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Politecnico di Milano, Dipartimento di Meccanica

Name of Member: Politecnico di Milano, Dipartimento di Meccanica
Acronym: PoliMI
Telephone: +39 02 23998495
Address: Via La Masa 1, I-20156 Milano ITALY

Politecnico di Milano is a public scientific-technological university which trains engineers, architects and industrial designers. The University has always focused on the quality and innovation of its teaching and research, developing a fruitful relationship with business and productive world by means of experimental research and technological transfer. Research is a priority commitment which has allowed Politecnico Milano to achieve high quality results at an international level as to join the university to the business world. Politecnico di Milano is part of several international university networks including, among others, IDEALeague, Alliance4Tech, Enhance.

The Department of Mechanical Engineering ( delivers high-quality research and teaching in all branches of mechanical engineering. Inside this department, the “Railway vehicle Dynamics” research group is active. The group is presently formed by 4 full professors, 5 associate professors, 3 assistant professors and approximately 15 PhD students. Theoretical investigation is backed by top-class experimental facilities, including the boundary layer wind tunnel, the full scale “Hardware-in-the-Loop” test bench for railway bogies, the bench for rotating bending fatigue on railway axles, the HiL test bench for pantographs and a full-scale test stand to study pantograph-catenary contact. More recently a new area of research has been started including railway travel demand forecasting models and network flow simulation. Research carried out by the group benefits from continuing interaction with some of the main industrial stakeholders worldwide.

Railway vehicle dynamics, wheel/rail contact, train-track interaction, pantograph-catenary interaction, railway vehicle mechatronics, condition monitoring and fault detection in railway systems (rolling stock and infrastructure), railway noise, railway travel demand forecasting.

Prof. Stefano Bruni, PhD ( has more than 30 years research experience on dynamics, vibration, stability and active control of mechanical systems, with applications to ground vehicles (road and rail), large civil structures, industrial machinery. He is author of approximately 315 scientific publications. He is / has been lead scientist for PoliMI in several research projects funded by the industry or by the EC. Prof. Bruni is a member of the Editorial Board of some prestigious journals like the Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit and was a Vice-President of the IAVSD – International Association for Vehicle System Dynamics.


Prof. Pierluigi Coppola, Ph.D. ( has a more than 20 years research experience in travel behavior modeling with application high-speed and regional railways, appraisal of transport infrastructure and integrated land-use/transport policies, and sustainable urban mobility planning. He is author of more than 130 scientific publications and member of the Editorial Boards of reputable transportation research journals, such as Case Studies in Transport Policy (Elsevier). Prof. Coppola is/has been involved in several research projects in Italy, Netherlands, Portugal and Spain. He is Steering Committee member of the World Conference of Transportation Research (WCTR) Society and expert advisor of the Italian Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport.

Prof. Roberto Corradi, PhD ( has 25 years research experience in dynamics of mechanical systems, vibration and vibroacoustics, especially with application to road and rail vehicles. His current research interests focus on tyre/road noise, railway noise and track dynamics. He is author of more than 120 scientific publications. He has been principal investigator for Politecnico di Milano of two EC funded projects and of several research projects funded by industrial companies and transport operators. He is the head of the Mechanical Systems research line at the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the coordinator of PSVL (PoliMI Sound and Vibration Laboratory).


Prof. Gisella Tomasini, PhD ( is co-author of about 140 scientific publications (35 papers on peer-refereed international journals). She was PI of the PoliMI research unit for 4 projects funded by competitive research grants and responsible for more than 20 Tests and Research Projects funded by public and private companies. The research activity is mainly focused on the aerodynamics of rail and road vehicles, by experimental full scale and wind tunnel activities and numerical analysis by multi-body and CFD approaches. Other activities were carried out in the field of energy harvesting systems and smart self-powered sensors for predictive maintenance and vehicle monitoring.


A selection of projects, activities and papers:

