The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (various projects)

Programme details


The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (various projects)
United Kingdom
Programme type: Funding organisation
Origin: National (United Kingdom)
Duration: 1994 - Ongoing
  • Outline
  • Funding
  • Projects
  • Contact
Background & policy context: 

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is the UK Government's leading funding agency for research and training in engineering and the physical sciences.

EPSRC invests more than £400 million a year in research that contributes to future economic development in the UK and so to improvements in everyone's health, personal well-being and lifestyle. EPSRC also actively promotes public awareness of science and engineering.

Support for research via 'responsive mode' (where the research topic is chosen by the researcher and a grant application can be submitted at any time) remains a priority for the EPSRC. It has proved to be a most effective means of harnessing the full creative flair of researchers. Two-thirds of the investment is in responsive mode.

EPSRC works alongside other Research Councils with responsibility for other areas of research.

Strategic Objectives: 

Within its wider remit, EPSRC encourages research into all aspects of transport operations and management, including improving transport flow across all modes, scheduling, control and modelling, transport telematics, minimising energy usage and environmental impacts (monitoring and minimisation). Freight logistics falls within the transport agenda. The main themes in rail research include: rail as an important component of an integrated multi-modal transport system; rail engineering encompassing all aspects of the rail system including traction and rolling stock, infrastructure, signalling and control, and operations; and the rail industry as a network, including management, organisation and supply chains, and the inter-operability of the component parts of the rail sector. As well as all forms of land transport, aviation research (e.g., interface with land transport, airports, flight patterns, aircraft operations, reliability and scheduling) is relevant here.

Each sub-programme has its own set of objectives. The key objectives of the Engineering programme are given here as an example. They are:

  • Support excellence in engineering research, nurture emerging areas and encourage creativity and adventure
  • Promote the exciting opportunities that arise from working across traditional engineering disciplines and between engineering and other areas of science, technology and social sciences
  • Support sufficient talented people through engineering research training and beyond to supply the UK's needs
  • Provide the equipment needed for top quality research
Programme organisation: 

EPSRC programmes are organised through a number of programme areas: Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, Engineering, Innovative Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Environment, Information and Communications Technologies, Materials and the Life Sciences Interface. Transport research can be funded through any of these areas.

Socio-economic themes: research advances in the engineering and physical sciences make important contributions to national life, and EPSRC recognises these by characterising research outcomes under broad socio-economic themes. These are wealth, health, sustainability, energy, climate change, defence, crime prevention and personal security, mobility, leisure and culture.

Leading Institutions:

Research agency

Type of funding: 
Public (national/regional/local)
Programme funding arrangements and funding conditions: 

EPSRC invests over £460 million a year to promote and encourage research and postgraduate training in the physical sciences and engineering, including transport. It operates mainly by investing in research projects in universities; the Council does not have its own research institutes (although this option always remains open). The partnership with universities is much valued, giving the Council access to a continuously replenished talent pool. 35% of research grants in the portfolio currently involve collaborations with industry, and this will be increasing to 50%. Industrial partnerships are greatly valued for the insight, technology and potential exploitation path they offer as well as leverage of funding. The generation of some 500 university spin-out companies in the past decade, based on EPSRC-sponsored research, provides additional evidence for the contribution of the research base to national competitiveness.

Participating countries: 
United Kingdom
Total number of projects: 

Over 5000

Projects covered: 

The following is a set of examples of transport-related research projects funded by EPSRC:

