Past Seminars


John Wensveen

Date: 23rd Feb 2010

Speaker: Dr John Wensveen, Dean, School of Aviation at Dowling College in New York

Topic: The airline industry: Trends, challenges and strategies

Abstract: This presentation will provide background on the global aviation industry including a regional analysis (North America, Latin America/Caribbean, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Middle East, Africa). Current and future trends are discussed as well as challenges and strategies impacting the industry. The new breed of airlines are presented including a thorough discussion on why airlines fail and how they achieve success.

Bio: Dr John Wensveen is the Dean, School of Aviation at Dowling College in New York. Prior to this role, he was an aviation consultant specialising in development of business plans for start-up air carriers. Dr Wensveen was also a founding member and Vice President at MAXjet Airways and was a Professor of Airline Management at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida. He is the author of two leading books including, 'Air Transportation: A Management Perspective' and 'Wheels Up: Airline Business Plan Development'. Dr Wensveen earned Masters and PhD degrees in International Air Transport from the University of Wales Cardiff (UK) and a Bachelors degree from the University of Victoria (Canada).

Alan McKinnon

Date: 30th Mar 2010

Speaker: Professor Alan McKinnon, Logistics Research Centre, Heriot-Watt University

Topic: Decarbonising logistics: A European perspective

Abstract: It is estimated that logistical activities are responsible for around 10-11% of CO2 emissions in Europe. Within a low carbon economy, these emissions will have to be drastically reduced. In this talk, Prof McKinnon will examine how this might be done, using examples of European companies and governments and reporting the results of European research. He will begin by considering how logistics-related emissions should be measured and allocated. An analytical framework will then be presented which identifies a set of key parameters influencing the carbon intensity of logistics systems. Professor McKinnon will assess the opportunities for altering these parameters, through the application of new technology and behavioural change at corporate and individual consumer levels. In his conclusion he will ask to what extent efforts to decarbonise logistics may be frustrated by the need to adapt our economy and built environment to climate change.

Bio: Professor Alan McKinnon is Director of the Logistics Research Centre at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh. A graduate of the universities of Aberdeen, British Columbia and London, he has been researching and teaching in freight transport and logistics for thirty years and has published extensively in journals and books. He is a frequent contributor to academic and business conferences on logistics around the world. Alan has undertaken research and consultancy studies for numerous public and private sector organisations in the UK and overseas and been an adviser to several UK government departments, UK parliamentary committees, the European Commission, the International Transport Forum, International Energy Agency and OECD. He is also a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Transportation. Alan has undertaken research on many different aspects of logistics. He has published extensively on topics such as freight transport management and policy, logistics and supply chain trends, the environmental impact of logistics, retail distribution systems and transport infrastructure. In recent years he has been involved in major studies examining the case for increasing maximum truck size and weight, road user charging for trucks, the impact of traffic congestion on logistics and opportunities for cutting CO2 emissions from freight transport. In 2002 Alan won the Herbert Crow award from the Worshipful Company of Carmen in the City of London for having 'significantly furthered transport knowledge and development through study, publication, analysis, research, training or systems'. The following year he received the Sir Robert Lawrence Award, the highest distinction of the UK Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport for making a 'major contribution to transport and logistics over a sustained period'.

Mary Brooks

Date: 27th Apr 2010

Speaker: Dr Mary R Brooks, William A. Black Chair of Commerce at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada

Topic: Maritime Reform and the Coasting Trade

Abstract: In spite of significant support for the policy of growing the volume of coastal shipping in Europe, and the signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation within NAFTA in 2003, there has not been the level of adoption by cargo interests or shipping lines expected. In Australia, where the regulatory environment is somewhat different, the Rudd Government is contemplating an agenda of maritime reform. This lecture will examine whether coastal shipping offers a market-acceptable shipping alternative, and, in particular, will draw conclusions about which research agenda gaps remain to be filled in an Australian context and the regulatory reforms that may promote or deter the development of land transport?competitive coastal shipping services.

