Dr. Hewings was the founding Director of REAL and served in this position until August 2016. He is now Emeritus Director..
Dr. Hewings obtained his B.A. from the University of Birmingham (UK) and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Washington (Seattle). Prior to coming to Illinois in 1974, he was on the faculty of the University of Kent at Canterbury (UK) and the University of Toronto (Canada). In addition to his position in REAL, he is a Professor of Geography and Regional Science, of Economics, and of Urban and Regional Planning. He has served as a visiting professor at the University of Queensland (Australia), Bar Ilan University (Israel), Nankai University (China), University of Indonesia and Kagawa University (Japan).
He has received Fulbright and Woodrow Wilson awards and, in 1995, the Regional Science Association International (for which he served as Executive Director from 1978-1996) recognized him with an award for Service to Regional Science as well as naming the Geoffrey J.D. Hewings Junior Scholar Award, annually awarded to exceptional scholars less than 10 years from completion of his/her Ph.D. In 1996, he was made a University Scholar by the University of Illinois. In 1998, a paper with Eduardo Haddad was named the Best Paper Award at the II Encontro Regional de Economia, Banco do Nordeste, Fortaleza, Brazil; he received the 2003 John Dickinson Memorial Award (Best Paper Award) for a paper written with Miguel Márquez and Julián Ramajo in the Australasian Journal of Regional Studies. In 2003, he received the Walter Isard Award for distinguished scholarly achievements in the field of Regional Science. He was made a Fellow of the Regional Science Association International (2003),the International Input-Output Association (2010) and the Western Regional Science Association (2010). In 2003, he was awarded Docteur Honoris Causa by the University of Bourgogne, France. In 2016, he received the award of Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of Extremadura, Spain. The Associaçäo Brasileira de Estudos Regionais honored him with an Award for Service to Regional Science in 2004.He has served as President of the North American Regional Science Council, the Regional Science Association International, the Western Regional Science Association and the International Input-Output Association.
His major research interests lie in the field of urban and regional economic analysis with a focus on the design, implementation and application of regional economic models. He has devoted considerable time to the way in which these models might become useful in policy formation and evaluation. In addition to the continuing development of regional econometric-input-output models for a number of US states and metropolitan areas, Hewings is working on several modeling projects in Brazil, Colombia, Japan, Korea and Indonesia. Recent work in the Midwest, Brazil and Korea has focused on linking regional macro models with transportation network models to explore impacts of unexpected events (earthquakes), expansion of transportation infrastructure and the impacts of port efficiency. At the metropolitan scale, attention has been directed to the estimation of intra-metropolitan flows of goods, people, income and consumption expenditures within the Chicago region to measure the changing degree of interdependence. Theoretical work remains directed to issues of economic structure and structural change interpreted through input-output, social accounting and general equilibrium models. The issues of aging, immigration and general demographic challenges to development have been explored in a series of published papers and book chapters.