Prof. dr. Frank Witlox

Prof. dr. Frank Witlox
09 264 45 53

Frank J. A. Witlox (°Merksem, 8 september 1967)
Ghent University – Department of Geography

MA Applied Economics, 1989, University of Antwerp
MA Maritime Sciences, 1990, University of Antwerp
PhD Urban Planning, 1998, Eindhoven University of Technology

Frank Witlox holds a PhD in Urban Planning (Eindhoven University of Technology, promotor Harry Timmermans), a Master’s Degree in Applied Economics and a Master’s Degree in Maritime Sciences (both University of Antwerp). Currently, he is Senior Full Professor of Economic Geography at the Department of Geography of Ghent University. He teaches, among others, Transport Geography; Economic Geography; Geography of the Enterprise; Urban Mobility and Logistics; Spatial Modelling Techniques; Transport Economics and Policy and Current Issues in Social and Economic Geography. He is also a Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Science and Technology (Department of Geography) of the University of Tartu (Estonia) where he teaches Economic Geography of Urban Systems, and an Associate Director of the Globalization and World Cities (GaWC) Research Network. Since 2010 he is the Director of the Doctoral School of Natural Sciences (UGent). The director is responsible for increasing the international and social value of the doctorate, aims to enhance the support provided to the doctoral students, and contributes to strenghten the quality culture in (doctoral) research. Since August 1 2013 Frank Witlox has been appointed an Honorary Professor in the School of Geography at The University of Nottingham.

Frank Witlox has hold a number of part-time teaching positions at different universities and research institutes in Belgium: Hasselt University, University of Antwerp, Institute of Transport and Maritime Management Antwerp (ITMMA), and University of Leuven-Campus Kortrijk, and was/is a guest lecturer at Lund University-Campus Helsingborg (Sweden), University of Tartu (Estonia), and Chongqing University (China).

His research focuses on travel behavior analysis and modeling, travel and land use, sustainable mobility issues, business travel, cross-border mobility, city logistics, global commodity chains, globalization and world city-formation, polycentric urban development, contemporary challenges in agricultural land use, and locational analysis of corporations.


Career at UGent

-01/10/2014-present        Senior Full Professor (gewoon hoogleraar) of Economic Geography

-01/10/2010-present        Director of the Doctoral School of Natural Sciences

-01/10/2008-30/09/2014  Full Professor (hoogleraar) of Economic Geography

-01/10/2006-30/09/2008  Associate Professor (hoofddocent) of Economic Geography

-01/10/2000-30/09/2006  Assistant Professor (docent) of Economic Geography

Career outside UGent

-01/03/2015-29/02/2016  Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Science and Technology. University of Tartu, Estonia.

-01/10/2013-30/09/2015  Part-time visiting Professor of Transport Economics and Policy, University of Antwerp-Institute of Transport and Maritime Management Antwerp

-01/08/2013-present       Honorary Professor in the School of Geography at The University of Nottingham

-01/09/2007-present       Associate Director ‘Globalization and World Cities’ – Study Group & Network, Loughborough University (UK)

-01/10/2002-30/09/2015 Part-time visiting Professor of Warehouse and Hinterland Distribution Management, University of Antwerp-Institute of Transport and Maritime Management Antwerp

-01/10/2000-30/09/2002 Part time visiting Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Antwerp

-01/10/1998-30/09/2008 Part time Assistant Professor of Transport Policy, Hasselt University

-01/10/1990-30/09/2000 Teaching and doctoral assistant, University of Antwerp

-01/04/1990-30/09/1990 Research assistant, University of Antwerp

Most important academic services

2015-present                          Chairman Belgium Institute of Transport Organizers (BITO-IBOT)

2013-present                          Chairman of the Institute of Sustainable Mobility (IDM)

2012-present                          Member of NVAO-KNAW Research Masters Evaluation Panel “Gedrag- en Maatschappijwetenschappen” (Amsterdam)

2011-present                          Expert-member MORA (Mobility Council Flanders)

2010-present                          Chairman of the Curriculum Commission Geography-Geomathics (UGent)

2010-present                          Member of Regional Science Association-Nederland (RSA-N)

2009-present                          Chairman of Benelux Interuniversity Association of Transport Economists (Brussels)

2006-present                          Member of UGent Faculty of Sciences Council


