Dr Doug James Wilson



Dr Douglas Wilson is a Senior Lecturer in Transportation Engineering in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and a founding member of the Transportation Research Centre (TRC) at the University of Auckland, New Zealand.

Doug has considerable industry and professional civil engineering experience (>15 years) working for government, local government and private consultancies prior to becoming an academic in 2000. Doug led the Transportation engineering group (8 academics and 3 professional staff) from 2008–2017 and currently is the Director of the transportation engineering labs.

Doug's research is strongly applied and he has been very successful in gaining external research funding where he has been awarded >30 career research funding contracts totalling $16.3M from the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE), Ministry of Transport, NZ Transport Agency (NZTA), Auckland Council, Auckland Transport, Downer and Roading NZ.

Recent Example external research grants and roles:

  • $11.83M (2017 to 2022) 5-year MBIE Endeavour Fund project on the development of robust inductive power transfer pavement systems for electric vehicles. Principal Investigator (PI) for transportation / pavement materials and economics aspects (~25% of total). A multi-disciplinary research team with electrical systems, composites and materials, novel new materials and pavements and transportation system optimisation.
  • $1.0M 4-year (2014–2018) MBIE Targeted Portfolio on Energy and Minerals research grant on aggregates. Science leader / PI.

Doug has directly supervised over 85 research students (14 PhDs, co/jointly supervised a further 6, 10 ME(Civil) and 15 Masters projects) and >40 final year BE(Civil) research project students (43 in total 2012–2017).  Doug has published >25, journal publications, >85 peer-reviewed conference papers and presented > 20 invited speaker presentations.

He has more than 18 years lecturing experience at the University of Auckland in transportation and traffic engineering. His various research interests range from traffic and road safety, pavement surface characteristics, transportation materials and recyling of materials, road condition and material equipment testing and monitoring to laboratory testing methods, future sustainable and intelligent transport systems.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Civil Engineering (2006)
Certificate of Adult Teaching (CATE) UNITEC Institute of Technology (1997)
Bachelor of Engineering (BE) Civil with First Class Honours (1991)
New Zealand Certificate of Engineering (NZCE) Civil (1987)


Research | Current

  • Road and Traffic safety engineering and injury prevention
  • Skid resistance and surface characteristics
  • Highway geometric design and construction
  • Economic appraisal and evaluation of Transport Systems
  • Transport materials (aggregates and bound materials)
  • Recycled materials
  • Infrastructure asset management
  • Future Transport Systems and Intelligent Transportation Systems
  • Inductive Power Transfer charging of electric vehicles in Roadways.
  • Sustainable Transport Systems and Faciities (pedestrian, cyclists and the mobility disadvantaged).

Research groups

  • Transportation Research Centre (TRC)
  • Centre for Infrastructure Research (CIR)
  • Infrastructure Asset Engineering
  • Traffic Injury Prevention and Road Safety Engineering
  • Surface Characteristics and Materials

Teaching | Current

  • CIVIL 201 - Land Information Systems
  • CIVIL 360 - Transportation Engineering 1
  • Civil 705A and B - Final Year Research Projects
  • CIVIL 756 - Capstone Project - Transportation Representative
  • CIVIL 759 - Highway and Transportation Design
  • CIVIL 764 - Highway Safety and Operations
  • CIVIL 769 - Highway Geometric Design
  • CIVIL 773 - Sustainable Transport - Planning & Design

Postgraduate supervision

Current and Recent PhD Students and Research topics:

  • Parichehr DOGANI (2019 - date). 'The performance of Inductive Power Transfer pads for charging Electric Vehicles within Roadways.
  • Ivy HAO (2019-date).  'The safety of Shared User Paths' Main Supervisor.
  • Ajjima SOATHONG (2017–date). ‘Pedestrian User behaviour and the safety of mid-block crossings'  Main supervisor.
  • Stefan HUSZAK (2016–date). ‘Optimising the waterproofness of chipseal road surfacings.’ Co-supervised.
  • Ahmed MARGHANI (2016–date). ‘The modelling of Inductive Power Transfer pads within roadways. Co-supervised.
  • Jun PARK (2015–2020). ‘Psychological investigation on travel behaviour from increased connectivity of public transport network to activity centres.’ Co-supervised.
  • Ebrahim SANGSFEDI (2015–2020). ‘Targeting geochemical improvement methods of marginal aggregates by stabilisation methods.’ MBIE-funded scholarship. Main supervisor.
  • Ashkan TATARI (2015–2020). ‘Skid resistance performance of recycled porous asphalt.’ MBIE-funded scholarship. Jointly supervised.
  • Irina HOLLERAN (2015–date). ‘Recycling porous asphalt into new surfacing layers.’ Partial funding from Fulton Hogan. Main supervisor.
  • Nazanin ARDALAN (2015–date). ‘The durability and performance of recycled aggregates from demolition waste.’ Industry funded – Auckland Council / Auckland Transport / Green Vision Recycling / NZTA. Main supervisor.
  • Pritesh KARAN, (2013–2018). ‘Repeat Load Triaxial Testing of Unbound granular pavements for the purposes of permeable pavements.’ Auckland Doctoral Scholarship funding. Main supervisor.
  • Wentao LI (2012­–2016). ‘The engineering performance and improvement of marginal aggregates.’ Chinese CSC Scholarship. Main supervisor.


