Professor Jillian Anable


Research Expertise

Broadly, Jillian’s current research direction investigates ‘the future of the car’ – bringing together technological and societal developments including electrification and new mobility services to explore the concept of ‘car usership’. She applies socio-psychological theories and methods to the understanding of variations in car ownership, mobility patterns and resulting energy demands over time and space. This includes the design of qualitative and quantitative surveys and secondary data analysis to evaluate transport policy interventions at local and national scales.

Her key research interests include: 

  • Transport, energy and climate change policy
  • Theories of behaviour change and practice
  • Psychology of travel mode choice
  • Consumer demand for low-carbon and automated vehicles
  • Policy effectiveness, public acceptability and political deliverability
  • Qualitative and quantitative survey design
  • Understanding spatial variations in mobility behaviour
  • Statistical segmentation of mobility patterns, travellers and neighbourhoods

Employment History

  • Professor of Transport and Energy, Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds, January 2016 - present
  • Chair of Transport and Energy Demand, The Centre for Transport Research, School of Geosciences, University of Aberdeen, Aug 2013 – Dec 2015
  • Senior Lecturer, The Centre for Transport Research, School of Geosciences, University of Aberdeen, July 2008 – Aug 2013
  • Research Fellow, The Centre for Transport Policy, Business School, The Robert Gordon University, Nov 2003 – June 2008
  • ESRC Post-doctoral Research Fellow, Department of Psychology, University of Surrey, Oct 2002 – Sept 2003
  • Research Assistant, Environmental Change Unit, University of Oxford, Nov 1996 – Sept 1997

Higher education

  • 2002:   PhD Imperial College, London, Dept. of Environmental Science & Technology (No corrections)
  • 1996:   MSc Urban Planning (Transport), Oxford Brookes University, School of Planning (Distinction)
  • 1992:   BA Geography with German, University of Sussex, School of European Studies (2:1)

Professional Engagements 


Research interests

CREDS Centre for Research in Energy Demand Solutions

Sponsor: EPSRC/ESRC (UKRI Energy Programme)

Jillian is Co-Director of this multi-institutional consortium project to transform the energy demand landscape. She leads the Mobility and Transport Theme under which six inter-linked projects will investigate where energy demands in transport are currently highest and fastest growing and where and low carbon and energy reduction policies can be accelerated. All six projects are described in more detail here.


UKERC The UK Energy Research Centre

Sponsor: EPSRC/ESRC (UKRI Energy Programme)

UKERC is a cross-research council funded ‘virtual’ research centre comprising a focal point for UK research on sustainable energy. The whole systems research programme addresses the challenges and opportunities presented by the transition to a net zero energy system and economy. It takes an independent, whole systems approach, drawing on engineering, economics and the physical, environmental and social sciences. The core research programme of the five-year UKERC Phase 4 (started mid-2019) contains seven themes and four national capabilities. Jillian is Co-Director and leads the Mobility and Energy Theme comprising of six-sub projecs, detailed here.


EnergyRev The UK Energy Research Revolutions Consortium

Sponsor: UKRI through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund

The Energy Research Revolutions Consortium has been formed to help drive forward research and innovation in Smart Local Energy Systems. It supports the UK’s wider Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund’s programme on Prospering from the Energy Revolution through its activities in relation to data analytics, busines model development, policy, regulation and markets, user engagement and supporting scale-up. Many of the demonstration projects include a link to mobility, particularly in the form of electric vehicles acting as part of additional grid storage capacity or taking advantage of battery capacity as part of the local energy system developments. Jillian oversee’s work relation to mobility across the consortium and is involves specifically in research relating to user engagement.

STEP The Subsurface Pathway for Electric Pathways

Sponsor: Innovate UK

A new on-street charging solution will be studied with a view to deployment. The Subsurface Technology for Electric Pathways (STEP) project involves the testing and evaluation of Trojan Energy’s innovative on-street charging solution – a flush connection where the chargepoint is slotted into the ground. The charger aims to help solve the issue for those without access to off-street parking, which is currently a major barrier for electric vehicle (EV) uptake. A key advantage of the technology is no permanent footprint or major street clutter, as there is only equipment at the pavement edge when the vehicle is charging. Here at ITS we will undertake the consumer research to investigate the experience of users and non-users in the case study neighbourhoods.

Electricity SATNAV: Electricity Smart Availability Topology of Network for Abundant electric Vehicles

Sponsor: EPSRC

This research will investigate the feasibility of a system which will provide real-time electricity availability information to foster the development of a peer-to-peer decentralised electricity market between micro/small-scale distributed energy generators (e.g. households with PV systems) and EV owners.


Recently Completed Projects

MOT Motoring and vehicle Ownership Trends in the UK

Sponsor: EPSRC/ESRC (RCUK Energy Programme)

This project will develop the capability to understand spatial differences in car ownership and use and has the potential to transform the way in which energy and emissions are quantified, understood and monitored. Data from annual car roadworthiness tests (‘MOT tests’ in the UK), made available by the Department for Transport, together with additional details of all vehicles registered from the UK Driver Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA) is used as a platform upon which to undertake a set of inter-linked modelling and analysis tasks using multiple sources of vehicle-specific and area-based data. This will help refine future research and policy agendas and inform transport and energy infrastructure planning. The MOT project was led by Professor Jillian Anable with colleagues from the University of Bristol, University West of England and Transport Research Laboratory ( ).