2012-2015                              Member of the Expert Group VTI for the Council for the Environment and Infrastructure (Rli, Den Haag)

2010-2014                              Member of the scientific advisory board of VIL (Flanders Institute of Logistics)

2008-2010                              Chairman of the Educational Commission Geography-Geomathics (UGent)

2007-2010                              Member of the Steering Committee ‘Vlaanderen in Actie’

2005-2010                              Chairman ‘Vervoerslogistieke Werkdagen’ (Den Haag)

2000-2008                              Secretary of the Examination Commission Geography & Land Surveying


Present editorial boards

Web-of-Science: European Journal of Transport and Infrastructure Research, Journal of Transport Geography, Journal of Urban Technology, Transport Reviews

As of January 1, 2016 he is the Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Transport Geography. JTRG is a leading interdisciplinary journal focusing on the geographical dimensions of transport, travel and mobility. Currently it ranks Q1 in Economics (rank 28/333) – Geography (rank 7/76) – Transportation (rank 7/30) with an IF 2014 of 2,850.

Others: Tijdschrift Vervoerwetenschap, Business Logistics, Aerlines Magazine, Belgian Journal of Geography, Journal of Mobile Communication, Maatschappij en Ruimte, Transactions in Maritime Science, Applied Mobilities, Entretextos


Research projects and expertise

As project manager or consultant he conducted research for the European Commission (CIVITAS), the Belgian government (DWTC, Kabinet Minister van Mobiliteit en Vervoer; OFO; Federaal Wetenschapsbeleid), the Dutch government (KiM, Rli), the Flemish government (PBO, FWO-V, IWT, Steunpunt Ruimte en Wonen, Steunpunt Verkeersveiligheid, MORA, Studiedienst van de Vlaamse Regering; RWO; SBO+ Stedelijke Logistiek en Mobiliteit; Ruimte Vlaanderen), city councils (Stad Antwerpen, Stad Gent), professional associations (FEBETRA, SAV), consultancy firms (Studiegroep Omgeving, Resource Analysis, GEDAS, WES, IBM Business Consulting Services, BCI, RebelGroup; Antea; Royal HaskoningDHV), universities and institutions (SFO, BOF-UA, BOF-UGent, Vlaams Instituut voor de Logistiek, Vlaams Instituut voor de Mobiliteit, Dept. Internationaal Vlaanderen, VITO, POM Oost-Vlaanderen), and private companies (Touring Wegenhulp, VTB-VAB, PaperPak, SGS Belgium, Toyota Europe) in the field economic geography, location theory, transport economics and geography, urban planning, logistics, spatial modelling techniques.



-laureate of the “Van Eesteren-Fluck & Van Lohuizen Stichting” (The Hague) (1993-1994)

-laureate Prix Fondation Louis Davin (2e période biennale 1995-1996), Académie Royale des sciences, des lettres & des beaux-arts De Belgique (Classe des Lettres — Ministère de la Communauté française) (1995-1996)

-winner of the “Two-year research award of the Joint Research Board of the University of Antwerp (category Applied Economic Sciences and Political Sciences)” (1999).

-Best Paper Presentation Award “DERUDDER, B. & F. WITLOX (2007) "What is a "World Class Cities?" Comparing conceptual specifications of a global urban network" op 7th International Conference on Urban Planning and Environment (UPE7) (Faculty of Architecture, Kasetsart University, Bangkok).

-UGRG Best Poster Award: DEVRIENDT, L., A. BOULTON, S. BRUNN, B. DERUDDER en F. WITLOX (2009) City network in cyberspace and time: using Google hyperlinks to measure economic and environmental crises. Poster presented at the Urban Geography Research Group of the RGS-IBG Annual Conference "Global Cities Now? Current Perspectives in Global Urban Studies", Swansea (UK), November 5-6, 2009.

-ETC Best Paper Award: VAN ACKER, V., B. DERUDDER & F. WITLOX (2010) “Assessing objective and subjective spatial influences of modal choice”. European Transport Conference, Glasgow, October, 11-13, 2010.

-National Conference on Geographic Education (NCGE, Washington DC) Journal of Geography Award 2012 for the Best College/University Article 2012 for GOOD, P.R., B. DERUDDER & F.J. WITLOX (2011) “The regionalization of Africa: Delineating Africa’s subregions using airline data”. Journal of Geography. Vol. 110 (5), pp. 179-190.



