- Course: MSc Transport Planning and Engineering
- Year of graduation: 2011
- Nationality: Omani
- Job title: Traffic modeler
- Company: Parsons International
- Location of year abroad: Oman
I am currently a Traffic Modeler working with Parsons, in Muscat, Oman. As a modeller, my duties are quite diverse, working with traffic flow numbers, making sense out of numbers. To put it in simple terms, I am involved with road design projects wherein we forecast the future traffic flow demand for the network and design the roads.
ITS was a good experience. Through classes and a solid foundation was built and same was applied/ discussed for the road network around the Leeds which helped in developing concepts and skills. Practical implication of the course was very helpful and it has paid rich dividends at work. Pluto was a great help in understanding the urban development of cities. Saturn and Dracula helped in developing modelling skills. Analysis using R scripting was a great help as this skill is in demand. Actually, the whole course setup was very intuitive. Coursework was quite intuitive and based on actual site data, which made it more interesting and enjoyable. Though writing the coursework was a difficult task for me but eventually, I developed this skill by the end of the term through helpful sites at the portal, University of Leeds. Interactions with the tutors were very helpful, as all the staff members are very approachable and friendly. I got to learn about studies and about life at Leeds so it’s a very special place for me.
I chose my ITS course and the University of Leeds because my professor Mr Sanjeev Sinha advised me to pursue transport planning from ITS, University of Leeds. I also did my research and found that it’s regarded as the best place to study Transport because of its research based teaching so it was an honour to be accepted at ITS, University of Leeds.
During 2011, the economic condition wasn’t great, and few companies came to visit for transport graduates as part of the ITS employers visits. The session was very good as it gave exposure to the various kind of works that have been taken up by prior ITS graduates working in their firms. Potential job adverts were sent to us by ITS support staff in 2010 and they were very helpful. Even recently I received a job advert from ITS support staff for a potential opening in a firm looking for experienced individuals.
FIFA world cup and Musheireb Downtown Doha Tram Integration projects in Qatar are two highlights of my career so far. There are numerous Traffic Impact Studies but to be part of a project related to a world event must be the highlight.
My advice to ITS international students who are seeking work in the transport sector is that transport is ubiquitous and everyone has an opinion about what needs to be done but the underlying cause is known only to the experts. Build your basics and try applying the concept to the network around you. It’s a mix of both hard science (engineering design), soft science (psychology, economics and public discourse) and assumptions. One must learn to be reasonable in producing mitigating solutions.
Choosing a course and career is an individual decision and normally people who excel in their career are those who are passionate about their work. Hence, my advice is simply to follow your passion and choose your path as per your passion, because this will help you go an extra mile for a task and achieve excellence.