UCL Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering


UCL VIRAL: Reducing the Risk of Virus Transmission on London’s Public Transport Vehicles

Together with Transport for London, we are working across scientific disciplines to minimise the risk of exposure to pathogens on London’s public transport.


London bus outside the Chadwick Building UCL


We are working with Transport for London measurements to better understand how the risk of microbial pathogen transmission can be minimised on London’s underground and bus network. The UKRI-funded project (EP/V026895/1) will integrate data collected using microbiological sampling, air quality measurements, air flow computer simulations and passenger crowding models to devise a risk assessment framework for viral transmission on tube carriages and buses.

Schematic of transmission risk assessment framework and interventions

The Team

Dr Lena Ciric

Associate Professor in Environmental Engineering and HIRG Director

Dr Ciric is an environmental microbiologist and will lead the microbiological survey work gathering information about the microbial organisms found on vehicle surfaces and air.

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Dr Liora Malki-Epshtein

Associate Professor in Environmental Fluid Mechanics

Dr Malki-Epshtein is a physicist working on urban air quality. She will lead the monitoring and modelling of the air quality within the vehicles.

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Dr Taku Fujiyama

Associate Professor

Dr Fujiyama is a railway engineer studying passenger movements and crowding and will lead the work on passenger positioning within tube carriages and buses.

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Prof Thorsten Stoesser

Professor in Civil Engineering Fluids

Prof Thorsten Stoesser
Prof Stoesser is an expert in applying large-eddy simulations to solve environmental fluid mechanics problems and will lead work on simulations of air flows within vehicles.

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Prof Nick Tyler

Chadwick Chair of Civil Engineering

Prof Tyler is the Director of the UCL Centre for Transport Studies and Co-I on UKCRIC and studies the ways in which people interact with their immediate environments. He will coordinate the development of the risk assessment framework and possible interventions.

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Dr Melisa Canales

Microbiology Researcher

Dr Melisa Canales
Dr Canales is the research technician at the Healthy Infrastructure Research Group and her responsibilities include running the analytical services at HIRG, teaching practical laboratory classes and assisting with a range of multidisciplinary research. In VIRAL, she is working on collecting and processing all microbiological samples taken on transport vehicles. 

Dr Filipa Adzic

Air Quality Researcher

Dr Filipa Adzic
Dr Adzic is the postdoctoral research assistant with a background in computational fluid dynamics and renewable energy technology. She will be focusing on modelling air quality in public transport vehicles. 

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Dr Alex Stubbs

Computational Fluid Dynamics Researcher

Dr Alex Stubbs
Dr Stubbs is a civil engineer specialising in large-eddy simulations of submerged bodies and the numerical representation of complex 3D geometries. He will conduct simulations on the air flows within different modes of public transport.

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The UCL team is supported by a team at TfL: Samantha Phillips (Head of Health and Wellbeing), Lisa Almond (Safety, Health and Environment), Finn Coyle (TfL Buses Engineering), Marian Kelly (Head of Health and Safety, London Underground); and by the Department for Transport. UCL VIRAL is working alongside the TRACK (Transport Risk Assessment for COVID Knowledge) project led by the University of Leeds.  



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