The future of transport in motion.

We are a sustainable technology company designing and implementing transport systems for the future.

Vanguard Sustainable Transport Solutions deliver clean, decarbonised mobility, through developing solutions across the technology stack.

Vanguard is a fast growing spin-out from one of the UK’s leading universities, building on decades of cutting edge research. We work across the mobility and energy sectors to deliver the holistic solutions necessary to provide decarbonised transport systems. We are committed to enabling transport systems to decarbonise rapidly, delivering sustainable solutions and developing the exceptional engineering talent needed to deliver them.

Initially focused on the rail market, Vanguard is driving the decarbonisation of heavy transport through the development of hydrogen and battery solutions comprising both the propulsion system and the long-term supply of hydrogen and charging infrastructure.

Vanguard employs a systems approach focused on demand-led solutions providing clean mobility for people and goods and associated supporting infrastructure.

Why Now?

Vanguard is committed to identifying the correct technologies for sustainable, net-zero rail applications.

Decarbonisation deadlines are fast approaching.

  • • European target of 2040 for removal of diesel-only operations.
  • • Net Zero obligations.

Economics are favourable.

  • • Fuel cost parity achievable.
  • • Capital costs falling.
  • • Facilitate cross-border traffic.

Technology is proven.

  • • Learning rate acceleration.
  • • Scaling of broader hydrogen economy.
  • • Developments in automotive industry (batteries).

Potential to de-bottleneck renewable energy development.

  • • Islanded sites – avoid or jump grid queue.

Proven Capability

Vanguard comprises the core of the team that developed the world’s first converted hydrogen train, to be mainline approved.

Continuous Research & Development

  • • We have close ties with leading UK universities.
  • • Our CTO is a respected Professor of Railway Traction Systems.
  • • We have dedicated research and development resources.

Engineering Excellence

  • • HydroFLEX I and II built to prove concept.
  • • HydroShunter demonstrator in build.
  • • Engagement with engineering experts for peer reviews.
  • • ISO9001 Accredited.

Market Share

  • • Suppliers to major OEMs, operators, lessors & infra owners.
  • • Validation of research via real world projects.
  • • Members of UKHEA


  • • European Rail Clusters Initiative, Best SME 2022.
  • • Guardian University Awards 2020.
  • • Multiple InnovateUK projects, including 2x winner of Innovate UK Rail FOAK funding.
  • • Global Infrastructure Investor Association.

HySENSE Feasibility

We help you explore the viability of sustainable technology for your transport systems.

  • Feasibility studies
  • Fuel usage calculations
  • Drive system concept design
  • Strategy & Project planning
  • Short and long-term cost analysis


We design, develop and deliver sustainable solutions that make the future of your transport system a reality.

  • Detailed hydrogen-hybrid drive system design
  • New vehicle & retrofit conversions for freight (NEO) and passenger (Ion) vehicles
  • Standalone, flexible power management units (PMU)
  • Equipment manufacture & procurement
  • Vehicle builds
  • Project management
  • Standards compliance & homologation

HySENSE Optimisation

  • Use real world data to optimise drivetrain hardware for the intended applications
  • Save money and resources by accurately sizing components

We help operators of hydrogen and battery vehicles by managing the ongoing short- and long-term operational demands, along with sourcing and managing the correct infrastructure for the application.

Hydrogen as a Service

  • Fuel supply
  • Operator training
  • Operational safety cases (depot and maintenance integration)
  • Hardware maintenance and upgrades

HySENSE Operate

  • Realtime systems monitoring
  • Definition of fuelling infrastructure requirements
  • Fuel demand forecasting using real-world inputs
  • Energy management


  • Bespoke refuelling infrastructure
  • Integration with renewable energy sources

Our Projects

Our Roadmap


2005 – 2021

Academic leadership IP development

Technology scaling and demonstrations

Hydrogen Hero, HydroFLEX I, HydroFLEX II



Validate thesis through consultancy and support services

WIP Prototype solution – NEO1

WIP Develop optimisation software and alternative refuelling

WIP Pilot operations


2027 – 2030

Initial fleet retrofits

Optimisation software deployed

Infrastructure development

Want to tell us about your project and see how Vanguard could help?

The future of sustainable transportation is closer than you think.

Get in touch

The Team

Nick Tansley

An investment banker with a focus on clean energy projects. Nick joined Vanguard as Chair in 2022.

Nick Tansley


Rob Gibson MIET

A specialist in developing small businesses with experience in automotive, leisure, aerospace and rail.

Rob Gibson

Chief Executive Officer

Alex Burrows FIET, FCILT
Chief Strategy Officer

A specialist in the commercial development of rail. Alex is a founder of Vanguard and one of the original HydroFLEX team members.

Alexander Burrows

Chief Strategy Officer

Dr. Charles Calvert
Chief Engineer

A systems engineer motivated by the introduction of new and clean technology. Charles is founder of Vanguard and one of the original HydroFLEX team members.

Charles Calvert

Chief Engineer

Prof. Stuart Hillmansen
Chief Technical Officer

Leader of the Railway Traction Systems research group at the University of Birmingham. Stuart is founder of Vanguard and one of the original HydroFLEX team members.

Stuart Hillmansen

Chief Technology Officer

Dr. Jeff Allan
Technical Specialist

A true hydrogen trailblazer, working on hydrogen projects since 2005. Jeff holds two Guinness World Records for electric vehicle charging times. Jeff is founder of Vanguard and one of the original HydroFLEX team members.

Jeff Allan

Technical Specialist

Ben Aitken

Project Manager

Callum Nicolson

Project Engineer

Rabee Jibrin

Senior Software Architect

Hakime Goren

Simulation Engineer

Jenny Cottam-Allan

Business & Project Administrator

Finnbarr Mitchell de-Vesey

Engineering Intern

Rob Gibson, MIET.
15 years in management of design, development and manufacture of bespoke engineering for road and rail.

Ted Dunster

Engineering Intern

Vanguard Academy

We believe that the success of our transition to sustainable transport relies on encouraging the next generation of engineers and innovators to get involved and make their mark on the industry. The Vanguard Academy seeks to offer opportunities to anybody with a passion for sustainability to get involved through paid work placements and internships.

Areas focussed on through the Vanguard Academy include areas such as software development, control systems engineering, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering.

The current focus group for Vanguard Academy candidates are university students from 2nd year undergrad upwards. If you’d like to find out more information, please contact