Professor Jon Shaw
Associate Head of School
School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences (Faculty of Science & Engineering)
I am Associate Head (Geography) of the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences. This means I'm Head of Geography, responsible for running the Geography subject area, seeking to make sure we do what we're supposed to do to the very best of our ability.
I have a BSc (First Class Hons) in Geography, a PG Dip (Distinction) in Social Science Research and a PhD in Human Geography.
My academic career has come full circle: I started out in Plymouth as an undergraduate in 1992, before spells in the United States and Scotland (and shorter stays in Australia and Germany). I moved north to become a Lecturer in Geography at the University of Aberdeen, and stayed in the Granite City for seven years. I was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2003 and served as the Head of Geography & Environment in 2005 and 2006. I returned to Plymouth in 2006 to take up a Readership in Human Geography and was promoted to Professor in 2008.
I am a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers), a Member of the American Association of Geographers and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
In my career I have taught numerous aspects of human geography. Because my PhD focused on transport and travel issues, I have always been involved in teaching Transport Geography modules, but my time at the University of Idaho in the 1990s gave me a lifelong love of the American West. Over the years I've written classroom-based modules on the USA and set up a field trip to the Pacific North West, a variant of which in 2016 will be running for the 12th time. I also teach political and economic geography.
At the moment I teach on four undergraduate modules (I'm taking a temporary break from postgraduate teaching):
GGX1200 Geography Matters
GGX1201 Introducing Geographies 1: Society and Environment
GGH2204 Transport, Travel and Mobility
GGX3201 Advanced Fieldwork in Geography: The Changing American West
My research mainly focuses upon the geographical implications of mobility / accessibility, and issues to do with transport and governance. Together with colleagues at Erfurt University of Applied Sciences in Germany, I recently completed a project on Transport Needs in an Ageing Society - the so-called 'TRACY' project (all European Union-funded projects have increasingly jaunty and progressively tangential acronyms). At the other end of the spectrum I've also of late been involved with work on jogging (something I now do rather less than I probably should).
Grants & contracts
Grant awards in the previous Research Evaluation Framework (the UK government's mechanism for evaluating the quality of British-based academics' research work) period include:
Shaw, J and South West Smart Applications Ltd (2010) £1.85m from the South West Improvement and Efficiency Partnership Capital Fund for the project, Introduction of ITSO smart ticketing into strategically significant cities and towns in south west England.
Shaw, J and the South West Smartcard Forum (2009) £40,000 from the South West Regional Improvement and Efficiency Partnership Enterprise Fund for the project Delivery framework for the introduction of a shared, regional, open access Smartcard Back Office System.
Shaw, J and the South West Smartcard Forum (2009) £20,000 from the South West Regional Development Agency for the project Southwest regional smartcard development project.
Docherty, I; Shaw, J; Preston J and others (2008) £73,800 from Strathclyde Partnership for Transport for the project High speed ground transport – Glasgow-Edinburgh corridor.Shaw, J; Gray, D and Yarwood, R (2008) £5,430 from the Commission for Rural Communities for the project Transport futures: the potential impacts of road pricing on rural areas.
Shaw, J; Charlton, C and Burningham, R (2008) £55,200 from Great Western Research, Looe Valley Railway Company and First Great Western for the PhD studentship A critical evaluation of community rail policy and practice.
Other academic activities
I was the Associate Editor (UK & Ireland) of the Journal of Transport Geography (2004-2011), and was the Chair (2001-2005) and the Secretary (2005-2009) of the Transport Geography Research Group of the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers).
I acted as the Specialist Adviser to the Transport Select Committee of the House of Commons for its inquiry into the major road network; I am a member of the Great Western Railway Stakeholder Advisory Board; I am the Deputy Chair of the European Platform for Transport Sciences; and I chair the Scientific Advisory Board of econex verkehrsconsult. I am also an Ambassador for the City of Erfurt - it's a splendid place, and I highly recommend a visit!
I was also the joint winner (with Iain Docherty) of the 2006 Scottish Transport Award in the category of Young Transport Professional / Researcher.
I have acted as a referee for the ESRC, the British Council, the British Academy, the Leverhulme Trust, the European Union and for all major geography and transport journals.