Dr Neil Ferguson

Senior Lecturer

Civil and Environmental Engineering


Personal statement

Dr Ferguson is a Chartered Engineer and member of the Institution of Civil Engineers.  He holds PhD and BEng (Hons) degree in Civil Engineering and a LLB in Law.   He has over 15 years experience in research, education and consultancy.  His primary research interests include the analysis of transport systems (including day-to-day travel behaviour as well as longer-term decisions about mobility resources and residential location choice), actions related to the mitigation, impact and adaptation to the effects of greenhouse gas emissions from transport, traffic-related air pollution, driver behaviour and social inequalities related to transport.  He has taught classes in transport planning, traffic engineering, highway design and statistical methods at undergraduate and postgraduate level and successfully delivered training courses for industry.  He has published over 20 articles as author or co-author in refereed journals and book chapters.  His work has been funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the Medical Research Council, the Natural Environment Research Council, the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, ClimateXChange Scotland and industry.

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Area of Expertise

Dr Ferguson has expertise in statistical/econometric analysis of travel behaviour, transport data acquisition, geographical information systems applied to transport systems and microsimulation.  

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The influence of urban form on car travel following residential relocation : a current and retrospective study in Scottish urban areas
Woods Lee, Ferguson Neil
Journal of Transport and Land Use Vol 7 (2014)
Access to recreational physical activities by car and bus : an assessment of socio-spatial inequalities in mainland Scotland
Ferguson Neil, Lamb Karen Elaine, Wang Yang, Ogilvie David, Ellaway Anne
PLOS One Vol 8 (2013)
Sociospatial distribution of access to facilities for moderate and vigorous intensity physical activity in Scotland by different modes of transport
Lamb Karen E, Ogilvie David, Ferguson Neil S, Murray Jonathan, Wang Yang, Ellaway Anne
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity Vol 9 (2012)
Recreational physical activity facilities within walking and cycling distance : sociospatial patterning of access in Scotland
Ogilvie David, Lamb KE, Ferguson Neil, Ellaway Anne
Health and Place Vol 17, pp. 1015-1022 (2011)
Distribution of physical activity facilities in Scotland by small area measures of deprivation and urbanicity
Lamb K E, Ferguson Neil, Wang Yang, Ogilvie D, Ellaway A
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity Vol 7 (2010)
Transport disruption in the post-Covid era - insights from a survey of Glasgow commuter in hybrid working pattern
Li Jingsi, Ferguson Neil
Proceedings of the 26th International Conference of Hong Kong Society for Transportation Studies (HKSTS) 26th International Conference of Hong Kong Society for Transportation Studies, pp. 310-318 (2022)

More publications

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Research Interests

Dr Ferguson was Principal Investigator on the transport work package undertaken by the EPSRC-funded CityForm consortium which examined the influence of urban form and spatial structure on travel behaviour.  Large-scale, in-depth surveys of travel behaviour were undertaken in 5 cities, multi-modal transport networks were modelled in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and advanced econometric methods were used to examine accessibility correlates of travel behaviour, travel behaviour change and car ownership.  An innovative, quasi-longitudinal research design using recall data to investigate travel behaviour changes over time was adopted which remains the only study of its kind to be conducted in Europe and one of only a handful worldwide.

His work on accessibility and multi-modal transport networks was developed further in Apollo Scotland funded by the MRC and undertaken in collaboration with researchers at two internationally-leading research units – the MRC Social and Public Health Research Unit in Glasgow (Dr Anne Ellaway) and the MRC Epidemiology Unit in Cambridge (Dr David Ogilvie).  Techniques developed in CityForm were applied to measure the accessibility of sports facilities by car, bus, bicycle and walking.  A particular innovation was developing computational procedures to link raw public transport timetable data to Ordnance Survey map data to create a searchable bus network.  Techniques used to construct transport networks were subsequently applied in funded Knowledge Exchange activity.  This project also highlighted limitations in the current conception and calculation of accessibility when the choice set consists of heterogeneous alternatives.  This paved the way for the extension of accessibility theory and has multiple applications in transport planning and related areas (e.g. transport network resilience, location choice, option valuation, quality of life assessment).

Related research commissioned by the Scottish Executive was published as part of the Executive’s Social Research Series (ISBN 9780755965946). The report contains original analyses of secondary data sets such as the International Passenger Survey and the Civil Aviation Authority Survey and examines the travel behaviour of visitors to Scotland, identifies key gaps in knowledge and accessibility and makes policy recommendations to Scottish Executive and transport/tourism agencies.

This work was also supported by two fully-funded Commonwealth Scholars from the Polytechnic of Malawi (Association of Commonwealth Universities).  The first of these examined individual, household and village-level correlates of specific health outcomes in the District of Chikwawa in Malawi.  The second project involved an assessment of the relationship between transport accessibility and a range of quality of life indicators.  These two projects have produced a total of seven journal articles, with one article currently under review and a further two under development.

He is working with Dr Beverland (Civil and Environmental Engineering) on a series of linked projects which tackle traffic-related air pollution incidents.  His primary contribution to this work involves building active traffic management strategies to meet air quality objectives.  This requires the development of a better understanding of the relationship between traffic patterns and air pollution using field measurements and fine-scale modelling.  This work is being undertaken with the financial support and of Transport Scotland, Ricardo AEA and IBI Group.

Professional Activities

Presentation to Scottish Roads Research Board
Nurturing an active travel community at Strathclyde
National Telford Institute
Planning and Health - Glasgow (External organisation)
Scottish Transport Application and Research
Institution of Civil Engineers (External organisation)

More professional activities


The Development of a Hybrid Empirical-Expert Opinion Model of the Vulnerability of the Scottish Road Network to Flooding
Ferguson, Neil (Principal Investigator) Patelli, Edoardo (Co-investigator) Tubaldi, Enrico (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2021 - 31-Jan-2022
Evaluating the benefit of structural health monitoring for improving bridge resilience against scour - National Centre for Resilience (NCR)
Tubaldi, Enrico (Principal Investigator) Ferguson, Neil (Co-investigator) Patelli, Edoardo (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2020 - 31-Jan-2021
TRANSPORT SCOTLAND-SRRB Decision Support System based on “adaptive” Flood Level Markers
Tubaldi, Enrico (Principal Investigator) Ferguson, Neil (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2020 - 31-Jan-2021
Developing Smart Cities in India
Bellingham, Richard (Principal Investigator) Beverland, Iain (Co-investigator) Ferguson, Neil (Co-investigator) Riccardi, Annalisa (Co-investigator) Rogerson, Robert (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2019 - 31-Jan-2020
SFC GCRF Pump Priming - Cleaner Air for Kolkata
Bellingham, Richard (Principal Investigator) Beverland, Iain (Co-investigator) Ferguson, Neil (Co-investigator) Kelly, Nicolas (Co-investigator) Macdonald, Malcolm (Co-investigator) Rogerson, Robert (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2018 - 31-Jan-2019
2017 Early warning decision support system for the management of underwater scour risk for road and railway bridges
Zonta, Daniele (Principal Investigator) Douglas, John (Co-investigator) Ferguson, Neil (Co-investigator) Tarantino, Alessandro (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2017 - 31-Jan-2018

More projects

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Dr Neil Ferguson
Senior Lecturer
Civil and Environmental Engineering

Email: n.s.ferguson@strath.ac.uk
Tel: 548 3181