LKAS PhD Scholarship Opportunity: Improving active travel using urban big data analysis

  • 30.11.15


UBDC researcher, Dr. Jing Yao's proposed project has been shortlisted for the 2016/17 Lord Kelvin/Adam Smith (LKAS) PhD Scholarships. These scholarships offer the opportunity for outstanding research students both from home and abroad to participate in some of the most exciting areas of interdisciplinary research taking place at Glasgow.

Dr. Yao's proposed research project focuses on sustainable mobility in cities and improving active travel safety using GIS-coupled urban big data analysis. A full project description is included below. Applications are due Friday, 22 January 2016. For more details, please visit: Shortlisted LKAS PhD Projects

Towards sustainable mobility in cities: improve active travel safety using GIS-coupled urban big data analytics

Project description: The aim of this project is to understand active travel using geographical information system (GIS) coupled urban big data analytics, assisting stakeholders from various backgrounds with decision-making regarding road safety and sustainability of urban transport. As an important way to promote sustainable transportation, active travel has become increasingly popular due to the benefits of improving physical fitness and reducing carbon emissions. However, pedestrians and cyclists are the most vulnerable road users with a high risk of exposure to road accidents. Today, emerging urban big data are shifting the manner of urban management, enabling better understanding of complex urban systems and developing effective solutions to sustainable and smart cities. Such data must be combined and analysed in meaningful ways if valuable insights on city operations are to be obtained.
Using both administrative data of UK and the unique spatial survey data collected by the Urban Big Data Centre (UBDC) ( at University of Glasgow, the primary goal of this project is to develop GIS-coupled urban big data analytics to

  • understand and predict spatial-temporal patterns/trend of urban mobility (particularly active travel),
  • assess the risks of exposure to road accidents for road users (particularly pedestrians and cyclists),
  • evaluate road walkability and suitability of cycling lanes, as well as to provide suggestions for priority site selection for future remedial measures. ‌

‌The successful candidate will be jointly supervised by Dr Jing Yao (Lead Supervisor, UBDC), Prof. Rich Mitchell (Public Health), Dr Brian Barrett (Geography) and Prof. Piyushimita Thakuriah (UBDC). The scholar will have opportunities to work with a multi-disciplinary research team including other talented graduate students, post-doctorates, and faculty members from UBDC, School of Geographical and Earth Sciences and Centre for Research on Environment, Society and Health (CRESH) ( In addition, the scholar will have exciting opportunities to gain training and experiences in spatial statistics, transport modelling and big data analytics.

Person Specification: Qualified candidates should have a Master's degree in Geography, Transport Planning or a related discipline. Candidates should have strong interests in GIScience, remote sensing and big data in the contexts of urban geography, transport and public health. Preference will be given to applicants with demonstrated expertise in GIS-based spatial analyses, quantitative methods (e.g., mathematical modelling and statistics) and computer programming (e.g., R and Python). Excellent written and verbal communication skills and ability to work in an interdisciplinary team environment are desirable. Research experience in transport geography and/or health geography is a plus. Candidates whose first language is not English must show evidence of appropriate competence in English. You can find the specific requirements on the international students’ pages).

Application details: Interested candidates should send a resume/C.V., a cover letter, transcripts, evidence of English competence for students whose native language is not English, and contact information for two referees to Dr. Jing Yao at The desired start date is 1st Oct, 2016.

The application deadline: Friday 22nd January, 2016.



Leave a comment

Your comment