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If you cut Stephen in half, it would say "Open University" like a stick of rock all the way through him. In 1977 he was one of the OU’s youngest PhD graduates of the 1970s, with his then, cutting edge and timely thesis "The Transport Assumptions Underlying the Design of Britain's New Towns". From his beginnings as a working-class North London boy, he did not take the usual route to higher education as he failed his 11+ and went to a state modern secondary school. Happily, he describes himself as a late bloomer who surprised his headmaster by being one of the few pupils who went to university- in his case University Co...llege London doing Economics and Geography. Like many of this cohort, his route to the OU was via an advert, in this case for a studentship studying New Towns. As the first OU Social Sciences PhD student, Stephen threw himself into the cauldron of excitement and tumult that was the OU in its adolescence and thrived on it, finally graduating after an exhausting viva, as one of only eight PhD graduates at the 1978 Alexandra Palace ceremony, presented by the OUs first and founding vice-chancellor, Walter Perry. He was involved in many extra-curricular activities; writing for the OU’s in house magazine, Open House, and helping with writing new OU undergraduate courses, which many PhD students in the 1970s found themselves doing. Ally Pally featured again in Stephen’s life as he was filmed there again by the BBC in one of his first academic roles as Urban Studies lecturer. He moved away from the OU for a short time to work on community transport in London, but returned to the OU’s Technology faculty, eventually becoming Professor of Transport Strategy. A prolific author and Emeritus Professor, he has also contributed to several groups about sustainable transport and the environment and has been instrumental in developing the link between the OU and the Milton Keynes Low Carbon Living programme.