Future of Transport

About us

The drive towards sustainable mobility (mobility that has zero impact in terms of emissions or energy usage) is bringing about a revolution of technologies including autonomous vehicles, electric buses and bicycles (and hybrids). These offer new and different transport options, as well as health benefits, particularly for an ageing population. There is a growing need for graduates and researchers in the field of sustainable transport, with a particular focus on:

  • connected and autonomous vehicles, including the development of autonomous vehicles, networks and infrastructure, logistics and last-mile delivery, mobility as a service, safety and changes in behaviour (modal shift)
  • hybrid and battery electric vehicle development, including control system optimisation, system integration, simulation and modelling, air quality and reduction of particulate emissions
  • use of alternative fuels, including ammonia and hydrogen
  • bicycle and personal mobility development, and lightweighting of vehicles.

The ‘Future of Transport’ is an interdisciplinary strategic theme, focused on these areas. Although much of this is aimed at a mass market, ie automotive, motorsport also has a key role to play here. Through activities such as the now successful Formula-E competition, electric vehicle technology is seen to be fast and exciting, hence changing hearts and minds in the move to shift the population towards adoption of electric vehicles. Motorsport has an equally important role to play in acting as the test ground for new technologies and prototypes, and for developing new skills and knowledge.

BROOKESbus on the High Street, Oxford

Related courses

  • Engineering (MPhil / PhD / Masters by Research / PhD by Published Work)


Denise Morrey

Professor Denise Morrey

Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Research Lead

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News and events

Innovative Approaches to the Future of Transport

26-28 April 2021

In late April, Oxford Brookes University hosted a virtual 3-day Collaborative Incubator on "Enhancing the Future of Transport and Urban Infrastructure: How to engineer smart, sustainable and healthy cities?" The incubator sought to scope out the current realities and future possibilities of urban transport and infrastructure by focusing on the 3 themes of urban emissions, public transport and urban green spaces. Ultimately, the incubator hoped to help advance knowledge exchange across faculties and disciplines (all the more so considering the recent establishment of a ‘Sustainable and Resilient Futures’ RIKE network), across institutions, as well as deepen collaborations with policy, industry and charity/groups active in this area.

It is perhaps a sign of the incubator’s timeliness that we were able to welcome almost 50 delegates across the 3 days, with academics from 8 universities spanning the breadth of the country, industry representatives, talks by Innovate UK’s SE Regional Manager David Legg and Alex Weedon from the Connected Places Catapult, as well as George Economides of the Oxfordshire County Council and Cllr Tom Hays of the Oxford City Council. Keynote speakers presented on topics including:

  • the role of local authorities in future mobility
  • air quality and health
  • speculative futures of urban landscapes 
  • research funding opportunities. 

After keynote presentations, participants discussed these topics further in Challenge Room sessions with a view to generating innovative solutions that have potential to bridge research gaps and improve the wellbeing of urban inhabitants.

The incubator was hosted by our new, custom built OBVirtual Venue in Gather Town, making the event a unique experience and one that was as near to normal as possible during Covid times. The venue also forms part of the incubator’s legacy, and is now available for use by colleagues across the faculty. 

The perhaps most popular outputs (to date, that is!), were the graphic illustrations of the talks and discussions created by the live illustrator. Kindly funded by the University of Bath’s ‘Reimagining Recruitment’ EPSRC award, we were particularly pleased to see colleagues of different career trajectories participate, with PhD Students and senior academics alike contributing to the discussions. The connections made over the course of the 3 days will hopefully be developed further into viable research and/or commercial projects, there is certainly an abundance of potential from what we have seen and heard so far!

Paul Henshall and Tudor Georgescu

Enhancing the Future of Transport and Urban Infrastructure: How to engineer smart, sustainable and healthy cities? 26-28 April 2021
Enhancing the Future of Transport and Urban Infrastructure: Discussion points capturing some of your thinking