Institute for Transport Studies (ITS)

News archive

ITS welcome new alumni, December 2016

ITS welcomes a new cohort of graduates to the alumni community and congratulates all of them on their achievements, that were marked not only by the graduation ceremony but by a festive themed social event in our new ITS building. Special congratulations go to Armando Orta Madero who won the Ove Arup Transport Prize (Best Dissertation) and Ka Ho Tsio (pictured) who won the SYSTRA Transport Prize (Best MSc TP/ MSc Sus (T). We wish each and every one of you every success for the future.

Alumnus Ben Still

Alumnus Ben Still presents seminar at ITS, December 2016

Ben Still graduated from ITS in 1997 with a PhD in Transport Studies, and was appointed West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s new Managing Director earlier in 2016

He presented a seminar to ITS students that covered topics such as Combined Authorities, Devolution, City Region transport strategies, Northern Powerhouse & Transport for the North. Read more

Alumnus Yazan Midi

Alumnus Yazan Madi presents at TRA2016, Poland

Yazan Madi is a Senior Specialist - Project Manager at Roads and Transport Authority, Dubai. He graduated from ITS in 2014 with an MSc (Eng) in Transport Planning and Engineering with Distinction.

Yazan had the opportunity to participate and present his research paper “Investigating and calibrating the dynamics of vehicles in traffic micro-simulations models” to the European Commission at the Transport Research Arena Conference 2016 (TRA 2016) which took place in April at the PGE Narodowy stadium in Warsaw, Poland. TRA 2016 themed “Moving Forward – Innovative Solutions for Tomorrow’s Mobility” is the most important event in Europe that addresses scientific research on surface and water transport and brings together the most representative group of people involved in the creation of modern transport. This year’s conference has contributed in driving research towards innovation and market uptake. It has showcased technology developments, new transport paradigms and innovative business models for mobility and logistics that are paving the way towards a better future transport system. 

Yazan’s research paper has been published in the Transportation Research Procedia - Elsevier journals and is now available on ScienceDirect, where over 15 million scientists and researchers around the globe can read it on the following link:

Prof Sigit Priyanto, Dr Imam Muthohar and Dr Chandra Balijepalli

Alumnus Sigit Priyanto from Indonesia visits ITS, September 2016

Prof Sigit Priyanto and Dr Imam Muthohar of University of Gadjah Mada (UGM), Indonesia visited ITS Leeds in September in connection with an ongoing research project funded by the Ministry of Education, Indonesia under the DIKTI Grant scheme. The project aims at improving the resilience of the road network in Yogyakarta by applying the network modelling method developed by Dr Chandra Balijepalli at ITS and seeks to identify the critical road links to recover after an incident such as an earthquake or a volcanic eruption has occurred. Knowledge of critical road links is essential for planning emergency evacuation routes and also for optimally allocating resources to maintain the road system to ensure adequate accessibility levels. Prof Priyanto is an alumnus of ITS Leeds and has active teaching links with ITS. UGM and ITS offer ‘1+1’ masters degree programmes in Transport Studies and Dr Balijepalli has established a new research link with UGM widening the hitherto teaching only link.

Alumnus Andy Turnbull gets on-board, September 2016

Andy graduated this year from ITS with BA in Geography with Transport Planning and gets his career off to a great local start with Transdev Transport Group. For more click here.

Steer Davies Gleave

Alumna Anita Mauchan joins SGD as Director, August 2016

Congratulations to Anita who graduated from ITS with a Masters in Transport Planning & Engineering in 1995. She rejoins Steer Davies Gleave and now as Director in the firm’s Planning team. Read more

Damian Kilburn

Alumnus Damian Kilburn elected to ICE Council, August 2016

Congratulations to Damian who has been elected to ICE Council as the Regional Member for Yorkshire and Humber. He also graduated from ITS in 1995 with a Masters in Transport Planning & Engineering. As one of the 14 newly elected members he will take office from 1 November 2016 and will serve for three years. Read more

Alumna Lea Ružic joins ITS Summer BBQ - July 2016

ITS welcomed back Lea Ruzic who spoke to the current cohort of students and staff about her journey since graduating with a distinction in Msc Transport Planning in 2012. Lea found work at AECOM through attending the employers visit to ITS and has worked as a transport planning consultant since then. For more photos of the BBQ see our Facebook page.