Bio: Dr Mary R. Brooks is the William A. Black Chair of Commerce at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada. Her research interests focus on transportation and global supply chain management, and she is particularly focused on the relationships between the buyers and sellers of transportation services. She was a Canada-US Fulbright scholar at George Mason University in 2005; during this time she investigated the impact of security regulations on the US' maritime container trade. Her latest book is North American Freight Transportation: The Road to Security and Prosperity, published by Edward Elgar. From February 2002 to April 2008, she chaired the Committee on International Trade and Transportation, and currently serves on the Committee for Funding Options for Freight Transportation Projects of National Significance, and the Publication Board of the Transportation Research Record, of the Transportation Research Board, Washington, D.C. Dr Brooks was Membership Secretary and Treasurer of the International Association of Maritime Economists from 1994 to 1998 and a Director of the Halifax International Airport Authority from its inception in 1995 to 2004. She continues to serve on the Council of the International Association of Maritime Economists. She was appointed to the Marine Board of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences for three years beginning November 2008. She is the chair of the Port Performance Research Network. Dr Brooks is no stranger to public policy research, having led the research team for the publication, Short Sea Shipping on the East Coast of North America, completed in March 2006; this project provided guidance to potential short sea operators and to governments on the public policy changes required to promote Canada-US short sea activity. In April 2008, she was the invited chair for the International Transport Forum of the OECD's Roundtable on Port Competition and Hinterland Connections in Paris. Her work in public policy development began in the early 1980s providing advice to the Government of Canada in the area of liner shipping, and was honed during her two years as Vice-President Policy for the Halifax Chamber of Commerce (1996-1998). She has provided advice to the governments of Canada, the United States, and Australia as well as the European Council of Ministers of Transport. Dr Brooks received her undergraduate degree from McGill University, her MBA from Dalhousie University and her PhD in Maritime Studies from the University of Wales in 1983, and is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport.


Date: 18th May 2010

Speaker: Professor Jacobus Walters, Director, ITLS-Africa; Head of Department, Department of Transport and Supply Chain Management, University of Johannesburg

Topic: An overview of developments in the aviation industry in South Africa with special reference to the role of low cost carriers

Abstract: The aviation industry in South Africa has been deregulated since 1991. This allowed the private sector to become rightful players in the offering of air services in the country. These carriers, however, have had to compete against state-owned airlines and have, despite this complication, become major players in the industry. The advent of low cost airlines gave impetus to this development. The address will cover aspects of policy objectives, major milestones in the development of the industry as well as references to the response of the state-owned airlines to the entry of private sector airlines.

Bio: Professor Jackie Walters holds a Doctoral degree in Transport Economics from the Rand Afrikaans University (RAU), now the University of Johannesburg (UJ). His academic speciality includes public transport and aviation studies, as well as transport economics and logistics.  Under his supervision 18 research based masters and 13 doctoral students obtained their degrees. In addition to being the Chair of the Department of Transport and Supply Chain Management at UJ, he is also the Director of the Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies (ITLS-Africa), a research unit working in close collaboration with ITLS at the University of Sydney. In his academic career he has read papers at 84 conferences, published or co-published 36 articles, were involved in 22 conference proceedings publications and have undertaken 46 research projects. Recent research work focuses on the impact of policies on the development of the commuter bus industry, the public transport tendering system as well as general overviews of developments in public transport in SA. Other recent research involves air cargo trends at Oliver Tambo International Airport (ORTIA), an economic impact analysis of SA?s three major international airports and the development of an econometric forecasting model for airfreight, passenger and air traffic movements until 2022. He has also been a specialist adviser to the Southern African Bus Operators Association since 1989.

Lee Schipper

Date: 1st Jun 2010

Speaker: Dr Lee Schipper, Project Scientist with Global Metropolitan Studies, University of California at Berkeley

