New Zealand Government Economics Network (GEN): The role of regional and urban development in lifting living standards.

I will be in Wellington for the New Zealand Government Economics Network (GEN)


6 December 2019


Te Papa, Wellington



Gen Flyer Single Page 2019


Job: Postdoctoral Research Associate in Transport – University of Sydney

My Colleague Dr. Emily Moylan is advertising for a post-doc at the University of Sydney.

  • Opportunity to be valued for your exceptional knowledge and experience in Transport Behavioural Modelling and/or Technology Adoption
  • Located at Darlington Campus, in the School of Civil Engineering
  • Full-Time, 24 months Fixed Term, Academic Level A: Base Salary: $94,629 p.a. – $101,018 p.a. plus a generous employer’s contribution to superannuation

About the opportunity

Applications are invited for the appointment of one Postdoctoral Research Associate (Level A) in the School of Civil Engineering, within the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Sydney. The position will contribute to the research and leadership of the School of Civil Engineering in the newly launched Transport Engineering program.

Emergence of new technologies such as autonomous vehicles, increases in data availability and advances in data science are paving the way for exciting and unprecedented opportunities to shape the next generation of transportation systems. The successful applicant(s) will help build a new research group headed by Dr. Emily Moylan to develop data-driven, stochastic methods in transport system performance assessment to support the adoption of new technologies and understand the evolution of travel behaviour.

About you

The University values courage and creativity; openness and engagement; inclusion and diversity; and respect and integrity. As such, we see the importance in recruiting talent aligned to these values in the pursuit of research excellence. We are looking for a Postdoctoral Research Associate who:

  • Holds a PhD in civil engineering, spatial planning, transport, psychology or related fields
  • Has published ground-breaking research in the area of behavioural modelling or perceptions of travel time in high quality international journals
  • Has demonstrated interest and aptitude for formulating methodologies to test hypotheticals associated with the adoption of transport innovations such as autonomous vehicles
  • Possesses strong communication skills

About us

The School of Civil Engineering is one of 5 schools in the Faculty of Engineering. The School has a reputation for the quality of its graduates, for the breadth, depth and innovation in its undergraduate curriculum, and for the strength of its research and postgraduate teaching programs. To learn more about the School of Civil Engineering click here

Since our inception 160 years ago, the University of Sydney has led to improve the world around us. We believe in education for all and that effective leadership makes lives better. These same values are reflected in our approach to diversity and inclusion, and underpin our long-term strategy for growth. We’re Australias first university and have an outstanding global reputation for academic and research excellence. Across our campuses, we employ over 7600 academic and non-academic staff who support over 60,000 students.

We are undergoing significant transformative change which brings opportunity for innovation, progressive thinking, breaking with convention, challenging the status quo, and improving the world around us.



Intending applicants are welcome to seek further information about the position from Dr Emily Moylan, Lecturer in Transport, School of Civil Engineering on +61 2 8627 7547 or

For more information on the Dr Emily Moylan, click here

For recruitment-related enquiries, or if you require reasonable adjustment or support filling out this application, please contact Helen Efstathiou, Recruitment Consultant on +61 2 8627 7137 or

Job Reference No. 2377/1119F

Routine pre-employment probity checks will be carried out for this position

Closing date: 11:30pm, Thursday 5 December 2019

The University of Sydney is committed to diversity and social inclusion. Applications from people of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds; equity target groups including women, people with disabilities, people who identify as LGBTIQ; and people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent, are encouraged.

The University reserves the right not to proceed with any appointment.

How to apply:

How Transit Scaling Shapes Cities

Recently published:

Transit accessibility to jobs (the ease of reaching work opportunities with public transport) affects both residential location and commute mode choice, resulting in gradations of residential land use intensity and transit (public transport) patronage. We propose a scaling model explaining much of the variation in transit use (transit commuters per km2) and residential land use intensity with transit accessibility. We find locations with high transit accessibility consistently have more riders and higher residential density; transit systems that provide greater accessibility and with a larger base for patronage have proportionally more ridership increase per unit of accessibility. All 48 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) in our sample have a scaling factor less than 1, so a 1% increase in access to jobs produces less than 1% increase in transit riders; the largest cities have higher scaling factors than smaller cities, indicating returns to scale. The models, derived from a new database of transit accessibility measured for every minute of the peak period over 11 million US census-blocks, and estimated for 48 major cities (MSAs) across the United States, find that jobs within 45 minutes most affect transit rider density. The findings support that transit investment should focus on mature, well-developed regions.

