Dr Nathan Darroch

Dr Nathan Darroch
MA PhD MIAM

Honorary Research Fellow

Overview
Dr Nathan Darroch
Dr Nathan Darroch

Contact Details

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The University of Aberdeen No office base, but please feel free to email.

Biography

Personal interests

I am passionate about transport, especially railway-based systems and learning new skills, knowledge, and experiences. My willingness to develop myself enables me to share my knowledge and experiences to help  students to achieve their career goals, whilst further developing myself.

As such, I have undertaken self-study and development of my knowledge of transport systems, especially railway-based systems, their history and socio-economic effects and affects on local, national, and international environments, for over 35 years.

For many years, I have also volunteered  on heritage railways undertaking restoration, repair, maintenance, and operation of steam and diesel/diesel-electric locomotives, units, and rolling stock.

These experiences and my journey to join the University of Aberdeen as an Honorary Research Fellow, make me even more enthusiastic to participate in the research at the University, thus contibuting to knowledge. 

Selected employment

Since leaving school, I have had many and varied roles, including working in factories, hotels, a working men's club, a petrol station, and spending time in Ghana, West Africa. Between 2001 and present, I have worked in the public transport industry in London, as:

  • a bus driver;
  • tram driver; and
  • within London Underground and Transport for London, as an asset data manager, researching and advising on the multi-disciplinary (legal, civil engineering, asset management, geographical, and historical) presence, property, and protection interfaces of London Underground and Transport for London infrastructure and its interfaces with external stakeholders (land and property owners; Network Rail; local planning and highway authorities; utilities providers).

Academic studies

Graduate Certificate – Railway Studies and Transport History, the University of York (Distance Learning), Sep 2007 – Sep 2009;

Master of Arts - Railway Studies by research, University of York (Part Time), Sep 2010 – Sep 2012. Dissertation, considered the multi-disciplinary interfaces of tube railway infrastructure and its environment, in London, from historical perspectives;

Doctor of Philosophy - Transport Studies, University of Aberdeen (Part Time), 2014 –2019. Thesis, described the qualitative research methods employed to develop and test a conceptual framework, and its supporting ancillary components, to assist the multi-disciplinary analysis of the interfaces between urban underground metro infrastructure and its environment. The thesis, provided case study examples of the interfaces of UUMI and its environment in Glasgow and London; with some consideration of other transport infrastructure interfaces in the UK, New York, US; Paris, France; and Den Haag, Netherlands.

Additional roles

Member of the Institute of Asset Management, 2017 - Present;

Visiting lecturer - London South Bank University, London, UK, 2017 - present. MSc in Transport Engineering and Asset management (Railway Asset Management); Apprenticeship programme, Railway Engineering (Traction and rolling stock).

Member and Chair of the Industrial Advisory Panel - London South Bank University, London, UK, 2017 - July 2020. Supporting academic colleagues through collaboration with other Civil Engineering and built environment practitioners, advising on industry needs from under and post graduate students; support the development of students and courses to assist student employability. 


External Memberships and Affiliations

My previous and current external responsibilities, externally to the Unversity of Aberdeen, enable me to bring a wide variety of skills, knowledge, and experience to the University of Aberdeen, where I further developed those personal, academic, and professional abilities, through my PhD within the University, and the support of colleagues, here.

At London South Bank University (LSBU):

As a visiting lecturer, I teach apprentices on the Rail Apprenticeship Scheme, which will see the students gain either a Higher National Diploma or Batchelor of Engineering Degree in Railways. My module considers traction and rolling stock, and how these enable effective socio-economics in the UK, through the relatively rapid movement of bulk freight and high quantities of passengers locally, nationally, and internationally. 

My teaching also includes, a module on the MSc in Civil Engineering, sharing my practitioner knowledge of effective railway infrastructure asset management, and how this is essential to the safe presence, operation, and management of railway infrastructure within its various contextual environments.

As the Industrial Chair of the Industrial Advisory Board for LSBU, and in collaboration with professional and academic colleagues, we collectively assist the development of courses, within the School of Civil Engineering and the Built Environment, to provide students with the skills and knowledge they need to be 21st Century civil engineers and graduates of the University.

