The Transportation Research Group (TRG) is one of the UK's longest established and leading centres for multi-disciplinary transport teaching and research.
Major activities relate to all aspects of the development, application and understanding of the impacts of a wide range of transportation systems, with particular expertise in Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS). Additional fundamental research is being undertaken in the areas of Traffic Management, Safety, the Environment/Sustainability, Bus and Rail Operations, Human Factors, Freight and Logistics, and Walking and Cycling. The Group works closely with external research, government and industry bodies. The Group currently consists of five academic staff, 16 research staff and 22 PhD/EngD students.
The Group offers an MSc Programme in Transportation Planning and Engineering, organised by Dr Nick Hounsell. This is part of the national Universities Transport Partnership, supported by EPSRC. TRG also supports a number of students undertaking PhD and EngD (Engineering Doctorate in Transport Knowledge and Systems Engineering) research.
Professor John Preston, Head of the Civil, Maritime and Environmental Engineering and Science Unit, is Chair in Rail Transport and the University's Director of Development of Rail Research. His wider research interests cover transport economics, planning and policy. He is Editor of the Transport Policy journal. Professor Nick Hounsell, Director of the Group, continues substantial research activities in the areas of bus priority, pedestrians, and traffic management more generally. Professor Neville Stanton holds the Chair of Human Factors in Transport; his research interests include Intelligent Transport Systems in Vehicles and Flight Deck Design. Eddie Wilson is Professor of Modelling and Simulation. His background is in Applied Mathematics with a focus in particular in engineering and industrial applications. Professor Mike McDonald is the former Chairman of ITS UK, Vice Chairman of the European Road Transport Research Advisory Council (ERTRAC) and is leading major national and international research projects relating to the application of new technology, sustainability and the future of transport. Dr. Tom Cherrett is leading freight and logistics research and Dr. Ben Waterson the area of traffic modelling and operations.
The Group hosts a UK China ITS Centre (UCIC) which was set up by the Department of Trade and Industry (UK) and the Ministry of Science and Technology (China), and is being taken forward by WSP under the direction of Professor Jianping Wu, who is responsible for the sub-Centre at Beijing Jiaotong University. It is also a leading player in the EPSRC Rail Research UK and Sustainable Urban Environment initiatives and is the home of the SRIF instrumented vehicle.
We view transport as a socio-technical system capable of delivering sustainable outcomes but also with the potential for unsustainable outcomes if the interactions between transport technology and society are not adequately addressed (see diagram below). We are particularly interested in how society shapes, and is shaped by, technological developments in transport. This requires an interdisciplinary involving both the engineering and physical sciences and social sciences. TRG's work is multi-modal and covers both passenger and freight transport, whilst also examining the scope that information technology may act as a complement or a substitute for transport.
A focus remains on Intelligent Transport Systems, whilst the Group also undertakes research on a number of other interrelated themes, including bus priority, energy and environment, freight and logistics, future technologies, rail and transport policy, with human factors emerging as a new research area.