MPhil scholarship: Driver and pedestrian behaviour in shared environments

University of Queensland


August 10, 2021


MPhil scholarship: Driver and pedestrian behaviour in shared environments

Apply now Job No:515350 Area:Faculty Of Engineering, Architecture & Info Tech Salary (FTE):RTP Scholarship NON-BANDED ($28,597.00 - $28,597.00) Work type:Full Time - Scholarship Location: St Lucia

Research Environment

UQ ranks in the top 50 as measured by the Performance Ranking of Scientific Papers for World Universities. The University also ranks 46 in the QS World University Rankings, 42 in the US News Best Global Universities Rankings, 66 in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and 54 in the Academic Ranking of World Universities.

School of Civil Engineering

UQ's Transport research group in the School of Civil Engineering is a strong and growing research group with a vibrant and collaborative environment for transport research and application to industry. The group has access to large real-world mobility datasets and a broad range of traffic and transport analysis software, as well as traffic and driving simulation and virtual reality environments.

The Award

Supervisor – Professor Mark Hickman

There are many environments where pedestrians and vehicles may share road space. In this project, we are examining the factors that influence both pedestrian and driver behaviour in these shared spaces. Over the past 15 years, there has been growing research into pedestrian and driver behaviour within these spaces, but the results of different management strategies seems to be dependent on the local context. Moreover, many studies have missed the collection and use of data that would seem to be important in evaluating the safety and effectiveness of different traffic management strategies for shared spaces.

This project, supported by Brisbane City Council through the Transport Innovation and Research Hub (TIRH), is exploring the safety and effectiveness of different strategies in managing shared space. Three specific areas of interest include Local Area Traffic Management (LATM), or local neighbourhood traffic calming; pedestrian crossing treatments along higher- volume two-lane neighbourhood, district, and suburban roadways; and pedestrian crossing treatments at "slip" lanes at signalised intersections, where left- turning traffic may only need give way before making a left turn. Considerations in these cases could include the vehicle operating speed, pedestrian speed, road user visibility, road geometry, and vehicle and pedestrian volumes.

This research will explore mixed methods to evaluate strategies for managing these shared spaces, in terms of physical treatments, signs, markings, and related traffic management devices. Field observation amongst a range of facilities in Brisbane has begun and will continue through this project. These data will need to be analysed, and formal conclusions should be drawn across a wide range of cases across the Brisbane City Council area. To supplement these field observations, we also propose driving and pedestrian simulator experiments. The University has recently invested in two STISIM driving simulators which can be configured to test driver response to various shared space environments. The University also has developed a new Virtual Reality environment to test pedestrian reactions to vehicle and driver behaviours at a zebra crossing in Brisbane. Both the driving simulation and VR environment can be employed as part of this research.

A working knowledge of traffic engineering fundamentals, observational traffic studies, traffic simulation and virtual reality would be of benefit to someone working on this project.

Selection criteria

To be eligible to apply, you must also meet the entry requirements for Higher Degrees by Research at UQ.

This scholarship is open to Australian citizens, permanent residents and International students who are currently in Australia at the time of application and commencement.

Applications will be judged on a competitive basis taking into account the applicant's previous academic record, publication record, honours and awards, and employment history.

The applicant will demonstrate academic achievement in the field/s of transport engineering or systems engineering and the potential for scholastic success.

A background or knowledge of traffic engineering, design of experiments and basic statistics is highly desirable.


The 2021 Research Training Program (RTP) living allowance stipend rate is AUD$28,597 per annum (indexed annually), which is tax-free for 3.5 years, with the possibility of 1 extension in line with UQ and RTP Scholarship Policy (conditions apply).


For further information, please contact Professor Mark Hickman at +61 7 3365 3692

How to apply

To apply for admission and scholarship, follow this link. There is no separate application for scholarship because you will have the opportunity to request scholarship consideration on the application for admission.

Before submitting an application you should:

  • check your eligibility
  • prepare your documentation
  • contact Professor Mark Hickman ( to discuss your suitability for this scholarship
  • When you apply, please ensure that under the scholarships and collaborative study section you:

  • Select ‘My higher degree is not collaborative'
  • Select 'I am applying for, or have been awarded a scholarship or sponsorship'.
  • Select ‘Other', then ‘Research Project Scholarship' and type in ‘DRIVER-HICKMAN' in the 'Name of scholarship' field.
  • See an example of what you have to do

    Learn more about applying for a higher degree by research at UQ

    Applications close: 10 August 2021 (11:00 PM) E. Australia Standard Time

    Advertised: 20 Jul 2021 Applications close: 10 Aug 2021 (11:00 PM) E. Australia Standard Time

    Apply now