The CRC for Rail Innovation recognises the importance of investing in the future of collaborative research.

To date, the CRC has awarded 77 CRC Research Scholarships to PhD and Masters Candidates across our seven partner universities to enable post graduate students to carry out further research in topics that span all of our themes. Many of the student topics are aligned to our CRC projects.

To gain an appreciation of the breadth of this research, click on the names below to learn more.

Workforce Development

Janene Piip - How is leadership talent identified and developed in Australian rail industry organisations?

PhD Candidate - University of South Australia

This research sets out to undertake a study of current leadership talent management practices within the Australian rail industry. This study is important for a number of reasons.

Little is known about the way that leadership is valued, identified and developed in the Australian context nor in rail industry environments. Leadership talent refers to the ‘potential’ for leadership at all levels of the organisation and subsequent ways this talent is fostered and developed. Identifying current practice can assist rail organisations plan for future leadership needs and to develop strategies to retain specialised rail industry knowledge as experienced, senior staff retire.

This research provides valuable links to a bigger picture of other current research projects undertaken by the CRC for Rail Innovation Workforce Development project on ‘Developing a Leadership and Management Development Framework’ and ‘Mentoring and Coaching’.

Aligned to project Mentoring and Coaching

Katie Maher - Recognising the skills, knowledge and experience of Indigenous and culturally diverse peoples in rail.

Masters/PhD Candidate - University of South Australia

Greater appreciation of the knowledge and skills of Indigenous and ethnic minority employees can support the development of a more culturally diverse, skilled and knowledgeable rail workforce. My thesis aims to strengthen recognition of the capabilities of Indigenous and ethnic minority peoples in the Australian rail industry.

The thesis examines how current rail standards and systems enable and constrain recognition of the knowledge and skills of a culturally diverse workforce. Through analysis of equity and diversity policies and interviews with rail industry employees and employers, this research provides insight into how race shapes the way skills, knowledge and experience are judged and assessed.

The thesis considers how the knowledge, skills and experience of Indigenous and culturally diverse peoples have contributed to Australian rail. It includes an historical study of Aboriginal involvement in rail which recognises the important role Indigenous peoples have played in building and maintaining the Australian railways.

Aligned to project Skills Recognition

Kristal Reynolds - Critical Success Elements for the Design and Implementation of Organisational E-learning.

Masters dissertation - Queensland University of Technology

Organisations are engaging in e-learning as mechanism for delivering flexible learning to meet the needs of individuals and organisations. On light of the increasing se and organisational investment in e-learning, the need for methods to evaluate the success of its design and implementation seems more important than ever. To date, developing a standard for the evaluation of e-learning appears to have eluded both academics and practitioners.


The currently accepted evaluation methods for e-learning are traditional learning and development models, such as Kirkpatrick’s model (1976). Due to the technical nature of e-learning it is important to broaden the scope and consider other evaluation models or techniques, such as the DeLone and McLean Information Success Model, that may be applicative to the e-learning domain., Research into the use of e-learning courses has largely avoided considering the applicability of information systems research. Given this observation, it is reasonable to conclude that e-learning implementation decisions and practice could be overlooking useful or additional viewpoints.


The research investigates how existing evaluation models apply in the context of organisational e-learning, and resulted in an Organisational E-learning success Framework, which identifies the critical elements for success in an e-learning environment.


In particular this thesis highlights the critical importance of three e-learning system creation elements: system quality, information quality, and support quality. These elements were explored in depth and the nature of each element is described in detail. In addition, two further elements were identified as factors integral to the success of an e-learning system; learner preferences and change management.


Overall, this research has demonstrated the need for a holistic approach to e-learning evaluation. Furthermore, it has shown that the application of both traditional training evaluation approaches and the D&M IS Success Model are appropriate to the organisation e-learning context, and when combined can provide this holistic approach. Practically, this thesis has reported the need for organisations to consider evaluation at all stages of e-learning from design through to implementation.


Reynolds, K (2012) Critical success elements for the design and implementation of organisational e-learning (Masters dissertation, Queensland University of Technology, 2012). Retrieved from Trove.

Aligned to project E-Learning for Rail

Mehdi Ebrahimi - Mentoring & Coaching Framework for Australian Rail Industry

PhD candidate - Central Queensland University.

Aligned to project Mentoring and Coaching