Topic: Framing CO2 as a transport problem, the example of Latin America

Abstract: We review aggregate trends in CO2 emissions from road transport in Latin America. Comparison with other regions, as well as with automobile ownership and use suggests that the high emissions in this region are closely connected to high automobile ownership and use.  Examination of detailed estimates of vehicle stocks, use and fuel intensity as well as data from four large metropolises in the region confirm this suggestion. The same metro data show that it is cars that are the main reason for congestion, high levels of air pollution, and other transport related externalities in urban regions. Widely cited projections of car ownership and use in 2030 suggest that car use will more than triple. Even with a 20% reduction in fuel use and emissions/km, CO2 emissions will be well above present levels.  But if the fundamental problems of urban transport that plague Latin America today are addressed, car use will grow by considerably less, restraining CO2 emissions considerably as a co-benefit of transport strategies. A review of the impact of a BRT project in Mexico City shows a reduction of 10% in traffic-related emissions in the BRT corridor even without fuel and emissions being addressed directly. One third of those savings arose because Metrobus riders left cars at home and took the bus. The monetized value of the CO2 externality is small compared to other benefits of Metrobus as a transport project. Thus CO2 reduction can be evaluated as a co-benefit of a transport project. What the aggregate data suggest can thus be found by closely examining transport patterns and the resulting CO2 emissions.

Bio: Lee Schipper is Project Scientist with Global Metropolitan Studies at UC Berkeley and an affiliate of the Energy and Resources Group at UC. He is also Senior Research Engineer at the Precourt Energy Efficiency Center at Stanford University. As a two-time member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change, he is a co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. Dr Schipper has authored over 100 technical papers and a number of books on energy economics, environment, and transportation around the world.  He takes part in numerous prestigious international panels and studies on energy and transportation, and is on the editorial boards of five major journals in the fields. Dr Schipper was a member of the Swedish Board for Transportation and Communications Research for four years, and is currently a member of the US Transportation Research Board's Committees on Sustainable Transport, on Energy, and on Developing Countries. Dr Schipper earned his PhD at Berkeley in astrophysics, but has devoted his career to earthly problems of transport, energy and environment.  Previously he had been Director of Research for EMBARQ, the World Resources Institute (WRI) Center for Sustainable Transport, which he helped founded in 2002. Dr Schipper came to EMBARQ from the International Energy Agency (IEA) in Paris, where he had been visiting Scientist from 1995 to 2001. Previous to that he was Staff Senior Scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory for two decades.  He worked in Group Planning at Shell International Petroleum Company in the 1980s and again in 2001, where he worked on two sets of Shell Scenarios. He has been a guest researcher at the World Bank, VVS Tekniska Foerening (Stockholm), the OECD Development Center, and the Stockholm Environment Institute. As a consultant, Dr Schipper works with Global Business Network/Monitor and has rejoined Cambridge Energy Research Associates as a Senior Associate. He also served as a consultant to the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and other international groups. He also lectures widely around the world.  Lee received a share of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for his work on two Intergovernmental Panels on Climate Change (IPCC). Dr Schipper brings a unique twist to the transport and energy worlds, having obtained his BA in Music from Berkeley in 1968 (with course work at UCLA).  One a member of the UCLA jazz quintet, he still leads a jazz quintet from time to time, and recorded “The Phunky Physicist”, with Janne Schaffer, in Sweden in 1973. He appeared in Copenhagen at pre-events for COP 15.  

Dr Rico Merkert

Date: 15th Jun 2010

Speaker: Dr Rico Merkert, ITLS Visiting Research Fellow; Lecturer in Air Transport Economics, Cranfield University

Topic: Managing airline survival in a highly competitive environment

Abstract: As a result of the growth of the Low Cost Carrier business model, the recession in many international markets and a number of other factors, the focus of airlines has increasingly been on cost management. Since the current crisis is much more severe than previous ones and because it has returned much too early in terms of business cycles, cost management has become not only a tool to drive return on investment but a precondition for survival in the very challenging and competitive environment. In order to cut costs, airlines have a number of options. Some adopt LCC strategies others see mergers and acquisitions as the best route forward. Recent examples of the former include Jetstar and the general de-frilling of legacy carriers, recent examples of the latter include the proposed mergers of BA/Iberia in Europe and Delta/Continental in the US. Often airlines chose a mix of these strategies, enriched with fleet and route optimisation. This talk examines some of these strategies and focuses in particular on the impact of the size of airlines and operational factors such as stage length and fleet mix on the cost efficiency of airlines.

