Institute for Transport Studies (ITS)

Staff photo

Professor Dave Watling

Centenary Professor of Transport Analysis

Phone: +44 (0)113 34 36612
Room: 2.02
Research Group: Spatial Modelling and Dynamics

Key Research Interests

  • Mathematical modelling, simulation, statistical analysis, optimisation of transport systems.
  • Specific interest in traffic network models, especially dynamic and stochastic issues.
  • Network reliability modelling and assessment.
  • Optimal network toll problems, bi-level and mathematical programs with equilibrium constraints.
  • Statistical inference for network models.
  • Visioning and alternative/qualitative paradigms for long-range transport planning.

Employment History

  • Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds (1989-present)


  • BSc (Hons) Mathematics, Class 1, University of Leeds, 1986
  • PhD Probability & Statistics, University of Sheffield, 1990

Professional Engagements

  • Editorial Advisory Board, Transportation Research B: Methodological (1997-present)
  • Associate Editor, Networks & Spatial Economics (since its instigation: 2002-present)
  • Editorial Board, European Journal of Transportation & Logistics (since instigation 2012-present)
  • Editor, Transportmetrica B: Transport Dynamics (since its instigation: 2012-present)
  • Overseas Invited Member, International Association of Traffic & Safety Sciences (2009-2013)
  • Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council Peer Review College (1996-2012)
  • Instigator of symposium series, and chair of First International Symposium on Dynamic Traffic Assignment, Leeds 2006.
  • International scientific/organising committee member of international symposia of INSTR (New Zealand, 2004; Delft, 2007; Minnesota, 2010; Hong Kong 2012), IMA (London, 2005), ISTTT (London, 2007), EURO Working Group (Bari, 2006), DTA (Leeds, 2006; Leuven, 2008; Takayama, Japan, 2010; Martha's Vineyard, US, 2010).

Research Projects and Experience


  • Masters-level modules: Principles of Transport Modelling (2007–present), Network Analysis Models (1997-present), Transport Data Collection and Analysis (1991–2004), Freight Transport Planning and Management (2000–2004), Traffic Network Modelling Practice (2001–2003).
  • Undergraduate level modules: Travel Activity & Social Analysis (Year 3, 2001–present), Engineering Mathematics (Year 1, 1997–8), Mathematics and Statistics for Business & Economics (Year 1, 1999–2004), statistics tutor (1986–9, Sheffield).
  • CPD short courses for transport professionals: Introduction to SATURN (Course director, 1991–2001), Elementary Statistics for Traffic and Transport, Analysis of Accident Data, Traffic Assignment Models: Recent Advances, Intermediate SATURN.
  • External lectures on PTRC course 'Modelling the effects of area-wide traffic management'; number of in-house SATURN training courses to UK transport planning bodies, and to organisations in Dubai, India, Portugal and Spain.
  • Supervisor of numerous Masters dissertations.
  • Postgraduate Research Tutor, responsible for admissions, pastoral care, supervision arrangements, scholarship applications (2004–7).
  • Supervisor of completed and on-going PhD students, covering a range of topics, including: modelling of traffic network dynamics; capacity-constrained public transport assignment; freight network tolling and road maintenance; joint route and departure time choice models; modelling network reliability; activity-based modelling of tours; and national models. With students from around the world bringing their own perspectives, a common theme has been the development of appropriate modelling tools given the circumstances, data and policy requirements of a country.


Book Chapters

Search site