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Dr Rich C McIlroy BSc(Hons), PGCertBA, MSc, EngD

Research Fellow in Transportation and Human Factors

Dr Rich C McIlroy's photo

Dr Rich McIlroy is a Research Fellow in Transportation and Human Factors based in the University of Southampton’s Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences.

If we are to improve planetary, societal, and personal health and wellbeing in the long term, we need to consider human behaviour and cognition together with engineering and technology.

He received the BSc (Hons) degree in Psychology and the MSc degree in Research Methods in Psychology from the University of Southampton, UK, in 2008 and 2009 respectively. He was awarded his Engineering Doctorate by the same University in 2016.

He has published across a variety of topics, including eco-driving and the effect of multi-sensory, in-vehicle information on driving behaviour and fuel use, the general utility of various sociotechnical systems methods for the support of decision making and system design in a variety of domains, the characteristics and determinants of road users’ attitudes and behaviours, and the benefit of applying sociotechnical systems methods to the issue of road safety, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.

Research interests

His primary research focus is currently on road safety in low- and middle-income countries, with the overall goal of the Global Health Research Group in which he is placed being to reduce the number and severity of road accidents that occur. Low- and middle-income countries see twice the number of road fatalities compared to high income countries, despite the fact that only around half of the world’s registered vehicles can be found on their roads. His main research question asks, therefore, how can contemporary, sociotechnical, human factors methods provide us with new ways of addressing the issue, not only in helping to develop safer systems (thereby reducing collision rates), but in reducing injury severity by supporting improved multi-agency emergency response efforts?

Research Projects

CRoss-modal Intervention Training To Improve Cyclist Awareness Levels (CRITICAL).

Human Factors Engineering

He is also involved in UK-based research that assesses the potential for cross-modal training to benefit driver and bicycle rider safety and confidence. This asks, does providing non-cycling drivers with training on how to cycle on the UK’s roads (and teaching what it is like to be a ‘cyclist’) affect the way they subsequently interact with cyclists when using their vehicle? Likewise, if we train bicycle users who do not drive what it is like to be a driver, will they behave differently in their subsequent, on-road interactions with vehicle drivers? The goal is to increase each road user group’s awareness of the other’s needs, to enhance empathy between them, and to reduce what has commonly been seen as conflict between the two road user types.

Research group

Transportation Group

Research project(s)

CRoss-modal Intervention To Improve Cyclist Awareness Levels (CRITICAL)

STARS: Sociotechnical Approach to Road Safety

Rich has coordinated the update of the Southampton University Driving Simulator with world-leading simulation software and is acting as the lead in overseeing further updates to, and research in that facility. He has also been responsible for the development of the Transportation Research Group’s new Instrumented Vehicle, a Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid, the procurement of which he jointly coordinated in 2019.

He is currently an Associate Editor of the Human Factors and Ergonomics in Manufacturing & Service Industries journal.

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Book Chapters


Rich lectures on the Human Factors in Engineering (FEEG3004) and Highway and Traffic Engineering (CENV3060) modules.

Dr Rich C McIlroy
Engineering, University of Southampton, Southampton Boldrewood Innovation Campus, Burgess Road, Southampton, SO16 7QF

Room Number: 176/4001/B1

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