Xenia Karekla
Phd Research Associate
Railways & Transport Laboratory

off: room 120,  1st floor, Materials Building, NTUA Campus
tel: (+30) 210.772.1370

email: xkarekla@mail.ntua.gr

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Dr Xenia Karekla is currently a Senior Researcher at the Rail and Transport Laboratory at the National Technical University of Athens. She has extensive knowledge on urban mobility, transport accessibility and stakeholder engagement, as well as in the development of modal shift strategies and active travel plans and in the evaluation of transport interventions. Her academic interests focus on transport behaviour change and the understanding of the person (driver, passenger or pedestrian) when interpreting mobility trends. Her professional ambition is to improve societal health and well-being and to transform future mobility, whilst tackling global challenges.

Dr Karekla’s professional experience was developed in the UK and spans across both academia and the private sector. She advised Transport Authorities and Local Governments in the UK and the EU and published 20 articles in internationally acknowledged journals and conferences.

Holding various job responsibilities along her career path, from research and teaching assistant to project and bid manager, Xenia has been involved in multi- and inter-disciplinary projects that had a direct impact on transport policy and tool development. Indicatively, she worked on:

  • innovative research, e.g., she defined a bus acceleration threshold to reduce passenger hospitalisation from imbalance and proved the feasibility of developing an exoskeleton for people with physical impairments.
  • strategy development, e.g., she developed modal shift strategies that transferred knowledge between China, Chile and the UK, developed Local Cycling and Walking Plans to increase active travel in Cornwall and developed a Healthy Cities protocol that enables local authorities to identify alternative transport solutions that would increase people’s health.
  • advisory support projects, e.g., she proved that platform humps increase metro accessibility which inspired Transport for London to apply such changes across their system, and suggested regeneration plans that reduced severance and enabled the economic growth of less attractive areas.

Awards and Peer Recognition

  • 2023 – to date: Elected Fellow of the Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation for a significant contribution to the profession and a proven ability to manage projects and lead teams.
  • 2021 – to date: Advisor to the London Transport Museum programmes on sustainable cities, active travel, decarbonisation and future mobility.
  • 2019 – to date: Honorary Research Fellow at the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering (CEGE) at University College London (UCL).
  • 2018: Contributed to the British Academy of Medical Science’s direction on science and funding until 2040.
  • 2017: Won the European Friedrich List Prize for pushing the boundaries of transport science and contributing towards a pan-European transport system with her PhD work.

Professional Experience

  • 2024 – present: Senior Researcher, Rail and Transport Laboratory, Department of Transportation Planning and Engineering, School of Civil Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, Greece
  • 2022 – 2024: Associate Director (Sustainable Transport Team), Create Consulting Engineers Ltd, UK
  • 2019 -2022: Senior Transport Planning Consultant, AECOM, UK, EMEA
  • 2011 – 2019: Research Associate, University College London, UK
  • 2010 – 2013: Research and Teaching Assistant, University College London, UK

Education (date obtained)

  • 2023: Behaviour Change Interventions, UCL
  • 2016: PhD in Improving Accessibility of Public Transport Systems, UCL
  • 2009: MSc in Transport, Imperial College London and UCL
  • 2008: MEng in Civil Engineering, NTUA

Publications Record