- Course: MSc (Eng) Transport Planning and Engineering
- Year of graduation: 1993
- Nationality: Chinese
- Job title: Associate Professor in Transport Engineering - Resilient Transportation
- Company: ITS, University of Leeds
I currently hold two positions: Associate Professor in Transport Engineering at University of Leeds based in School of Civil Engineering and Institute for Transport Studies (ITS), and Honorary Academic in Department of Engineering Science at The University of Auckland in New Zealand.
I graduated from ITS in 1993 with an MSc (Eng) in Transport Planning and Engineering. I first went back to Hong Kong in 1993 after I finished my Masters to gain experience in the industry. I spent eight years in the transport industry in Hong Kong, specialising in transportation systems modelling. I have worked in both private and public sectors in Hong Kong, including consultancy, Mass Transit Railway and Airport Authority Hong Kong. I joined the Airport Authority two years before the opening of the new Hong Kong International Airport in 1998, and have experienced both the planning and operations of the airport during my five years there. I then decided to pursue my PhD, which I had always wanted to do since I graduated from ITS, because I was so fascinated with what I learned and just wanted to learn more and more. Upon graduation from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in 2004, I was appointed as a Lecturer by the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Since then, I have been living in Auckland for the last eight years or so and have gained experience in lecturing, research and also spent some time in the industry as an Associate in consultancy with Booz & Company.
With an operational research background, I have always been interested in transport modelling. My PhD thesis was on 'Strategic Gaming Analysis of Competitive Transportation Services', where I applied game theory to support strategic transport policy analysis. Since I arrived in New Zealand in 2004 to take up a lecturer position at The University of Auckland, I have developed a strong research interest in integrating land use, transport and air quality modelling. In recent years, I have also become interested in sustainability analysis in transport and have started working on research projects to enhance the sustainability and resilience of the transportation system in Auckland.
My journey around the world started in Leeds twenty years ago, where I received the all-round training from ITS. Over the last twenty years, I have put into practice what I have learned from ITS in both private and public sectors, in Hong Kong and in New Zealand. Throughout my career in academia since 2004, I have had the opportunity to share my experience with students at The University of Auckland in New Zealand, as well as students at Ecole des Mines de Nantes in France. Now I am really pleased to be able to share my experience with students at the University of Leeds, where I started this fruitful journey.
I have a first degree in Quantitative Analysis for Business obtained from City University of Hong Kong. After two years working in HSBC, which was the biggest banking corporation in Hong Kong at the time, I decided I would like to see the world and learn something different. I went back to the university where I graduated and worked as a teaching assistant, to prepare myself for future studies. Two years later, I saved up enough money and had to decide where to go and what to study. In those days, internet did not exist. I had to go to the library to find the prospectus of different universities. What attracted me to Leeds was a picture of eight lanes of traffic in Bangkok in the prospectus, where it said, 'People at ITS are helping to tackle and solve the congestion problem in Bangkok'. I just thought that this problem would be challenging and it would require someone with good quantitative skills. I can tell you what I thought was absolutely right. As it turns out, this problem could take a lifetime to tackle and congestion pricing is one of my areas of research interest.
I found that the comprehensive training that I received from the Master's programme in ITS has provided me with the solid foundation for my 20-year career in transport planning and coming to Leeds to do my Masters degree twenty years ago was one of the best decisions that I have ever made in my life. I would highly recommend the Masters programme at ITS to students of any background.