Professor Preston is currently the Head of the Transportation Research Group and Professor of Rail Transport. He was previously Head of the Civil, Maritime and Environmental Engineering and Science Academic Unit (2011-2014), Director of the Transportation Research Group (2008-11) and Head of the School of Civil Engineering and the Environment (2010-11). He has over 30 years of experience in transport teaching and research, having previously held posts at the Universities of Leeds and Oxford. His research in transport covers demand and capacity modelling, regulatory studies, economic appraisal and land-use and environment interactions. His initial work concentrated on rail but subsequent work has covered all the major modes of transport. He has held over 130 research grants and contracts, worth over £8 million, and has published over 260 articles, book chapters, conference and working papers.
His current work at Southampton includes leadership of the DITTO consortium that is undertaking research to optimise rail operations and the University’s contribution to the Centre for Sustainable Travel Choices. He is also providing transport expertise to the Track21 and Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium projects. He previously led the iConnect consortium that undertook an evaluation of engineering interventions to promote walking and cycling.