Tim  McSweeney Author of Evaluating Organization Development
FEATURED AUTHOR

Tim McSweeney

Adjunct Research Fellow
Centre for Railway Engineering

Tim has 40+ years experience in railway asset management, being Queensland Rail’s Infrastructure Manager for their heavy-haul coal network from 1991-2001. He then joined the Centre for Railway Engineering to follow his rail research interests, taking on the role of Research Academic. He retired at the end of 2007. CQUni awarded Tim an Honorary Master of Engineering degree in 2011. He is a Member of the Railway Technical Society of Australasia and a Fellow of the Permanent Way Institution.

Biography

Tim McSweeney has over 40 years experience in the field of railway fixed infrastructure asset management, specialising particularly in track engineering in the heavy-haul environment. He was the senior Infrastructure Manager overseeing the Bowen Basin coal network for Queensland Rail from 1991 until 2001, developing cost-effective maintenance management strategies during a period of rapid growth in export traffic. He then joined the Centre for Railway Engineering (CRE) at Central Queensland University to follow his interest in railway research. Tim is a Member of the Railway Technical Society of Australasia and a Fellow of the Permanent Way Institution, Queensland Section.
Following his retirement, Tim was appointed an Adjunct Research Fellow at the CRE for 3 years from 22 February 2008 and this has now been thrice extended to 7 March 2020. He has dedicated a substantial amount of time to assisting postgraduate engineering students with finalising their theses, and helped both students and staff prepare technical publications, grant submissions and consultancy proposals. He was awarded an Honorary Master of Engineering degree by CQUniversity in 2011. Tim also worked as a Volunteer in Policing for 10 years from 2008, assisting the Rockhampton District Crime Prevention Unit with projects aimed at reducing crime in the local community. He has been Treasurer of CQ Diabetes Group, a non-profit charity and support group raising diabetes awareness in the Central Queensland community, since 2016.

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    Railway Engineering

Personal Interests

    Member of the Railway Technical Society of Australasia
    Fellow of the Permanent Way Institution, Queensland Division

Books

Featured Title
 Featured Title - Handbook of Railway Vehicle Dynamics, 2E - 1st Edition book cover

Articles

27th International Congress - Condition Monitoring & Diagnostic Engineering, Brisbane, Australia, 16-18 September 2014.

Optimisation of maintenance interventions for railway bridges.


Published: Sep 18, 2014 by 27th International Congress - Condition Monitoring & Diagnostic Engineering, Brisbane, Australia, 16-18 September 2014.
Authors: Dwayne Nielsen, Richard Egelstaff, Tim McSweeney.
Subjects: Engineering - Civil

This paper describes a decision support framework that allows asset managers to conduct “what-if” maintenance scenarios to railway bridges. Managers are encouraged to apply one of three strategies (refurbish, upgrade or renew) to estimate future network budgets. The framework calculates life cycle costs from life gained due to maintenance actions, maintenance costs, maintenance strategy, discount rate, intervention trigger time and minimum intervention intervals.

New Trends in Mechanism and Machine Science, Vol. 24, pp. 523-532, Springer, Cham, Switzerland. ISBN: 978-3319094106.

Wagon multibody model and its real-time application.


Published: Aug 27, 2014 by New Trends in Mechanism and Machine Science, Vol. 24, pp. 523-532, Springer, Cham, Switzerland. ISBN: 978-3319094106.
Authors: Maksym Spiryagin, Shah Sanjar Nafis Ahmad, Colin Cole, Yan Quan Sun, Tim McSweeney.
Subjects: Engineering - Mechanical

Investigation of the dynamic behaviour of a wagon suspension was performed with the full-scale rail vehicle test rig at the Centre for Railway Engineering. At the design stage of a test rig, it is necessary to estimate the working behaviour of subsystems (e.g., electrical, hydraulic). The optimal method is the usage of the real-time simulation process, which is also called hardware-in the-loop simulation. In this paper, the authors focus on their simulation and verification methodology.

7th International Conference on Bridge Maintenance, Safety & Management, Shanghai, China, 7-11 July 2014.

Maintenance intervention optimisation for existing railway bridges.


Published: Jul 11, 2014 by 7th International Conference on Bridge Maintenance, Safety & Management, Shanghai, China, 7-11 July 2014.
Authors: Dwayne Nielsen, Tim McSweeney, Dhamodharan Raman.
Subjects: Engineering - Civil

Life Cycle Cost Analysis is complex when applied at an individual bridge component level within a large bridge population while considering multiple maintenance strategies, deterioration rates and intervention intervals. A decision support model is presented that proposes future maintenance interventions based on a selection of maintenance strategies and given budget constraints. Remaining service life of surrounding components is considered when assessing appropriate maintenance actions.

