Aaron Chindumba

Why did you choose to study this course at the Institute for Transport Studies?

I initially started studying the course part time (distance learning) with Edinburgh Napier University in Scotland as I was working back home, but I had challenges with Distance learning. So, I decided to request the University for change of status, which they were unable to do. I then decided to look for another university offering the course full-time and with a good status in the UK. During the search, the University of Leeds and the City of Leeds were fascinating to me. So, I chose the University of Leeds and fortunately I was given an offer.

What has been the best aspect of studying your course so far and why?

The best aspect has been the strong focus on the needs of the transport sector and the superb delivery method, particularly the extended Student - Lecturer interface through MINERVA, an online web portal with various learning services.

The modules on the course are also superb, essential for any Transport Sector, whether developed or developing. 


What experiences at Leeds do you think will help you in your future career?

I am currently working for the Government of the Republic of Zambia in the Ministry of Transport and Communications in the Transport Department. The department is responsible for the formulation, revision and implementation of Transport Policy, including the development of the four major transport modes; road, rail, water and aviation. Skills and knowledge acquired here at Leeds will certainly help with monitoring adherence to road and rail maintenance standards as well as helping in the regeneration of our public transport system.


Tell us about some of the exciting projects you have completed.

So far the most exciting project has been the Transport Integrated Project because of its multi-disciplinary nature and social inclusiveness. I also expect to learn a lot from my dissertation project.  The dissertation is on citizen satisfaction measurement with regards to road maintenance. Citizen satisfaction measurement is essential to effective road maintenance. However, it is neglected in most developing nations for many reasons, one being a lack of funds.

Have you been on any fieldtrips? If so, what was your experience of these?

Fieldtrips were undertaken last semester. The most fascinating experience was touring the urban rail system of Leeds, the light rail transit, specifically its operation and integration with road transport systems. In Zambia, we are right now working on a Light Rail Transit system, specifically the tram system, to connect various residential areas to the CBD. So, the experience unveiled very enlightening aspects of the system.

What are your ambitions for the future?

My ambition is to go back to Zambia and continue with the work of improving the transport sector, specifically, in road and railway transport. For the road subsector, my desire is to regenerate the public transport system whereas for the railway subsector, my desire is to facilitate the development of the light rail transit and the high speed train on our core land transport corridors.  


What would you say to students coming to do the same course?

The course is designed with strong focus on industry needs. It addresses the multi-disciplinary nature of transport. It also prepares one to meet challenges and provide technical, social and economic solutions. 

Generally, it enables effective decision making in transport to improve mobility which is key to social economic development.