COVID-19 Update

Please note: due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic our 2021 residential executive education courses have moved online for 2021.

Electric vehicle charging point

Rapid changes are taking place in transport systems and mobility cultures across the globe. A variety of actors are investing growing resources in developing new and smart technologies and innovative solutions for transport and mobility.

This 4-day residential course offers the latest thinking on the potential implications of the introduction of new and smart technologies for the future of transport and mobility. It adopts a specific focus on the development and diffusion of smart technologies for passengers and freight transport and new perspectives on their potential to help reduce transport-related environmental impacts. It also considers the challenges to implementation and the effects that smart technologies can have on people's mobility and everyday lives across different population groups and geographies.

The core sessions of the course cover key topics for the understanding and development of smart technologies including:

  • Transition to electric mobility;
  • Shared mobility and mobility as a service;
  • The future of vehicle automation;
  • Governing transport in the smart city.

At the same time, the course also provides practitioners with innovative perspectives and interdisciplinary approaches to the adoption of smart technologies, including insights from social science, geography and anthropology.

Participants are encouraged to take an active part in the sessions, which emphasise small-group teaching, critical thinking, and debate. You will be able to draw on expertise from different sectors and disciplines to develop new insights into the challenges you encounter in your day-to-day professional practice.

Status: CLOSED

Global Challenges in Transport: Smart Technologies

Learning Objectives

  • Examine and reflect on the latest insights on the role of technologies in shaping transport and mobility systems.
  • Explore in detail the current research on the development of smart technologies in transport and mobility and the challenges of their adoption in different contexts.

Learning Outcomes

After attending this course you will be able to:

  • recognise the societal, economic and environmental effects of technological change on transport systems and mobility cultures;
  • use up-to-date knowledge of developments in the field to critically assess the benefits of the adoption of smart technologies in different contexts;
  • recognise the ethical issues and potential conflicts associated with the adoption of new technologies; and
  • draw from a pool of theoretical approaches and case studies to facilitate and steer the adoption of smart technologies in different contexts.

Who should attend?

The Smart Technologies course is designed for experienced transport professionals and researchers with a minimum of 3 years' experience in the sector and aims to bring together the world's leading experts from academia, policy and practice to address complex transport challenges. The course is specifically intended for those who are looking to expand their knowledge horizons and have a more in-depth and interdisciplinary understanding of the challenges and solutions in delivering sustainable transport.

We specifically invite applications from:

  1. Professionals in the transport and mobility consultancy sector in charge of implementing new solutions for transport systems.
  2. Individuals with experience in transportation consulting, planning, and related government agencies.
  3. Academics and researchers in transportation planning, civil engineering, economics, planning, and/or urban mobility.

The course so far has attracted influential decision makers, public sector officials, NGOs, practitioners, and early career researchers - from across the globe.

Previous participants have joined the course from organisations including:

  • The Netherlands Vehicle Authority
  • Global Call for Climate Action
  • Ineco
  • Global Road Safety Partnership
  • And several international universities and research centres
  • Shell
  • Infrastructure Australia
  • Maldives Transport and Contracting Company
  • Road Development Authority, Sri Lanka
  • Land Public Transport Commission, Malaysia
  • Ministry of Transport, Qatar

Course Content

The course programme includes the following sessions1:

  • Introduction to course - Dr Jennie Middleton (University of Oxford)
  • Smart mobilities: what is it and who does it? - Prof Tim Schwanen (University of Oxford)
  • Leadership and sustainability - finding the gap - Edward Kellow (Kellow Learning)
  • Innovations in freight transport - Dr Debbie Hopkins (University of Oxford)
  • Trust in shared mobilities - Nina Teng (Grab and University of Oxford)
  • New technologies in public transport - Prof John Miles (Arup and University of Cambridge)
  • Autonomous vehicles and society - Prof Graham Parkhurst (University of the West of England)
  • Mobility as a Service - Prof Glenn Lyons (UWE Bristol)
  • Smart Cycling - Dr Anna Nikolaeva (Amsterdam University and University of Utrecht)
  • The Problem with Ethical Algorithms - Dr William E.S. McNeill (University of Southampton)

More sessions to be confirmed.

The course also includes a Welcome Lunch, a Networking Dinner, a formal End of the Programme Dinner and a Problem-Solving Workshop.

1TSU reserves the right to make alterations to the programme including the timetable, location, dates, content and method of delivery in response to operational demands.

Course Schedule

Download the 2020 programme [PDF: 218.7 KB]

Please note that the programme is indicative and may be subject to change.

Our Faculty

Dr Jennie Middleton, Transport Studies Unit, University of Oxford
Jennie Middleton

Jennie is a Senior Research Fellow in the Transport Studies Unit at the University of Oxford. Prior to this she has held lecturing posts in human geography at Plymouth University and Kingston University. Whilst having a background in urban, social and cultural geography Jennie's research strongly relates to the field of mobilities and transport research. Her current research explores everyday urban mobility, particularly people's mobile experiences on foot, and the implications of this for urban and transport policy.

Dr Ersilia Verlinghieri, Transport Studies Unit, University of Oxford
Ersilia Verlinghieri

Ersilia is a Research Associate in the Transport Studies Unit. She researches resilience and resourcefulness in urban transport and individuals' everyday mobilities. More broadly, her research interests are focused on the conceptualisation of transport and mobility justice and on how transport disadvantaged mobilise capabilities and resources to deal with the mobility crises. Since 2016 she has been the Programme Coordinator for Executive Education in the Transport Studies Unit.