  • Transport demand management in historic cities
  • Effects of urban traffic management on patterns of air pollution and human exposure
  • The quantifiable city
  • Sustainable settlements: a model for the estimation of transport, energy and emissions
  • The relationship between child traffic safety and the urban built environment
Project Profiles:
  1. A Model of Aviation Air Space, Emissions, and the Impact on Climate Change
  2. A Tool To Aid The Design Of Pedestrian Networks And Facilities In Urban Areas
  3. Adaption Of Vehicle Environmental Response By Telematics
  4. Advanced Camera Technology In Visual Ergonomic
  5. Advancing Transport Network Design Through Improved Behavioural Response
  6. Air Quality in Airport Approaches: Impact of Emissions Entrained by Vortices in Aircraft Wakes
  7. Airships as a means of freight transport and their role within an intergrated transport system: A feasibility study
  8. Algorithms for Scheduling Aircraft Landings and Takeovers
  9. An Infrastructure To Study: 1) Urban Air Pollution and Health and 2) Virtual Product Introduction
  10. An Intelligent Safety Prediction System For Rail Design And Maintenance
  11. Analysis of a Common Data Collection Strategy for Research on Drivers
  12. Assessment Of Image Processing Techniques As A Means Of Improving Personal Security In Public Transport
  13. Assessment Of Impact Of Future Air Traffic Management Technologies & Procedures On Airspace Capacity
  14. Better Targeted Public Transport Marketing Through Understanding Of Non-Users' Misperceptions
  15. Capturing Time-Varying Link Flows and Their Properties in Road Traffic Network Modelling
  16. Centre for Rail Systems Research
  17. Children's Perceptions of the Road Environment: the Implications For Highway Design
  18. Co-ordinating Individual Action Programmes in Rural Transport Management
  19. Comparison Study of Integrated Navigation and Propulsion Control System Designs For Marine Applications
  20. Control And Stability Analysis Of Two-Wheeled Road Vehicles
  21. Design and Implementation Support Tools for Integrated Local Land Use, Transport and the Environment
  22. Design and Implementatrion Support Tools for Integrated Local Land Use, Transport and the Environment
  23. Design Tools for Roadspace Reallocation
  24. Development of a framework to assess the usability of pedestrian crossing places
  25. Dispersion of Air Pollutants and Penetration into the Local Environment
  26. Distributed Adaptive Control For Traffic Signal Systems
  27. Driver Behaviour and Adaptive Cruise Control
  28. Driver Monitoring & Feedback
  29. Dynamics & Control Study Of Independently-Driven Railway Wheels
  30. Effects of Speed Reduction Measures on Speed Distributions and Accidents
  31. Evaluation Of Direct & Cross-Sector Benefits From Intensive Public Transport In Rural Areas
  32. Exhaust Gas Fuel Reforming of Bio-Diesel Fuel Mixtures For Reduced Environmental Impact
  33. Experimental Investigation Of The Dynamics Of Driver Route Choice
  34. Foresight Vehicle "Project Choice : " CITY HYBRID BUS " Vehicle Systems Modelling and Control
  35. Generalised Equilibrium Modelling
  36. Ground vibration and noise from trains in tunnels
  37. Helicopter Response To Vortex Encounters In the Near-Airfield Environment
  38. Improved Models Of Driver Behaviour:The Application Of Error Components Logit Models
  39. Improving the assessment of risk to occupants and communities due to aircraft operations on and near airports
  40. Improving The Stiffness Of Existing Railway Track
  41. In-Vehicle Monitoring Of Personal Impairment
  42. Inclusive Transport Environment: Colour Design, Lighting & Visual Impairment
  43. Integrated Approaches To Influencing Car Use
  44. Integrated Telematic Solutions For Increasing Access To Employment & Training For the Young Unemployed
  45. Integrating Cycling and Light Rapid Transit: Realising the Potential
  46. Integration of heterogeneous traffic and travel infomation through a combined internet and mobile communications- Feasibilty Study
  47. Interactions between rail and road safety
  48. Investigating New Technology's Evolving Role, Nature and Effects for Transport
  49. Investigating Travel Behaviour Dynamics and their Incorporation into Transport Models
  50. Legibility & Conspicuity of Emergency Escape Route Signage For Normally Sighted & Visually Impaired People
  51. Measuring accessibility as experienced by different socially disadvantaged groups
  52. Measuring Pedestrian Accessibility
  53. Model Predictive Control For Energy Management In All/More-Electric Vehicles
  54. Modelling Decision Making Processes In U.K. Container Transport
  55. Modelling Policy Measures & Company Initiatives For Sustainable Urban Distribution
  56. Motorway Traffic Operations
  57. Network On Marine Systems
  58. Network: Development Of Intelligent Automotive Control Systems
  59. Non-Linear Effects At The Wheel/Rail Interface And Their Influence On Noise Generation
  60. Objectives In Automated Railway Timetable Generation
  61. Pavement & Rail-Track Engineering Platform Grant
  62. Pedestrian Accessibility and Movement Environment Laboratory
  63. Platform Grant To Support the Leeds Health Air Quality Noise Traffic & Emissions Research Network
  64. Platform Grant: Towards a Unified Theoretical Framework for Transport Network and Choice Modelling
  65. Platform: Accessibility Research Reaching OutWard
  66. Portable Multimedia Technology for Rail Transportation
  67. Predicting Early Life Skid Resistance of Highway Surfacings
  68. Predicting Fire Size and Spread for Vehicle Fires in Tunnels with Longitudinal Ventilation
  69. Railway Vehicle and Track System Integration
  71. REal-world Traffic Emissions Measurement and Modelling
  72. Reducing Children's Car Use: The Health & Potential Car Dependency Impacts
  73. Research to automate the Journeyweb protocol into a national public transport information system
  74. Robust rail driver schedules planning and delay recovery
  75. Scoping a Model Travel Behaviour Dataset Programme to Address Research and Policy Needs in Transport
  76. Ships' Wash Impact Management
  77. Simulating aircraft emissions and condensation trails and their impact on global climate
  78. Speech Interfaces for Driver Information Systems
  79. Stratified fuel fraction gasoline engine for simultaneous reduction in Co2 & Nox emissions
  80. SUE Scoping Study - Future Urban Technologies: Undertaking Research to Enhance Sustainability
  81. SUE Scoping Study: Accessibility and User Needs in Transport
  82. Sustainability indicators for airport intermodal transport hubs: a generic strategic design support
  83. The Application of Integer Programming with special reference to Airline Planning
  84. The Behavioural Impacts of Internet Based Travel Information in the Workplace
  85. The Demand For Public Transport - a Practical Guide
  86. The Design of Optimal Road Pricing Cordons
  87. The design of optimal transport strategies
  88. The Development And Demonstration Of A Vehicle Performance And Emissions Monitoring System
  89. The Influence of Transport Infrastructure & Medical Technology On Traffic Fatalities
  90. Tools For Evaluating Strategically Integrated Public Transport
  91. Travel Time Use in the Information Age
  92. Visions of the Role of Walking and Cycling in 2030
  93. Workplace Cycling Cultures, Modal Shift and Bicycle Design
Contact Name: 
Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council
Polaris House, North Star Avenue
Swindon SN2 1ET
Contact country: 
United Kingdom
(+44) 1793 444000