Computational Modelling Group

PhD vacancy: Modelling Roundabout Capacities

Apply by
31st July 2010
Hans Fangohr

Roundabouts are currently modelled by the software package ARCADY through the empirical relationships that predict the capacity of a roundabout given its geometry. These ARCADY relationships were developed through regression analysis on the geometry of a set of test roundabouts, but the developments of new roundabout layouts combined with gradual changes in vehicle characteristics and driver behaviour mean that these relationships need to be expanded to encompass a wider range of scenarios.

The precise field of study is flexible and the PhD could develop in several different directions, for example to focus upon some or all of:

  1. Comparisons of micro-simulation, empirical and/or theoretical (including gap-acceptance) roundabout models

  2. The impact of lane selection on the approach to the roundabout

  3. Development of new empirical relationships for UK and/or non-UK roundabouts

  4. Modelling systems of linked roundabouts

This studentship is funded by the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL Limited) and the Transportation Research Group at the University of Southampton through an Industrial CASE partnership. It is therefore expected that the successful student will spend a proportion of their time based at each organisation.

TRL Limited, Wokingham, is one of the most comprehensive independent centres for the study of traffic and transportation problems and solutions in the world. For more than 60 years it has provided a unique combination of research and consultancy-based technical expertise in areas such as transport planning, traffic safety, congestion, environment and infrastructure. Traffic engineering software has always been an important research theme at TRL, including the junction design programs OSCADY, PICADY and ARCADY, the last of which is used for modelling roundabouts and mini roundabouts and forms a key focus of this PhD project.

The Transportation Research Group (TRG) is part of the School of Civil Engineering and the Environment at the University of Southampton. Major research themes in the group have traditionally be based on fundamental research in the areas of Traffic Management, Safety, the Environment/Sustainability, Public Transport Operations, Freight and Goods movement, Walking and Cycling and Intelligent Transport Systems. The 2008 Research Assessment Exercise places Southampton in an elite top group in the Civil Engineering Unit of Assessment, coming second in the UK on a 'Medals Table' basis. Our Grade Point Average was equivalent to the top 5* rating in the 2001 RAE.

Should you wish to discuss the above project informally please contact Dr Ben Waterson (email


Applicants should have a First or Upper Second Class degree (or equivalent) in engineering, applied mathematics, computer science, statistics or physical sciences. A good background and/or previous work in mathematical modelling or traffic simulation will be considered an advantage.

To receive the full award the student must have a relevant connection with the UK, see notes on eligibility


To be considered for this studentship please send your CV and a one page outline of your preferred approach to the project to:

Jacqui Holmes, PGR Programmes Coordinator (email )

Applications Deadline: 31st July 2010