UCL Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering


Behaviour & Infrastructure Group

The Behaviour & Infrastructure Group (BIG) aims to build a deeper understanding of urban systems and infrastructure networks using human behaviour as the central component of analysis.

Aerial view of London urban infrastructure such as buildings, roads, and trees


The research activities of the Behaviour & Infrastructure Group (BIG) are focused around four key themes: 

  • Adding dynamic dimensions to digital twins to allow investigation of complex counterfactual scenarios.
  • Understanding interactions in energy and transport demand.
  • Developing techniques to deal with complex real-world data.
  • Identifying opportunities for improved sustainability towards net-zero goals.

The methodological approaches employed within the group are diverse, and combine machine learning and artificial intelligence, statistical modelling, optimisation, and agent-based simulation

Recent and ongoing projects:

  • Dynamic Digital Twins of Interconnected Energy and Transport networks (DDT-IET) 
  • Intelligent digital twins for assessing and predicting bridge road traffic demands 
  • OPTimization of Individual Mobility plans to simulate future travel in Switzerland (OPTIMS) 


BIG sits within the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering (CEGE) at UCL, co-affiliated with both the Infrastructure Systems Institute (ISI) and the Centre for Transport Studies (CTS). The group is led by Dr Tim Hillel.


  • Dr Senlei Wang - Dynamic Digital Twins of Interconnected Energy and Transport networks. 

PhD students

  • Nicolas Salvadé - Understanding the role of household lifestyles in transport sustainability. 
  • Fred Shone - Activity-based models for household sustainability.

Affiliated PhD students 

  • Janody Pougala (EPFL) - Activity-based travel demand forecasting.
  • Negar Rezvany (EPFL) - An activity-based approach for joint transport and energy demand modelling. 
  • James Rudd-Jones (UCL) - Operationalising socio-environmental simulation intelligence for crafting sustainability policies. 

Academic visitors 

  • Dr José Ángel Martín Baos (UCLM) - Visiting Professor 

Former PhD students

  • Gael Lederrey (EPFL) - Bridging the gap between model-driven and data-driven methods in the era of Big Data


BIG works closely alongside a wide range of collaborators and partners across academia, industry, and government. Ongoing collaborators include:

We are constantly looking for new opportunities for collaboration, and welcome contact from interested parties.


Please get in touch if you are interested in pursuing an interdisciplinary PhD or MSc project that covers topics related to our research themes.