I am a Lecturer in Human Geography, with interests in military geographies and geopolitics. Between July 2008 - June 2011 I was an ESRC Research Fellow working on a programme of research entitled 'The Geographies of Military Airspaces'. Specifically, I am interested in vertical and aerial geopolitics; analysing the role of aviation and aircraft in the projection of power across space. This interest has both historical and contemporary foci and, to date, includes work on the popular geopolitics of Pan American Airways' trans-Pacific air routes, the use of military air power to enforce international boundaries, the performativity of military airspaces, and the embodied geopolitics of drone warfare.
Geography Careers & Employability Co-ordinator
Military, War and Security Research Group Convenor (http://research.ncl.ac.uk/military-research/index.html)
Power, Space, Politics research cluster Convenor (http://www.ncl.ac.uk/gps/geography/research/human/psp/)
ESRC Peer Review College member (2010-)
Vice Chair - RGS-IBG Political Geography Research Group (2011-) (http://polgrg.wordpress.com/)
Treasurer - RGS-IBG Political Geography Research Group (2007-2010)
Member - Northumbrian Universities Military Education Committee (2008-)
2001-5: PhD Human Geography, University of Hull
1998-9: MA International Relations, Keele University
1995-8: BA (Hons) Geography, University of Liverpool
2008-11: ESRC Research Fellow, School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, Newcastle University
2007-8: Lecturer in Human Geography, University of Liverpool
2005-7: Post-Doctoral Research Associate, International Boundaries Research Unit, Geography Department, Durham University
Fellow of Royal Geographical Society-Institute of British Geographers
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
Geopolitics and technogeopolitics
Geographies of airspace use and control
Drones, especially their use by military forces
US aviation in the interwar Pacific
The transferable skills agenda
I am PI on a two-year ESRC funded project investigating the non-economic value of the University Armed Service Units (USU). These student societies are run by the UK Armed Forces and teach military skills, as well as transferable skills. This project will undertake an in-depth UK-wide analysis of the impact of USU participation for current students, USU graduates who have not pursured military careers, graduate employers, UK universities, and the UK Armed Forces. Working with Prof Rachel Woodward (Co-I) and Dr Neil Jenkings (Co-I and SRA), this project will use a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods to investigate the worth of USUs in relation to transferable skills, civil-military relations, and militarism. I received a Faculty Research Fund Award (2009) to enable an RA to conduct a pilot study into the relationship between membership of the university's armed service units and the development of transferable skills which provided pilot data for the ESRC project. For more about this visit http://research.ncl.ac.uk/military-research/themes/university-armed-service-units.html.
I am also interested in the issue of transferable skills and the graduate skills agenda. To this end, I have developed a website for Newcastle Geography students to help them identify the transferable skills that completion of the various modes of assessment within our degree programmes can enable them to advance (makinggeographywork.ncl.ac.uk). I have also received funding (with Dr Simon Tate) from the Newcastle University teaching and learning Innovation Fund to develop video-based peer learning tools to enhance students' dissertation skills.
Between July 2008 and June 2011 I was an ESRC Research Fellow, working on a programme of research under the heading of the 'Geographies of Military Airspaces'. Within this Fellowship I sought to theorise airspace; investigate how airspace is constructed through a variety of legal regimes; discover how military flight crews are taught to 'see' and understand airspace; consider popular geopolitical representations of military airspace in video gaming; and analyse the significance of unmanned aerial vehicles technologies within the military sphere. This research has been published in a number of journal articles and I continue to write up this research for publication.
During spring 2010 I was part of the Interventions Project, which brought together designers and researchers to collaborate to produce a piece of work related to our research. I worked with Nelly Ben Hayoun (www.nellyben.com), an award winning designer based in London on a project to materialise resistance to airspace control. For more information on our project visit www.ncl.ac.uk/gps/research/geography/pms/interventions.htm. I continue to work on the intersections between geopolitics, militarism and art.
My future research will continue to centre upon geographies of aviation and airspace in both historical and contemporary periods, and military geographies more widely.
I also plan to continue my work on the graduate skills agenda and student employability, and the relationship between the university and the military.
Military, War and Security (faculty-level) Research Group - Convenor
Power, Space, Politics research cluster - Convenor (http://www.ncl.ac.uk/gps/geography/research/human/psp/)
I welcome PhD enquires from students interested in undertaking research on geopolitics, military geographies, aerial geographies, and international boundaries. For more information see; http://www.ncl.ac.uk/gps/geography/postgrad/research/phdtopichg.html
2008-12 : Matthew Rech - Critical geopolitics of RAF recruitment (ESRC) - currently ESRC Post-Doctoral Fellow in the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, Newcastle University
2011- : Daniel Bos - Popular geopolitics of military video games (ESRC DTC)
2012- : Panayiotis Hadjipavlis - Analysis of Cypriot airspace claims (part-time self-funded)
2012-14 ESRC Research Grant (c.£270,000) 'The value of University Armed Service Units' (PI; Co-I Prof Rachel Woodward; Co-I & SRA Dr Neil Jenkings) ES/J023868/1
2011-12 Newcastle University Teaching and Learning Committee Innovation Fund (c. £3000) 'Learning from Research Practice: developing a web-based video resource that will provide Geography dissertation students with examples of how Geography staff and postgrads do their research' (with Simon Tate)
2009-2010: HaSS Faculty Research Fund (£3650) 'The graduate skills agenda and the university armed services experience'
2008-2011: ESRC Research Fellowship (c. £350,000 including PhD studentship)'The Geographies of Military Airspaces' - RES-063-27-0154
2001-2005: ESRC Open Competition PhD funding (c. £40,000)'Aviation Technogeopolitics and the Territorialisation of the Pacific as US Space, 1918-1941'- R42200134521
GEO1015 Contemporary Human Geography of the UK (Lecturer)
GEO1096 Study Skills (Personal Tutor)
GEO2043 Key Methods in Human Geography (Lecturer)
GEO2111 Doing Geographical Research (Module Leader, Lecturer and Mentor)
GEO2047 Political Geography (Lecturer)
GEO2105 Military Environments and Landscapes Field Course (Lecturer)
GEO3099 Dissertation (Mentor)
GEO3102 Geopolitical Thought and Practice (Module Leader and Lecturer)