Jon Paragreen has an undergraduate BEng-MEng degree in Chemical Engineering with Process Control from University of Bradford. Following on from this he completed his PhD, studying the rheological effects of supercritical CO2 in polymers and modelling flow. Jon has also held various posts in industry; working as a process engineer for Conoco Phillips and BP, as a lead test engineer for Rolls-Royce Fuel Cell Systems Limited and more recently as a research and development specialist for Network Rail. During his career at Network Rail and Rolls-Royce he has worked on various EU funded projects in the 6th and 7th framework including Real-SOFC, InnoTrack, AUTOMAIN, ERRAC Roadmaps, Railect and MonitoRail. At the University of Sheffield Jon has worked on the SecureStation EU FP7 project and is currently participating in the FP7 Capacity4Rail and ENCOUNTER projects, as well as project managing the H2020 project NeTIRail-INFRA.
Rahi completed his PhD in the Department of Civil and Structural Engineering of University of Sheffield. His PhD focused on developing finite element models for different types of steel connections and study of their robustness under different rates of dynamic loads. He has since been working on the EU ENCOUNTER project developing techniques for mitigation and neutralisation of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in urban/civil environments, and recently joined the NeTIRail-INFRA project working on aspects of track and overhead line technology targeted at maintaining sustainability of lower use and secondary rail lines.
Steve gained his PhD from the University of Sheffield in 2011, having graduated from the University of Hertfordshire in 2007 with a BEng (Hons) in Mechanical Engineering. During his first degree he served a one year industrial placement with SKF Racing UK (Bearings) as a Gearbox Bearing Analyst, working with many big name racing teams including Ferrari. Steve’s PhD focused on Tribology of the Wheel/Rail contact with particular emphasis on contamination and friction modifiers. He currently works as a Post Doctorial Researcher in the same field and has since worked on various projects looking at: the efficacy of railway sanding systems, laser cladding of rail for improved wear and RCF resistance, and cleaning of the railhead using dry ice blasting. Steve is very experienced in the design and implementation of test and experimental research at small and full-scale.
Dr. Luis Felipe Macias-Ramos was born in Seville, Spain in 1981. He got his MSC in Computer Engineering in June 2005 by the University of Seville (US) and moved to industry later that year. Over a 5-year period, he worked for several companies – like Accenture Spain – in a plethora of roles, including software development, systems administration, IT support service management, and consultancy. Particularly, during that time he got specially involved with IT support management for the Public Health Care Service of Andalusia, Spain.
In the early 2010s, he decided to turn his career (and his life) in a new direction and went back to the US, joining the Research Group on Natural Computing (RGNC), led by Prof. Mario J. Perez-Jimenez. There he conducted over several years extensive research on the definition and simulation of membrane systems, a kind of bio-inspired computational models devised after the structure and functioning of living cells. Particularly, he worked on membrane models for micro and macro level complex systems, like gene regulation systems and ecosystems, with a specialization in Population Dynamics of endangered species such as the Bearded Vulture in Catalan Pyrenees or the Giant Panda in China. Moreover, he conducted research on neural–like membrane models and designed simulation tools involving fault diagnosis systems for power infrastructures on both sequential (JAVA) and HPC (CUDA) platforms.
Also during his time with the RGNC, he jointly handled the NVIDIA GPU Research Center at the US – which provides HPC simulation services for interested researchers -, promoted best industry practices in academia – by jointly pursuing and obtaining several ISO quality certificates for the RGNC –, provided teaching for both undergraduate and master students, and spent a 3-month research and teaching stay at the Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST) of Wuhan, China, under the supervision of Prof. Linqiang Pan.
After getting his PhD in Computer Science in February 2016, Luis briefly joined the School of Arts of Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, providing IT teaching to Fine Arts students and professionals. Finally, in August 2016 he joined The University of Sheffield as a RA attached to the EPSRC-funded TransEnergy project, which aims to provide viable relevant approaches to plan and implement Road to Rail infrastructures within the UK railway network.
On the personal side, he declares himself in love with science, art and music. A movie, series and comic geek, he also enjoys outdoors activities like hiking and is an avid backpacker. Talkative and warm, he considers an interesting conversation – while sharing a coffee – one of the best things in life. Also, he thinks that Game of Thrones is not such a big deal.
Sam (Samadhi) Nallaperuma completed her PhD at University of Adelaide in 2015. She was a postdoctoral researcher at University of Adelaide, Australia until February 2016 and currently a postdoctoral researcher at University of Sheffield, UK.
Sam is a program committee member in the Special Session on Theoretical Foundations of Bio-inspired Computation in 2013-2016 at IEEE CEC and the theory track of GECCO 2016 and 2017. She has co-organized the “Simulated Car Racing Championship” at GECCO 2015 and student workshop at GECCO 2016. She is also serving as a reviewer for Evolutionary Computation Journal (MIT Press), Algorithamica, IEEE transactions in Evolutionary Computation and conferences including PPSN, SEA, TPNC. Her work focuses on understanding the influence of problem and algorithm parameters on the performance of randomized search heuristics and applying evolutionary optimisation techniques to solve real world problems in rail industry.