We are always delighted to welcome back our graduates and if you are interested in delivering a presentation to our current cohort, at any time during the academic year, we would love to hear from you, please email us.

Alumnus Jonathan Gomez Vilchez wins WCTRS Young Researchers' Initiative - July 2016

The WCTRS Young Researchers' Initiative awarded Jonathan's paper entitled "Car technologies and their impact on climate - A system dynamics approach" with one Prestige Grant in July, 2016. An excerpt of the Abstract is: "This paper aims at investigating possible impacts of car powertrain technologies on future energy demand and its corresponding greenhouse gases. The study contains a dynamic modeling exercise using econometrics and system dynamics. The resulting simulation model covers nine car technologies in six countries until 2030". ITS congratulate Jonathan on this award and to read more about Jonathan visit and to see more on our ITS alumni event at WCTR click here.

Alumna Michele Dix, Top 50 Women in Engineering Awards - June 2016

Congratulations to ITS Alumna Michele Dix, Director of Crossrail2, who is named in the Top 50 Women in Engineering Awards. Backed by the WES (Women's Engineering Society) and sponsored by a range of industry partners, this initiative aims to boost female uptake of engineering roles and careers by celebrating the notable achievements made by women in the sector.

Dr Gustav Markkula

ITS visit Argentina June 2016

Dr Gustav Markkula recently visited Argentina to attend the ASSC (Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness). A side project of his related to perception and consciousness got picked up by Daniel Dennett, who is a heavyweight in the field (there was a specific session to honour his lifetime achievement). At the conference Gustav presented some follow-up work and met many others to discuss potential collaborations, both related to consciousness in general, but in some case also with emphasis on driving.

During his time in Buenos Aries he also met with Alumnae Carla Galeota, and recent graduate Lucila Capelli. As a result they are now preparing for some possible collaboration opportunities they identified on topics like standardised methods for transport data collection, Argentinian driver behaviour, and country-specific microsimulation models. They also identified a number of potential funding sources.

Pedro Andres
Elena Chiari, Courtney Groundwater and classmate Viviana Farbiarz Castro

In other global Alumni news

2015 graduate Pedro Scarpinelli and Andres Alcala collaborated in Brazil at CAF to develop diagnosis of motorbikes in Rio.



Elena Chiari, Courtney Groundwater and classmate Viviana Farbiarz Castro met up together in Panama for the first time since graduating in 2013.

Alumna May Obiri-Yeboah, Awarded Engineer Honours April 2016

Congratulations to May Obiri-Yaboah and her twin sister who were both honoured as Fellows of the Ghana Institution of Engineers (GhIE) in April.

Read more

PhD student Segun Aluko

Alumnus Prize winner, Oluwasegun Aluko, April 2016

The winner of the student prize at the 18th UK System Dynamics Chapter Annual Conference was recent Alumni Oluwasegun Aluko for his paper “A Model for the Evaluation of Transport Safety Policies in Commercial Motorcycle Operation in Nigeria”. 

There were five full paper entries for the student prize, covering a range of system dynamics applications in business, the environment and the housing market. The papers were assessed on four criteria: dynamic problem formulation, justified use of the system dynamics methodology, model results and implementation, and contribution to knowledge. All entrants gave presentations of their work to the UK System Dynamics Chapter Annual Conference and received feedback from the judging panel with a view to publishing their work.

Three features of Oluwasegun Aluko’s work stood out. Firstly, the range of policy changes that gave insight into how the driver behaviour could be improved. Secondly, the data extraction methods used. Semi-structured interviews with drivers were used in model construction and calibration. Thirdly, the potential transferability of the model to other forms of commercial taxi services across many developing countries where the operational issues are similar.

