Dr Labib Azzouz

Research Associate in Transport and Energy Innovation


Labib is a Research Associate in Transport and Energy Innovation at the Transport Studies Unit (TSU) and Environmental Change Institute (ECI). Before this, Labib worked as a Junior Postdoctoral Fellow at the Christ Church College where he joined the University of Oxford’s TSU in December 2020. During his one-year postdoctoral placement, and within TSU’s Everyday Life & Justice theme, Labib worked with Prof. Tim Schwanen and looked at the social sustainability of high-speed railways (HSR). In particular, the empirical research explored the relationship between HSR and social exclusion in Istanbul, Turkey.

Originally, Labib is an architect. In 2014, he won the Chevening scholarship and came to the UK, where he did his MSc Transport Planning at the Institute for Transport Studies at the University of Leeds. Later in 2015, the Birmingham Centre for Rail Research and Education (BCRRE) at the University of Birmingham offered him a PhD scholarship and since then, he started to develop a strong interest in high-speed railways (HSRs) systems and topics related to their social, economic, and environmental sustainability. During his PhD, Labib worked closely with the International Union of Railways (UIC) and was involved in a variety of academic activities including teaching, exams preparation, and presentations in both BCRRE and Singapore.

Current Research

Labib will be working with Dr Christian Brand, Dr Tina Fawcett, and Dr Sam Hampton on two innovative energy- and transport-related projects that aim at reducing mobility-related energy consumption and emissions.

The first project, Energy Superhub Oxford (ESO) is one of three national energy demonstrator projects. Its transport-related package involves three tasks: 1) encouraging the switch to EVs by licenced hackney carriage drivers in Oxford; 2) the electrification of the fleet used by Oxford Direct Services; 3) the completion of the Redbridge EV charging superhub. Labib’s tasks include data collection, data analysis, and writing.

The second project, Innovative Light Electric Vehicles for Active and Digital Travel (ELEVATE) aims at examining how light electric vehicles can play a role in reducing mobility emissions and energy consumption. Light EVs include scooters, e-bikes, cargo bikes, skateboards, etc and these may efficiently assist the transition to a sustainable transportation system. The Universities of Oxford, Leeds, and Brighton collaborate on the project.


Research Interests

Labib is interested in the economic, social, and environmental sustainability of high-speed railways. His research interests are centred around the following themes:

  1. Sustainable Transpiration Planning and Policies: advocating a smooth and gradual transition from a car-oriented society and business-as-usual planning to the sustainable transportation paradigm.
  2. HSRs and Social sustainability: looking at potential social impacts related to investing in and deploying HSRs plus reasons that prohibit different groups from using the system. 
  3. Sustainability Reporting: because what is well measured is well managed, Labib's PhD project focused on the sustainability reporting practices of different HSR operators around the world. The project revealed significant sustainability reporting variations and suggested a unified sustainability reporting framework. 
  4. Sustainability Benchmarking: benchmarking HSR systems against each other and other transportation modes can; derive huge benefits and savings through revealing and learning from best practices; influence evidence-based policies; support decision-making processes; reveal weaknesses; and, spread success lessons. Labib is also interested in sustainability reporting and benchmarking indicators (KPIs) and projects like the EcoMobility Shift plus other sustainable transport rating systems like STARS.


Labib participated in teaching, exam preparation, and marking in the following courses and programs:

  • The Primer course at the Birmingham Centre for Rail Research and Education (BCRRE), Birmingham, UK. 
  •  The environmental program of the Global Association of Economics Education, Seoul, South Korea.  
  • The Primer course at the Birmingham Centre for Rail Research and Education (BCRRE), Birmingham, UK.
  • The Higher Education Diploma at the National College for High-Speed Rail (NCHSR), Birmingham, UK.
  • The Urban Railway Engineering International Program at (SMRT) Institute, Singapore.
  • The Birmingham Project at the University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK.
  • The Sprint Forward Project at the University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK.


See Google Scholar for full overview of publications

Dr Labib Azzouz