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Prof Nick Tyler

  • Telephone:

    +44 20 7679 1562
  • Extension:

    31562
  • Email:

    n.tyler@ucl.ac.uk
  • Address:

    206 Chadwick Building,
    Gower Street,
    London,
    WC1E 6BT
  • Appointments:

    Chadwick Chair of Civil Engineering, Dept of Civil, Environ &Geomatic Eng, Faculty of Engineering Science

Summary

Nick Tyler's research investigates the ways in which people interact with their immediate environments. This includes the way in which common functions - such as walking - are managed by subconscious control systems which interact with the physical, sensory and cognitive environments in which people function. Some elements of moving around the pedestrian environment require physical activity, such as propelling a wheelchair. Although a lot of research has been undertaken in relation to the self-propulsion of a wheelchair  by the occupant, little has been carried out in relation to the problems for an attendant in pushing a wheelchair. Studies in Nick Tyler's laboratory show that the work involved for an attendant in managing a wheelchair is extremely high, not least due to the current 'normal' design of the environment. Failure in the walking process is found when a person stumbles and, in complete failure mode, falls. Nick Tyler's team is therefore studying falling and the fear of falling, both in the static pedestrian environment and inside moving vehicles (e.g. a bus), where the studies include the situation of walking up and down stairs or along the floor of a bus and the impacts of crashes on children in wheelchairs inside cars. The team is also investigating the extent to which the subconscious is invovled in these interactions, especially under conditions of cognitive load (such as when using a mobile phone). Nick is also leading a team investigating the feasibility of a wholly new concept in exoskeleton design. His team is also involved in the development of robotics-assisted mobility scooters within the pedestrian environment, the study of whether or not technological
interventions,such as electric mobiity scooters, help or hinder their users in terms of their longer term health and wellbeing. The team is also working with manufacturers and clinicians to develop a better
therapeutic management system for wheelchair users.An important aspect of the environment is the changing nature of cities so the rapid expansion of cities in the global south is an important case to consider. Nick Tyler's team is addressing how peri-urban living could be better accommodated by design and operation which is more appropriate for the specific circumstances of such transient situations. This is extended into the development of low carbon technologies in transport systems to improve the sensory and healthy environment. This includes research into the development of new fuels, energy sources and dynamic energy management within vehicles.

Nick Tyler's teaching contribution is driven by a new concept about what engineering is and how this should be enacted in the future. Engineering is to serve the world's population with the aim of aking the world a better place. This view of engineering as a public service requires that future engineers understand in the most complete way what problems the world's population is facing and what the desired outcomes should be from solving these challenges. That outcomes-focused approach led him to make a fundamental renewal of UCL's civil and environmental teaching programmes. Students learn first about how to understand the contexts within which the world lives and then how these could be improved, and then learn the engineering techniques that could be brought to bear on resolving the challenges. Thus the contribution of engineering is not only the hardware and software that drives engineering solutions, but also the intellectual discipline associated to hiw a problem is identified and analysed outcomes determined, solutions implemented and evaluated. THey learn that there is no single correct solution, that equations do not provide answers, but instead provide indications, and that the key to engineering is the interpretation of all the available evidence to making a better understanding of the problem and thus of the implications of potential solutions. Thus engineers need to understand the political, social, economic and environmental context within which they will operate as well as the whole depth of the science and practice disciplines needed to bring about an approach to helping the world improve the quality of living for all its inhabitants. Nick Tyler's teaching activity therefore drives towards this sort of understanding in the next generation of engineers, politicians, investors, ... people.

Research Summary

Nick Tyler's research investigates the ways in which people interact with their immediate environments. This includes the way in which common functions - such as walking - are managed by subconscious control systems which interact with the physical, sensory and cognitive environments in which people function. Some elements of moving around the pedestrian environment require physical activity, such as propelling a wheelchair. Although a lot of research has been undertaken in relation to the self-propulsion of a wheelchair  by the occupant, little has been carried out in relation to the problems for an attendant in pushing a wheelchair. Studies in Nick Tyler's laboratory show that the work involved for an attendant in managing a wheelchair is extremely high, not least due to the current 'normal' design of the environment. Failure in the walking process is found when a person stumbles and, in complete failure mode, falls. Nick Tyler's team is therefore studying falling and the fear of falling, both in the static pedestrian environment and inside moving vehicles (e.g. a bus), where the studies include the situation of walking up and down stairs or along the floor of a bus and the impacts of crashes on children in wheelchairs inside cars. The team is also investigating the extent to which the subconscious is invovled in these interactions, especially under conditions of cognitive load (such as when using a mobile phone). Nick is also leading a team investigating the feasibility of a wholly new concept in exoskeleton design. His team is also involved in the development of robotics-assisted mobility scooters within the pedestrian environment, the study of whether or not technological
interventions,such as electric mobiity scooters, help or hinder their users in terms of their longer term health and wellbeing. The team is also working with manufacturers and clinicians to develop a better
therapeutic management system for wheelchair users.An important aspect of the environment is the changing nature of cities so the rapid expansion of cities in the global south is an important case to consider. Nick Tyler's team is addressing how peri-urban living could be better accommodated by design and operation which is more appropriate for the specific circumstances of such transient situations. This is extended into the development of low carbon technologies in transport systems to improve the sensory and healthy environment. This includes research into the development of new fuels, energy sources and dynamic energy management within vehicles.

