Dr Gillian Harrison

Dr Gillian Harrison


I am an experienced transport policy researcher, with a committed professional interest in low carbon vehicle technologies and sustainable mobility. My specialisms include system dynamics modelling, data analysis, electric vehicles, automobility, emissions, policy appraisal and social equity.

I have six years of business experience in environmental management, project and data co-ordination (in the UK water industry), hold a MSc/PhD in low carbon technologies (modelling, policy and ethics of low carbon vehicles) and spent three years as a post-doctoral researcher for the European Commission, Joint Research Centre in electro-mobility modelling and policy advice. 

In this role, I was responsible for the development and application of the EC-JRC Powertrain Technology Transition Market Agent Model (PTTMAM), a state-of-the-art system dynamics model representing all 28 EU member states. During this time I contributed to five European research projects and to the development of the Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Directive.

Since April 2017, I have been employed as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Institute for Transport Studies, supporting EU Horizon 2020 and UK funded projects on automated & connected vehicles, mobile phone travel apps, new and emerging forms of data for mobility policy, and modelling and governance of new mobility services.

I have published papers in numerous peer-reviewed journals, presented at a variety of international conferences, organised interdisciplinary workshops and mini-conferences, and acted as a reviewer for both international journals and conferences. More recently I have gained experience in lecturing and PhD supervision.

I am a member of the European Association of Transport, sitting on a programme committee for their annual European Transport Conference and the System Dynamics Society, acting as secretary to their Transportation Special Interest Group.


  • 2022-2023, Senior Research Fellow (University of Leeds, Institute for Transport Studies)
  • 2017-2022, Research Fellow (University of Leeds, Institute for Transport Studies)
  • 2013-2016, Post-Doctoral Grantholder (European Commission, Joint Research Centre)
  • 2003-2009, Environmental Advisor / Programme Co-ordinator / Data Analyst (Yorkshire Water)

Research interests

FAME (Horizon Europe): Auguts 2022 – Present

The project, which is building on the legacy of previous EU-funded support actions including the VRACARTRE and ARCADE projects, aims to directly support the work of the CCAM Partnership and the European Commission for the identification of gaps and future needs for R&I in CCAM.

LIFEBAND (Innovate UK): August 2021 – Present

This project will address these gaps in data arising from the NHS/PHE contact tracing smartphone application by providing a cheap, low-tech and highly secure wristband alternative providing a more complete picture of infection rates; and risks to (and from) population groups such as older people and school children

U-PASS (Europe-China): August 2019 – Present

Governance and modelling of new mobility services. U-PASS is a collaboration between Chinese and European institutes, to design and analyse innovative service and policy innovations for acheiving sustainable urban transportation. 

KARMA (Alan Turing Institute): September 2018 - Present

Developing applications of New and Emerging Data Forms (NEDF) in the understanding of mobility behavior and the impact of transport policy schemes on energy, environment and health. Includes management and analysis of mobile phone data from a dedicated app and the development of a system dynamics model.

AUTOPILOT (H2020): May 2018 - October 2019

Data analysis and support to evaluation of pilot projects, quality of life impacts, and legal aspects of the AUTOPILOT project, which brings Internet of Things into the automotive world to transform connected and autonomous vehicles. Includes the development of a system dynamics model.

Smarter Travel Solutions (Innovate UK): May - August 2018

Development of a system dynamics model of the uptake and evolution of a mobile phone ‘app’ for transport planning and ticketing within West Yorkshire.

TrACE (H2020): June - August 2018

Advice on the business plan development, knowledge transfer training needs, and customised research tools for a proposed ‘Transport Analytics Centre of Excellence’ based in Cyprus.

EMPOWER (H2020): February 2018 - May 2018

Data analysis of new generation data from a mobile phone travel app designed to positively incentivise the shift away from conventionally fuelled vehicles.

HABITS (ESRC): April 2017 - February 2018

Research and administrative tasks including sourcing, preparing and analysis of data, model development and stakeholder engagement to generate transport and health related policy insights, utilising new generation ‘track and trace’ data.

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


  • MSc/PhD in Low Carbon Technologies
  • PG Cert in Water and Environmental Management
  • MChem in Chemistry with Forensic and Pharmaceutical Science

Professional memberships

  • System Dynamics Society
  • European Association of Transport

Student education

Past Supervision

2017 - Present: PhD co-supervision to successful completion:

D.Soysouvanh: “Freight transport in least developed landlocked countries: a case study of Laos PDR”

2018 -  Present: Supervision of MSc Student dissertations to succesful completion


Involved in lecturing on transport-related issues and system dynamics

2022 - Present: Transport, Energy and Environment (Module Leader) (BSc Geography with Transport)

2022 - Present: City Systems: Mobility (MSc Sustainable Cities)

2020 - Present: Transport, Land Use and Development  (BSc Geography with Transport)

2018 - Present: System Dynamics: Modelling Policy (MSc Transport Studies)

2011 - 2013: Assistant tutor on undergraduate modules in Engineering Ethics (various seminars including Weapons Development, Sustainability, Risk Management, Research Ethics, and Engineering Ethics)

Research groups and institutes

  • Social and Political Sciences
  • Spatial Modelling and Dynamics

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="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>