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The University of Southampton

Research project: Doctoral Research Projects

Currently Active: 

Professor Preston has successfully supervised over 30 PhD and EngD students at the Universities of Leeds, Oxford and Southampton. He has been a Co-investigator of the Sustainable Infrastructure Systems Centre for Doctoral Training (2014-2022). His Doctoral Research Projects align closely with his teaching and cover three broad areas: Transport Economics and Policy, Transport, Energy and the Environment Project Economics and Management.

Transport Economics and Policy

Recent students have covered a range of issues. These have included:

  • Regulatory studies of rail privatisation (Dawn Robins, 2012) and bus deregulation (Talal Almutairi, 2013).
  • Modelling of rail demand (Simon Blainey, 2009, Marcus Young, 2019) and capacity (Melody Khadem Sameni, 2012).
  • Appraisal of road pricing (Yong Wook Lee, 2011) and mode shift policies (Dae Soon Park, 2015).
  • Operator and user costs of innovative public transport technologies (Xucheng Li, 2015).
  • Economic models of public transport systems in Malaysia (Siti Ab Karim, 2016), Korea (Wonman Oh, 2018) and the UK (Yiwei Guo, 2018)
  • The relationships between ports, port-cities and economic development (Jongjoon Song, 2019).
  • The relationship between the economic appraisal of roads and volume-delay functions (Sungbae Yoon, 2020).

Current projects include the supply and demand for container port services (Manuel Buitrago-Moreno) and the total social costs of innovative urban transport technologies in Vietnam (Minh Tam Vu) and inter-urban transport technologies in Saudi Arabia (Hamad Almujibah). Regulatory studies continue with Sultan Alsaedi’s work on rail systems, whilst Jiaxi Li is investigating rail capacity issues with respect to high speed rail in China.

Transport, Energy and the Environment

Past work has included that of Kanjing He (2012) on sustainable transport planning for special events, James Pritchard (EngD, 2015) on the environmental sustainability of rail and Matt Grote (EngD, 2017) on tools for the environmental impact assessment of road traffic in Southampton. Current work includes Toby Roberts’ research on the environmental impacts of ports and their host cities.

Project Economics and Management

Past studies have included rail project cost management (Heulyn Thomas, 2009), public private partnerships (PPPs) for new road and rail schemes (Byungwoo Gil (2013) and Jihong Park (2014)), railway maintenance (Yusuke Miyazaki (MRes, 2015)) and flood management projects using real options analysis (Myung Jin Kim, 2019). Fawad Munir is currently investigating the use of PPPs for rail schemes in the Middle East, whilst Georgios Rempelos is investigating the management of whole-life carbon costs for rail track systems. Tracey Navaei and Hamish Moodley will investigate the whole-life costs of Network Rail’s geotechnical and structural assets respectively.

Related research groups

Transportation Group
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