Although Oluwasegun could not be there to receive the prize, it was received on his behalf by his PhD supervisor, Dr Astrid Güehnemann, who also presented his work to the chapter conference. ITS and The policy council send their congratulations to Oluwasegun, and wish him the best in his future career.

A copy of his presentation is available from    

ITS visit India March 2016

Dr Andrew Smith was hosted by former Masters student Syed Rahman who studied MSc (Eng) Transport Planning & MA Transport Economics, and former PhD student Manoj Singh at Indian Railways for a week in March. During this time he presented to the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog), Government of India on "Rail regulation in Europe: powers, directions and impacts". This topic was particularly relevant as there are current plans underway to create a rail regulatory body in India.

Introducing the MSc Transport Economics, 2016

September 2016 will see the launch of the new MSc Transport Economics programme at the Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds. This course will equip a new generation of economics professionals to develop in the transport sector.

Read more

Michele Dix visits ITS, Feb 2016

Michele Dix CBE, Managing Director of Crossrail2 TfL, was hosted by Prof Peter Mackie at ITS. Michele delivered a seminar on “Planning for the Future—Crossrail 2”. She is one of our most distinguished alumni who has worked in several senior roles for TfL including managing the London Congestion Charging project and Managing Director of Planning from 2007. She is now responsible for developing Crossrail 2 and gaining funding and powers for it. This was a unique opportunity to hear from the inside the process and problems of creating a huge urban public transport scheme. Read more about Michele...

Alumna Claire Whitfield - wins CIHT Young Professional Award 2015

The inaugural CIHT North East & Cumbria Region Annual Dinner and Awards Evening took place in October in Newcastle upon Tyne. Sponsored by Northumbrian Roads, 135 guests enjoyed a four-course dinner and speeches from Steve Rowsell, the senior Vice President of CIHT and guest speaker Mike Clayton. Many congratulations to Claire Whitfield as she was presented with Young Professional of the Year Award 2015 (Sponsored by AECOM).

Read more

In memoriam Robert Stead 1949-2015

We were deeply saddened to hear from alumni colleagues that Robert Stead recently passed away. Robert graduated from ITS with an MSc (Eng) Transport Planning & Engineering in 1979 and in his honour we would like to enjoy some of the photos he shared with us from his time at ITS.

Alumna Hilary Holden, Toronto’s first sustainable transport director, July 2015

Hilary Holden graduated from ITS with an MSc in Transport Planning in 1999. She has just moved from consultancy to the public sector to guide policies and people that will lessen the city’s car dependence. ITS congratulates Hilary as she becomes the city of Toronto’s first Sustainable Transport Director. Read more...

Certificate of Merit for Frank Montgomery, May 2015

Frank Montgomery’s long-standing contribution to the transport sector has been recognized via an award from the Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation (CIHT).   The Certificate of Merit reflects his ‘enormous contribution to CIHT’ at branch and at national level since 1997.  Frank was a lecturer and senior lecturer at ITS from 1985 until retirement in 2013, and led the relationship with the CIHT. He is well known to many generations of ITS staff and alumni, having taught students in Indonesia, Rwanda, Thailand and Dubai as well as in Leeds. Read more.

Dr Chandra Balijepalli
Felix Israel Cabrera

ITS meet in Peru, March 2015

Dr Chandra Balijepalli recently visited Lima as part of the British Council's Mission to Peru to promote partnership in science and innovation. During his visit Dr Balijepalli was hosted by ITS alumnus Mr Felix Israel Cabrera and a faculty member of Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (PUCP) in Lima. Dr Balijepalli delivered a public lecture on 'A game of two cities: a toll setting game with experimental results' which was attended by over 100 students and faculty members drawing audience from not only PUCP but also the other universities around in Lima. The discussion at the end was very interesting and considered the question of how might the Municipalities of Lima and Callao collaborate to deliver better social welfare to the residents and non-residents. 

