Keynote Speakers

Dr Jari Kauppila

Head of Statistics and Modelling, International Transport Forum, OECD
Adjunct Professor, Department of Operations and Supply Chain Management, Turku School of Economics, Finland.

Is shared mobility the answer to congestion, emission and access issues?
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Urban authorities face numerous challenges as they try to manage the access and mobility needs of their citizens. Some of these are related to uncertainty about how new services, technologies and emerging social trends might affect mobility choices. In this presentation, Jari will discuss the modelling work at the International Transport Forum that explores the potential outcomes of replacing private car use by new shared mobility services. Specifically, the study examines the effect of replacing certain cars and bus trips with on-demand dispatched door-to-door services for selected cities. Jari will discuss the potential impacts on congestion, emission and access also for the Auckland Metropolitan Area.

Jari Kauppila, PhD, is a Head of Statistics and Modelling at the International Transport Forum at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris, France. At the ITF, his team is responsible for the ITF’s flagship publication, Transport Outlook, and the work looking at impacts of new mobility services on cities, among others. In addition to above, Jari has coordinated several international research projects on topics such as logistics, transport reliability, road safety and infrastructure investment.

Prior joining the ITF in 2007, Jari spent eight years as a Lead Economist with the Ministry of Transport and Communications in Finland. His responsibilities included investment appraisals, questions on infrastructure funding, performance measurement of administrations, taxation, economic analysis and statistics.
Besides his duties at the ITF, Jari is an Adjunct Professor in Transport Economics at the Department of Operations and Supply Chain Management at Turku School of Economics in Finland.


Prof. Stef Proost

Centre for Economic Studies
Hogenheuvel College, KU Leuven,
University of Leuven, Belgium

Decentralising Transport Policy
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In most countries, transport policy decisions are often decentralised at the regional or local levels due to better access to local information and the efficiency in decision-making. However, when the actions or decisions of one region result in significant impact on other regions, there is a need for federal (or national) intervention. It is difficult to maintain the right balance between the two levels because federal decisions tend to be uniform, and there could be differences in political decision preferences between federal, regional and local jurisdictions.

Technology developments can lead to a future with increased decentralisation of transport policies. For example, fuel taxes could be replaced by distance charges, by cordon pricing in cities and distance charges for electric cars could also be applied. Will these decentralised policies be more efficient? With the use of simple economic models, Stef has carried out a range of studies to look into various efficiency and welfare implications of selected transport policy interventions and the potential issues facing the federal and regional jurisdictions.

In this presentation, Stef will discuss:
• How best to allocate transport infrastructure investment between regions considering efficiency and welfare implications?
• Is it better to use interregional transport investments to help lagging regions or are there alternative policies?
• What are the potential coordination problems between federal and regional jurisdictions when applying localised policy interventions such as traffic calming, distance charging, congestion charges or carbon taxes?

Stef Proost is full professor at the University of Leuven and held visiting professor positions at KTH Stockholm, ENS Cachan (Paris), University of Cergy (Paris), UIUC (Illinois), UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara. At the KU Leuven he teaches transport, environmental and energy economics to economists and engineers. His research group deals with economics of transport, environment, energy and transport. He has particular interests in optimal pricing and investment in transport, choice of policy instruments for environmental policy and energy pricing questions.

He has co-developed the TREMOVE and GEM-E3 models that are used in the EU to assess environmental policy in the European transport sector and to assess economy-environment interactions in the EU economies. He is the co-founder of the spin-off Transport Mobility Leuven (TML). Before joining the KU Leuven academic staff in 1989, he worked as a researcher in electricity modelling and pricing at CORE in Belgium, obtained a PhD in public economics and he worked as a manager of an energy modelling team of the Belgian Government (Science Policy). 


Dr Debbie Hopkins

Departmental Research Lecturer
Transport Studies Unit
School of Geography and the Environment
University of Oxford

Putting People into Driverless Cars
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In this presentation, Debbie will bring a socio-technical perspective to the emergence of so-called ‘driverless’ vehicles. Drawing insights from freight and passenger transport, I will bring to light the problems with current conceptualisations of automation, and consider the social and behavioural implications of these innovations.

Debbie is a Departmental Research Lecturer at the Transport Studies Unit, School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford (UK). She works with the Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand leading research into the emergence of automated vehicle technologies within the ‘Smart City’. From 2014 to 2016, Debbie was a research fellow on the Energy Cultures research programme at the Centre for Sustainability, University of Otago (NZ). Her research is broadly concerned with the social dimensions of climate change, the social practice of mobility, and low-carbon mobility transitions. Debbie has conducted research into both passenger mobility (e.g. transport to school, learn to drive behaviours) and goods mobility (e.g. automation for freight). 


Prof. Graham Currie

Public Transport Research Group,
Monash University

Autonomous vehicles, shared mobility and the future of public transport

Further information to come


Prof. Grant Covic

Power Electronics and Inductive Power Transfer Research
The University of Auckland

The Challenges and Opportunities for Inductive Power Transfer Charging of EVs on Roadways
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Grant is a full professor at the University of Auckland. In the mid 90’s he began working with Prof. John Boys to develop the technology of resonant Inductive (contact-less) Power Transfer (IPT) and in the early 2000’s they began jointly leading a team focused on AGV applications for traditional markets, and redeveloping EV charging solutions.

Today Grant’s research and consulting interests are focused on industrial solutions using IPT. Over the past 15 years he has published more than 140 international refereed papers in this field, worked with over 40 postgraduates and filed over 40 patents, all of which are licensed to various global companies in specialised application fields.

