The Institution of Railway Signal Engineers (IRSE) is the professional body for railway systems engineers. The very active Australasian section encourages professional development and networking through national technical meetings, frequent local meetings and formal professional education. Formal professional development is primarily through the CQU Graduate Diploma in Railway Signalling and Telecommunications and associated programs.
The IRSE is a UK based organisation, formed in 1912 and administered from London. The Australasian section comprises members of the UK IRSE who work locally to achieve the aims of the Australasian section.
The Technical Meetings are generally held in March, July and November each year. The technical meetings are held in different locations throughout Australasia and Asia to facilitate access for all members. In 2009 the meetings will be in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney. Details of meetings can be found on the Meetings page. At each Technical Meeting there is a range of papers, usually presented on a Friday. The papers are generally selected from those submitted in response to a public "call for papers" and will usually be on a particular theme. Technical papers are peer reviewed and are published on this website (accessible only by members). There is usually a field visit on the Saturday of the Technical Meeting, where members can inspect new projects or sites of interest to railway systems engineers.
The Annual General Meeting is held in March or April each year and is combined with the Technical Meeting. Officers and committee members are elected at the Annual General Meeting.
Local meetings are much less formal than the technical meetings. At these meetings one or two speakers will give a presentation on a subject of interest. There are no formal papers prepared, with the emphasis being on open discussion and interchange of ideas.
The local meeting details for the next few months are shown on the Coming Events section and the full programs are available in the Local Meetings page.
There is an international convention each year. This is usually in a European country, although there have been meetings in Australia and Thailand. The International Convention is usually a five-day meeting with a combination of technical papers and extensive site visits. The international meetings are organised by the IRSE UK and full details are available on the UK website.
The IRSE recognises that the exchange of ideas and information is critical both to the industry and to an individual's own career success. An aspect of almost all of our meetings is an opportunity to "network" with fellow professionals, both members and visitors. We encourage visitors to attend IRSE meetings and there is generally an open invitation to all meetings.
Continuing Professional Development and Lifelong Learning
Continuing professional development is a key activity of the IRSE. Members are encouraged and helped to keep abreast of new developments in science and engineering relevant to their field of professional activity and to encourage those under their supervision to do likewise.
A wide range of formal activities is provided to assist in professional development. The technical meeting and local meeting programs are designed to cover a range of subjecst to which members might otherwise not be exposed.
The IRSE has promoted university courses in railway systems engineering and IRSE members are authors and tutors of the Central Queensland University Railway Signalling and Diploma courses. These courses provide certificates, graduate diplomas and master's degrees in railway systems. For more information see CQU Courses.
The main printed communications medium is the IRSE News. This magazine is published ten times a year and is airmailed from the UK. Members can keep up to date with activities around the world through this magazine.
Membership of the IRSE has many benefits. There are several grades of membership, some requiring demonstration of competency and others providing for less formal membership. Details of IRSE membership are available on the UK web site irse.org. Membership of IRSE Australasia is available for IRSE members living in Australia and New Zealand.
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