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Professor Sir Alan Wilson
Room 105
90 TOTTENHAM COURT ROAD
London
W1T 4TJ
Tel: 020 3108 3901
Fax: 020 3108 3258
Appointment
  • Professor of Urban Regional Systems
  • Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis
  • Faculty of the Built Environment
 
 
Biography

Sir Alan Wilson is Professor of Urban and Regional Systems in the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London and is Chair of the Arts and Humanities Research Council. He is currently Chair of the Lead Expert Group for the Government Office for Science Foresight project on the Future of Cities and Chair of the Home Office Science Advisory Council. He was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leeds from 1991 to 2004, and Director-General for Higher Education in DfES from 2004 to 2006. Previous appointments include Assistant Director, Centre for Environmental Studies; Mathematical Adviser, Ministry of Transport; Research Officer, Institute of Economics and Statistics, Oxford University; and Scientific Officer, Rutherford Laboratory. He has held various non-executive appointments. He has been Chairman of Leeds School’s Commission, Chairman of the NHS Complaints Review Committee, a member of the Northern and Yorkshire Regional Health Authority, and Chair of the British Library Advisory Committee on Document Supply. From 1996-2002, he was on the Board of Universities UK and from 1998-2002, was Chair of the Research Policy Group (of Universities UK). From 2000-2004, he was a member of the Economic and Social Research Council and from 2000-2003, Chair of the Board of the Worldwide Universities Network. From 2007-2010, he was Chair of SCORE, the partnership project on science education, and Chair of the British Academy Steering Group on promotion of the arts and humanities and the social sciences. He was the Founding Editor of Environment and Planning A in 1969. He is a Fellow of both the British Academy and Royal Society.

Research Themes
Research Summary

Many aspects of mathematical modelling and the use of models in planning in relation to all aspects of cities and regions - including demography, economic input-output modelling, transport and locational structures. These techniques are now in common use internationally – including the use of the concept of entropy in building spatial interaction models – summarised in Entropy in urban and regional modelling (re-issued in 2011). These models have been widely used in areas such as transport planning, demography and economic modelling. More recently, the applications of dynamical systems theory in relation to modelling the evolution of urban structure. This led to the laying of the foundations of a comprehensive theory of urban dynamics described in Complex spatial systems. He is currently PI on a £2.5M EPSRC project on global dynamics.

For more information on research activities, please follow the link to his web page. 

http://alan.blogweb.casa.ucl.ac.uk/
Teaching Summary

Interdisciplinary research methods (see Knowledge Power published by Routledge in 2010); principles of model building (see The Science of Cities and Regions, published by Springer, in 2012).

Appointments
2006 – 2007 Master Corpus Christi College Cambridge, United Kingdom
2004 – 2006 Director-General of Higher Education   DfES, United Kingdom
2000 – 2004 Member   Economic and Social Research Council, United Kingdom
2000 – 2003 Chairman   Board of the Worldwide Universities Network, United Kingdom
1999 – 1999 Group member Biotechnology Cluster Group Department for Trade and Industry, United Kingdom
1998 – 2002 Chair Research Policy Group Universities UK, United Kingdom
1996 – 2002 Board member Board of Universities UK Universities UK, United Kingdom
1994 – 2000 Chair Advisory Committee on Document Supply British Library, United Kingdom
1994 – 1996 Member   Northern and Yorkshire Regional Health Authority, United Kingdom
1993 – 1994 Chairman Complaints Review Committee NHS, United Kingdom
1991 – 1993 Chairman   Leeds Schools' Commission, United Kingdom
1991 – 2004 Vice-Chancellor   University of Leeds, United Kingdom
1986 – 1988 Vice-Chairman Environment and Planning Committee Economic and Social Research Council, United Kingdom
1982 – 1985 Vice-Chairman Dewsbury Health Authority NHS, United Kingdom
1979 – 1982 Member Kirklees Area Health Authority NHS, United Kingdom
1970 – 2004 Professor of Urban and Regional Geography   University of Leeds, United Kingdom
1968 – 1970 Assistant Director Centre for Environmental Studies London, United Kingdom
1966 – 1967 Head of the Mathematical Advisory Group   Ministry of Transport, United Kingdom
1964 – 1966 Research Officer Institute of Economics & Statistics Oxford University, United Kingdom
1961 – 1964 Scientific Officer Theoretical Physics Group Rutherford Laboratory, United Kingdom
Academic Background
1966 MA Master of Arts University of Cambridge
1960 BA Bachelor of Arts University of Cambridge
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