Alumnus Prof Mark Wardman leaves ITS after 32 years, January 2016

Prof Greg Marsden, Director of ITS, speaks at Prof Mark Wardman’s farewell in January 2016 recognising his academic achievements over the last 32 years at ITS since his MA in Transport Economics, 1983 and further PhD in Transport Economics 1987.

“I wanted to start by saying a few words about Mark as an academic. Probably his own harshest critic, Mark, in my view underrates the massive influence he has made on the field. His research has had, and will continue to have significant impact on academia and practice (he was obviously ahead of his time on impact).

His publication track record shows his ability to apply his skills across a range of areas and also shows just how collaborative he is. I counted (excluding students) publications with at least 25 ITS Staff Members (past and present) – which is a signal of how open he is to collaboration.

He is the fourth most highly cited academic in ITS in the period since 2012 and he has 4886 citations showing on google scholar (and I think one needs to look beyond Scopus given the importance of Mark’s work to practice).

Mark saw ITS through the submission for the Research Assessment Exercise of 2008 as Director of Research before stepping up to the role of Director in 2007. As many of you will be aware, Mark was Director of the Institute during one of its most challenging periods. I believe ITS owes him a huge debt of thanks.

So, in summary, Mark has been such a part of the fabric of the Institute that the only fitting leaving gift I could come up with was a part of the fabric of the Institute itself. A modified brick from the demolition of the ITS lecture theatre. This is not a good bye but it is a heartfelt thanks.”

Alumnus Harry Audus

Recognized for Excellence in Transportation Planning

Alumnus Mario Bozzo interview in LTT

Bozzo happy with IBI’s niche in the UK’s intelligent transport market

IBI Group has built a reputation in the UK as a specialist consultancy in the Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) sector. Andrew Forster spoke to director Mario Bozzo about market opportunities.

Read the pdf in full here.

This profile is reproduced from an interview in LTT issue 666 20 Feb--5 March 2015.

International Women’s Day 2015

To mark International Women’s Day we celebrate some of the prominent women in the transport sector today who are graduates of the Institute. 


Lifetime Achievement Award & CBE

Congratulations to Michele Dix

Congratulations to Dr Michèle Dix (PhD, 1982) who has been presented with a lifetime achievement award recognising her outstanding contribution to transport planning in the capital. The award was presented by Daniel Parker-Klein, Director PTRC Education & Research Services Ltd, at the 12th PRTC conference at the Emirates Stadium. The award is presented to leading figures in the transport world recognising their long term commitment and contribution to the transport planning profession. - Read More

Michèle has also been recognised with a CBE in the Queen's New Year's Honours list for services to transport in London; and in February 2015 moves to the new post of Managing Director of Crossrail 2, to make the case for, and implement, the next new rail scheme for London's growth. CBE in New Years Honours list. - Read More

APEC Science Prize for Innovation, Research, and Education Award Winner

Dr Agachai Sumalee, MSc (Eng) Transport Planning & Engineering, 2000 received the ASPIRE prize from APEC given by Vice Minister of Science and Technology of China. Issued by the APEC Policy Partnership for Science, Technology and Innovation. Science, technology and innovation development officials from APEC economies have named Dr Agachai Sumalee, a Thai professor based in Hong Kong, the winner of the 2014 APEC Science Prize for Innovation, Research, and Education. Dr Sumalee was selected from a pool of scientists under the age of 40 for creating a ground breaking road traffic management system that has slashed commuting times in the greater Bangkok area and was developed in collaboration with researchers from across the APEC region. Cao Jianlin, China's Vice Minister of Science and Technology, presented the award, also known as the ASPIRE Prize, at a ceremony recently in Beijing.

Read More

Jeff Tjiong wins Neil Mansfield award

Many congratulations to Jeff Tjiong, who graduated with an MSc Transport Planning at ITS in 2013, has won the Neil Mansfield award for the best paper by a sole author aged 35 or under at this year’s European Transport Conference. The paper, entitled “Re-estimating UK appraisal values for non-work travel time savings using random coefficient logit model”, is based on the dissertation he wrote at ITS for which he also won the Best Dissertation award that year. Jeff’s trip to ETC was entirely sponsored by his employers CH2M Hill where he is currently a Senior Transport Modeller. 

