Charles is Associate Professor in Gerontology at the Centre for Innovative Ageing at Swansea University. He leads the work on Place for The Awen Institute, looking at bringing together creative industries and economies within local communities and neighbourhoods. He has a particular interest in improving public policy and practice around the built environment and transportation taking into account an ageing population requiring sustainable and environmental contexts, including road user safety in later life, giving-up driving and creating age friendly neighbourhoods and communities.
He has worked on 36 projects as Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator totalling over £14m research income. He has authored over 35 journal articles, 18 book chapters and has four books on these topics. He is currently Co-Director of the five-year Welsh Government funded £2.85m Centre for Ageing and Dementia Research (CADR) project to bring together research in ageing with policy and practice across Wales. He is an Executive committee member of the British Society of Gerontology (BSG) and co-leads the Special Interest Group at BSG on mobilities and transport in later life and using this to generate network and interest in this field from within and outside academia.
His research has involved several invited international and national presentations at conferences and invited presentations to the House of Commons and House of Lords. He is keen on public engagement and involvement and has presented at two British Science Festivals (2008 and 2016) and written many articles for the general public. He has appeared on BBC TV documentaries, BBC and Sky TV news, as well as on international radio stations on a variety of mobility and built environment topics. He is a regular contributor to BBC Three Counties radio discussing older people’s issues. He is Editor-in-Chief for Elsevier’s Journal of Transport & Health and on the editorial board for Ageing and Society and Research in Transportation Business & Management journals.