Brett Smith

Dr, BA GradDipMaths E.Cowan, PhD W.Aust.

  • The University of Western Australia (M261), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


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Personal profile

Funding overview

1. 2017 Factors Affecting Travel Behaviour Change, PATREC – $20,000;

2. 2017 RailSmart Wanneroo Planning Support System, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Smart Cities and Suburbs Program – $1,000,000;

3. 2016 An appraisal of travel plans and voluntary behaviour change projects, PATREC - $55,000

4. 2016 Addressing Future Uncertainties of Perth at 3.5 Million: What-If Scenarios for Mass Transit, PATREC - $65, 000

5. 2015 Mass Transit Plan for Perth at 3.5 Million and Beyond, WA Department of Transport - $378,000

6. 2018 Consumers’ Willingness to Pay for Minimum Conditions for Workers in the Gig Economy, BHP Research Awards -- $10,000

7. 2016 Perception of autonomous vehicles and vehicle ownership models, BHP Research Awards – $14,000.

8. 2016 BHP Visiting Professor award – Prof Stephane Hess, Leeds University -- $16,000

9. 2015 Structural Inequalities with Leeds University, World University Network - ₤8, 000

10. 2013 Impact of light rail on residents' travel in Perth -- $14,000;

11. 2012 BHP Visiting Professor award, Prof Antonio Paez, McMaster University – $22,000

12. 2011 Valuation of housing and location attributes, UWA Business School – $14, 000

Industrial relevance

Brett Smith has over Seven years’ experience of teaching project management into the MBA program at the University of Western Australia Business School. In that time he has developed strong links with the Project Management Institute and with industry representatives to bring a blend of theory and practice into the classroom. ‘Brett is a fantastic lecturer. He makes the lecture interesting and relevant to real business situations, he’s funny, relaxed and respects us. A great lecturing style.’; ‘Extremely passionate about the course; facilitates student motivation and enthusiasm’ (2011 MBA student testaments).

Other areas of training include:

Modelling logistics systems
Decision making in uncertain environments
Probability and statistics
Experimental Design and Discrete Choice Modelling

Teaching overview

Project Management
Decision Modelling
Business Statistics
Operations Research
Modelling Logistics Operations


I graduated from my HDR studies in November 2011. Since that time I have published 20 articles in journals, conference proceedings and edited books. In addition, my technical reports and research efforts have contributed to a number of transport policy decisions in Perth and for regional Western Australia. These range from guiding the current Perth and Regions Household Travel Survey, selecting and evaluating travel demand management initiatives and supporting regional bus services for the aged. As a member of the Planning and Transport (PATREC) UWA team, I have contributed to research projects that have attracted AUS1.4 million over the past 5 years, as well as being a partner to the successful CRC bid iMove, formed to explore the opportunities that new technologies in transport will afford and the potential challenges that they may pose.

My PhD thesis was awarded the International Association of Travel Behaviour’s Eric Pas Dissertation Prize recognising the best doctoral dissertation in the area of travel behaviour research worldwide. In addition the University of Western Australia Business School 2011 BHP Billiton PhD Prize was awarded for this work. The thesis topic explored the relationship between two seemingly unrelated estimation approaches to provide a unified underpinning for each technique and method to infer the behavioural outputs from one approach in the dimensions of the other. The work has led to a number of publications with E/Prof John Taplin as well as a number of publications that explore the econometric application of discrete choice methods.

Work with A/Prof Doina Olaru has seen substantial breakthroughs in the design of discrete choice experiments. The genetic algorithm (GA) approach has meant that efficient designs for very large design space are computable. This has the advantage of investigating complex choice environments with a modest sample size. As reported to the transport agencies such methods represent a large savings in cost of administration without compromising the integrity of results. The second area of research has been on residential housing choice and the value of accessibility. A number of useful methodological contributions were generated on merging secondary housing sales data with discrete choice experiments.

A primary data investigation on consumer vehicle choices has led to a number of conference papers presented at the Australasian Transport Research Forum of which one was awarded the 2015 Oxlad prize for the best paper on transport modelling. This paper was published in Transportation Research D.

Current projects

  • Consumers’ Willingness to Pay for Minimum Conditions for Workers in the Gig Economy, BHP Research Awards
  • RailSmart Wanneroo Planning Support System, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Smart Cities and Suburbs Program, PATREC
  • A Constructive Technology Assessment of the Adoption of Autonomous Vehicle Innovations in Australia, UWA Business School Research Award - U Syd & Durham
  • Evaluation of Automated Vehicle Future Scenarios: A Multidisciplinary Approach, FABLE Research Award -U Syd & Durham

Research expertise keywords

  • Decision modelling
  • Travel behaviour


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