Posted on March 14, 2014

Prof Nagel’s various fields of study include: oceanography, meteorology, physics, informatics and computer science. When asked how these diverse fields relate to transport systems, Prof Nagel explained that climate also impacts on environmental and behavioural factors. These in turn use computer simulations in order to better understand the complex phenomena under investigation. Prof Nagel builds computer simulation systems which help with designing and developing effective transport systems.

As an example, Prof Nagel used the e-toll system to show that while some users pay for the roads and continue to use the highways, other people do not and they use alternative routes. This then results in a dispersal of traffic along all roads and the flow of traffic is more even. Prof Nagel commends the Gautrain as a convenient and easy to use public transport system which makes tourism and scientific/business visits (especially from developed nations) far more accessible. However, as a long term transport solution which will be far more practical, Prof Nagel believes that the Metrorail system should be developed, upgraded and made more accessible because it covers more routes than the Gautrain.

Prof Nagel’s guest lecture at UP discussed the use of simulations in planning transport systems wherein he used typically South African examples of minibus taxis, e-tolls, emissions and route accessibility.

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