DEMAND The Dynamics of Energy, Mobility and Demand

Sponsor: EPSRC/ESRC (RCUK Energy Programme) with support from ECLEER (EDF R&D), Transport for London and the International Energy Agency

The centre takes a distinctive approach to end use energy demand, recognising that energy is not used for its own sake but as part of accomplishing social practices at home, at work and in moving around. In essence the Centre focuses on what energy is for. This approach generates an ambitious research agenda that is crucial for organisations involved in demand management and in radically reconfiguring infrastructures, buildings and transport systems in line with greenhouse gas emissions targets. While greater efficiency is important, the trend is often towards more resource intensive standards of comfort, convenience and speed. The problem is that we lack a sophisticated understanding of how these trends take hold and of the underlying dynamics of demand itself. In focusing on how demand is made and met, the Centre will examine changing patterns in mobility and building-related energy use and take forward a wide-ranging agenda for future research and policy. The DEMAND Centre is led out of the University of Lancaster by Prof. Elizabeth Shove (

adVANce Accelerating Decarbonisation of Van Carbon Emissions

Sponsor: UKERC

In this project we will identify opportunities to accelerate emission reductions from Light Goods Vehicles (LGVs) by addressing key knowledge gaps in technology adoption, demand growth and interactions with existing policy initiatives. In doing so we take a wider systems approach to understanding the problem and its connections to emission reduction options by: (i) Understanding the diverse composition of LGV traffic, sources of recent growth and important structural changes likely to act as forces for potential future trends in LGV energy demand; (ii) Exploring the opportunities to reduce the carbon intensity of LGV private and commercial transport demand through policies, organisational and logistical changes and new technologies which act on both the generators of this growth and targeted ways of mitigating their impacts; (iii) Using a case study approach to allow focused investigation of specific: (a) systems of provision (e.g. for food); (b) area-based policies (e.g. Low Emission Zones); (iv) Pulling together the various insights provided by these approaches in such a way that we can better estimate the potential impacts UK-wide of a sample of interventions through the application of transport and carbon systems modelling, through the use of more informed insights and data inputs into such models about the van sector than has hitherto been possible. This project is led by Professor Anthony Whiteing (ITS Leeds).

RACER Radical Acceleration of Car Emissions Reductions

Sponsor: UKERC

With specific emphasis on the UK car fleet, this project tackles head-on the unprecedented mitigation challenge outlined in the Paris Agreement. With particular focus on deep and near-term mitigation, it examines the potential for the rapid penetration of highly efficient petrol and diesel models to deliver quantitative fleet wide reductions of around 50% within a single decade. Such levels of mitigation are beyond those yet countenanced, but are necessary if the UK is to play its fair role in delivering on the Paris commitments. It will proceed to develop a set of scenarios including narratives, policy mechanisms and regulatory regimes designed to equip decision makers with the wherewithal to consider seriously accelerating mitigation. Finally, it will offer a taxonomy and concise evaluation of more interventionist prospects to extend mitigation beyond existing technical and social norms. This project is led by Professor Kevin Anderson (Manchester Tyndall Centre).


tERES Energy-related economic stress in the UK, at the interface between transport, housing and fuel poverty (Nov 2014 – June 2016)

Sponsor: EPSRC/ESRC (RCUK Energy Programme)

This project was attached to the DEMAND (Dynamics of Energy, Mobility and Demand) Research Centre. The project developed the concept of transport poverty, exploring its relationships with housing and fuel poverty, and implications for energy demand reduction and social justice. It developed connections between the British academic and policy debate and similar debates abroad, where issues of increasing transport costs and vulnerability to oil price spikes have been framed in terms of sustainable spatial development, highlighting the interlinkages between transport and housing affordability. It was led by Dr Giulio Mattioli (ITS Leeds).


Sponsor: EPSRC/ESRC (RCUK Energy Programme)

Was a three year study to understand how disruptions to the travel system – large or small – affect travel practices. Disruptions at the individual or family scale (e.g. car breakdown, illness) or at the larger scale (weather events, strikes, cyber or terrorism attacks) are investigated to see what these teach us about how the opportunities to change travel practices at individual level and within families; in organisations that generate travel demand and impact on our own individual travel decision-making; and within government where policy that determines our travel opportunities is made. A range of innovative research methods is used, including capturing travel behaviour through Facebook and Twitter and carrying out video-recorded mobile interviews. The project then brings together the different social actors, both 'lay' and 'expert' in a number of forums where they have the opportunity to 'deliberate' the different issues that will emerge throughout the research, and challenge each other about what needs to be done to capture the opportunities for change. Lastly the project seeks to establish mechanisms for embedding these changes in everyday life, in organisational practices and in social policy, so that a substantial contribution to reducing carbon emissions from transport is achieved. The project was led by Professor Greg Marsden and collaborated with colleagues from Lancaster University, The University of Brighton and the University of West of England.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>

Student education

I currently teach on the following modules:

  • TRAN3062 Soc Analysis & Psyc for Tran
  • TRAN2041 Tran, Energy & Environment
  • TRAN5912 Transport Integrated Project


I am accepting PhD students in the following areas:

  • Mobility and energy practices
  • Adoption of new vehicle technology, new models of car ownership and acceptance of future mobility systems
  • Evaluation of policy interventions, particularly in relation to climate change policy

Research groups and institutes

  • Social and Political Sciences
  • Energy and Climate Change Mitigation

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>