Dr Ian Philips

Dr Ian Philips


With a disciplinary background Geography, Ian’s specialist expertise covers geographical analysis of socially equitable sustainable transport planning.  Ian has worked at the interface between academic and public policy. 

Ian’s skills include a wide range of approaches to spatial data analysis visualisation, simulation and methods associated with Geographic Information Science (GIS) and geocomputation and geographic data science.  Though Ian works principally with GIS he also works with colleagues on mixed methods research projects. 


Employment History

January 2018 - present Senior Research Fellow Institute for Transport Studies
December 2014 – 2018 Research Fellow Institute for Transport Studies

Main areas of work prior to research:

  • Environmental project management for youth organizations (Europe and Africa)
  • Teaching (Secondary)

Research interests

Current Projects

ELEVATE (Innovative Light ELEctric Vehicles for Active and Digital TravEl)

Ian is the Principal Investigator of the ELEVATE Project.  The ELevate project aims to understand the decarbonisation potential of electric micromobility (such as e-cargo bikes , e-bikes and e-scooters) 


CARS - Connecting Administrative vehicle data for Research on Sustainable Transport

Ian is a Co-Investigator on this research project.  This project will provide an annually updatable longitudinal dataset (dating back to ~2006/7) of the characteristics, location, annual mileage and associated emissions of every light-duty vehicle (cars and vans < 3.5 tonnes) in GB, which can be used at national and local levels to support sustainable transport policy design and implementation


Evaluation of Local NO2 plans 

Ian contributes to data analysis of the evolution of the vehicle fleet and traffic flow in “Clean Air Zones” and other areas in UK cities with clean air plans   


Selected Previous Projects 

Accelerating innovation in new mobility services: matching sustainable new business models to local potential

There is an urgent need for carbon reduction in the transport sector. This project examines the capability of people in particular places to rapidly reduce transport carbon emissions whilst at the same time trying to spot social vulnerabilities, which might occur during rapid change. E.g. are some people unable to use new low carbon technologies or maybe they might not be able to afford them.

Key outputs include 

Philips, I., Anable, J., Chatterton, T., 2022. E-bikes and their capability to reduce car CO2 emissions. Transp. Policy https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tranpol.2021.11.019

Philips, I., Mattioli, G., Anable, J., 2021. Spatial Analysis of Dog Ownership and Car Use in the UK. Findings. https://doi.org/10.32866/001c.29846

Philips I, Brown L. 2022. Longitudinal survey of e-bike use in the Lake District during Covid. 54th Annual UTSG Conference https://www.researchgate.net/publication/362888120_Longitudinal_survey_of_e-bike_use_in_the_Lake_District_during_Covid 


tERES Energy-related economic stress in the UK, at the interface between transport, housing and fuel poverty 

Ian collaborated on this project investgating transport poverty and vulnerability to oil price spikes 

Key output:  Mattioli G, Philips I, Anable J, Chatterton T. 2019. Vulnerability to motor fuel price increases: Socio-spatial patterns in England. Journal of Transport Geography. 78, pp. 98-114 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2019.05.009


MOT Motoring and vehicle Ownership Trends in the UK

Ian contributed to data analysis on this project.  This project developed the capability to understand spatial differences in car ownership and use. 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)  were combined and has the potential to transform the way in which energy and emissions are quantified, understood and monitored.


A465: Social assessment of road improvement schemes

Ian was a Co-Investigator on this project.  Using a combination of quantitative and qualitative analyses, this project was the first of its kind in the UK to identify the social impacts on the local community arising from a road improvement scheme.

Key output:  Lucas K, Philips I, Verlinghieri E. 2022. A mixed methods approach to the social assessment of transport infrastructure projects. Transportation. 49(1), pp. 271-291 https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11116-021-10176-6



<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>


  • PhD, University of Leeds
  • MSc, Geographic Information Science, University of Leeds
  • PGCE, University of Leeds
  • BSc Geography, University of Leicester

Professional memberships

  • Fellow, Higher Education Academy

Student education

Current postgraduate researchers

Current teaching 

Research groups and institutes

  • Social and Political Sciences

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>