Jaquelyn Major, MSc Transport Planning and Engineering student at the University of Leeds.

Jaquelyn Major

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

My knowledge of the Institute for Transport Studies at The University of Leeds was gained by following the suggestions of a few Guyanese who’ve studied in the UK. I then did some research on the programs offered at ITS and upon doing so I was immediately intrigued by the school’s track record which included:

  • The ITS Transport program ranks among the top 5 Universities.
  • Institutional guidance is provided by a well-respected and expert team of lecturers who are actively researching or involved in shaping transport policies in the UK and other countries.
  • Graduates are well equipped and aligned with major national and international engineering firms which are geared towards developing effective and sustainable solutions to transport problems globally. 

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

While the course content is predominantly delivered from the UK perspective, no opportunity was missed at presenting innovative transport developments from other countries. I’ve found the course to be a truly international experience; nothing beats learning and sharing transport experiences with classmates from countries across the globe.

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

I consider all experiences, whether personal or professional as educational insights that can be used as a platform for growth and development in all aspects of my life.  

The friendships I have gained during my stay so far have allowed me the opportunity to build an international network of professionals. I intend to use the wealth of knowledge in this new network as a valuable resource of information to make further contributions to the Guyana Association of Professional Engineers.   

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

The Transport Modelling module provided an opportunity for me to apply the principles of the “Four Stage Model” in a Delft Case Study where the use a simple software (OmniTrans) provided planning solutions to traffic growth as a result of development.

Recently, the Transport Integrated Project Module’s group assignment provided an opportunity to work at a real Transport Consultancy Firm by presenting our Vision, Engineering Designs and Economic Appraisal for the Redevelopment of Leeds City Square. I loved that this project not only encouraged teamwork with members from all the disciplines within the ITS Programme but also required us to apply the knowledge and skills gained in other modules such as Shaping Future Transport Systems, Transport Data Collection and Analysis, etc.  

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

Every batch of students enrolled on the masters’ courses are exposed to ITS’s Metropoly Game which provides students with the opportunity to discover the city and other parts of Leeds through the use of various modes of public transport (rail and bus). While the game is fun and encourages teamwork, at the end students are asked to give their opinion (via response to questionnaires) on various aspects of the current transport system which is later correlated to the Transport Planning and Management Module. This was a perfect demonstration of objective data collection and application by ITS. 

Unfortunately, I missed the field trip to Sheffield and the Peak District but will not miss my opportunity to go on the Euro Trip to Netherlands, Germany and Belgium which will be held early June.

What are your ambitions for the future?

Upon completion of my course, I intend to use the knowledge, experience and skills gained as a Transport Planner/ Engineer to make greater contributions towards regional integration and the development of the local engineering fraternity. With the training received from a prestigious institution such as ITS, I genuinely believe that I can act as a fulcrum for regional development through the strategic use of transportation planning, analysis and management to facilitate further physical integration of Guyana and the rest of South America. 

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

The course does not only facilitate academic development but also encourages professional development by advocating student membership with internationally known and accredited transport bodies. Students also interact with leading firms in industry through external seminars hosted by ITS. When you choose a Masters at ITS, be prepared to experience transport from a global perspective.