Research Topics and Aims

The primary goal of the CCRDMT is to be able to give implications and recommendations for an improvement of railway operations on the basis of the research results. In addition, the CCRDMT wants to support railway companies and suppliers in forming uniform processes and procedures.

To achieve this goal, the CCRDMT covers a broad range of topics and deals with both classical business administration and interface topics in business informatics. This reflects the thematic focus of the CCRDMT with the thematic lineup of the two organizations to which the CCRDMT is assigned. The Central Institute for Scientific Entrepreneurship and International Transfer (ZIFET) and the Working Group for the Management of Information, Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Organization (MI2EO) focus on interdisciplinary topics ranging from start-up research and support to organizational theory and information management. The close cooperation of the staff in both institutions enables an interdisciplinary exchange that goes beyond the main research areas of the CCRDMT. Currently, these research focuses on three thematic blocks: technology assessment of railway safety technologies, predictive maintenance and the necessary organizational change, and organizational path dependency.

These three thematic blocks cover a broad spectrum of related topics, which aim in particular at identifying the most important problem areas in rail transport and suggesting solutions. In particular, the cost pressure caused by falling government investments combined with increasing demands on safety and innovation on the customer's side. In addition, rail is under competitive pressure from other modes of transport that can better meet the needs of consumers through new business models. At the same time, the railway is very strongly regulated by the state, which complicates the processes within the railway companies. All these problem areas are covered by the research priorities of the CCRDMT and proposals for solutions are developed together with stakeholders in the industry.

Our research focuses on the economic aspect of Railway Diagnostic & Monitoring Technologies (RDMT). This means that we economically examine the process, from measuring the condition of the operating unit by monitoring technologies, such as measuring the wheel condition by flat wheel detection systems, to diagnosing the condition of the operating unit, e.g. by means of big data, to applying the information generated by the measurement and diagnosis. Possible applications of the data generated by RDMT are condition based maintenance, also predictive maintenance, but also the immediate prevention of railway accidents and incidents. We examine the potential by means of a system-theoretical evaluation approach of the generated information, but also the success factors and problems of possible implementation of these applications.

Knowing the condition of the railway fleet inevitably leads to higher availability, an increased level of safety and lower downtime costs, which justify the investment in RDMT. If you are interested in our research, please contact us by e-mail at

Due to the large number of student projects and the possibilities offered by the GRADE railway accident database, these three thematic pillars only form the framework of CCRDMT research. Many other topics at the interface between organization and information technology can and have already been researched by the CCRDMT.

Through the additional cooperation with Professors Staab and Jürjens, who also act as academic directors, additional topics and the area of software engineering and data analytics, which are a key to implementing predictive maintenance, can now also be covered.