assets of the Chilean Army based on minimal global costs.

Currently, by achieving the highest academic qualification in engineering and my research experience at RERG has allowed me to work at the Maintenance Division of the Chilean Army (DIVMAN) as a head of the Department of Engineering, Research and Development (DI2D). We provide logistical and technical support for the entire military land fleet looking for a high availability level, and also complete research in the defence industry in order to improve the key technical capabilities of our logistical units. In addition, I have had the opportunity to be an active part of the University of Santiago of Chile and the Military Polytechnic Academy of the Chilean Army as a lecture of maintenance engineering.

Due to the high research level in risk, reliability, and resilience of my colleagues, research staff and supervisors, I consider that doing a PhD in RERG is an excellent academic option.

Lieutenant-colonel (Lt Col) Héctor R. Reyes Campaña, Head of the Engineering, Research, and Development Department (DI2D) of the Maintenance Division in the Chilean Army (DIVMAN). Lecture of maintenance engineering at the University of Santiago (USACH) and the Polytechnic Military Academy (ACAPOMIL) of the Chilean Army.

Hector Reyes Campana with 3 people

Hector Reyes with colleagues 2

Panos Yianni (1)

Panos Yianni

Manager, Infrastructure Advisory Group, KPMG UK

Thesis title: A Modeling Approach to Railway Bridge Asset Management


I often get asked "So, what is your PhD about?" and I invariably start my answer with "well... erm..." before trying to answer as succinctly as possible - which never works, because it's like trying to condense the ocean into a droplet.

But I never hesitate to answer the next question: "did you enjoy it?" because, for me, it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Over the course of the PhD, I learnt a lot about myself, about how the world works, and about the trajectory I wanted to take in my early career.

Choosing to do a PhD is a bit like moving into a new flat - you know what area you'd like your flat to be in, but until you move in and meet your neighbours, you've no idea if you'll feel comfortable there or not. In this (stretching) analogy, the area is the topic, Asset Management for example, and the flat itself is your PhD project. The neighbours are your fellow researchers in the team who you interact with on a day to day basis - your friends and supervisors.

Well, I would say that the warmth and camaraderie of the Resilience group is fantastic. The supervisors are awesome and their guiding hand will help you make the most of your time at Nottingham.

So, now that your worries have been put to rest, I can tell you about what happened after my PhD there. I ended up advising some of the largest infrastructure companies in the world. Yeah, you know that trajectory I thought I wanted to take in my early career? Smashed it.

Panos (2)

Panos (3)

Ratthaphong Meesit

Ratthaphong Meesit

Lecturer Transportation Engineering, Burapha University, Thailand

Thesis title: Railway Network Resilience


Studying a PhD at the University of Nottingham, especially in Resilience Engineering Research Group (RERG), was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. I would say it was quite difficult at the beginning of my PhD journey. However, with the help and the encouragement from my colleagues, research staff and my supervisor, I was finally able to complete my PhD in time . I am so proud to be a part of this research group. I would recommend anyone who wants to study a PhD in risk, reliability and resilience of any systems to consider RERG as one of your options, you will not regret it.

Ratthaphong Meesit, Lecturer, Burapha University, Thailand.

Ratthaphong Meesit and John

Matteo Vagnoli

Matteo Vagnoli

Senior Manager AI and Analytics at Swiss Re

Thesis title: Railway Bridge Condition Monitoring and Fault Diagnostics


I joined Bombardier Transportation (BT) in September 2018 as vehicle prognostics engineer, while I was finishing the drafting of my PhD thesis. My first role at BT was to develop advanced data analytics strategies to predict the future behaviour of BT trains. After six months into the job, I was leading the Prognostics Teams in UK and Singapore. We were able to effectively predict the future performance of the BT trains, and this gave me momentum to be promoted in my current role as Lead of the Global AI and Data Science initiatives. 
jack-litherland (1)

Jack Litherland

Senior Performance Analyst at FirstGroup Plc

Thesis title: Whole System Approaches to Railway Asset Management


I completed my PhD in the Resilience Engineering Research Group between 2015 and 2019 whilst also working as a researcher during the second part of my project.  My research was focused on railway asset management, an industry I’ve always aspired to work in.  There were so many parts of my PhD I enjoyed it would be impossible to list them all.  The main highlights include: attending conferences in UCLA (USA) and Hannover (Germany), the latter of which I was lucky enough to present two papers at; attending a wide range of railway events/seminars back in the UK (including Next Generation Rail); collaborating with Network Rail Colleagues and, of course, helping to create the RERG railway lab.

Following completion of my PhD I was successful in gaining a job in the railway industry as a senior performance analyst.  I feel that the skills obtained during the PhD are invaluable in this position.  I still have regular contact with the RERG group and have recently published new material with the group.

Jack Litherland train simulator (1)

Gareth Calvert Alumni

Gareth Calvert

Whole Lifecycle Costing Specialist, Network Rail

Thesis title: A Multiple Defect Approach to Bridge Life Cycle Modelling


I completed my PhD research at the Resilience Engineering Research Group (RERG) between 2017 and 2021. I found my doctoral studies to be a thoroughly enjoyable and transformative time.

The staff within the group provided continuous support, encouragement, and guidance. This mentorship not only yielded the successful completion of my PhD project but also resulted in my transition to becoming a capable independent researcher. The research group was highly supportive in allowing me to engage in opportunities to further my development, including training courses, industrial seminars, and international conferences. Additionally, my academic work benefited from the industrial collaboration with the group’s strategic industrial partners.

Since leaving Nottingham, I successfully obtained employment in a role at Network Rail which capitalises on the skills and development I had during my time with RERG. I would highly recommend any opportunity to complete your research studies with the group – the experience will be a great foundation to progress in your academic or industrial career.

Philippe Sohoueno Alumni

Philippe Sohouenou

Project Manager - Transport and Urban Resilience, Resallience

Thesis title: Road Network Resilience Modelling


I completed my PhD in the Resilience Engineering Research Group between 2017 and 2021. My research focused on road network resilience modelling and was funded by the EU as part of a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Training Network called SMARTI (Sustainable Multi-functional Automated Resilient Transport Infrastructures). My PhD has been challenging, rewarding, and amazing. I developed valuable technical and interpersonal skills but also travelled across Europe and broadened my horizons. For instance, I completed a 7-month secondment at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) in Seville, where I worked alongside remarkable people and experts.

Whilst I was finishing drafting my PhD thesis, I joined RESALLIENCE, an international consultancy dedicated to the adaptation of cities, territories and infrastructures to climate change. At RESALLIENCE, I develop and manage projects related to urban and transport resilience.

Susannah Naybour

Susie Naybour

Data Scientist, Machine Learning Team Lead, ONYX Insight, UK

Thesis title: Modelling safety critical systems with ageing components, with application to underground railway risk and hazards 

I completed by PhD with the Resilience Engineering Research Group (RERG), starting in 2015. In 2019 I started working as a Data Scientist, while writing up my thesis (which was a risky choice!), initially I was developing algorithms to analyse athlete motion using wearable sensors. In 2021, I joined ONYX Insight initially as a Data Scientist, before taking the Machine Learning Team Lead role. Currently, I am heading up a team developing and delivering data-based analytics for wind turbine fleets globally. At ONYX, I focus on improving wind turbine performance and reliability.

I am dyslexic and found the written part of the thesis a big challenge, but I had great support from John to review and refine my text (several times!) and develop my written skill. On top of this I picked up many skills that have accelerated my career so far: the ability to innovate new solutions, successful management of projects, a high level of coding skill with the ability to self-teach and an aptitude for presenting my work in an articulate way. I’m very grateful for the opportunities the group gave me.

Matthew Naybour

Matthew Naybour

Software Engineer, Atlantic Technology, Surrey

Thesis title: Applying reliability engineering techniques to the community pharmacy dispensing process 

I graduated from my PhD in Civil Engineering in 2019, and I still look back on my time in Nottingham fondly. Rasa was a supportive and encouraging supervisor, and we developed a strong working relationship during the time I studied there. Fellow students at the research group made it a pleasure to study there.

Our project focused on applying reliability engineering techniques to community pharmacy dispensing. As the project straddled 2 areas of research, I had the privilege of being a member of both groups! I was exposed to different ways of thinking, working, and researching. Another cool thing about working in this space was conducting observational studies in 4 real life pharmacies.

Post graduation I spent 2 years working at BAE Applied Intelligence, and 6 months as a crisis worker at Surrey SARC (sexual assault referral centre). I now work in electronics and software at Atlantic Technology in Surrey.

My PhD has given me a great platform to enter the modern technology job market and some softer skills applicable to working in the helping sector. Employers respect the qualification, and it continues to stand me in good stead. Whatever you want to do in life, a PhD with Nottingham's Resilience Engineering research group is a good place to 
Marius Vileiniskis

Marius Vileiniškis

Staff Data Scientist as Majid Al Futtaim 

Thesis title: Fault detection and diagnosis methods for engineering systems 

I've done my PhD at NTEC from 2011 to 2014 and continued working as a Research Associate in System Reliability Modelling at NTEC. After that I went back to Lithuania and started my career outside of academia, but still holding the name "scientist" in my title. I've worked as a Data Scientist/Machine Learning Engineer in different companies, such as Danske Bank, IBM, Mambu. Currently I work as a Staff Data Scientist in Majid Al Futtaim Group, which is one of the biggest companies in the Middle East Retail sector. 

I strongly believe the experience that I've got during my career in academia has heavily contributed to the success of my later career. Freedom to experiment, solving real-world complex engineering problems, technical writing, ownership of your thesis/project give you invaluable experience that transform into skills which are in high demand in business. 



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