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

Senior Research Fellow in Transportation and Human Factors

Dr Rich C McIlroy's photo

Dr Rich McIlroy is a Senior Research Fellow in Transportation and Human Factors based at 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 human factors and 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. He is a chartered member of the UK's Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors, a member of the Human Factors and Sustainable Development Technical Committee, and he serves as Associate Editor of the journal Safety Science.

Research interests

One of his research focusses 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?

Another of his research projects 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.

He also works on the Future Transport Zone (FTZ) project, a multidisciplinary effort undertaken in collaboration with the University of Portsmouth and Solent Transport, comprising Southampton City Council, Portsmouth City Council, Isle of Wight Council, and Hampshire County Council. Rich is involved in the testing of the Mobility as a Service (MaaS) App (in collaboration with a MaaS provider) and will investigate travel behaviour change aimed at reducing private car usage. The project will also undertake monitoring and evaluation activities to assess the extent that the programme will change travel behaviour, reduce congestion, improve air quality, and transform the Solent sub-region into a better place to live and work.

Research Projects

Sociotechnical Approach to Road Safety (STARS). National Institute for Health Research (NIHR; 16/137/122)

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

Solent Future Transport Zone. Theme 1: Passenger Mobility

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 associate editor of Safety Science and of the Human Factors in Manufacturing and Service Industries journals.

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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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