Research + Development

Pioneering research in people movement, crowded places and human behaviour in emergencies

Movement Strategies has engaged in pedestrian movement research for over 10 years.

We are open to collaborating with research-active organisations and individuals to explore new areas for research and development.

At the forefront of the people movement discipline, we have acquired a significant body of evidence and expertise from our work across an array of projects, sectors and services:

  • Observing people movement and analysing the evidence generated
  • Applying models to generate projections and insights related to people movement
  • Developing tools and procedures to aid in data analysis, generation and presentation.

Innovation and creativity are central to our people movement consultancy and we have developed novel approaches, gaining insights and engaging in research as a means to a practical end.

Research activities

We are already active in several research areas, including the:

Development of regulatory/authoritative guidance:

  • Contributed to the latest edition of the Green Guide. For the past year, we have been sharing our technical expertise and experience as an input to the drafting process of the 6th edition of the Guide to Safety at Sports Ground
  • Contributing to development of guidance related to community safety in response to Wildland Urban Interface fires in conjunction with the National Research Council Canada
  • Development of ‘Guidance on designing for crowds - an integrated approach’
  • Contributing to Society of Fire Protection Engineers Guide on Evacuation from Very Tall Buildings

Development and delivery of lecture material on evacuation and pedestrian dynamics in conjunction with:

  • Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Lund University
  • University of Maryland
  • Crowd Dynamics training for National Arena Association and Festival Republic; Various speeches on Planning for Emergencies –  Cabinet Office, festival republic conference
  • Manchester Metropolitan University MSc course on Crowd Collapse.

Supervision of student projects in conjunction with:  

  • Lund University (Sweden)
  • University of Greenwich
  • Imperial College London (UK)
  • Massey University (NZ)
  • University of Waterloo (Canada).

Engagement in internships in conjunction with:

  • Consumer Data Research Centre dissertation programme.

Active research areas:

  • Crowd behaviour in Stadiums
  • Pedestrian model development and application, SENSE
  • Assessment of hospital evacuation performance and modelling
  • Characterisation of pedestrian / evacuee movement (given collected travel speeds, flow and density) [1]
  • Compilation of existing data-sets representing movement of evacuees with movement impairments
  • Compilation and analysis of pre-evacuation data-sets [2]
  • Creating database template for pedestrian surveys
  • Assessment of the effectiveness of evacuation drills and safety/security procedures
  • Development of concepts for vulnerability assessment and mapping Development of a wildfire modelling platform (pedestrian, traffic and fire) [3]
  • Quantification of evacuee response to wildfire from publicly available data-sets
  • Development of VR systems to inform evacuee response
  • Modelling of large crowd movement
  • Observation of Toilet dwell times.

To build on these existing research activities, we are interested in future research pursuits that relate to

…all parts of the people movement narrative…

… given different scenarios (safety, operational and security) and settings (building, transport, street, etc.), while examining conditions across a range of application scales...

to inform our understanding of people movement and meet the objectives of research and practice.

Our intention is continue to be a pioneer in the research and development of people movement. Our aim is to enhance our understanding of core subject matter across scenarios of interest and our capacity to apply this understanding. And, of course, be of benefit to the wider people movement community and those they serve.

Movement Strategies are engaged with a number of organisations in research efforts
  • Intini, P, Ronchi, E, Gwynne, Sand Pel, S, Traffic Modeling for Wildland–Urban Interface Fire Evacuation, J. Transp. Eng., Part A:Systems, 2019, 145 (3): 04019002
  • Gwynne, SMV and Hunt, ALE,Testing Evacuation Models, Pedestrian and Evacuation Dynamics, 2018.
  • Gwynne, SMV and Hunt, ALE, Deducing the Impact of Excluding Social Groups When Modelling Pedestrian Flow, SFPE EXTRA, 30, June 2018.
  • Gwynne, SMV, The Unintended Consequences of Ignoring Evacuee Response, Fire and Evacuation Modeling Technical Conference (FEMTC) 2018, Gaithersburg, MD, USA, 2018.

