Global impact of our research: Building better road networks

The School of Civil Engineering's research into evaluating and improving major road networks across the world featured in the UK Collaborative on Development Sciences' (UKCDS) top 20 research impact list.

Our research was selected from 6975 impact case studies submitted to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) – the system that’s used to assess the research quality of all UK universities. The judges reviewed this massive database and picked the top 20 most impressive examples of UK research contributing to global development.

Building better road networks

Road investment appraisal models are used to evaluate and optimise road networks. These models have been particularly important to developing countries – providing formal justification for road investments to potential funders. The model, developed by researchers within our school is now the World Bank’s de facto standard road appraisal method. It serves more than 200 of the World Bank's projects and those of other multi- and bi-lateral aid agencies, helping to connect millions of people worldwide. 

Dr Michael Burrow said:
"The ground breaking research in road management undertaken within the School for more than 30 years has led to the development of tools to optimise road investment in building new and maintaining existing roads worldwide, thereby facilitating economic growth by reducing transport costs. The significance of the work for developing economies, in particular, has been recognised by the UCKDS’ which has chosen the research as one of the top 20 most impressive examples of UK research contributing to development”. 

Learn more about the impact of this research.