A.R. Woodside commenced his civil engineering training with Larne Borough Council in 1965 as an Engineering Assistant under the supervision of H.C. Walker, progressing in 1970 to Assistant Engineer. From 1972 – 1973 he was employed by the Joint Engineering Department for Ballymena Borough and Rural District Councils under the leadership of P.H. Flood. On 1st May 1973 he took up a position as Lecturer in Civil Engineering at the N.I. Polytechnic being promoted through Senior Lecturer to 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 October 2012 he retired from his post as Director of the Transport & 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 (From Alaska to Australia, and New Brunswick to New Zealand) Over 15 years numerous short courses had been provided as mid-career training courses establishing strong links with Government and the industry, both at home and abroad.
Professor 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 58 PhDs and 7 MPhil students at The University of Ulster (Ulster record)
His main areas of research interest are in Highway materials, recycling, skid-resistance and Road Safety. He has contributed to a number of text-books and authored more than 200 technical papers presenting them at many leading international and world conferences in U.S.A., Canada, South Africa, Brazil, New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia, Greece, Italy, Spain, Iceland, France, Germany, Portugal, Holland, Sweden, Belgium and throughout the U.K. and Ireland. Alan has lectured to many branches of the major Professional Institutions i.e. I.C.E, C.I.H.T, IAT, IOQ, IEI throughout the British Isles.
He is a past Chairman of The NI Branch of the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation and 8 years 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 N. Ireland and for a number of years has been very active in promoting STEM in schools as an Ambassador for Sentinus and W5. As a Public Director on the Board of The Lagan Navigational Trust he has more recently been able to apply his civil engineering knowledge to this project.
He is an elected member of Council and a Trustee for both the CIHT and IAT and has acted as Vice Chair of Education & Membership Committee of CIHT and a Professional Reviewer for CIHT, IEI , ICE and IHE for many years
In New Year’s Honours 2014 he was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his contribution to Highway Engineering and Higher Education