Fran Pilkington-Cheney is a Research Associate at the Transport Safety Research Centre at Loughborough University. Her research focuses on sleepiness and fatigue within safety critical tasks, for example during shift work and driving. Fran was awarded her PhD in 2021, which explored the management of sleepiness, particularly within the applied context of bus driving, and with a specific focus on the use of sugar.
Fran gained a BSc in Psychology at Loughborough University and worked for several years as a researcher in industry, focusing on fatigue risk management particularly within aviation. In 2018, she joined the TSRC and has been involved in several projects exploring sleepiness and fatigue in real-world settings, for example in tunnelling and construction, London city bus drivers, and in the context of driver state monitoring, fatigue detection and intervention. Fran has also worked as a university teacher, teaching seminars to undergraduate and postgraduate students with a focus on Psychology and Research Methods. In 2019, she was selected to attend the 2nd European Sleep Research Society (ESRS) sleep school and in 2020 was elected to sit on the ESRS Early Career Researcher Network Committee. In 2021 Fran was also selected to join the Gender Equality Forum of the ESRS.
Fran has published in both academic and industry-based journals, as well authored and contributed to project reports and European deliverables. She has presented research findings at national and international conferences and delivered invited presentations to academics and industry stakeholders. Fran is a reviewer for several journals and was invited as an independent expert reviewer by an academic colleague, utilising her expert knowledge of sleepiness to critique proposed education guidance for young drivers. Fran was also invited to join a fatigue communication sub-committee for Transport for London, which was been established as a direct result of her PhD research.
Recent research projects Fran has been a researcher on:
- PANACEA: PracticAl and Effective tools to moNitor and Assess CommErciAl drivers’ fitness to drive
- DREAMS: Smart Driver and Road Environment Assessment and Monitoring System
- Fatigue and sleepiness in tunnelling operations
- Bus Driver Fatigue