Research Associate in Pedestrian Traffic Modelling

University of Bristol

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Position type:

Full time


£33,797 - £38,017

27 Aug 2020
26 Sep 2020

Full details:

Reference number: BRI-ACAD104666

This post offers an exciting opportunity for a Research Associate to join a collaborative team of mathematical modellers, experimentalists, and computer scientists investigating the movement of pedestrian crowds, and other problems in collective behaviour. The post is based in the Department of Engineering Mathematics in the Bristol Faculty of Engineering and available for 24 months funded through the EPSRC project “Model-driven construction of city-level pedestrian traffic maps over time”.


Over 80% of trips under one mile are completed on foot, according to the 2017 National Travel Survey for England. Surprisingly and detrimentally for planning and policy implementation, pedestrian traffic and how it changes over time is currently not mapped in detail. This project aims to change this and develop methods to establish how pedestrian traffic is distributed in time and space over available or planned infrastructure.


As part of this project you will work on the following objectives:

  1. Develop methodology for constructing time-dependent pedestrian traffic maps by extrapolating from measurements of pedestrian counts at distinct locations.
  2. Verify the functioning of this theoretical framework on real-world datasets that are curated from openly accessible sources.
  3. Demonstrate uses for time-dependent traffic maps with immediate relevance to applications including urban planning, high street business locations and the exposure of pedestrians to poor air quality.


You will establish methods for extrapolating from localised data to obtain comprehensive spatial and temporal coverage of pedestrian traffic in cities, thus helping to maximise the value for money from sensors. As localised data on pedestrian traffic is only as of recently being collected continuously, now is the ideal time for this data integration endeavour. Your work will lead to conceptual and practical advances in understanding and monitoring pedestrian traffic patterns that will benefit private, public and civic sector organisations.

You will need a strong mathematical and/or computational background with preferably a PhD degree in a relevant quantitative subject. We are looking for an applicant with experience in pedestrian dynamics modelling and statistical modelling (or equivalent skills). You must have experience of developing and programming dynamical models, the ability to design and analyse large scale modelling experiments involving data and uncertainty. You will have strong IT and communication skills and work effectively within a team environment that includes non-mathematicians. It is desirable that you will have an interest in transport-related problems.


We welcome applications from all members of our community and are particularly encouraging those from diverse groups, such as members of the LGBT+ and BAME communities, to join us.

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