Bio: Dr Rico Merkert graduated in Business Administration from Berlin University of Technology in 2002. Whilst being a Marie Curie Research Fellow at the Institute for Transport Studies (ITS) at the University of Leeds he undertook and received a PhD in transport economics. Rico has taught at the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration, the University of Potsdam and also the Leeds University Business School, where he was an Associate Lecturer before joining Cranfield University as a Lecturer in Air Transport Economics in September 2009. He has been involved in a number of projects on transport economics, policy and management (including strategy, organisation and finance, M&A) for a range of clients such as the European Commission and a number of airlines. Rico has worked in the automotive industry, and has researched both the aviation and the rail transport sector for more than 6 years now (including short research fellowships in the USA and Sweden). Most of his recent projects focused on productivity and cost efficiency analysis of airlines and airports. At ITLS he is a Visiting Research Fellow and most interested in applying efficiency analysis, transaction cost economics and choice modelling to public transport, particularly bus and regional air transport in Australia and Europe.

Sergio Jara Diaz

Date: 14th Sep 2010

Speaker: Professor Sergio Jara-Diaz, University of Chile

Topic: How financial constraints affect the design of public transport services

Abstract: The Santiago bus system was re-designed along four elements: fleet reduction, new larger vehicles, a spatial structure with feeder and corridor trunk lines, and no subsidies. Level of service declined dramatically with important political implications. Using a microeconomic model of a single transit line under a financial constraint we first show that fleet reduction and the use of larger vehicles is far from the optimum, as the constraint operates implicitly reducing users’ time values in the design problem. Then we examine the effect of a stringent financial constraint on the spatial structure of bus services, showing that the best structure differs depending on the inclusion of users’ costs and on the demand level. As route design in real networks follows heuristics, the new route structure in Santiago seems to be the result of a bad intuition.


Bio: Sergio Jara-DÍaz is Professor of Transport Economics at Universidad de Chile. Holds a PhD and MSc from MIT, where he has taught during various terms. Author of Transport Economic Theory (Elsevier, 2007) and more than 80 articles in journals and books, on the microeconomics of transport demand, multioutput analysis in transport industries, public transport modelling and pricing, and time allocation. Runs a weekly radio show and has two books with chronicles.

Cameron Gordon

Date: 19th Oct 2010

Speaker: Associate Professor Cameron Gordon, University of Canberra

Topic: Market access rather than travel-time-saved: rethinking transport project benefit-cost analysis

Abstract: Traditional transport benefit-cost analysis focuses on reductions in travel-times that a proposed investment will generate to travellers.  In many cases this benefit measure is more than sufficient, especially when considering increments to existing networks.  However transport can facilitate much more than travel time reductions, including an increase in effective access to markets for goods and services and an ability to achieve agglomeration and other spatial economies across those markets.  This presentation discusses how these types of effects can be missed by traditional methods and how methods might be enhanced to account for them.

Bio: Cameron Gordon is currently an Associate Professor in Economics on the Faculty of Business and Government of the University of Canberra and holds an ongoing joint appointment as a Principal Investigator with the University Transportation Research Center Region 2 based in the US.  For the academic year 2009, Dr. Gordon held an invited endowed faculty research position as the John J Marchi Scholar in Public Policy at the City University of New York (CUNY) where he simultaneously served as Transport Research Leader with CUNY's High Performance Computing Center.  He has held prior academic appointments with the City University of New York and the University of Southern California School of Policy, Planning and Development. Dr. Gordon also has extensive prior public sector experience with appointments including the US Congress Joint Committee on Taxation; US Army Corps of Engineers, Institute for Water Resources; and the New York City Municipal Water Finance Authority.  Dr. Gordon has been active in Transportation Research Board (TRB) committees and panels for over twenty years, including service on the Transportation Economics and Transportation and Economic Development Committees.  He currently serves on the TRB Congestion Pricing Committee.

Donald Shoup

Date: 10th Nov 2010

Speaker: Professor Donald Shoup, Professor of Urban Planning, University of California, Los Angeles

Topic: The high cost of free parking

In "The high cost of free parking" Donald Shoup argues that minimum parking requirements distort transportation choices, debase urban design, damage the economy, and degrade the environment.  He contends that cities have made devastating mistakes with their parking policies, and proposes three basic reforms to undo the damage caused by nearly a century of bad planning:  (1) remove off-street parking requirements, (2) charge fair market prices for on-street parking to achieve about an 85-percent occupancy rate for curb spaces, and (3) return the resulting revenue to pay for public improvements in the metered neighbourhoods. Some American cities have adopted these policies, and Shoup will report on the results.

