Change driver

Dr Jake Whitehead

Engineer Dr Jake Whitehead spends his days researching cars – the eco-friendly kind

As a kid, Dr Jake Whitehead’s fave computer game, Transport Tycoon, was about building a transport network. The best bit? Making a profit by delivering passengers and goods to their destinations.

Fast forward to today, and Jake is a research fellow at the University of Queensland with two PhDs in transport engineering under his belt, including one from KTH Royal Institute for Technology in Sweden. While he was OS, Jake studied the Swedish approach to road tolls and eco-friendly vehicles.

Jake’s research involves looking at how new technologies like electric vehicles and driverless cars will impact the overall infrastructure we use.

With lower revenue from drivers’ licenses and fuel taxes, how will the government make enough money to maintain the roads? Questions like this require a combination of transport engineering, economics and behavioural psychology to answer.

The University of Queensland offers courses focused on creating positive change in our communities and across the world.

Jake says that people often misunderstand how many possibilities exist within civil engineering.

“I think that when people hear ‘civil engineers’, they assume it’s just building bridges and maybe roads and buildings,” he says. “But especially at UQ, our civil engineering school is much broader than that. It’s not just urban planners who do policy and economic analysis. Civil engineers do that work too.”

Chloe Walker

TO GET THERE: eait.uq.edu.au


This article is brought to you by the University of Queensland.

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“I think that when people hear ‘civil engineers’, they assume it’s just building bridges and maybe roads and buildings.”

– Engineer Dr Jake Whitehead, pictured above.

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Eliza Brockwell

Author: Eliza Brockwell

Eliza is the Digital Producer for Careers with STEM. Eliza is passionate about creating content that encourages diversity of representation in STEM.

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