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  Individual decisions for transport network efficiency and sustainability

   Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering

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  Dr G Punzo  Applications accepted all year round  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The University of Sheffield invites applications from outstanding candidates for this PhD scholarship opportunity.

The project is looking at understanding the interplay of selfish routing, social norms and the availability of transport modes for the development of sustainable mobility at urban and regional scale.

The move to sustainable mobility passes through a shared acceptance of the value of common good above individuals’ mobility needs. Legislative tools, such as congestion charges and incentives for using non-fossil fuels have shown fallacies when confronted with the abilities of individuals and corporations to adapt and circumvent the very mechanisms designed to tackle the problem. Away from influencing individual behaviours, to-date policies have concentrated on piecemeal interventions aimed at regulating the physical system in which choices are made. This project bids to understand the close-loop dynamics by which individual choices procure changes at system level, which reflect again on individual choices. In doing so, it will identify control points to move the external inputs from the physical system to the individual perception, which will turn into individual’s actions.

The modelling produced will be validated using data either in the public domain or in the availability of the Urban Flows Observatory, which include traffic counts, air quality data and other measurable quantities related to mobility.

The proportion between modelling and data-driven research will be gauged based on the ability of the candidate.

The project will be also embedded in the South Yorkshire Sustainability centre and the PhD candidate will benefit from attending the centre’s events, from the diverse academic expertise and the possibility of talking directly with regional stakeholders. Our South Yorkshire network will ensure both data availability and the opportunity of delivering an impact through the PhD work.

The ideal PhD candidate will have a strong background in STEM, strong numerical (essential) and possibly skills in one or more areas amongst Operations Research, Graph Theory, Optimisation, numerical and empirical research methods.

The scholarship is part of a larger Research England-funded interdisciplinary program of work on sustainability in South Yorkshire, working closely with local and regional partners.

Interested candidates should apply with a CV, two academic references, and a single-page personal statement and project idea on the above project statement. Your statement should address why you want to do a PhD and your initial thoughts on a research idea/project stated above. For general and/or informal enquiries please contact Dr Giuliano Punzo ([Email Address Removed]).

Computer Science (8) Engineering (12) Mathematics (25)

Funding Notes

3.5 years scholarship. This funding opportunity is open to both home and international applicants. Successful candidates will receive financial support covering tuition fees at the domestic rate and a stipend for a duration of 3.5 years, irrespective of their residency status. It is important to note that international students will be responsible for paying the difference between home and international tuition fees.

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