Emerging Railway Professional Awards

Emerging Railway Professionals are hereby invited to submit a proposal to enter the Emerging Railway Professional Awards that will be presented at the International Heavy Haul Association that will be held on Cape Town on the 02 to 06 September 2017.

Purpose of the Award:

The theme of the 11th International Heavy Haul Association (IHHA) Conference is “Advancing heavy haul technologies and operations in a changing world.” In line with this theme IHHA would like to recognize innovative solutions proposed by Emerging Railway Professionals that are aimed at improvements in the railway industry in any of the following areas: Operations, Maintenance, Safety and Construction.

The main purpose is to encourage participation of the Emerging Railway Professionals in taking the railways to the future. Through this award category Emerging Railway Professional will benefit as they will get exposure and be noticed at the international railway platform.

Qualifying Criteria:

  1. University degree or the equivalent
  2. Currently working within the railway industry
  3. Have not more than 5 years of work experience after graduating
    • Note – does not include work experience gained prior to graduation
  4. Not more than 35 years of age


Write a paper on a technical topic within the freight heavy haul railway industry proposing a new solution to an existing or a potential problem. The issue discussed in the paper should have a significant impact on the freight heavy haul railway industry. In your proposal, describe the problem and its current or future impact; demonstrate how the problem can be addressed and how the solution will result into an improvement in one or more of the following areas: Operations, Maintenance, Safety and Construction.

Papers submitted to the IHHA Conference proceedings may be also submitted for consideration as long as the principal submitting author meets all of the above criteria

Important Dates:

Deadline of Submission of the paper 30 June 2017
Date of giving feedback on outcome to those who submitted papers and notifying the top 5 15 July 2017
Date for presentations by the top 5 to the panel to select top 2 finalists 20 July 2017
Date for informing the top 2 finalists 28 July 2017
Top 2 finalists present at the 11th IHHA conference in Cape Town, South Africa on Day 1 4 September 2017
Announcement of the winner and handover of the award during the closing ceremony of
the 11th IHHA conference in Cape Town, South Africa
6 September 2017

Selection criteria:

  • An Independent “Emerging Railway Professional Award” sub-committee of IHHA has been set up to review the submissions and select the 2 finalists
  • All submissions will be sent to the secretary of the sub-committee
  • 5 shortlisted submissions will be presented to the sub-committee
  • 2 finalists will then be selected by the sub-committee
  • The 2 finalists will be given 10 minutes each to present their papers at the conference during the opening ceremony
  • A decision will then be made on who the winner is and an announcement will be at the Gala Dinner

Judging Criteria:

  • Areas of improvement should be within: Operations, Maintenance, Safety and Construction.
  • Improvements should target safety, reliability or efficiency improvements.
  • Papers will receive extra consideration for cost benefit analysis, with a goal of a net positive cost benefit within 5 years of full implementation
  • Ideas will be judged on potential for implementation as well as ease of implementation
  • Papers will also be judged on clarity of presentation and writing style


The 2 Finalists:

  • Will receive complimentary entry into the 11th IHHA Conference which includes main conference, gala dinner and technical tour
  • Paid for travelling costs which is: economy return flights from country of origin to and from Cape Town, South Africa; accommodation costs, daily food allowance, transport within county of travel and visa application fee

1st Place:

  • Announced at the conference
  • Will be awarded Emerging Railway Professional Trophy
  • Will be awarded a certificate for recognition as a winner
  • Get an opportunity to visit a railway research institution for duration of a week: Travelling costs paid for which will include: economy return flights from country of origin, accommodation, daily food allowance, transport within county of travel and visa application fee
  • It is a requirement that a report summarizing the learnings and insights from the chosen institute to submitted to IHHA “Emerging Railway Professional Awards” sub-committee and to the Sponsor of this category a month after the visit.

Runner up (2nd Place):

  • Will be awarded a certificate for recognition as a runner up
  • Receive Free admission to the Next IHHA conference to be hosted by Sweden/Norway in 2019. (excludes travel and accommodation costs)

All entry proposals are to be emailed to the Conference Secretariat at info@ihha2017.co.za.