UCL News


Professor Sir Alan Wilson joins UCL CASA

12 September 2007

Professor Sir Alan Wilson FBA FRS has joined the UCL Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA) as Professor of Urban & Regional Systems.

Sir Alan, best known for his pioneering work on spatial interaction methods and dynamical systems theory in transportation and urban modelling, originally trained as a mathematician but converted in the 1960s from theoretical physics to the social sciences through research on the mathematical modelling of cities. He had research posts in Oxford and London before being appointed as Professor of Urban & Regional Geography at the University of Leeds in 1970.

He served as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leeds from 1991-2004. From 2004-2006, he was Director-General for Higher Education in the Department for Education & Skills. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and a Fellow of the Royal Society.

Speaking about his new post, Sir Alan said: "UCL is a wonderful institution to join: my interests connect to the Bartlett School, Geography, Transport and beyond. CASA, led by Mike Batty and Paul Longley, is one of the world's leading centres in urban modelling and I am delighted to have the opportunity to contribute to its further development. The science of cities and regions is of ever increasing importance and I believe that CASA is in a position to play a pivotal role in this enterprise."

Sir Alan will continue his research in urban and regional modelling. His interests are concerned with many aspects of mathematical modelling and planning in relation to all facets of cities and regions - including demography, economic input-output modelling, transport and locational structures.

He pioneered the use of the concept of entropy in urban and regional modelling, rigorously deployed concepts of accounts in demography and economic modelling and in recent years has been particularly concerned with comprehensive urban models in a dynamic framework, links between urban and ecological systems, and developments connecting network theory with spatial interaction modelling.

Sir Alan has authored or co-authored 16 books and more than 200 papers. He was the Founder Editor of the monthly 'Environment & Planning A' from 1969-1991, and is now Honorary Editor.

To find out more about CASA, go to UCL CASA.