On June 19th, Chris Nashwas a keynote speaker at the Symposium on Railway Competitiveness, organised by the Korea Transport Institute in Seoul. The folllowing day he spoke on high speed rail to the KTX Economic Forum International Seminar, and then had dinner with four ITS alumni. All received PhDs and Chris supervised three of them.

The picture shows from left to right:

  • Sangmin Lee, Senior Research Fellow. Korea Transport Institute
  • Eui-Young Shon, Professor of Transport Economics, University of Seoul
  • Chris Il-Young Chung, President of the Korea Transportation Safety Authority
  • Gyeng Chul Kim, President of the Korea Transport Institute.

Leksmono Suryo Putranto Inaugurated as Professor in Transport and Traffic Engineering

Leksmono Suryo Putranto (ITS PhD 2000-2004) was inaugurated based on the Decree of Professorship issued by Minister of Education and Culture, Republic of Indonesia in February 2014. His inauguration lecture was entitled "Sustainable and Safe Urban Transportation".

The summary of the inauguration lecture addressed the following issues: To overcome transport problem in Greater Jakarta it is necessary to conduct integrated measures. In brief there are three main actions need to be carried out:

  1. Improving capacity and quality of public transport.
  2. Land use control to maintain the city’s ability to serve the public, but on the other hand should be based on transit oriented development to ensure feasibility of the mass rapid transit system investment.
  3. Transport demand management through several fiscal instruments such as determination of appropriate fuel price, motorized vehicles taxes, parking tariff, road pricing and public transport subsidy.

ITS meet in India

ITF Round Table, December 2013

On December 18/19th, Chris Nash was a speaker at an ITF Round Table on High Speed Trains held in New Delhi. On December 20th, he gave a seminar at the Indian Institute of Rail Transport.

The photo shows him with former ITS visiting scholar Jianhong Wu, now a Professor at Beijing Jiaotong University and former ITS students Dr Manoj Singh, now Transport Advisor at the Indian Planning Commission, Pramod Uniyal, now Academic Advisor to the Indian Institute of Rail Transport and Dr Fumio Kurosaki of JR East. 

Frank Montgomery Retires

After more than three decades of dedicated teaching and research at ITS, Frank Montgomery retired for the final time this year. Over his 34 years at ITS Frank, has developed a worldwide network of colleagues, friends, associates and alumni who remember him fondly. Current ITS colleagues gave him a heartfelt send off with a collection of photographs, video messages and nostalgic memories. Later in the evening Frank was joined by further colleagues and friends at Whitelocks, ‘the oldest ale house in Leeds’ which Frank deemed a fitting venue to host an event for the oldest man in Leeds (his words). Frank leaves behind a great legacy of knowledge and has influenced many hundreds of transport practitioners around the world. He remains a valued member of the Institute as he embraces retirement, continues to cycle the world, as well as holding a visiting title at ITS. We all wish him well and thank him for his enthusiasm, dedication and humour, which have been positive influences on his colleagues and students since 1979.

Frank's retirement video by Neil Douglas

ITS meet in Singapore, Nov 2013

Prof Greg Marsden spent a few days in Singapore recently where he spent time at the Singapore Land Transport Authority Academy and the Authority itself, engaging in a series of dynamic discussions. As part of his trip he also had the opportunity to meet with some of our alumni as pictured left to right; Tan Ban Cheng (MSc. Transport Planning and Engineering 1994), Puteri Parameti (MSc. Transport Planning, 2010), Esther Lo (MSc. Transport Planning & Engineering 2011) and Mong-Kee Sing (MSc. Transport Planning & Engineering 1991)

Prof Marsden had previously taught both Ether and Puteri. Mong-Kee has set up the ITS division in the LTA and is now chair of ITS Singapore. Ban Cheng was instrumental in organising this visit and thanks are made to him. There are lots of opportunities for ITS to do more with the LTA and the Academy so hopefully this is the first of many visits by ITS staff.