One of the many essential functions of being a board member, is enabling the students to achieve their  career goals. As LSBU board members, we collectively provide students with the opputunity to learn about what is required to gain employment and what is required of them in the workplace, through discussions us as practitioners and workplace managers, within civil engineering, project and asset mangement roles. 

Within Transport for London (TfL) and London Underground (LU):

Within my spare time, I am employed full-time, by TfL, as an asset data manager, where I undertake multi-disciplinary (legal, civil engineering, historical, geographcal, and asset management) research in to the interfaces of TfL and LU infrastructure and its envornment.

This role sees me undertake that multi-disciplinary research to provide evidence-based findings to collegues pan-TfL and London Underground and with their interfacing stakeholders, including, but not limited to solicitors, engineers, property managers, asset managers, and private land and property owners. thus enabling the safe continued presence and oepration of TfL/LU infrastructrue and its enviornment.

Research

Research Overview

The historical development of land based transport systems (railway-based systems, road, and canal/river), and how the analysis of past events can be employed to explain the present and future of transport infrastructure and its environment, with regard to urban development and urban management.

The multi-disciplinary (legal; historical; geographical; civil engineering - asset, project, and urban, management), presence, property, and protection interfaces of transport infrastructure and its environment, and how these have been affected by and continue to affect their environment.

Analysis of the multi-disciplinary nature of transport infrastructure and its contextual environment, from legal (legislation/statute; and contracts (covenants/easements)), historical, civil engineering, asset management, and geographical perspectives.

How, when, where and why, the multi-disciplinary interfaces of transport infrastructure and its environment must be comprehended and managed effectively to enable truly sustainable urban and transport infrastructure design, planning, construction, and management, now and for the future.

The development of standardised, internationally applicable, processes of interface analysis and gathering, verification, validation, publication, and management, of data relative to the production and sharing of evidence-based multi-disciplinary data to effect urban and asset management. 

Current Research

In line with my personal and research interests with regard to transport and its related infrastructure within its contextual envionment, I am currently developing and undertaking the AIR Research Project.

The aim of the AIR Research Project is to develop and apply a standardised Asset Interface Register (AIR), and related processes (the AIR processes), for the sharing of multi-disciplinary (legal, civil engineering, asset management, historical, geographical) evidence-based data relative to the interfaces of railway-based transport infrastructure and its environment.

To achieve this aim, the project will employ scientific approaches to analysis of those interfaces to generate evidence-based and reasoning of the occurrences of the interfaces of transport infrastructure and its environment for current and future transport and urban management asset and urban management needs.

The subsequently generated evidence-based data and reasonings for the occurrences of the interfaces will assist the development of BIM and asset management processes for railway-based transport infrastructure owning/managing organisations (Metros, Tramways, Railway) and their interfacing stakeholders (land and property, utilities, owners and maintainers, and local authorities), to effect truly sustainable urban management, globally.

The aim of this research will be achieved through:

  1. the development and application, in participation with industry partners, of the standardised AIR processes of analysis, data gathering, verification, validation, publication and maintenance, of interface data between transport owning/managing organisations and their interfacing stakeholders;
  2. benchmarking and sharing of knowledge and best practices from employment of the AIR processes, between transport infrastructure owning/managing organisations employing the AIR processes;
  3. sharing and development of knowledge created through the employment of the AIR processes, between transport infrastructure owning/managing organisations employing the AIR processes, interfacing stakeholders and local planning authorities;
  4. journal publications and conference attendance, to share the findings from the data gathered, with practitioners and academics, internationally;
  5. informing policy-makers of the complex multi-disciplinary nature of the interfaces of transport infrastructure and its environment, and the need for these to be managed effectively, through transport and urban management policies;
  6. amendments to organisational, local, national, and international standards, policies, and best practices, for transport and urban asset and infrastructure interface management.  

Collaborations

The project will see me working with collegues and students within the University of Aberdeen, especially seeing my conitiunig collaboration with Dr Mark Beecroft, Lecturer, in the School of Engineering, and Proffessor John D. Nelson, of the Univeristy of Sydeny Business School, and two collegues, externally to the Univerity of Aberdeen, who developed the AIR processes with me.  

As the research progresses, collaborations will be developed with transport infrastructure owning/maintaining organisations, internationally. 

Publications

Publications 

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