Queen’s honour for Grammar old boy

Professor Alan Woodside, originally from Larne, is to receive an OBE for his services to engineering. INLT 01-612-CON
Professor Alan Woodside, originally from Larne, is to receive an OBE for his services to engineering. INLT 01-612-CON

A FORMER Larne man is celebrating after being recognised in the 2013 New Year’s Honours List.

Professor Alan Woodside of the University of Ulster is to be awarded an OBE for his services to higher education and highway engineering.

The father-of-three, who now lives in Lisburn, spoke of his pride at being included in the prestigious list and told the Times: “I was very surprised and delighted to be nominated, and I see it as an achievement for the work done by the team at University of Ulster Jordanstown over the years.”

Prof Woodside was born in Meadow Street, Larne, in 1947, and attended Larne and Inver Primary School before going on to Larne Grammar School. He commenced his civil engineering training with Larne Borough Council in 1965 as an engineering assistant, progressing in 1970 to Assistant Engineer.

From 1972-1973, he was employed by the Joint Engineering Department for Ballymena Borough and Rural District Councils, before taking up a position as lecturer in civil engineering at the NI Polytechnic. He was promoted to senior lecturer and then principal lecturer by 1982, teaching at sub-degree, degree and postgraduate level on many courses.

He was then appointed senior lecturer at the University of Ulster and progressed to reader in highway engineering in 1990.

In recognition of his outstanding work in his subject (as a consultant, academic and researcher) Prof Woodside was awarded a personal chair in highway engineering in June 1994 and director of the Highway Engineering Research Centre in the School of the Built Environment.

Recently he has retired from his post as Director of the Transport and Road Assessment Centre (TRAC) within the School of the Built Environment. This area of research within the Faculty of Art Design and the Built Environment provided a specialist research and development service to the profession throughout the world for over 30 years.

Prof Woodside secured funding for his research from many sources including research councils, World Bank, IDB/LEDU, government departments, and industry both home and abroad. Total funding now exceeds several millions of pounds.

He has supervised 53 PhDs and five MPhil students and is currently supervising four full-time PhD students and three part-time students, in his role as Emeritus Professor of Highway Engineering at The University of Ulster.

He has served as external examiner for 44 higher degrees (PhD and MPhil) at various UK universities and he is currently an external examiner for Universities of Newcastle, Leeds and Brunel.

HThe academic’s main areas of research interest are in highway materials, recycling, skid-resistance and road safety.

Prof Woodside has contributed to a number of textbooks and authored more than 200 technical papers, presenting them at many leading international and world conferences.

He is a past chairman of The NI Branch of the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation and a member of the Joint Board of Moderators for Civil Engineering degrees and a Freeman of the City of London.

He chairs WISH Forum for Northern Ireland and for a number of years has been very active in promoting STEM in schools.

The professor serves on the Board of Governors of Pond Park Primary School and Friends School, Lisburn. Overseas he has served on the Board of Governors of Logos School of English Education in Cyprus for many years he is also a Visiting Professor at the Technical University of Malaysia.