Dr Shahram Heydari is a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Transportation in the Department of Civil, Maritime and Environmental Engineering at the University of Southampton.
His main research expertise and interests are transportation safety, travel demand/behaviour, traffic-related air pollution, and statistical modelling, in particular, Bayesian methods, including Bayesian nonparametrics. Having extensive experience with undertaking collaborative research across different institutions and disciplines (transportation engineering, public health, environmental sciences, and statistics) and, in line with his years in industry, he aims to address real-world transportation problems. Dr Heydari is a collaborating member of the Interuniversity Research Centre on Enterprise Networks, Logistics and Transportation (CIRRELT). As of January 2019, he is on the editorial board of Analytic Methods in Accident Research.
- Transportation safety, Travel demand/behaviour, Traffic-related air pollution, Statistical and econometric methods, Discrete choice analysis
Transport has a significant bearing on human health and well-being, examples of which are traffic injuries sustained by road users and people’s exposure to air pollution caused by traffic. To this end, my research is at the intersection of transportation and public health, being centred on transportation safety and planning ‒ including roadway, railway, and active modes of transport (walking and cycling). With the aim of answering policy related questions, I predominantly use advanced quantitative and computational techniques, in particular Bayesian methods such as Bayesian nonparametrics, which offer considerable promise in modelling transport. My main research interests are as follows.
1. Transportation safety: This area mainly focuses on fundamental research in traffic safety at both micro- and macro-levels, including safety of roadway, railway, and active modes, with a focus on studies that provide key information for traffic injury prevention, risk mitigation, and proactive safety policy development. I am also interested in understanding traffic safety implications of new technologies such as autonomous vehicles.
2. Transport-related air quality: Large amounts of air pollutants are produced by the transportation sector. It is therefore important to quantify traffic contribution to air quality, estimate air pollution exposure in different modes of transport, predict air quality in urban settings, and model air pollution to identify its determinants and spatiotemporal distribution. This in turn helps to design air pollution reduction strategies and estimate its adverse effects on the environment and public health.
3. Travel demand and behavioural modelling: A number of studies have documented health benefits of autonomous vehicles, public transit, and active modes of transport. To promote healthy transportation behaviours, which also help to reduce air pollution, this area of research aims at answering questions such as how can we persuade people to choose low emission vehicles? How does people’s choice of active modes relate to their sociodemographic characteristics, physical/mental health, and well-being? How do we reduce drivers’ hostile attitudes towards cyclists and pedestrians?
Current PhD Students
CENV6168 - Transportation Management and Safety
CENV6124 - Transport Data Analysis and Techniques
CENV2034 - Liveable Cities
CENV3060 - Highway and Traffic Engineering
Prior to joining the Transportation Research Group at the University of Southampton, I was an NSERC Research Fellow in the Centre for Environmental Policy at Imperial College London. I was a visiting scholar at Texas A&M University and McGill University. My doctoral research has contributed significantly to the introduction of Bayesian nonparametrics as a viable and feasible alternative approach to the traffic safety research community. At Imperial College, my research was centred on transport-related air pollution, specifically traffic contribution to air pollution, exposure in different modes of transport, and predicting air quality in urban settings. With a background in Civil Engineering awarded by the University of Rome “La Sapienza”, I have several years of experience as a professional engineer in Italy. I am a recipient of a number of prestigious academic awards, including the Alexander Graham Bell doctoral scholarship and the NSERC postdoctoral fellowship.