Professor Emeritus Geoffrey J.D. Hewings has received the 2020 Founder’s Medal from the Regional Science Association International (RSAI). This quadrennial award honors lifelong contributions to the discipline of regional science and to the association itself. It was first presented in 1978 to RSAI founder Walter Isard – father of former Illinois Geography professor Scott Isard. In 1995, Hewings received the RSAI Service to Regional Science Award and an award was established in his name to recognize emerging regional science scholars. Hewings was named an RSAI Fellow in 2003.
“Professor Hewings’ fifty-year career reflects the true meaning of a scholar and a gentleman,” said Professor Mark Partridge (PhD, 1991, Economics), RSAI President and Swank Chair in Rural-Urban Policy at The Ohio State University. “His research has shaped the way regional economic modelling is done around the world. His teaching has educated dozens of professors, policymakers, and decision-makers that transmits his wisdom and insights for future generations.
“Dr. Hewings continues to serve as a mentor for scores of junior and senior professionals and illustrates the respect that he has earned. The RSAI Founders Medal is the equivalent of regional science’s Nobel Prize and reflects his outstanding contributions.”
Hewings is renowned for his published works and and student mentorship in the field of urban and regional economic analysis. He specializes in input-output models that illustrate the dynamic links between people, income, transit, and goods. Hewings’ models have helped US cities, states, and governments around the world to develop economic policy. Hewings continues his scholarly collaborations with faculty and students in countries including Brazil, Colombia, Japan, Korea, and Indonesia.
Hewings served as Director of the Regional Economics Applications Lab (REAL) at Illinois, which he began in 1989 as a joint venture between the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and the University of Illinois until 2004. He directed the REAL lab until his 2016 retirement and now serves as Emeritus Director in cooperation with Director Sandy Dall’Erba, Professor in Agricultural and Consumer Economics.
In addition to his work at REAL, Hewings is Professor at the Institute of Government and Public Affairs (IGPA) and Emeritus Professor in Geography & GIS, Economics, and Urban & Regional Planning.