23rd International Symposium on Dynamics of Vehicles on Roads and on Tracks, Qingdao, China, 19–23 August, 2013.

Loco suspension behaviour under bogie/individual wheelset traction control.


Published: Aug 23, 2013 by 23rd International Symposium on Dynamics of Vehicles on Roads and on Tracks, Qingdao, China, 19–23 August, 2013.
Authors: Maksym Spiryagin, Colin Cole, Yan Quan Sun, Tim McSweeney, Valentyn Spiryagin, Nicolai Gorbunov, Alexander Golubenko.
Subjects: Engineering - Mechanical

This paper provides the comparison results for axle load distribution dependant on traction and stiffness parameters for a locomotive running under traction for a dry friction condition on straight track, and also results describing curving performance. The running modes without traction and with maximum tractive effort have also been taken into consideration for the curve performance study, and some results and discussion are provided.

23rd International Symposium on Dynamics of Vehicles on Roads and on Tracks, Qingdao, China, 19–23 August 2013.

Mechatronic real-time multibody model of bogie test rig.


Published: Aug 22, 2013 by 23rd International Symposium on Dynamics of Vehicles on Roads and on Tracks, Qingdao, China, 19–23 August 2013.
Authors: Maksym Spiryagin, Colin Cole, Yan Quan Sun, Tim McSweeney, Chris Bossomworth, Mark Hayman, Ingemar Persson.
Subjects: Engineering - Mechanical

The design of a mechatronic real-time multibody model of a locomotive’s three axle bogie is presented based on the application of a software-in-the-loop approach. This approach requires development of different subsystems of the bogie test rig as real-time models. In this paper, the investigation of such a real-time application of the full model of the locomotive’s bogie test rig has been undertaken and verified.

Journal of Rail & Rapid Transit, Vol. 227(5), pp. 453-468.

Locomotive multibody modelling issues and results assessment based on the LMAP.


Published: Apr 28, 2013 by Journal of Rail & Rapid Transit, Vol. 227(5), pp. 453-468.
Authors: Maksym Spiryagin, Andrew George, Yan Quan Sun, Colin Cole, Tim McSweeney, Scott Simson.
Subjects: Engineering - Mechanical

Acceptable locomotive dynamic behaviour is governed by various standards around the world; some allow use of multibody simulation tools in place of some physical testing. Detailed locomotive model acceptance procedures regulating use of virtual multibody locomotive models do not yet exist. This paper discusses a locomotive model acceptance procedure proposed for Australian freight locomotives. Case studies are given to show how to implement the methodology on a heavy haul locomotive model.

Vehicle System Dynamics - International Journal of Vehicle Mechanics & Mobility, Vol. 51(2), 2013, pp. 236-250.

Real-time bogie test rig model based on railway specialised multibody software.


Published: Sep 21, 2012 by Vehicle System Dynamics - International Journal of Vehicle Mechanics & Mobility, Vol. 51(2), 2013, pp. 236-250.
Authors: Maksym Spiryagin , Yan Quan Sun , Colin Cole , Tim McSweeney , Scott Simson, Ingemar Persson.
Subjects: Engineering - Mechanical

Design of rail vehicle mechatronic systems requires performing verification/validation in real-time mode which can be done using software-in-the-loop, hardware-in-the-loop or processor-in-the-loop simulation approaches. The verification of the possibility of using such a real-time model of a locomotive bogie test rig created in Gensys multibody software has been made by means of a simple data transferring process between Gensys and Simulink through the TCP/IP interface.

Journal of Computers and Geotechnics, Vol. 35(5), 2008, pp. 719-728.

Evaluation of the properties of railway capping layer soil.


Published: Mar 04, 2008 by Journal of Computers and Geotechnics, Vol. 35(5), 2008, pp. 719-728.
Authors: Senanie Sujeewa Radampola, Netra Gurung, Tim McSweeney, Manicka Dhanasekar.
Subjects: Engineering - Civil

Even thick capping layers placed below railway track ballast to protect underlying soil fail to totally eliminate plastic deformation. This paper reports an economical method to evaluate the elastoplastic material properties of capping layer material using penetration tests on specimens contained in rigid test moulds, coupled with a finite element modelling based back-calculation approach. The material properties thus determined are shown to be as effective as using full scale laboratory tests.