Recent Awards

  • 2017 3M Young Professional Award 2017 and best student paper. Bushra, A., Seneviratne, N., Wilson, D. J., Larkin, T. J., & Holleran, I. (2017). ‘The effect of specimen preparation on the mechanical properties of open graded porous asphalt.’ IPENZ Transportation Group Conference, Hamilton, 29–31 Mar 2017.
  • 2016 Highly commended paper, Holleran, I., Wilson, D. J., Holleran, G., Walubita, L. F., & James, B. (2016). ‘Porous asphalt - More than just safety.’ IPENZ Transportation Group Conference, 2016, Auckland.
  • 2012 Best paper and presentation, Jaglal, M., Wilson, D. J., & Booth, T. (2012). ‘Left turn treatments at signalised intersections.’ IPENZ Transportation Technical Conference, Rotorua, 19–21 Mar 2012.



  • Director of Transportation Engineering Laboratories
  • Public Policy Institute - Faculty of Engineering Board Member
  • Postgraduate MEngSt enrolment - Transportation
  • Chairperson of the Faculty Practical Work Committee
  • Department Practical Work Reports Committee
  • Civil and Environmental Engineering Curriculum Review Committee

Areas of expertise

  • Highway and Transportation Engineering Design
  • Highway Geometric Design
  • Road and Traffic Safety Engineering
  • Pavement Surface Characteristics
  • Skid Resistance
  • Aggregates, Testing methods and Pavement materials
  • Transportation System Evaluation and Appraisal
  • Transport Funding and Economics
  • Travel Demand Management
  • Traffic Engineering and Operations
  • Future Transport and Intelligent Transport Systems
  • Rapid Transit Network Planning and Design (LRT and BRT)

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Professional affiliations

  • Chartered Member of Engineering New Zealand
  • Member of Transportation Group of Engineering New Zealand
  • Elected Committee Member of Engineers for Social Responsiblity NZ
  • Associate Member of PIARC World Road Association Technical Committee D2a on Surface Characteristics
  • Member of the International Society for Maintenance and Rehabilitation of Transport Infrastructures (iSMARTi)
  • Founding Member of the Transportation Research Centre (The University of Auckland)
  • Member of the NZ National Surfacings Techncial Group of NZ Transport Agency.

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Sangsefidi, E., Wilson, D. J., Black, P. M., & Larkin, T. J. (2020). Evaluation of the weatherability of andesite aggregates in road pavements. QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING GEOLOGY AND HYDROGEOLOGY, 53 (3), 431-442. 10.1144/qjegh2019-091
  • Ardalan, N., Wilson, D. J., & Larkin, T. J. (2020). Analyzing the Application of Different Sources of Recycled Concrete Aggregate for Road Construction. TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH RECORD, 2674 (8), 300-308. 10.1177/0361198120924664
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Tam Larkin
  • Karan, P., Larkin, T., & Wilson, D. J. (2017). Vibratory compaction of base course aggregates. Journal of the Transportation Research Board, 2655, 45-53. 10.3141/2655-07
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Tam Larkin
  • Li, W., Wilson, D. J., Larkin, T. J., & Black, P. (2017). Permanent strain behaviour of marginal granular materials. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, 2655, 54-63. 10.3141/2655-08
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/40822
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Tam Larkin, Philippa Black
  • Karan, P., Larkin, T., & Wilson, D. J. (2017). Laboratory compaction of base course aggregates. Journal of the Transportation Research Board Washington, D.C., US. Related URL.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Tam Larkin
  • Etemad, H., Costello, S. B., Wilson, D. J., & Padiyara, S. (2016). Using an instrumented bicycle to help understand cyclists' perception of risk. Road and Transport Research: a journal of Australian and New Zealand research and practice, 25 (3), 75-78.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Seosamh Costello, Sujith Padiyara
  • Holleran, I., Wilson, D., Walubita, L., & Holleran, G. (2016). The use of recycled open graded porous asphalt in high performance surfacing mixes for high volume roads. 8th International Conference on Maintenance and Rehabilitation of Pavements, MAIREPAV 2016, 232-241. Singapore. 10.3850/978-981-11-0449-7-032-cd
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Irina Holleran
  • Nataadmadja, A. D., Wilson, D. J., Costello, S. B., & Do, M. T. (2016). Predicting the in-field skid resistance evolution from laboratory polishing tests - Case study in New Zealand. 8th International Conference on Maintenance and Rehabilitation of Pavements, MAIREPAV 2016. 10.3850/978-981-11-0449-7-023-cd
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Seosamh Costello


Contact details

Primary office location

Level 4, Room 426
New Zealand

Web links