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Develop a hybrid life cycle assessment model to evaluate transport infrastructure projects


Key facts

Type of research degree
Application deadline
Ongoing deadline
Country eligibility
International (open to all nationalities, including the UK)
Professor Richard Batley and Dr Yue Huang
Institute for Transport Studies
<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

Reduction in travel time is one of the most important benefits to society from improved highway networks. Using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), important knowledge can be gained as to which products and processes contribute most to the overall environmental impacts. In evaluating transport infrastructure projects however, the saving in travel time is often structurally out of the LCA. For comparison, use of the old infrastructure or a partial modal shift to rail transport are found by some studies to have yielded savings. A recognised benefit of using LCA is the avoidance of burden shifting. Despite this, there are very few studies that explore the risk and impacts of burden shifting in the infrastructure sector. The traditional approach of LCA, which accounts for each transport mode separately, has severe limitations. It becomes increasingly clear that to evaluate the impacts of transport infrastructure project, a good LCA will need to: 1) expand boundary to include travel time, 2) integrate with an analysis of the costs and benefits and, 3) cross transport mode with prediction of demand.<br /> This project aims to investigate the environmental effects of major transport projects from changes to infrastructure and demand. A full lifecycle analysis of a project requires an evaluation of future savings in travel time projected over a project's lifetime, as well as delay costs associated with the construction and maintenance. Due to the complexity of estimating travel time, alternative measures of valuation and its network effects need to be considered. The project will obtain data from literature and specific locations to make informed assumptions for a range of infrastructure types and operation efficiencies. Project will also demonstrate via case studies how assumptions can be validated despite the uncertainties and data constraints, in a LCA model that aims to optimize resources use and minimise emissions.

<h2 class="heading">How to apply</h2>

<p>Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the&nbsp;<a href="">University&#39;s website</a>. Please state clearly in the research information section&nbsp;that the research degree you wish to be considered for is INSERT PROJECT TITLE HERE as well as&nbsp;NAME OF SUPERVISOR AS LINK TO PROFILE&nbsp;as your proposed supervisor.</p> <p>If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University&#39;s minimum English language requirements (below).</p> <p><em>As an international research-intensive university, we welcome students from all walks of life and from across the world. We foster an inclusive environment where all can flourish and prosper, and we are proud of our strong commitment to student education. Across all Faculties we are dedicated to diversifying our community and we welcome the unique contributions that individuals can bring, and particularly encourage applications from, but not limited to Black, Asian, people who belong to a minority ethnic community, people who identify as LGBT+ and people with disabilities. Applicants will always be selected based on merit and ability.</em></p>

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">Entry requirements</h2>

Applicants to research degree programmes should normally have at least a first class or an upper second class British Bachelors Honours degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate discipline. The criteria for entry for some research degrees may be higher, for example, several faculties, also require a Masters degree. Applicants are advised to check with the relevant School prior to making an application. Applicants who are uncertain about the requirements for a particular research degree are advised to contact the School or Graduate School prior to making an application.

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">English language requirements</h2>

The minimum English language entry requirement for research postgraduate research study is an IELTS of 6.0 overall with at least 5.5 in each component (reading, writing, listening and speaking) or equivalent. The test must be dated within two years of the start date of the course in order to be valid. Some schools and faculties have a higher requirement.

<h2 class="heading">Contact details</h2>

<p>For further information please contact Dr Yue Huang, e: or Prof Richard Batley, e:</p>