John Taplin Memorial Lecture

17 March 2020
Theatre Auditorium, The University Club, UWA
General Public, Faculty/Staff, Students, Alumni

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This lecture is co-hosted by the UWA Institute of Advanced Studies and the Planning and Transport Research Centre (PATREC).

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John Taplin AM, Emeritus Professor, UWA

What Does Intelligent Mobility Add to Sustainability? Some Top Agenda Issues to Consider

The Inaugural John Taplin Memorial Lecture in Transport, by Professor David A. Hensher, PhD FASSA

A move towards transport centred on a range of convenient coordinated services, rather than personally-owned modes, known as Mobility as a Service (MaaS), contributes to an intelligent and exciting future. This lecture will provide an overview of MaaS and how it can be conceptualised as a framework within which new societal and business opportunities for delivering multi-modal mobility services to the market might be achieved. With MaaS being a relatively recent development, Professor Hensher will identify some of its key pre-conditions, as well as the many challenges in delivering MaaS to the market, including the hype and rhetoric. He will also report on evidence from the ongoing Sydney MaaS trial.

Professor David Hensher is Founding Director of the Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies at The University of Sydney. He is internationally renowned as a leading research pioneer who has dedicated his career to the analysis and improvement of infrastructure systems around the world. David is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences, Recipient of the 2009 International Association of Travel Behaviour Research (IATBR) Lifetime Achievement Award; Recipient of the 2006 Engineers Australia Transport Medal for lifelong contribution to transport research; recipient of the Smart 2013 Premier Award for Excellence in Supply Chain Management; Recipient of the 2014 Institute of Transport Engineers (Australia and New Zealand) Transport Profession Award, and the 2016 Award for Outstanding Research as part of the inaugural University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor?s Awards for Excellence. David is also the recipient of the 2019 John Shaw Medal, which honours an industry champion who has made a lasting contribution to Australia?s roads. David is the Executive Chair and Co-Founder of The International Conference in Competition and Ownership of Land Passenger Transport (the Thredbo Series), now in its 30th year. David has advised numerous government and industry agencies in Australia and globally in the broad areas of transport economics, demand forecasting, economic evaluation, policy and planning.

The John Taplin Memorial Lecture

John Taplin AM had an enormous impact on transport economics, being a pioneer in the area of modelling travel choices and demand elasticities, applying genetic algorithms to optimise transport investment decisions. He was an early developer of AI techniques that could be applied to transport and was one of the first to predict the future growth in electric vehicles. After a distinguished career in senior leadership roles in economics and transport (among others, Director of the Bureau of Transport Economics 1972-75 and Deputy Secretary of the Commonwealth Department of Transport 1975-77), and a professorship intermezzo at the University of Tasmania 1978-82, John became the WA Director General of Transport (1982-1990) and represented the State government?s principal transport policy advisor until late 90s. Many strategic transport decisions are linked to his name, both in WA and at a national level. John returned to academic life at in 1991 joining UWA, eventually retiring in 2010 as Professor of Transport and Logistics and remaining an active Emeritus Professor and Senior Honorary Research Fellow, until he passed away on the 17th March 2019.

In 1990 at the Sydney Australian Transport Research Forum (ATRF), the John Taplin Award for the Best Paper was first proposed by Professor David Hensher, in recognition of John?s major contribution to the conference, for which he was one of the six founders and Chair of the first Forum in 1975.