Bio: Donald Shoup is a Professor of Urban Planning at UCLA, where he has served as Chair of the Department of Urban Planning and as Director of the Institute of Transportation Studies. Much of his research has focused on parking as a key link between transportation and land use. This research has drawn widespread praise for revealing how parking policies can help or harm cities, the economy, and the environment. A growing number of cities have adopted Shoup's recommendations to reduce off-street parking requirements, charge fair market prices for curb parking, and dedicate the meter revenue to finance added public services in the metered districts.

Andrew Steele and LAA logo

Date: 16th Nov 2010

Speaker: Andrew Steele, Industry Manager, GS1 Australia, LAA-ITLS Joint Seminar Series

Topic: GS1 and the transport and logistics industry - A global update

Abstract: The Australian transport and logistics industry plays an important strategic role in the supply chain of all industry sectors from grocery, to steel, to health, and its success is a key factor in the nation’s overall competitiveness and economic performance. The sector is the key link between trading partners nationwide.

The Opportunity: Australia’s supply chain is worth $150 billion per annum. Based on current value, every 1% increase in efficiency will save Australia around $1.5 billion.

GS1, both in Australia and globally is working closely with many of the key associations, transport providers and government to provide assistance in a wide range of activities. The GS1 System provides international standards for item identification (for products, shipments, locations, or assets), data capture, electronic messaging, and data synchronisation. These standards are also being enhanced and expanded to reflect future business needs and advances in technology such as radio frequency identification (RFID). Through the automation of business processes, the GS1 System drives increasingly fast, efficient and accurate flow of information between trading partners, factors that are fundamental to the success of any business. More than 1 million companies use the GS1 System to carry out billions of transactions across 155 countries every day: it is the most widely used standards system in the world.

Bio: Andrew Steele is the Industry Manager FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) in GS1 Australia’s Industry Engagement Team. He has been with GS1 for the past nine years, providing professional advice and implementation support for individual members and industry groups in their adoption and implementation of the GS1 system. Andrew specialises in the Retail Food sector. He was previously a National Category Manager with a national FMCG wholesaler distributor and also has a great knowledge and experience in General Merchandise, having been a Manager with Kmart Australia Ltd for some years. Andrew has a Bachelor of Commerce from Newcastle University.

Terry Lee-Williams

Date: 30th Nov 2010

Speaker: Terry Lee-Williams, Transport Strategy Manager, City of Sydney

Topic: Six in the City - Exodus in the PM and other network challenges in the City of Sydney

Abstract: The City of Sydney has extremely limited transport powers at its disposal, but is the daily recipient of more than 600 000 visitors to its city centre.  Being at the centre of a radial transport network presents its own challenges, but being responsible for the economic vitality of a city that produces 25 per cent of the State's Gross Domestic Product adds to the degree of difficulty. The City of Sydney's Transport Strategy Unit must convince those with the funding and the power of the necessity of maintaining a focus on a city centre while the State and the Federal Government wrestle with far broader demands from areas that are greatly underserviced compared to the City. How that conversation is conducted, the strategy behind it and some examples of what a City can do will be explored by Terry Lee-Williams, the City's Transport Strategy Manager.

Bio: Terry Lee-Williams joined the City of Sydney as Manager Transport Strategy less than a year ago. He has since instituted wide ranging changes to the approach the City takes to transport, led the development of a Transforming Sydney Memorandum of Understanding with the State Government and set up a Transforming Sydney unit within the City. Terry has wide experience in the public sector transport field, having been project director of intelligent transport systems and operations manager for bus rapid transit at the Roads and Traffic Authority, project director of electronic ticketing at the Public Transport Ticketing Corporation, Senior Manager of Public Transport at the Centre for Transport Planning and Product Development and Policy Reform Manager for Community Transport. Terry has also worked both privately and publicly advising various state governments on taxi policy and accessible transport over the past 20 years.