Scaling Coefficients for Transit Commuter and Working Population Density (dot sizes corresponds to residential density); Between-cities scaling (pooling 48 cities) shown with the solid red dot; All cities above the red diagonal line
Scaling Coefficients for Transit Commuter and Working Population Density (dot sizes corresponds to residential density); Between-cities scaling (pooling 48 cities) shown with the solid red dot; All cities above the red diagonal line

Development and Application of the Network Weight Matrix to Predict Traffic Flow for Congested and Uncongested Conditions

Recently published:

To capture network dependence between traffic links, we introduce two distinct network weight matrices Wj,i, which replace spatial weight matrices used in traffic forecasting methods. The first stands on the notion of betweenness centrality and link vulnerability in traffic networks. To derive this matrix, we use an unweighted betweenness method and assume all traffic flow is assigned to the shortest path. The other relies on flow rate change in traffic links. For forming this matrix, we use the flow information of traffic links and employ user equilibrium assignment and the method of successive averages algorithm to solve the network. The components of the network weight matrices are a function not simply of adjacency, but of network topology, network structure, and demand configuration. We test and compare the network weight matrices in different traffic conditions using the Nguyen–Dupuis network. The results lead to a conclusion that the network weight matrices operate better than traditional spatial weight matrices. Comparing the unweighted and flow-weighted network weight matrices, we also reveal that the assigned flow network weight matrices perform two times better than a betweenness network weight matrix, particularly in congested traffic conditions.

Development and Application of the Network Weight Matrix (1) Figure2
Figure 2. A schematic example for complementary and competitive nature of traffic links.


Urban Engineering for Sustainability

Urban Engineering for Sustainability is a new book by my colleague and University of Illinois at Chicago professor Sybil Derrible. I reviewed a draft and wrote a blurb (below). It is fully interdisciplinary, and if you teach or are a student in the field, you should check it out.
“Infrastructure in cities is often handled in different silos; Sybil Derrible’s is a rare book that breaks the mold, weaving our knowledge of infrastructure into our contemporary understanding of how cities function, integrating different systems and providing a new science for their design. Urban Engineering for Sustainability is essential reading for how we should renew our cities in making them ever more sustainable.”
—Michael Batty, University College London; author of Inventing Future Cities and The New Science of Cities

“Urban Engineering for Sustainability, by one of engineering’s few truly interdisciplinary thinkers, will be the benchmark text for anyone trying to understand how cities actually work. By considering the fully integrated nature of infrastructure systems, it serves as a useful antidote to the typically reductionist engineering curriculum.”
—David Levinson, Professor of Transport in the School of Civil Engineering, University of Sydney

“A timely textbook that takes a multi-infrastructure systems approach to developing sustainable and resilient cities. Key concepts are covered across multiple sectors, from basic principles to the latest advances. Civil and environmental engineers, sustainability scientists, and urban design professionals have long needed just such a textbook on integrated infrastructure engineering and design. Bravo!”
—Anu Ramaswami, Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering and Director of the M.S. Chadha Center for Global India, Princeton University; Lead PI, Sustainable Healthy Cities Network

Catchment if you can: The effect of station entrance and exit locations on accessibility

Recently published:

The success of passenger railway systems depends on their ridership and thus the population they serve. A mechanism to increase ridership is to expose the existing system to more people by reconfiguring the station itself, for instance by adding extra entrance and exit gates to shorten the walking distance from a trip’s origin or its final destination. Gates are key nodes giving pedestrians access from street network to boarding/alighting facilities and vice verse. Stations and platforms are places not points, passengers may spend up to 6 minutes a trip walking between platforms and the end of the station nearest their origin or destination. This study systematically evaluates the accessibility of train stations and the effect of constructing an additional `far-side’ gate at stations with a single `near-side’ entrance. A three-step approach is defined to generate an isochrone as the catchment area for any transport node. Results indicate that stations with a single gate along their platforms (usually on one end of them) have the potential to increase the accessibility to jobs and population by around 10% on average. Due to the walking network and land use characteristics, some stations will benefit more significantly by retrofitting a new gate. Also, four linear regression models are developed to illustrate the effect of expanded accessibility on the number of entries and exits at each station for two peak periods. Then, stations are ranked based on their added ridership, which can help authorities to prioritize development and allocating resources.


Transportist: November 2019

Welcome to the latest issue of The Transportist, especially to our new readers.  As always you can follow along at the or on Twitter.


Master of Transport at the University of Sydney

Transport Accessibility Manual

  • The Committee of the Transport Accessibility Manual will meet at the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting in Washington DC in January:

Transport Accessibility Manual Working Group (SAM20-0007 AP050)
Tuesday, Jan 14, 2020  8:00AM  9:45AM (US Eastern Standard Time)

  • We will be discussing the first (preliminary) draft of the document, which will be distributed to mailing list members before the meeting. Contact me directly if you would like to be added to the mailing list.


Transportist (the blog)


Transport Findings


News & Opinion

Research by Others

Australian Word of the month: