Young Rail Professionals: Xinzhu Zhang

The Young Rail Professionals (YRP) network was established in 2009 to bring together people from all aspects of the rail industry, and to inspire the next generation of rail professionals. We’ve been speaking to the YRP Ambassadors recently to find out why they chose this industry and what they think the impact of institutions like the National College for High Speed Rail will be.

Name: Xinzhu Zhang
Job Title: Visiting Researcher of Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE)
Ph.D. Candidate of Transportation Planning and Management
School of Electronic, Electrical and Systems Engineering
Location: Birmingham
Company: University of Birmingham (@unibirmingham)

Xinxzhu, tell us what you love most about your job.
I love that my research into railway incidents and accidents can directly help railway companies to improve train operations by making them more efficient and safer.

What excites you most about the rail industry?
The fact that there will always be state-of-the-art applications and technologies inspiring the railway industry which will lead the way to a smarter and more advanced way of transportation system.

What would your advice be to someone entering this industry for the first time?
The railway industry requires a wide range of skills and specialisms. No matter what specialities you have, there will always be a role for you and your knowledge will always have the opportunity to expand.

What inspired you to join this industry?
I took part in an engineering competition whilst at University, and as part of this I was able to work with two experienced engineers, designing a solution to a problem together. This experience inspired me a lot and made me realise how cool being an engineer could be.