Research Activities

  • APEX Accessibility and Public Transport Experiment
  • APTRA Accessible Public Transport in Rural Areas
  • ARROW (INFOChain) INFOrmation needs along the journey Chain: Users' perspective about bus system.
  • AUNT-SUE Accessibility and User Needs in Transport for Sustainable Urban Environments 
  • Accessible Bus Routes in Brighton and Hove
  • Assessment of Transport Projects in Cusco, Peru
  • BEXLEY, A Report to MCCH on a Suitable Transport Policy for its Bexley Services
  • COCCINELLA Conserving Carpets Cultural and Inclusive Exhibition of Living and Labour Areas
  • DAISY Dynamic Assisstive Information System
  • DIMPLE Dynamic Information to Mobilise People with Learning Difficulties
  • ELIXIR Evaluation of the Impacts of direct and cross-sector intensive public transport in rural areas
  • EMMA Evaluating measures to enhance the mobility of older and disabled people
  • EPSRC Dongtan Sustainable City Networks: Coordination Framework 2
  • EXCALIBUR Extending Comprehensive Access with Local Initiatives for Bus Systems in Urban Areas
  • Empirical analysis of passenger movements onto and off trains
  • Evolution of the European community law in the freight transport sector: Lessons for the Mercosul experience
  • HEPSIS Developing a Heterogeneous Pedestrian Simulation on Stairs
  • Hybrid Electric Technology for Buses
  • Local governance, urban mobility and poverty reduction. Lessons from Medellín, Colombia
  • Low Carbon City Development
  • Low Vision Research
  • MESS Measuring the Elderly people’s Speed on Stairs
  • Modelling bus-stop interactions
  • Modelling interactions between bus operations and traffic flows
  • Modelling paratransit services: A microscopic simulation approach
  • PAMELA Pedestrian Accessibility and Movement Environment Laboratory
  • PATH Promoting Accessible Transport for mobility-impaired people in Hackney
  • PPersonal Intelligent City Assitive Vehicle (PICAV)
  • PUPPIT Public Participation Processes in Transport
  • REASON: Robust Methods for Monitoring and Understanding People in Public Spaces
  • RELEASE (Rehabilitative Elegant Locomotion with Exoskeleton and Active Support for Exercise)
  • ROAST: Road Safety Training
  • Review of Transport for Community Healthcare provision in Kent
  • SPIRAL Scientific Pedestrian Interaction Research in an Accessibility Laboratoryople with Learning Difficulties
  • Social Inclusion for People with Disabilities and their Carers
  • Socio-technical evaluation of innovative transport infrastructure: Local governance, urban mobility and poverty reduction
  • Tactile delineators for pedetsrian spaces
  • Testing of Gene-Replacement therapy for macular degeneration
  • Transforming the Engineering of Cities
  • Transport Co-ordination Centre
  • Trumpet: "Going Places" the Travel Training game

Recent Publications

Displaying 30 most recent publications. For the full list please visit UCL Discovery

