Dr Patrizia Franco
Research Associate in Transport Modelling and Analysis

  • Email: patrizia.franco@ncl.ac.uk
  • Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5543
  • Address: Transport Operations Research Group (TORG)
    School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences
    Newcastle University
    Devonshire Building, Kensington Terrace
    NE1 7RU - Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom


Patrizia Franco graduated in Civil Engineering (Hydraulic) at the University of Palermo. She then undertook a MSc in Environmental Assessment, focused on the application of the European EMAS and Ecolabel schemes to processes and products. Main duties were to minimise consumption of primary resources such as energy, heating, water and reduce the waste generation to achieve better environmental performances for the companies and a more environmentally friendly product.

In 2011 Patrizia was awarded of the PhD in Transport, with a research focused on the development of a Decision Support System for planning sustainable public transport services.

During her PhD she was a visiting postgraduate researcher at Newcastle University (TORG) for  two years, where she studied the implications of the deregulation in the public transport sector. She  was engaged in data collection and manipulation of data for analysis of scenarios related to public transport policy and planning, with a main focus on the emissions related to bus usage and the implications of interchange with other transport modes.

After the PhD, she was selected for an internship, sponsored by PROMUOVITALIA, at the Regional Environmental Agency (ARPA Sicilia), as Environmental consultant to promote the application of the Ecolabel Regulation in the tourism industry in Sicily.

Since 2012 she is a Research Associate in transport modelling and analysis at TORG, working within the EPSRC funded projects SECURE and 4M.


Roles and Responsibilities

Researcher on the EPSRC funded Self COnserving Urban Environments (SECURE) project.

Main responsabilities focus on transport modelling and calculation of related emission linked to sludge movements to reach  wastewater plants.

She is working on how to minimize and improve waste collections, process and treatment in the North East of England, in order to increase the rate of reuse and recover of Municipal Solid Waste, using traffic simulation to optimising routing and scheduling of waste collection services.

Moreover, she is also supporting in the creation of the Regional Transport model of the North East, focusing on the public transport network and how to increase patronage and improve interchange among different mode od transport.

Member of Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team and Diversity Group for the School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences



Ph.D. in Transport, awarded in April 2011, Thesis Title: “Expert Systems as a tool to support Local Public Transport planning”, University of Palermo (Italy), 2008-2010

MSc in “Environmental Assessment: the EMAS and Ecolabel schemes” with the thesis “Environmental Assessment of an olive oil mill”, University of Palermo, 2007-2008

MEng (5 years degree, First Class Hons)  in Civil Engineering (Hydraulic)  with the thesis “The port of Capo d’Orlando: Design and Impact in the coastal environment”, University of Palermo



Chartered Engineer, 2007 - Ordine degli Ingegneri della Provincia di Trapani (Italian ICE equivalent)


Honours and Awards

Short Visit Scientific Mission (STSM) grant, EU COST Action, ARTS (2015, €2,500);

Best paper award at the Autonomic Road Transport Systems ECR Conference (2015)

Award of Doctor Europaeus (2011)

MIUR PhD Fellowship (2008-2010)

MSc Fellowship (2007), funded by Region of Sicily in partnership with University of Palermo and Arpa Sicilia



Italian (native), English, French

Research Interests

- Traffic Macrosimulation and land use modelling

- Carbon emissions estimation and environmental impact assessment of transport systems

- Optimisation of public transport design and planning services

- Technologies applied to environmental protection

- Transport issues related to Waste collection and processing

- Intelligent Mobility and Autonomic Road Transport Systems 


Esteem Indicators 

Invited lecture to deliver a seminar on the "ITS in Public Transport" as part of the MSc module "Intelligent Transport Systems", University of Palermo 

Postgraduate Teaching

CEG8424 : Transport Planning and Sustainable Mobility (Module Leader Dr Dilum Dissanayake)

CEG8419 : Transport Modelling and Forecasting (Module Leader Dr Dilum Dissanayake)


Undergraduate Teaching

CEG3099 BEng Individual Project (Module Leader Ben Bridgens)