  • Ronchi, E., Kuligowski, E. & Gwynne, S. Fire Technol (2019) 55: 387.
  • Gwynne,S.M.V., Hunt, A.L.E., Thomas, J.R.,Thompson,A.J.L. and Séguin,L., The toilet paper: Bathroom dwell time observations at an airport,Journal of Building Engineering, 24,2019, 100751.
  • Gwynne, SMV, Ouellette,J, Brown, R and Kinateder, M Developing a Notation for Mapping Evacuee Performance, Interflam 2019,Interscience, 2019.
  • Johansson, A, Ronchi, E, Gwynne, SMV, Thompson, A, and Thomas, JR, Quantifying the Impact of Luggage on Aircraft Deplaning Scenarios, Interflam 2019, Interscience, 2019.
  • Kinsey, M, Gwynne, SMV, and Kinateder, M, Burning Biases: Mitigating Cognitive Biases in Fire Engineering, Interflam 2019,Interscience, 2019.
  • Gwynne, SMV, Modelling and Mapping Wildfire Evacuation, Keynote Presentation, IFireSS 2019, Ottawa, Canada, 2019.
  • Ronchi E., Gwynne S. (2019) Computational Evacuation Modeling in Wildfires. In: Manzello S. (eds) Encyclopedia of Wildfires and Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) Fires. Springer, Cham.
  • Gwynne, SMV, Ronchi, E, Bénichou, N, Kinateder, M, Kuligowski, ED, Gomaa, I, Adelzadeh, M, Modelling and mapping dynamic vulnerability to better assess WUI evacuation performance, Fire and Materials,1–17, 2019: DOI: 10.1002/fam.2708.
  • Intini, P, Ronchi, E, Gwynne, S and Pel, S, Traffic Modeling for Wildland–Urban Interface Fire Evacuation, J. Transp. Eng., Part A: Systems, 2019, 145(3): 04019002
  • Lovreglio, R, Kuligowski,E, Gwynne, S, Boyce, K, A Pre-Evacuation Database for Use in Egress Simulations, Fire Safety Journal 2019, Fire Safety Journal 105, DOI: 10.1016/j.firesaf.2018.12.009  
  • Geoerg, P, Berchtold,F, Gwynne, SMV, Boyce, K, Holl,S, and Hofmann, A,, Engineering egress data considering pedestrians with reduced mobility, Fire and Materials,     2019;1–23.
  • Gwynne,SMV, Ronchi, R, Bénichou ,N,  Kinateder, M, Kuligowski, ED, Gomaa, I and Adelzadeh, M, Modeling and mapping dynamic vulnerability to better assess WUI evacuation performance, Fire and Materials,, 2019.
  • Johansson,A, Ronchi, E, Gwynne, S, Thompson, A & Thomas,R A Modelling Study on the Impact of Luggage and Airworthiness Certification on Aircraft Evacuation, Interflam 2019.
  • Gomaa, I, Adelzadeh,M, Benichou,N Bwalya,A, Sultan,M, Singh,J, Gaur,A ,Elsagan,N & Gwynne, S A Critical Review of Wildfire Models and Simulation Tools for WUI Applications, Interflam 2019.
  • Lovreglio, R, Kuligowski, E, Gwynne, S, Strahan, K, A modelling framework for householder decision-making for wildfire emergencies International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction 41(2019)101274.
  • Rahouti, A, Lovreglio ,R, Gwynne, SMV, et al, Human behaviour during health care facility evacuation drills: Investigation of pre-evacuation and travel phases, Safety Science, April 2020.
  • Ronchi, E, Gwynne, SMV, Rein, G, Intini, P and Wadhwani, R, An open multi-physics framework for modelling wildland-urban interface fire evacuations, Safety Science, Volume 118, October 2019, Pages 868-880.
  • Hunt, A.L.E. Galea, E.R. Lawrence, P.J. Frost, I.R. & Gwynne, S.M.V. Simulating Movement Devices Used in Hospital Evacuation, Fire Technology, 2020(open access -
  • Kinsey,M.J., Kinateder, M.  Gwynne ,S.M.V. Hopkin, D., Burning biases: Mitigating cognitive biases in fire engineering, Fire and Materials, Special Issue, 2020,
  • Ouellette,J, Gwynne,S, Brown,R, Kinateder,M, Spatiotemporal mapping of evacuee response, Fire and Materials. 2020;1–15


Related case studies

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