Dr Joanne White – Acting Roads Development Divisional Director, Highways England

Dr Joanna White is the Acting Roads Development Divisional Director at Highways England leading a division focussed on environmental policy and standards, intelligent transport systems, energy and road design.

Following her PhD in Mathematics where she developed mathematical models for traffic networks, Jo started her career in 1999 at TRL working as a Researcher. One of her first projects was to demonstrate how mobile phone data could be used to produce information about movements on transport networks and undertook. 6 years later she joined the Highways Agency as a Senior ITS Engineer in the Traffic and Travel Systems Group.

She led the M42 Active Traffic Management Monitoring, investigated how smart motorways and ramp metering could operate together and set up the ITS Radar service. Jo was promoted in 2007 to the Team Leader of the Technology Programme Performance team, responsible for overseeing the Agency’s £250m Technology Programme. She took a couple of years out to have children (not concurrently thank goodness) and then changed roles in April 2012 to lead the National Operational Systems team in Traffic Technology Division, looking after all the systems that the Traffic Officers use to manage traffic and incidents.

In 2014 she returned to the standards and research part of the organisation leading the Intelligent Transport Systems group. She led teams who develop and maintain standards for operational technology, improve operational systems and research future vehicle technology. This included delivering successful connected and automated vehicle trials in collaboration with industry partners to inform the connected services roadmap, one of the elements of Highways England’s Digital Roads vision. In February 2020, she became a Chartered Engineer with the Institute of Engineering and Technology. This has been an excellent foundation for her to step up to lead the Roads Development Division.