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Engineering and the EnvironmentOur research

Research Group: Transportation Group

Currently Active: 

Head of Group: Prof John Preston The Transportation Research Group (TRG) is one of the UK’s longest established and leading centres for engineering-related transport teaching and research. It was established at the University of Southampton in 1967. The Group currently consists of 8 Academics, 17 Research/Technical staff, 12 Visiting staff and 2 Administrative support staff.

Group Overview

The Group is currently led by Professor John Preston, Professor of Rail Transport. Other academic members of TRG at present are:

Research in TRG is wide-ranging and aimed at helping to secure sustainable transport systems for the UK and the world. The context for our research is our view of transport as a socio-technical system, capable of delivering sustainable outcomes - but also with the potential for unsustainable outcomes if the interaction between technology (vehicles, infrastructure, informatics, etc) and Society (Users, Operators, Government, etc) are not adequately addressed.

We are particularly interested in how society shapes, and is shaped by, technological developments in transport, commonly termed Intelligent Transport systems (ITS). This requires an inter-disciplinary approach involving (at least!) engineering, economics and social sciences.

TRG’s research is multi-modal, covering both passenger and freight transport, whilst also examining the scope for information technology to act as a complement or substitute for transport. We have particular expertise in fundamental and applied research in traffic management and control, safety, the environment/sustainability, bus and rail operations, freight/logistics and walking and cycling.

Facilities supporting TRG research include (i) The Southampton University Driving Simulator (SUDS), which comprises a Jaguar XJ saloon vehicle linked to the STISM Drive M500W – Wide Field-of-View System with Comprehensive Vehicle Dynamics Model and Active Steering and (ii) a fully Instrumented Vehicle (IV) for on-road measurements of vehicle kinematic characteristics, the proximity of surrounding vehicles, driver visual search behaviour, and driving environment/in-vehicle operations, all recorded in a data logging system.

The principal sponsoring bodies for our research are the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the European Commission (EC), Central Government, Transport for London (TfL), other Local Authorities and private organisations. TRG research income is currently some £4.2m.

Integral to our research activities is our MSc Programme in Transportation Planning and Engineering, which TRG has run since 1969. This continues to be a highly successful Programme attracting over 30 full-time and part-time students each year.

For full details of our current portfolio of research, please see our annual TRG Research Report.

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Contact us

Civil, Maritime and Environmental Engineering and Science Unit

Engineering and the Environment
University of Southampton
Highfield Campus
Southampton SO17 1BJ


Senior administrative officer: Melanie Hallford

Tel: +44 (0)23 8059 2192


Administrative officers: Sheila Stickland

Tel: +44 (0)23 8059 8946


Aparna Subaiah-Varma

Tel: +44 (0)23 8059 7745


Satwant Virdee

Tel: +44 (0)23 8059 4914


Postgraduate opportunities

Research (PGR)

We offer excellent Postgraduate Research (PGR) programmes for students. These include opportunities for PhD research in all aspects of Transport as well as the 4 year Industry-sponsored Engineering Doctorate (EngD) Programme in Transport and the Environment.

Taught (PGT)

For taught postgraduate programmes (PGT), we offer one of the leading Masters Programmes in Transportation Planning and Engineering in the UK, established in 1969 and available as full-time (1 year) and part-time (2-4 years) options. This MSc is part of the national ‘Universities Transport Partnership’ (, set up with EPSRC support and including a further 7 UK Universities with leading postgraduate courses in Transport.

You can find all of our projects with guaranteed funding here.



Research Staff

Staff MemberPrimary Position
Farah AlkhalisiPostgraduate Research Student
John ArmstrongSenior Research Fellow
Gavin S BaileyData Collection and Analysis Technician
Victoria A BanksPostgraduate research student
Simon BlaineyLecturer in Transportation
Simon BoxLecturer
Steve R BroderickEngineering Doctorate Research Engineer
Chris CharlesPostgraduate student
Tom CherrettAssociate Professor - Logistics and Transport Planning
Alexander ErikssonSenior Research Assistant in Human Factors
Karen GhaliSurveys Research Officer
Matt GrotePostgraduate research student
Yiwei GuoPostgraduate research student
Andrew HamiltonPostgraduate research student
Amanda Jane HaylettPostgraduate research student
Adrian HickfordResearch Assistant
Nick Hounsell Professor of Highways and Traffic
Xucheng LiPhD Researcher
Mike McDonaldEmeritus Professor of Transportation Engineering
Fraser McLeodResearch Fellow
Rich C. McllroyPostgraduate research student
Wonman OhPostgraduate research student
Alejandro OrtegaResearch Fellow
Lee Anthony PardoePostgraduate Research Student (IDTC)
Jinan PiaoResearch Fellow
Katie PlantNew Frontiers Fellow in Human Factors Engineering
John PrestonProfessor of Rail Transport
Aaron P.J RobertsResearch Fellow in Engineering Psychology
John SchoonVisiting Research Fellow
Yuji Shi Postgraduate research student
Birendra ShresthaVisiting Research Fellow
Neville StantonProfessor of Human Factors in Transport
Ben WatersonLecturer in Transportation
Alan WongResearch Fellow
Sirirat YensongPostgraduate research student
Marcus YoungPostgraduate research student

Related Projects

Related ProjectsStatusType
Sixth Sense TransportDormant
HF-AUTO: Human Factors of Highly automated DrivingActive
Doctoral Research ProjectsActive
A brief history of transport studiesActive
TIDE – Transport Innovation Deployment in EuropeActive
Encouraging eco-driving with multisensory feed-forward and feedback informationActive
Rail Capacity and DemandActive
CITYLAB (City Logistics in Living Laboratories)Active
iConnect (Impact of Constructing Non-Motorised Networks and Evaluating Changes in Travel)Active
NEARCTIS: A Network of Excellence for Advanced Road Co-operative traffic management in the Information SocietyActive
Human factors in the design of traffic management systemsActive
An Integrated Appraisal Tool For Local Railway StationsActive
STRAIGHTSOL (Strategies and measures for smarter urban freight solutions)Dormant
CityMobil2: Cities Demonstrating Cybernetic MobilityActive
ALICIA: All Condition Operations and Innovative Cockpit InfrastructureActive
Wireless vehicle detection for traffic controlActive
Applications of the Perceptual Cycle Model and Schema Theory to aeronautical decision makingActive
GOAL: Growing Older - Staying MobileActive
Are Automatic Cars Safer and more EfficientActive
POINTER/ Support action for evaluation and monitoring of CIVITAS plus Active
Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium (ITRC)Active
I-VISION: Immersive Semantics-based Virtual Environments for the Design and Validation of Human-centred Aircraft CockpitsActive
Road Traffic MonitoringActive
Traffic lights that learnActive
Application of contemporary systems-based methods to reduce trauma at rail level crossingsActive
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