The IRSE organises a full programme of events ranging from the presentation of technical papers through to major international conventions and conferences. These events are organised either by one of the local sections of the Institution or by the headquarters office.
Technical papers are prepared, published and presented covering a wide spectrum of topics in railway control and communications. A number of key papers, arranged by the President of the year, are presented in London between October and April each year, and are generally published in IRSE News prior to the author’s presentation. Both members and non-members are welcome to attend the presentations which are free of charge. There is a question and answer forum after each presentation with the main points of the discussion recorded and printed together with the paper in the annual proceedings. Each local section arranges its own programme of technical papers and details can be found on the Near You section of the site.
Unless otherwise stated, all London technical papers are read at the Institution of Engineering and Technology, Savoy Place, London WC2R 0BL. A number of London papers have been televised and are now available for members to view in the Knowledge area of the site. Unless otherwise stated, it is not necessary to register in advance to attend these meetings.
Full or half day seminars on specific and topical subjects are arranged periodically, usually in London but sometimes in other centres. Details of these seminars are circulated to members, and generally individual registration and a small fee is required for these events. Members and non-members can attend although there is normally a higher charge for non-members.
Presentations from previous seminars can be viewed as online webcasts from the Knowledge area of the site. Presentations are published in IRSE News and in the Institution's Annual Proceedings which can also be viewed from the Knowledge area.
Technical visits are arranged to see S&T engineering systems in operation, going behind the scenes to view the equipment in use and often covering the operational aspects of the systems. The visits are held throughout the world and cover a wide variety of operational systems. There is usually a small administration fee to cover the costs of organising the visit, and attendees are expected to make their own travel and hotel arrangements, although details of potential options are provided. Visits are sometimes arranged in association with seminars and conferences.
The Institution organises an international technical convention every year to various railway administrations to see differing engineering and operational practices. The convention, lasting some four days, comprises a mix of technical papers and presentations, technical visits to see systems in use and a programme of tourist and social events for partners. In recent years, conventions have been held in India, Spain, Thailand, The Netherlands, Switzerland, and France.
The IRSE organises a major two or three day technical conference, ASPECT, every two to four years. Held in London, this prestigious event provides the opportunity to learn about new signalling and communications techniques from presenters from around the world. In addition, the Institution supports many other conferences organised by other engineering institutions and the Railway Engineers Forum.
The last ASPECT conference was held in September 2012 in conjunction with the Institution's centenary and Technical Convention in London. The date for the next one has not yet been confirmed, but is likely to be in 2015 or 2016.
An Annual Dinner is arranged in London in April. It follows the annual general meeting and inauguration of the new President and the President's address. Both members and non-members can attend. The event presents an opportunity to socialise with colleagues from across the whole industry, both railway administrations and suppliers.
For members only, this event held in Central London in June each year, provides an opportunity to socialise with current and past colleagues in an informal setting.