A large number of international congresses with active participation: AAG (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015), AATT (2008), AirNeth (2007), ASRDLF (2004), ATRS (2006, 2007), BELGIUM/FUZZY (2000), BMI (2007), BRD (2005), CUPUM (1999), CVS (2003, 2007, 2008, 2009), DDSS (1996, 1998), ECAS (2009), ECTQG (2003, 2007), EFDAN (1996), EIRASS (1996, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2008), ERSA (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008), ETC (2004, 2010), EUFIT (1996), EUGEO (2007), EURESCO (2001), EURO (2002, 2004), EUROFUSE (2002), FLAGIS (2003), FRANCORO (2004), FUZZY/IEEE (1996), IATBR (2009), ICLSP (2004), ICOR (2006), ICTTP (2008), IESM (2005), IGU (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010), INSNA (2005), ISA (2006), ISTTT (2010), ITS (2008, 2009), NECTAR (2003, 2005, 2009), NAFIPS (1996), NOFOMA (2008), NVVC (2008), PDD (1995, 1996, 1998, 1999), Plandag (2000, 2009), RESER (2010), PILAS (2010), RmR (2004, 2005, 2007), RSA (2007, 2008, 2009), SeBGIS (2006), SPM (2008, 2010), Sunbelt (2005), TDM (2010), TRAIL (2008, 2010), TRB (2007, 2008, 2010), UPE (2002, 2009), VLW (2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010), VWEC (2004, 2006, 2008), WCTR (1998, 2004, 2007, 2010), YEAR (2010).


Supervisor of defended doctoral dissertations (# 16)

-Tijs Neutens (21 January 2010) – Space, time and accessibility. Analysing human activities and travel possibilities from a time-geographic perspective. UGent, Doctoraat in de Wetenschappen: Geografie (promotoren: Ph. De Maeyer, F. Witlox & T. Schwanen) [Winner of the BIVEC-GIBET PhD Award 2009-2011]

-Veronique Van Acker (27 January 2010) – Spatial and social variations in travel behaviour. Incorporating lifestyles and attitudes into travel behaviour-land use interaction research. UGent, Doctoraat in de Wetenschappen: Geografie (promotoren: F. Witlox & B. van Wee) [Winner of the Eric Pas Dissertation Prize 2010; Winner of the BIVEC-GIBET PhD Award 2009-2011; Winner of the Mercator-Orteliusprijs 2014]

-Lomme Devriendt (3 February 2010) – Nodal points in the space of informational flows: An empirical analysis of transnational urban networks based on Internet and air traffic flows. UGent, Doctoraat in de Wetenschappen: Geografie (promotoren: F. Witlox & B. Derudder)

-Thomas Vanoutrive (6 December 2010) – From mobility management and multilevel modelling towards modelling mobility and multilevel management. UGent-UA, Dubbeldoctoraat in de Wetenschappen: Geografie & Toegepaste Economische Wetenschappen (promotoren: F. Witlox & A. Verhetsel)

-Kobe Boussauw (4 March 2011) – Aspects of spatial proximity and sustainable travel behaviour in Flanders: a quantitative approach. UGent, Doctoraat in de Wetenschappen: Geografie (promotor: F. Witlox)

-David Bassens (28 March 2011) – Islamic financial services and the world city network. UGent, Doctoraat in de Wetenschappen: Geografie (promotoren: F. Witlox & B. Derudder)

-Heidi Hanssens (30 May 2011) – The geography of contemporary urban systems at various spatial scales. An empirical analysis based on information flows in the advanced producer services sector. UGent, Doctoraat in de Wetenschappen: Geografie (promotoren: F. Witlox & B. Derudder)

-Sven H.M. Vlassenroot (23 juni 2011) – The acceptability of in-vehicle Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) systems: From trial support to public support. Technische Universiteit Delft, Doctor aan de Technische Universiteit Delft. (promotoren: K. Brookhuis & F. Witlox)

-Olle Järv (10 December 2013) – Mobile phones and human activity travel behaviour: Exploring and explaining individual spatial behaviour in a longitudinal perspective. Joint PhD in Science: Geography, University of Tartu (Estonia) & UGent (promotoren: R. Ahas & F. Witlox).