Prof Tim Schwanen, Director, Transport Studies Unit, University of Oxford
Tim Schwanen

Tim joined the Transport Studies Unit (TSU) in March 2009 and became Director in September 2015. He has been jointly appointed by TSU and the School of Geography since November 2012. Before coming to Oxford he worked as a lecturer in urban geography at Utrecht University, the Netherlands. At that university he also completed his PhD thesis (2003, cum laude) and MSc thesis (1999, cum laude). Tim's research can be positioned at the intersection of urban, transport, cultural and political and economic geography. It is international in outlook, interdisciplinary in scope and both theoretically oriented and empirical in nature. His key research interests include geographies of mobility; transitions to low-carbon and low-energy living and societies; ageing and well-being. Tim is one of the Deputy Directors of the RCUK-funded Research Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand (2013-2018) in which the University of Sussex collaborates with the Universities of Manchester and Oxford.

Edward Kellow, Kellow Learning
Edward Kellow

A qualified trainer, facilitator and accredited executive coach, Edward Kellow has over 20 years' experience in learning and development. As head of a global sustainability leadership programme, he co-ordinated and delivered training programmes in Europe, Africa, South East Asia, China, North and South America. Edward has worked with business, government, academia, third sector and media organisations, including the Commonwealth Secretariat, the British Council, UNDP, UNEP and World Vision UK.

Dr Debbie Hopkins, Transport Studies Unit, University of Oxford
Debbie Hopkins

Debbie is an Associate Professor in Human Geography jointly appointed between the School of Geography and the Environment, and the Sustainable Urban Development programme. Debbie was previously a Departmental Research Lecturer jointly appointed between the Transport Studies Unit and the School of Geography and the Environment (Oxford, 2017-2019). Debbie has been part of several large research centres and grant applications, including the Energy Cultures project (2013-2016, Otago), the Centre for Innovation and Energy Demand (2016-2018, Sussex, Manchester and Oxford), and the Centre for Research on Energy Demand Solutions (2019-2020, multi-institutional). In addition to this, Debbie leads research on low-carbon transitions, labour and mobilities, largely in relation to freight/trucking and waste. Debbie is a human geographer and environmental social scientist, interested in socio-spatial interpretations and experiences of environmental issues. Her research is broadly concerned with the social dimensions of climate change, socio-technical transitions, and the mobility of people, goods and 'waste', with a focus on cities and urban environments.

Nina Teng, Transport Studies Unit, University of Oxford
Nina Teng

Nina is a doctoral candidate focusing on shared mobility, at the University of Oxford's Transport Studies Unit. She formerly served as the Vice President of Public Affairs on the early team at Grab, Southeast Asia's largest ride-hailing and services app platform, from 2013 to 2017. At Grab, she led regional expansion efforts to launch ride-hailing services in Thailand and Vietnam; and worked closely with government regulators and public stakeholders to develop regulations for innovative shared mobility services. Her current research focuses on the role of user trust and interactions in shared mobility services.

Prof John Miles, University of Cambridge
John Miles

John is a Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and is the Arup/Royal Academy of Engineering Professor of Transitional Energy Strategies at the Department of Engineering. His special interests include the technology and economics of future transport systems, with a particular emphasis on future systems and environmental impact. John is a member of the UK Automotive Council and was founding chairman of the Council's Working Group on Intelligent Mobility. He is currently a member of IM-PACT (the UK Intelligent Mobility Planning and Action Co-Ordination Team) and is chairman of the IM-PACT Working Group on Cities and Supporting Infrastructure.

Prof Graham Parkhurst, University of the West of England
Graham Parkhurst

Graham has more than two decades of experience researching and teaching transport and mobility studies. He is currently module leader for the Masters' modules Transport Policy & Finance and Sustainable Transport Management & Operations. His current research projects consider the societal implications of autonomous (driverless) vehicles.

Dr Anna Nikolaeva, University of Amsterdam and Utrecht University
Anna Nikolaeva

Anna is a researcher at the University of Amsterdam and Utrecht University, the Netherlands. Currently she works on the project Smart Cycling Futures, researching how smart cycling technology changes cycling - the way it is practised, governed and given meaning to. Smart Cycling Futures is a transdisciplinary project involving close collaboration with local authorities, entrepreneurs and other partners in society through cycling 'living labs' - experiments in four Dutch cities. Anna thus also conducts research on 'living labs' as a method of governing urban transitions.

Dr Will McNeill, University of Southampton
Will McNeill

Will is a philosopher of science and mind at the University of Southampton. His current research focuses on problems of explanation in the context of machine learning algorithms - particularly artificial neural networks. Together with his colleague Prof. Fiona Woollard he is investigating the question of how autonomous systems can be designed to behave ethically, and to what extent designing ethical autonomous systems might undermine our ability adequately to explain their behaviour.


The course is delivered over four days in the pleasant surroundings of Kellogg College, Oxford, with all accommodation and meals provided including a welcome lunch on arrival and a Formal Networking Dinner with special guest speakers.

Find out more about the accommodation

Scholarship Opportunities

Various discount options as well as scholarship opportunities are available. Find out more about our scholarships or contact us: