Engineering and the Environment

Research Group: Transportation Group

Head of Group: Prof Nick Hounsell

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 7 Academics, 18 Research/Technical staff, 12 Visiting staff and 2 Administrative support staff.

Currently Active: Yes

Group Overview

The Group is currently led by Prof Nick Hounsell, Professor of Highways and Traffic, 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.

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



Selected publications associated with this group from the University of Southampton's electronic library (e-prints):


Sahlqvist, S.L., Song, Y., Bull, Fiona, Adams, E., Preston, John M. and Ogilvie, David (2011) Effect of questionnaire length, personalization and reminder type on response rate to a complex postal survey: randomized controlled trial. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 11, 62. (doi:10.1186/1471-2288-11-62).
McLeod, Fraser N. and Cherrett, Tom J. (2011) Appraisal of waste collection routeing and scheduling. Proceedings of the ICE - Waste and Resource Management, 164, (2), 97-104. (doi:10.1680/warm.900022).
Harvey, Catherine, Stanton, N.A., Pickering , C.A., McDonald, M. and Zheng, P. (2011) A usability evaluation toolkit for In-Vehicle Information Systems (IVISs). Applied Ergonomics, 42, (4), 563-574. (doi:10.1016/j.apergo.2010.09.013). (PMID:21036347).
Ongondo, F.O., Williams, I.D. and Cherrett, T.J. (2011) How are WEEE doing? A global review of the management of electrical and electronic wastes. Waste Management, 31, (4), 714-730. (doi:10.1016/j.wasman.2010.10.023).
Ogilvie, David, Bull, Fiona, Powell, Jane, Cooper, Ashley R., Brand, Christian, Mutrie, Nanette, Preston, J.M. and Rutter, Harry (2011) An applied ecological framework for evaluating infrastructure to promote walking and cycling: the iConnect study. American Journal of Public Health, 101, (3), 473-481. (doi:10.2105/ajph.2010.198002).
Rodrigues, D.J., Champneys, A.R., Friswell, M.I. and Wilson, R.E. (2011) Experimental investigation of a single-plane automatic balancing mechanism for a rigid rotor. Journal of Sound and Vibration, 330, (3), 385-403. (doi:10.1016/j.jsv.2010.08.020).
McIlroy, Rich Charles and Stanton, Neville A. (2011) Specifying the requirements for requirements specification: the case for work domain and worker competencies analyses. Theoretical Issues in Ergonomics Science, First publish, . (doi:10.1080/1463922X.2010.539287).
Dombovari, Zoltan, Barton, David A.W., Wilson, R. Eddie and Stepan, Gabor (2011) On the global dynamics of chatter in the orthogonal cutting model. International Journal of Non-Linear Mechanics, 46, (1), 330-338. (doi:10.1016/j.ijnonlinmec.2010.09.016).
McIlroy, Rich C. and Stanton, Neville A. (2011) Getting past first base: going all the way with cognitive work analysis. Applied Ergonomics, 42, (2), 358-370. (doi:10.1016/j.apergo.2010.08.006). (PMID:20843505).
Box, Simon, Bishop, Christopher M. and Hunt, Hugh (2011) A stochastic six-degree-of-freedom flight simulator for passively controlled high power rockets. Journal of Aerospace Engineering, 24, (1), 31-45. (doi:10.1061/(ASCE)AS.1943-5525.0000051).
Harvey, Catherine, Stanton, Neville A., Pickering , Carl A., McDonald, Mike and Zheng, Pengjun (2011) In-Vehicle Information Systems (IVISs) to meet the needs of drivers. International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, 27, (6), 505-522 . (doi:10.1080/10447318.2011.555296 ).
Wilson, R.E. and Ward, J.A. (2011) Car-following models: fifty years of linear stability analysis - a mathematical perspective. Transportation Planning and Technology, 34, (1), 3-18. (doi:10.1080/03081060.2011.530826 ).

Book Section

McLeod, F.N. and Cherrett, T.J. (2011) Waste collection. In, Letcher, Trevor M. and Vallero, Daniel A. (eds.) Waste: a Handbook for Management. Oxford, GB, Elsevier, 61-73.

Conference or Workshop Item

Armstrong, J., Blainey, S.P., Preston, J.M. and Hood, I. (2011) Developing a CUI-based approach to network capacity assessment. In, 4th International Seminar on Railway Operations, Modelling and Analysis, 16 - 18 Feb 2011.
Blainey, Simon P., Preston, John M., Armstrong, J. and Hickford, A.J. (2011) Where the train doesn’t take the strain – an analysis of inter-urban journeys where rail is an unattractive option. In, 4th International Seminar on Railway Operations, Modelling and Analysis, Rome, IT,


Members of staff associated with this group:

Research projects

Research projects associated with this group:

Sixth Sense Transport

Modelling next generation CROR aircraft

HF-AUTO: Human Factors of Highly automated Driving

Minimising the environmental impact of advanced aircraft designs

Doctoral Research Projects

A brief history of transport studies

TIDE – Transport Innovation Deployment in Europe

Encouraging eco-driving with multisensory feed-forward and feedback information

Rail Capacity and Demand

iConnect (Impact of Constructing Non-Motorised Networks and Evaluating Changes in Travel)

NEARCTIS: A Network of Excellence for Advanced Road Co-operative traffic management in the Information Society

Human factors in the design of traffic management systems

An Integrated Appraisal Tool For Local Railway Stations

STRAIGHTSOL (Strategies and measures for smarter urban freight solutions)

CityMobil2: Cities Demonstrating Cybernetic Mobility

ALICIA: All Condition Operations and Innovative Cockpit Infrastructure

Wireless vehicle detection for traffic control

Applications of the Perceptual Cycle Model and Schema Theory to aeronautical decision making

GOAL: Growing Older - Staying Mobile

Are Automatic Cars Safer and more Efficient

POINTER/ Support action for evaluation and monitoring of CIVITAS plus

Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium (ITRC)

I-VISION: Immersive Semantics-based Virtual Environments for the Design and Validation of Human-centred Aircraft Cockpits

Road Traffic Monitoring

Traffic lights that learn

Application of contemporary systems-based methods to reduce trauma at rail level crossings

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.