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Long-term impacts of COVID-19 on housing and transport infrastructure

   School of Engineering and the Built Environment (SEBE)

This project is no longer listed on and may not be available.

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  Dr A Fonzone, Dr G Fountas  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

Edinburgh United Kingdom Civil Engineering Data Analysis Computer Science Rural Planning

About the Project

Think back to your life in February 2019 … How many things do you do differently now? Will you keep doing them in the same way or will you go back to your old habits after COVID-19 has been eradicated?

The answer millions of people in Scotland will give to this question may change dramatically the demand for housing, offices, and transport infrastructure. If the employees work from home some days of the week, the employee may need smaller office spaces. The employees may decide to relocate further from the office if they need to be in the office less than before. And so maybe they can sell the additional car had to buy to fulfil the clashing demand from different member of the household? Or, on the contrary, they will they need to buy a new car, because in the place where they live now is not adequately served by public transport? Shoppers may be willing to keep on doing their grocery online. So no need for them to go the supermarket. But the supermarket has to deliver the shopping – and when people do not have to go out for shopping they may decide to buy only a few items per day. What will be the overall balance of these changes on kilometres travelled and so on CO2 emissions?

We are looking for an enthusiast and skilled PhD student curious to understand what the world will look like after the COVID-19 emergency and keen on helping planning for it. If you are the one we are searching for, you will design and carry out a survey focusing on the future of South East Scotland, analyse data using advanced statistical modelling and/or machine learning techniques, publish your results in prestigious peer-reviewed journals, and write briefs for the housing and transport industry and the competent policy makers and regulators.

You will join a happy and experienced research team of researchers that enjoy what they do and aim to improve the life of people around them with their work. You will develop skills that can be useful for your career, within or outside academia. And your work will make an impact on the future of Scotland.

For an informal discussion about the post or the project, please contact Dr Achille Fonzone ([Email Address Removed]) or Dr Greg Fountas ([Email Address Removed])

Academic qualifications

A first degree (at least a 2.1) ideally in Civil engineering or Transport or Planning with a good fundamental knowledge of data analysis.

English language requirement

IELTS score must be at least 6.5 (with not less than 6.0 in each of the four components). Other, equivalent qualifications will be accepted. Full details of the University’s policy are available online.

Essential attributes:

· Experience of fundamental statistical and econometric methods and/or artificial intelligence for data analysis

· Competent in transport policy and planning and/or urban/regional planning

· Knowledge of theory of behavioural changes

· Good written and oral communication skills

· Strong motivation, with evidence of independent research skills relevant to the project

· Good time management

Desirable attributes:

Experience with surveys through questionnaires, knowledge of impacts of COVID-19 on housing and transport, experience with spatial statistics or econometrics.

Funding Notes

This position is funded by Housing, Construction and Infrastructure (HCI) Skills Gateway and the School of Engineering and Built Environment of Edinburgh Napier University

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