Conference on Adaptive Science & Technology, Accra, Ghana, 10–12 Dec, 2007. ISBN: 1921047488.

Advances in steep slope (batter) erosion control.


Published: Dec 12, 2007 by Conference on Adaptive Science & Technology, Accra, Ghana, 10–12 Dec, 2007. ISBN: 1921047488.
Authors: Yeboah Gyasi-Agyei, James Fox, Surya Bhattarai, Tim McSweeney, Darryl Nissen.
Subjects: Engineering - Civil

This paper provides an overview of advances made to mitigate erosion problems of railway steep slopes (batters) of embankments/cuttings. Our research effort has been focused on strategies to aid quick establishment of grasses on batters. These include modifying topsoil quality of batters to provide a medium conducive to grass growth, and seed treatment to accelerate the germination process. It has been established that 60% grass cover reduces erosion by over 90% compared with the bare scenario.

AUSRAIL Plus 2005 Conference Technical Papers, Sydney, Australia, 22–24 November 2005.

Using the ‘Top Down’ approach of diagnosing rail, track & substructure problems.


Published: Nov 24, 2005 by AUSRAIL Plus 2005 Conference Technical Papers, Sydney, Australia, 22–24 November 2005.
Authors: Michael Martin, Tim McSweeney, Darryl Nissen.
Subjects: Engineering - Civil

Given the complex interaction of factors which contribute to track degradation, it is critical to have a logical analysis process to ensure that track faults are correctly identified. The "Top Down" approach looks first at the rail and then in turn at the sleepers and fastenings, down through the ballast, capping layer, subgrade and drainage systems to see where the problem is occurring. This provides a common sense holistic approach to track the identification of track and substructure faults.

Conference on Cyclic Behaviour of Soils & Liquefaction Phenomena, Bochum, Germany, 1-2 April 2004. ISBN: 9058096203.

The effect of coal dust fouling on the cyclic behaviour of railtrack ballast.


Published: Apr 02, 2004 by Conference on Cyclic Behaviour of Soils & Liquefaction Phenomena, Bochum, Germany, 1-2 April 2004. ISBN: 9058096203.
Authors: Domi Budiono, Tim McSweeney, Manicka Dhanasekar, Netra Gurung.
Subjects: Engineering - Civil

Track ballast degrades due to particle breakage, weathering and fine particle contamination. The effect of coal dust contamination on permanent settlement and resiliency response of ballast was studied. Monotonic tests under semi-confined conditions were first carried out to evaluate load penetration response and cyclic tests were then performed. For the range of coal fouling levels tested, the fouling degree reduced the resiliency and the rate of increase in reloading stiffness of the ballast.

Conference on Cyclic Behaviour of Soils & Liquefaction Phenomena, Bochum, Germany, 1- 2 May 2004. ISBN: 9058096203.

A new method for evaluating the characteristics of railway capping layer.


Published: Apr 02, 2004 by Conference on Cyclic Behaviour of Soils & Liquefaction Phenomena, Bochum, Germany, 1- 2 May 2004. ISBN: 9058096203.
Authors: Sujeewa Radampola, Tim McSweeney, Manicka Dhanasekar, Netra Gurung.
Subjects: Engineering - Civil

Cyclic triaxial tests characterise subgrade material behaviour under load, but are slow, laborious and uneconomical to realistically account for spatial variation of properties of such materials. Simple, economical methods are needed. A quick semi confined displacement controlled uniaxial test method utilising rigid CBR cylinders is reported. Monotonic/cyclic tests were conducted and load-penetration responses analysed for dimensional consistency using loading rate and specimen moisture content.

6th International Railway Engineering Conference, London, U.K., April 30 – 1 May 2003. ISBN: 0947644504.

Innovation in erosion control on railway steep slopes (batters).


Published: May 01, 2003 by 6th International Railway Engineering Conference, London, U.K., April 30 – 1 May 2003. ISBN: 0947644504.
Authors: Yeboah Gyasi-Agyei, Darryl Nissen, Tim McSweeney.
Subjects: Water Science & Engineering

Research into cost-effective strategies for erosion control on railway steep slopes has established that 100 % grass cover reduces erosion by over 90 % compared with the bare scenario as demonstrated at selected field trial sites. Strategies focus on amelioration of the largely dispersive/sodic/saline/extreme pH in-situ subsoil of earthworks, provision of waste ballast mulch to protect grass seeds/seedlings and ameliorants from washout by rainfall and development of a drip irrigation system.