  • Building a community of railway scientific researchers and academia for ERJU and enabling a network of PhDs (academia teaming with industry), 2023 – ongoing, funded by Europe’s Rail
  • RAISE-UB RAIlways stations multi-SErvice Hub, funded by EIT Urban Mobility
  • NEXT generation methods, concepts and solutions for the design of robust and sustainable running GEAR, 2019 – 2021, funded by Shift2Rail
  • Run2RAIL Innovative RUNning gear soluTiOns for new dependable, sustainable, intelligent and comfortable RAIL vehicles, 2019-2021, funded by Shift2Rail
  • INNOWAG – Innovative Monitoring and Predictive Maintenance Solutions on Lightweight Wagon, 2016-2019, funded by Shift2Rail,
  • RISEN: Rail Infrastructure Systems Engineering Network, 2015-2021, funded by MSCA-RISE
  • Active control of secondary air spring suspensions in HS trains, 2020-2023, funded by an industry partner
  • Semi-active control of primary dampers in HS trains, 2020-2023, funded by an industry partner
  • Study on ballast settlement and related mathematical models, 2021-2023, funded by industry partners
  • Structural Integrity of wheels, 2020-ongoing, funded by an industry partner
  • Monitoring of railway lines from measurements performed on-board serviced trains, 2020-ongoing, funded by industry partners
  • Semi-active yaw dampers to improve stability in HS trains, 2018-2021, funded by an industry partner
  • Rail profile optimisation to mitigate wear and rolling contact fatigue at wheel/rail contact, 2020-2021, funded by an industry partner
  • Predictive modelling of curve squeal noise occurrence in urban tramways, 2020-2023, funded by industry partners
  • Optimization of suspension components and floating floor to improve ride comfort of high-speed trains, 2018-2019, funded by an industry partner
  • Aerodynamic characterisation of high speed (HS) and conventional trains, funded by industry partners

Recent selected papers:

Liu B., Vollebregt E., Bruni S. (2023). Review of conformal wheel/rail contact modelling approaches: towards the application in rail vehicle dynamics simulation. Vehicle System Dynamics, vol. 0, p. 1-25, ISSN: 0042-3114

Baeza L., Bruni S., Giner-Navarro J., Liu B. (2023). A linear non-Hertzian unsteady tangential wheel-rail contact model. Tribology International, vol. 181, p. 1-10, ISSN: 0301-679X, doi: 10.1016/j.triboint.2023.108345.

Liu B., Bruni S., Lewis R. (2023) Numerical calculation of wear in rolling contact based on the Archard equation: Effect of contact parameters and consideration of uncertainties, Wear, Vol. 490-491, 2022, DOI 10.1016/j.wear.2021.204188

Spiryagin, Maksym, Bruni, Stefano, Bosomworth, Christopher, Wolfs, Peter, Cole, Colin (2021). Rail Vehicle Mechatronics. CRC Press, ISBN: 9780367464738, doi: 10.1201/9781003028994

Mistry P.J., Johnson M.S., Li S., Bruni S., Bernasconi A., (2021) Parametric sizing study for the design of a lightweight composite railway axle, Composite Structures, 2021, Vol. 267, DOI 10.1016/j.compstruct.2021.113851.

Bruni S., Meijaard J. P., Rill G., Schwab A. L. (2020). State-of-the-art and challenges of railway and road vehicle dynamics with multibody dynamics approaches. MULTIBODY SYSTEM DYNAMICS, vol. 49, p. 1-32, ISSN: 1384-5640, DOI: 10.1007/s11044-020-09735-z

Coppola P., De Fabiis F. (2023) “The Impacts of High-speed Rail Development on Territorial Cohesion: a Method with Two Case Studies in Italy” Springer Proceedings in Business and Economics, p. 89 – 107. ISSN: 21987246 DOI: 10.1007/978-3-031-26340-8_6

Coppola, P.; Silvestri, F. (2020) Assessing travellers’ safety and security perception in railway stations. Case Studies on Transport  Policy , Vol.8, p. 1127–1136 . DOI: 10.1016/j.cstp.2020.05.006

La Paglia, I., Carnevale, M., Corradi, R., Di Gialleonardo, E., Facchinetti, A., Lisi, S. (2023). Condition monitoring of vertical track alignment by bogie acceleration measurements on commercial high-speed vehicles. Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing, 186, DOI: 10.1016/j.ymssp.2022.109869

Ding, B., Squicciarini, G., Thompson, D., Corradi, R. (2018). An assessment of mode-coupling and falling-friction mechanisms in railway curve squeal through a simplified approach. Journal of Sound and Vibration, 423, pp. 126-140. DOI: 10.1016/j.jsv.2018.02.048

Cii S., Tomasini G., Bacci M.L., Tarsitano D. (2022). Solar Wireless Sensor Nodes for Condition Monitoring of Freight Trains. IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems, 23 (5), pp. 3995 – 4007, DOI: 10.1109/TITS.2020.3038319

Rocchi D., Tomasini G., Schito P., Somaschini C. (2018). Wind effects induced by high-speed train pass-by in open air. Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics, 173, pp. 279 – 288, DOI: 10.1016/j.jweia.2017.10.020