  1. Holloway CSM,Roan T-R,Tyler N (2013) New Deep tube Train: design features affecting boarding and alighting of passengers.
  2. Tyler NA,Ramirez C (2012) Developing low-carbon transport policies in Peru with capacity-building for their implementation, 1 - 241.
  3. Zhao M,Tyler N,Lan C (2012) What determines commute time choices? A structural equation modelling approach Transportation Planning and Technology, 35(4), 393 - 408. 10.1080/03081060.2012.680809.
  4. Karekla X,Tyler N (2012) Reduced dwell times resulting from train–platform improvements: the costs and benefits of improving passenger accessibility to metro trains Transportation Planning and Technology. 10.1080/03081060.2012.693267.
  5. Papdosifos N,Boampong D,Weiler R,Smitham P,Tyler N,Holloway C,Grange S (2012) The effect of mobility aid on the total heart beat index of paralympics athletes when traversing complex terrains Journal of Joint and Bone Surgery, 94-B(Supp XXXVI), 115 - 115.
  6. Karekla X,Fujiyama T,Tyler NA (2011) Evaluating accessibility enhancements to public transport including indirect as well as direct benefits Research in Transportation Business & Management, 2, 92 - 100. 10.1016/j.rtbm.2011.06.010.
  7. TYLER NA (2011) Capabilities and Accessibility: A model for progress Journal of Accessibility and Design for All, 1(1), 12 - 22.
  8. Suzuki T,Uchiyama H,Holloway C,Tyler NA (2011) Load on shoulder and elbow joints during autonomous hand-cycling Journal of Biomechanical Science and Engineering, 6(4), 236 - 247.
  9. Fujiyama T,Childs C,Boampong D,Tyler N (2010) Investigation into the slope gradients for humps on railway platforms.
  10. Childs CR,Thomas C,Sharp S,Tyler NA (2010) Can shared surfaces be safely negotiated by blind and partially sighted people?.
  11. Holloway C,Suzuki T,Uchiyama H,Tyler N (2010) Application of the Capability Model to assess crossfall gradient requirements for attendants pushing wheelchairs.
  12. Fujiyama T,Tyler N (2010) Predicting the walking speed of pedestrians on stairs Transportation Planning and Technology, 33(2), 177 - 202. 10.1080/03081061003643770.
  13. Holloway C (2010) Propelling a wheelchair in the pedestrian environment: how do people cope with slopes and obstacles?.
  14. Tyler N (2010) Where does accessibility go in the twenty first century?.
  15. Imam R,Tyler N (2010) COCCINELLA: Conserving Carpets Cultural and Inclusive Exhibition of Living and Labour Areas.
  16. Fernandez R,Zegers P,Weber G,Tyler N (2010) Effect of door width, platform height and fare collection on bus dwell time. A laboratory study.
  17. Emes MR,Smith A,Bucknall R,Tyler N,Westcott P,Broatch S (2009) Modelling the costs and benefits of hybrid buses from a whole-life perspective.
  18. Fujiyama T,Tyler NA (2009) Bidirectional collision-avoidance behaviour of pedestrians on stairs Environment and Planning B, 36(1), 128 - 148. 10.1068/b33123.
  19. Fujiyama T,Nowers J,Tyler N (2008) Investigation into train dwell time, research report submitted to UK Department for Transport.
  20. Childs CR,Fujiyama T,Tyler N (2008) Clearance Time for Pedestrian Crossing, 247 - 255. 10.1007/978-3-642-04504-2_20.
  21. Bainbridge JWB,Smith AJ,Barker SS,Robbie S,Henderson R,Balaggan K,Viswanathan A,Holder GE,Stockman A,Tyler N,Petersen-Jones S,Bhattacharya SS,Thrasher AJ,Fitzke FW,Carter BJ,Rubin GS,Moore AT,Ali RR (2008) Effect of gene therapy on visual function in Leber's congenital amaurosis NEW ENGL J MED, 358(21), 2231 - 2239. 10.1056/NEJMoa0802268.
  22. Fujiyama T,Childs C,Boampong D,Tyler N (2007) How do elderly pedestrians perceive hazards in the street? - An initial investigation towards development of a pedestrian simulation that incorporates reaction of various pedestrians to environments.
  23. Wainstein M,Tyler N (2007) Travel Information System on a Hand-held Device International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, 3(6), 79 - 88.
  24. Tyler NA (2006) Capabilities and Radicalism: Engineering accessibility in the 21st century Transportation Planning and Technology, 29(5), 331 - 358. 10.1080/03081060600917629.
  25. Fernandez R,Tyler NA (2005) Study of passenger-bus-traffic interactions in bus stop operations Transportation Planning and Technology, 28(4), 273 - 292.
  26. Crawford CA,Fitzpatrick CSB,Tyler NA (2005) An approach to urban utilities in Cusco, Peru..
  27. Fujiyama T,Childs CR,Boampomg D,Tyler N (2005) Investigation of Lighting Levels for Pedestrians - Some questions about lighting levels of current lighting standards, 1 - 13.
  28. Childs CR,Fujiyama T,Brown IEW,Tyler N (2005) Pedestrian Accessibility and Movement Environment Laboratory, 1 - 12.
  29. Fujiyama T,Tyler N (2004) An explicit study on walking speeds of pedestrians on stairs, 643 - 652.
  30. Fujiyama T,Tyler N (2004) Pedestrian speeds on stairs: an initial step for heterogenic pedestrian simulation.

Biography

Nick Tyler is Chadwick Professor of Civil Engineering, and investigates the ways in which people interact with their immediate environments. He set up the Accessibility Research Group within the Centre for Transport Studies, with a team of researchers investigating many aspects of accessibility and public transport. The group has a total research portfolio of more than £20million for projects including the PAMELA pedestrian environment laboratory, which is being used to develop models for accessible pedestrian infrastructure. Nick is also the Director of the UCL CRUCIBLE Centre, which is a multi-Research Council funded Centre for interdisciplinary research on lifelong health and wellbeing and
involves researchers from all 8 faculties in UCL. Nick holds a PhD from University College London, where his thesis was on a methodology for the design of high capacity bus systems using artificial intelligence. He was on the winning team for the EC-funded ‘City Design in Latin America 2000: The European City as a Model’ competition, for the design of the transport interchange at Federico Lacroze in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is currently part of the UK invovlement in the Chinese Low Carbon Cities Development project. He is a member of the UK HM Treasury Infrastructure UK's Engineering Interdpendencies Expert Group. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Ciivil Engineers and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He was appointed a CBE in the New Year's Honours 2011 for services to technology.

Qualifications

  • 1992: Doctor of Philosophy, University College London
  • 1987: Master of Science, Polytechnic of Central London
  • 1975: Associate of the Royal College of Music, Royal College of Music