CIHT Award Winner 2013

Andrew Moseley receiving the award

Congratulations to Andrew Moseley

Many congratulations to Andrew Moseley, who won Young Transportation Professional of the Year 2013 at the annual awards ceremony of the Charted Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT UK).

This is the second year running that an ITS graduate has won the award, with Leanne Farrow being honored in 2012.

Andrew completed his Masters at ITS in 2006, after studying part-time alongside working at Mouchel. He has since gone on to join Waterman Boreham and became one of the first people in the country to be qualified as a Transport Planning Professional (TPP).  Read more about Andrew’s career path at:

In Memoriam

Stephen Pells RIP

We were deeply saddened to hear from alumni colleagues that Stephen Pells recently passed away, following a battle with pancreatic cancer.   Stephen studied for his PhD at ITS in the mid- 1980s, graduating in 1987, and was one of the first researchers to explore the importance of variability of travel time to travellers. His memory is being honoured by  Marcus-Boothby-Lund, who is running the Southend Half Marathon to raise funds for Little Havens Children's Hospice.   Members of the alumni community are invited to add their donations and memories of Stephen via

ITS meet in Spain

On May 13th, Chris Nash spoke on Congestion and Scarcity Costs at a conference organized by the French rail regulator in Paris. He went on to the University of Gran Canaria to act as external examiner to a student supervised by ITS PhD Prof Gines de Rus; the internal examiner was another ITS PhD Ofelia Betancor. The picture shows Ofelia and Chris hard at work.

Alumni Bursary

If you are a former student of the University of Leeds you may be eligible for a 10% alumni tuition fee bursary. Please take a look at the further details .

International Alumni event London 23/11/2012

A major gathering of ITS alumni took place last month, as former students gathered in London to reflect on the transport successes of the London 2012 Olympic games.

More than 50 alumni joined ITS staff at the Institution of Civil Engineers in Westminster, a venue previously chosen by the Mayor of London to house the London Media Centre for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, to  hear presentations, network and catch up with former classmates.  Professor Greg Marsden began by welcoming the  audience, which spanned the decades - from graduates of the early 1970’s to the class of 2012, and gave an overview of the diverse range of activities which ITS is currently engaged with.         

Dr Kevin Austin, Head of Transport at the London Mayoral Office (ITS class of 1991) delivered the keynote on the London Olympics, highlighting how the country was transformed physically and emotionally by planning and hosting the games.

Chris Rooney, Director & Business Leader Transport Consulting South at Arup, followed with a presentation on Planning & Designing for Legacy and what the transformation of the capital city will leave behind for future generations.   Arup and other organisations represented in the audience played key roles in planning, modelling and delivering transport solutions at the games.  Chris was also representing the strategic partnership between Arup and the University of Leeds.

A lively session of Q&A followed the presentations, with the expert audience particularly keen to discuss the transport legacy of the games in terms of future approaches to planning and travel behaviour.  Discussions continued over drinks and canapés after the presentations. Photos are available here.

In memoriam - Dr Heru Sutomo, 1957-2012

Andrew Moseley

We are very sad to announce the sudden death of Dr Heru Sutomo in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, due to a heart attack.

Heru joined ITS in Sept 1987 as a student on the MSc (Eng) Transport Planning & Engineering, and went on to complete a PhD supervised by Tony May and Frank Montgomery.  The subject of his research was the behaviour of motorcycles in mixed traffic, and the simulation model that he developed was one of the first to break out of the ‘lane based’ straitjacket prevalent at the time. On graduating he returned to Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia, as lecturer in the Department of Civil Engineering, and eventually became Head of Transport and Logistics Studies.

Heru was a good friend of ITS, and everyone who knew him agreed that he was a special person - hardworking, intelligent, open minded, generous and a real gentleman.

