Marilyn Johnson, of the Monash University Accident Research Centre, will receive the 2011 ARRB-Monash Prize for Postgraduate Transport Research at a ceremony today.
Ms Johnson, who is currently completing her PhD with the support of the Amy Gillett Foundation, said the award, which aims to encourage excellence in transport research, was acknowledgement of the growing importance of cycling as a form of transport.
“I’m delighted that my work has been recognised in this way”, said Ms Johnson.
“The number of cyclists on the road in Australia is rapidly increasing and the safety considerations of this form of commuting must be better understood.”
Ms Johnson’s PhD research has focused on the risks inherent in cyclists sharing the road with cars. Her innovative research techniques have included placing cameras on cyclists’ helmets to record the naturalistic experience of cycling on Melbourne’s streets, as well as surveys and observational studies.
The award, a joint initiative between the ARRB Group and Monash University’s Institute of Transport Studies, includes $3000 to help the recipient advance their research.
“My plan is to use the award to fund an Honours vacation scholarship student to work with me on the analysis of video footage from the naturalistic cycling study,” said Ms Johnson.
“We have hundreds of hours of footage and, if analysed properly, it will provide valuable insights of what it’s like to cycle in Melbourne traffic.”
Ms Johnson will graduate in December and the full findings of her research will then be available.
She will continue her research into cyclist safety in both cities and regional areas, including a collaboration with Baw Baw Shire Council and a naturalistic cycling study in the Australian Capital Territory with the Amy Gillett Foundation.