-Tom Storme (22 September 2014) Exploring a small world. Motivations and obligations for academic travel in a Flemish context. UGent, Doctoraat in de Wetenschappen: Geografie (promotoren: F. Witlox & B. Derudder)

-Ana Carolina Mojica Segovia (26 September 2014) – Urban habitat and everyday life organization: gender differences and inequities in the use of space and time in Léon, Guanajuato, Mexico. Doctoraat Universidad Complutense de Madrid & UGent (promotoren: A. Sabaté Martínez & F. Witlox)

-Elien Van de Vijver (4 December 2014) – Exploring the mutual relationship between air passenger transport and economic development: A quantitative study at various spatial scales. UGent, Doctoraat in de Wetenschappen: Geografie (promotoren: B. Derudder & F. Witlox)

-Thomas Dubois (16 March 2015) Logistics and Spatial Planning. Case studies on optimizing the supply chain and reorganizing the urban freight distribution. UGent, Doctoraat in de Wetenschappen: Geografie (promotoren: F. Witlox & G. Allaert)

-Sara Verlinde (22 May 2015) Promising but challenging urban freight transport solutions: freight flow consolidation and off-hour deliveries. VUB-UGent, Dubbeldoctoraat Toegepaste Economische Wetenschappen en Wetenschappen: Geografie (promotoren: C. Macharis & F. Witlox)

-Jonas De Vos (27 May 2015) Travel satisfaction: Analysing the link between travel behaviour, residential location choice and well-being. UGent, Doctoraat in de Wetenschappen: Geografie (promotoren: F. Witlox, V. Van Acker & T. Schwanen)

-Shengrun Zhang (15 June 2015) Network structure, market competition and pricing strategy in the airline industry: case studies of the hub-to-hub networks in the United States and Europe. UGent, Doctoraat in de Wetenschappen: Geografie (promotoren: F. Witlox & B. Derudder)


Publications or

- 161 Web-of-Science papers (1748 citations; h-index 24) (27.11.2015) : Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment; Applied Geography; Area; Biotechnology Advances; Childhood; Chinese Geographical Science; City & Community; Computers, Environment and Urban Systems; Critical Reviews in Biotechnology; Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition; Decision Support Systems; Development Policy Review; Ecological Indicators; Energy; Entrepreneurship and Regional Development; Environment and Planning A; Erdkunde; Eurasian Geography and Economics; European Journal of Transport Infrastructure and Research; European Planning Studies; European Urban and Regional Studies; Expert Systems with Applications; Forest Policy and Economics; Geoforum; Geografiska Annaler B; Global and Planetary Change; Global Networks; Growth and Change; IEEE Intelligent Systems; IET Intelligent Transport Systems; International Journal of Comparative Sociology; International Journal of Environmental Research; International Journal of Geographical Information Sciences; International Journal of Pattern Recognition and Artificial Intelligence; International Journal of Production Economics; International Journal of Sustainable Transportation; International Migration; Journal of Agriculture and Rural Development in the Tropics and Subtropics; Journal of Air Transport Management; Journal of Arid Environments; Journal of Development Policy Review; Journal of Economic Geography; Journal of Food Products Marketing; Journal of Geographical Systems; Journal of Geography; Journal of Sports & Social Issues; Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture; Journal of Transport and Land Use; Journal of Transport Geography; Journal of Urban Technology; Land Use Policy; Mitteilungen der Österreichischen Geographischen Gesellschaft; Mobilities; Networks and Spatial Economics; Papers in Regional Science; PLoS One; Political Geography; Promet – Traffic & Transportation; Regional Studies; Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews; Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems; South African Geographical Journal; Sustainability Science; Telecommunications Policy; The Cartographical Journal; The Professional Geographer; The Service Industries Journal; The Rangeland Journal; Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie; Transport Policy; Transport Reviews; Transportation Planning and Technology; Transportation Research A; Transportation Research C; Transportation Research D; Transportation Research F; Transportation; Urban Geography; Urban Studies

-  59 paper in peer reviewed journals not in W-o-S

-  25 papers in other (local) journals

-  36 proceedings contributions

-  6 books, 30 edited books, and 151 book contributions

-  4826 Google Scholar Citations; h-index 37 (27.11.2015)


Ghent, November 27, 2015