Student | Esteban Bernal | Power and Propulsion - RMCRC
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Student | Esteban Bernal | Power and Propulsion

PhD students

Esteban Bernal

CQUniversity (Supervisor: Colin Cole)

PhD topic – Smart axle transducer transmitter for freight wagon condition monitoring systems

Esteban Bernal

Research summary

Comprehensive condition monitoring of freight wagons remains an unsolved problem, mainly due to the severe environment and the lack of electric power and communication connections. The recent developments in devices for the Internet of Things opens the possibility that condition monitoring may be in reach. The PhD study will explore the latest innovations and combine technologies toward a new transducer approach and design.

Expected completion date

January 2021

Key achievements

  • Design of a novel sensor node for on-board condition monitoring of freight wagon components.
  • Dynamic and electronic validation using simulation.
  • Lodgement of a PCT application PCT/AU2020/050331 “System and Method for Monitoring a Plurality of Vehicle or Infrastructure Components” 3 April 2020.


Bernal, E., Cole, C. and Spiryagin, M. (2019) Innovative sensor-node hardware architecture for on-board heavy haul wagon monitoring. In Larsson-Kraik, P.O. (Ed), Ahmadi, A. (Ed.), Proceedings of the International Heavy Haul Association STS Conference (IHHA 2019) (pp. 705-712). Narvik, Norway.

Bernal, E., Spiryagin, M. and Cole, C. Onboard condition monitoring sensors, systems and techniques for freight railway vehicles: a review. IEEE Sensors Journal (Volume: 19 , Issue: 1 , Jan.1, 1 2019)

Bernal, E., Spiryagin, M. and Cole, C. Wheel flat detectability for Y25 railway freight wagon using vehicle component acceleration signals. Vehicle System Dynamics(2019): 1-21.