Institute for Transport Studies (ITS)

Liberia Country Profile

Benedictus Dotu Nyan

National transit Authority, Liberia

Technical Focal Point for Policy, Research and Planning

MSc Sustainability (Transport) 2013

My current job is Technical Focal Point for Policy, Research and Planning. I am responsible for providing strategic guidance in areas of route planning; transport assessments; transport investment appraisals; and cost analysis. I also manage and maintain transport infrastructure projects in all project cycle stages. However, my cardinal responsibility is to serve as chief internal consultant advising the senior management team on transit policies and other sustainable options.

My experience at ITS is really helping me in my job and career. It has made me an indispensable asset and the work that I currently do is gradually transforming my workplace. When I first arrived from ITS, I sought to use my experience of applying a more scientific approach to issues like route planning, transport assessments, cost analysis, etc. Previously, these were missing from our programs.

I originally chose my ITS course and the University of Leeds because, there was no one trained in transport at my workplace so my boss decided that I should go for some training in transport in order to improve the work at the entity. When I searched for a school of transport, ITS presented itself as the best option being the winner of the The Queen's Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education. Also, the admission process was quite a fascinating experience for me and this made me to stick with ITS and the University of Leeds.

My advice to students interested in this course and a career in transport is that I would encourage them to go for this. It was an interesting and rewarding experience for me and I am sure they are going to get a similar experience. For the survival of society, the economy and the environment, we must consider sustainable options. So go for Sustainability (Transport) and you won’t regret it.

During my time at Leeds, I took part in a lot of the ITS Employer Visits and I encourage current students to do the same. As an ITS School representative, I can also remember organizing a workshop on employability. ITS creates the platform to provide opportunities to students and that is something I am particularly proud of and grateful for.

Thinking about the highlight of my career so far, I will narrow this down to since I returned from ITS. I drafted a fleet management policy for the National Transit Authority; I conducted a sensitivity analysis on the effects of transit fare increment in Liberia; I coordinated traffic count and modal split survey to understand congestion and trip generation rates and their impact, etc. However, most importantly, I was able to convert my master’s dissertation into a conference paper which was presented at the conference on transport and Climate Change in Valletta, Malta. Although my paper was not published, I am still happy that my work was discussed at that level. I hope to have it published soon.

I received help or advice from the school or university when it came to finding and applying for jobs and as a matter of fact, I still receive job advertisements from the student services office at ITS. I think this is extremely good and should be encouraged to continue.

As an international student, my advice to other ITS international students who are seeking work in the transport sector is that I think they should first consider options in their respective countries before looking outward. I think it is really an honor to pass on the knowledge from ITS to your home country to improve the system.