Newcastle University professor Phil Blythe has been appointed the Department of Transport’s chief scientific advisor for the next three years.
Professor Blythe, who is the university’s professor of intelligent transport systems, will split his time between London and Newcastle. In his early career, Professor Blythe was recognised for his work in the areas of electronic tolling technology and smart payment systems.
More recently his research has focused on electric vehicles and the development of supporting infrastructure. Working in collaboration with North East partners such as Nissan, Zero Carbon Futures and the local councils, Professor Blythe has been a key player in driving forward the region’s bid to become the electric vehicle capital of the UK.
In his new role, Professor Blythe will provide strategic advice on science, engineering and technology issues to ensure the country’s transport system is robust enough to meet future challenges.
He said: “The Department for Transport has an exciting and challenging agenda for the delivery of new transport investment. I hope through my new role I will be able to advise on how we can bring the best of UK science, technology and engineering together to deliver these projects and achieve maximum benefit for the transport systems and economy in the UK.”
Professor Blythe will support transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin and his ministerial team in a part-time position for the next three years.