Institute for Transport Studies (ITS)

Alumni Events

Alumni networking event

Alumni networking event, Tuesday 9 October, Leeds 2018

We would like to invite you to our networking event, which welcomes in our new cohort of masters students to ITS, and welcomes back some of our local alumni. This great opportunity for alumni to catch up with old friends and ITS staff will be held at the ITS building.

Emma Roberts

There will be live music and guest speaker, Emma Roberts (MSc Transport Planning, 2007). Emma has 10 years of experience in the transport industry and her skills include the development and economic assessment of major public transport and highway schemes, assembly of business cases, strategic modelling, the writing of transport policy documents and research into cycling and walking. To register your place click here.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

Kristin Shanidze receiving award

ITS welcomes new cohort of alumni, December 2017

Every year we welcome a new cohort of alumni from the students who graduate each December. This year we have added one more student prize to the list, and because this was only put in place after the submission of the students’ dissertations, they were not aware of it. In his prize giving speech Dr Tony Whiteing explained to the students and their graduation guests, “You may be aware that last month one of our valued colleagues, Dr Frank Lai, sadly passed away. Some of you may have met him, many of you will have not as he had been unwell for some months. Frank, also one of our alumni, worked at ITS for almost twenty years and had a great passion for student education and for that reason we have decided to honour his memory by awarding an additional student prize every year in his name. Because much of Frank’s research was close to real world impact, we chose to name this prize “The Frank Lai award for impact or innovation in a dissertation” and this year I am delighted that the first recipient of that prize is Kristin Shanidze.” Kristin graduated with an MSc Transport Planning and her dissertation was entitled “Artful Journeys’: Enhancing Travellers Experience With The High Aesthetic Quality Environment’. Her prize was presented by Dr Tony Whiteing and Prof Richard Batley.

Congratulations to our other student prize winners for 2017 and we look forward to hearing about all of your career successes in the near future.

In addition to those students pictured below congratulations to Samira Marx Pinheiro, who was unfortunately not present at the graduation celebration, for winning the AECOM Prize for best performance on the MSc Transport Economics programme.


AECOM Prize for Best Performance in MSc Transport Planning and Environment – Luis Ross Perez
Luis Ross Perez
Arup Prize for Best Dissertation – Tom Millard
Tom Millard
Systra prize for the best performing student on MSc Sustainability - Anne Patricia Mariano
Anne Patricia Mariano
AECOM Prize for the best MSc (Eng) Transport Planning and Engineering student - Wee Ping Koh
Wee Ping Koh

ITS alumni event, Leeds, September 2017

Thanks are made to everyone who attended our recent event at ITS, which for some was almost unrecognisable since they last stepped through our doors. We were delighted to welcome 30 alumni whose graduations ranged from 1967 to 2016 and through to our current new cohort of Masters Students. Special thanks to go alumnus Leighton Cardwell for his keynote speech, which was well received by the crowd. It was a pleasure to see classmates and colleagues reuniting, alongside new faces being introduced to each other with networking opportunities arising throughout the evening. We were also really pleased to see so many of our alumni keen to get involved in our latest external seminar series, to deliver presentations on their professional topics to our current Masters. Another way to find out more of our news and events don't forget to join our LinkedIn Group and we look forward to seeing you again soon.

Big Get Together, September, Worldwide

It has been a great month for our global community with ITS alumni hosting BGT events across the world, including;

  • Robert Quaye (MSc Transport Planning and Engineering 2009),Ghana
  • Shafiq-Ur Rahman (PhD Transport Studies 2014),Dhaka
  • Puteri Paramita (MSc Transport Planning 2010),Brisbane
  • Gareth Davies (MSc Eng Transport Planning and Engineering 1995), Auckland
  • Chris Byaruhanga (MSc Eng Transport Planning and Engineering 2012), Uganda

For updates, photos and how you can get involved next year please visit

Secretary of State for Transport the Rt Hon Chris Grayling

ITS Official Building Opening 2 March 2017

Thursday 2 March saw the newly refurbished ITS building officially opened by the Secretary of State for Transport the Rt Hon Chris Grayling. His Special Adviser told the Head of Visits and Planning at DfT that Secretary of State thought it was “a fantastic event and found it really useful and interesting to find out more about the Institute’s work”. 

Over 20 ITS staff exhibited and discussed highlights of their current research projects from across the landscape with over 40 VIP’s including distinguished Parliamentary guests, industry partners, members of the University Executive and some of our prestigious ITS alumni representing the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, Arup, Trans Pennine Express and the Department for Transport.

To read more click here. Click here for the official press release.

ITS Leeds alumni event, 21 September 2016

A huge thank you to everyone who attended the first networking event in Leeds that welcomed our new cohort of students to ITS, and welcome back some of our local alumni. It was a great opportunity for alumni to catch up with old friends and ITS staff, and it was not long before new connections were made. The evening started with live music from the ITS house band, Supertram, followed by a keynote speech from recent alumnus Alex Ryan who graduated last year with an MSc in Transport Planning and Sustainability. Following the employers’ visits to ITS he now works for AECOM in Manchester. Alex provided our new students with an insight into his experiences and fond memories of his time at ITS. One of his main messages was … “try everything, even if you don’t like it you can only benefit from giving it a go”. He encouraged everyone to get involved with as many ITS activities as possible and highlighted that ITS was the perfect place to befriend people from all over the world with a variety of interests and backgrounds. With over 60 new students and more than 20 alumni from Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield, Bradford and Chile this was certainly a fun evening and we look forward to hosting more again in the future.

Leeds University worldwide alumni events, September 2016

In September, The University of Leeds united over 1,000 alumni as part of the Big Get Together as they celebrated their connection to Leeds worldwide. Five of these worldwide events were hosted by ITS alumni in Ghana, Uganda, UK, Bangladesh and Vietnam. For more on this event and how you can get involved with The Big Get Together in 2017 click here.

WCTR alumni and friends of ITS, Shanghai, July 2016

There was a particular room at the WCTR conference that was filled with transport professionals all connected with ITS, one way or another. There were international Alumni, a healthy representation of ITS staff and PhD students, and academic visitors alike, all attending an networking event catching up with old friends and making new connections. It is often the case at such international conferences of this scale that people meet so briefly, so it’s important to sometimes stop and properly talk to people who might share your interests, memories or be looking for an academic collaborator.

Our global alumni community reaches far and wide and it was excellent to see Fumio Kurosaki (Japan) and John Dinwoodie (UK) again as well as meeting Sittha Jaensirisak (Thailand) for the first time, in addition to a recent cohort of graduates from China including one of our keynote speakers of the evening Jialiang Guo, alongside Xinghua Zhang, Dayuan Xu, Guoqing Zhang, Bing Li, Jiajun Zhou, Yifan Wang, Xiaojun Shao and Xue Ding. Furthermore, an old friendship was reunited when Alvaro Guzman (Ecuador) joined his old classmate Jonathan Gomez Vilchez (Germany) for the first time since they both graduated in 2010.

It was a wonderful event with some really encouraging feedback that our alumni community do appreciate our engagement with them as they feel proud to be part of a global network that keeps in contact with them no matter where they are in the world. Having the opportunity to meet up again at occasions like this reminds them that they have not been forgotten. We look forward to more events with more of our alumni as the global network continues to grow. For more details on how you can get involved as an active alumni please email info(at)

For more updates on our ITS activities, including WCTR, follow our blog