In 2010 he co-founded (with John) a new global start-up company “HaloIPT” focusing on electric vehicle (EV) wireless charging infrastructure and was joint head of research from formation until sale. During this time HaloIPT received the Clean Equity Monaco award for excellence in the field of environmental engineering and two NZ clean innovation awards in the emerging innovator and design and engineering categories. Grant and John have been awarded the New Zealand Prime Minister’s Science Prize, the Vice Chancellors commercialisation medal and the KiwiNet research commercialisation awards for scientific research which has seen outstanding commercial success.

Grant is a senior member of IEEE and a fellow of both the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand, and the Royal Society of New Zealand.  Presently he heads inductive power research at the UoA and co-leads the interoperability sub-team within the SAE J2954 wireless charging standard for EVs. 


Peter Clarke and Theunis Van Schalkwyk

New Zealand Transport Agency and Auckland Transport

Challenges of planning for rapid growth in Auckland

Further details to come


Ian Christensen

Managing Director,
iMove Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) 

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Ian has been Managing Director of iMOVE CRC since it commenced operations in July 2017. Prior to that, whilst CEO of Excellerate Australia, he led the team that developed the successful bid for iMOVE CRC, as well as overseeing the activities of the Automotive CRC and Automotive Supply Chain Excellence (ASEA) team.
Ian was promoted to CEO of Excellerate (formerly AutoCRC) in January 2014 after four years as General Manager. Prior to this, he managed the operations of another CRC for four years.
Ian has more than 30 years’ experience in the manufacturing industry, ranging from automotive, paper, polymers, silicone products, and fine chemicals.
His considerable working experience at the interface between industry and research enables him to manage the many stakeholders involved in the transport and mobility space and draw them into the collaborative processes required to address the complex problems and opportunities.
Ian has a science degree and an MBA, and in addition to working in manufacturing has also had several roles developing and commercialising new technologies. He is the inventor on two patents and has extensive experience in licensing of intellectual property.



Leaders Forum Speakers

“What are the opportunities and future challenges within the transport system and where can data and research add value?”


Gary Dolman


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Dr Gary Dolman is Head of the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE): the research arm of the Australian Government’s Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development. BITRE provides economic analysis, research and statistics on infrastructure, transport and regional development issues to inform Australian Government policy development and wider community understanding.

Fergus Gammie

CEO, New Zealand Transport Agency

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Fergus has spent his whole career working in the transport sector with his first job being at School Transport with the Education Department.
Fergus took up the role as Chief Executive of the New Zealand Transport Agency in March 2016 where he’s responsible for a team of over 1400 and an investment programme of $4.5 billion per year.

Prior to that he was the Deputy Director, Transport Infrastructure and Services at Transport for NSW. This was at a time when the NSW government was restructuring transport to become more fully integrated and customer focussed. He led a team of 1700, managed an operating budget of A$5 billion and projects totalling A$11 billion. He led projects that included building a new Busway for Sydney’s northern beaches and the ‘OPAL’ smart card ticketing system that allows integrated travel on all forms of public transport. Before that, Fergus was the CE of the Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA) and then COO at Auckland Transport (AT) at a time that was crucial for Auckland. Both organisations were focused on using a wider diversity of transport modes to solve the Auckland’s transport issues.

Fergus’ passion for transport comes from the contribution it makes to people’s lives and the role it plays in the future and prosperity of New Zealand.

Peter Mersi

Ministry of Transport

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Peter Mersi was appointed as Secretary for Transport and Chief Executive of the Ministry of Transport in July 2016.

Peter was the Chief Executive of Land Information New Zealand for four years prior to this role and has spent the majority of his career in the Public Service. Peter has held senior leadership roles in Inland Revenue, the Treasury and spent six months as Acting Secretary for Internal Affairs.

Stephen Perkins

Joint Transport Research Centre

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Stephen Perkins is the head of the Joint Transport Research Centre of the International Transport Forum and the OECD. The Forum is an international governmental organisation for transport ministers with 53 member countries. It is part of the OECD family of organisations and has a secretariat located in Paris. It holds an annual Ministerial Forum in Leipzig where strategic challenges for transport are examined with leaders of industry and civic society.

The Joint Research Centre undertakes economic research in support of transport policy development. The Centre works on all transport modes and most aspects of transport economics. Stephen’s work at the Forum has focused on issues of regulation, competition, investment, pricing and taxation, congestion and environmental protection.

His previous experience includes energy industry restructuring and regulation at the International Energy Agency, work on economic regulation for a major gas utility, and consultancy on energy policy and environmental issues for government and industry. He holds degrees on energy economics and environmental sciences from Imperial College and from the University of East Anglia in the UK and is a member of the steering committee of the WCTRS (World Conference on Transport Research Society), responsible for international cooperation.

The Centre’s work on aviation includes a number of reports on prospects for the development of passenger and freight markets, competition and regulation in the sector, and the annual Transport Outlook.

David Warburton

CEO, Auckland Transport

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David has been Chief Executive of Auckland Transport since its establishment in November 2010. Prior to this he was Chief Executive of professional services business CPG, a subsidiary of Downer EDI.

David has held a number of roles as Chief Executive / Director in a range of businesses including the energy, packaging, processing and farming sectors.

David has a doctorate in environmental engineering and is a Fellow of the Institute of Professional Engineers, New Zealand. Having started his professional career as an Associate Professor at the University of Illinois and Senior Lecturer at Massey University he comes with a breadth of academic, commercial and local government experience.

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