He leaves a wife, two sons and a daughter, and will be greatly missed.

CIHT event & awards ceremony invite

Andrew Moseley


CIHT Yorkshire & Humberside are hosting their Annual Dinner Dance in Harrogate on 5th October.  Several ITS alumni are prominent in CIHT including Branch Chair: Andrew Moseley (youngest ever chair of this branch and pictured left, Branch Treasurer: Michael Chung, Branch Web officer: Emma Anforth, Committee members: Geoff Davidson, Frank Montgomery, Young Professionals Committee: Helen James, and Winner of national CIHT Young ‘Transportation Professional’ of the Year Award: Leanne Farrow

For more information on this event and more please see the latest Newsletter from CIHT Yorkshire & Humberside Branch. Membership is free to full-time students.


University Prospectus 2013

Hilary Holden, MSc Transport Planning (1999)

Hilary Holden

Hilary Holden, MSc Transport Planning 1999 was shortlisted from a number of active alumni to be featured in the new University of Leeds Postgraduate Taught Prospectus 2013.   As a graduate of ITS she talks about her time at Leeds and her progressive career since that has led her to become Associate Director at Arup, in Toronto where she heads up a team of transport consultants providing advice to both the public and private sectors. To read the full article click here and to read her ITS alumni profile click here.

If you would like to submit your own profile story, please click here for more details on how you can get involved.

In memoriam - Derek Pearson, 1942-2012

Derek Pearson

It is with great regret that we convey the sad news that Derek Pearson has passed away.

Derek was a popular colleague at ITS over many years and a source of inspiration to many students, with his knowledge of highways and maintenance.

Derek's working life started in 1959 as an Articled Pupil to the local Borough Engineer studying part time before becoming Chartered in 1968.  He specialised in the maintenance and management of highways for over 35 years and worked for large Local Authorities and County Councils.  From 1986 to 1992 Derek worked as Chief Civil Engineer for Sheffield City Council and later set up his own engineering consultancy specialising in pavement design and highway maintenance.

Since 1995, he was a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Leeds, initially in the School of Civil Engineering, and latterly in the Institute for Transport Studies. Derek drew on his industry experience to teach and examine an MSc module on Deterioration and Maintenance of Pavements, and he also supervised several dissertations per year.  He was a very enthusiastic and inspirational engineer but what differentiated him from others was a passion for giving something back to his profession and the desire to pass on his knowledge and experience. This was the motivation for his long relationship with the University, and also for the time he devoted to reviewing and interviewing candidates seeking chartered status via CIHT.  Preparing the Leeds lectures provided the impetus to finish his long promised book which was eventually published earlier this year. It was written in his own uniquely clear and easily understandable style and is a fitting legacy of his life and career.

David Cudworth & Frank Montgomery, July 2012

Gone but not forgotten - a student's tribute to Derek Pearson

I was saddened to hear that a lecturer at the Institute of Transport Studies had suffered a stroke and passed away shortly after the incident. Derek Pearson was a retired Chartered Engineer who taught a module on maintenance of pavements and supervised students on their dissertations on a part-time basis at the University of Leeds.

I was privileged to be taught by Derek Pearson for the maintenance module. The first time I met him I remember how enthusiastic he was about the maintenance of roads. He was a very jolly person and I thoroughly enjoyed the intense week long module taught by him and David Rockliff. In the Quran it states in Chapter 21 verse 35 that: "Every soul has to experience the taste of death. We test you with both hardships and blessings. In the end you will all return to Us (God)." We all know that our acquaintances and loved ones will die one day but it doesn't make it any easier when it happens. I have only had a handful of discussions with Derek but he has left his mark on me. This is the reason why I feel it necessary to write this blog as my little tribute to him. He taught me the importance of maintenance and made a boring subject into an interesting one.

He is one of the reasons why I choose a maintenance related topic for my dissertation. If you search for books on maintenance on the Institute of Civil Engineering website then a book written by Derek Pearson is one of the first books that will be recommended by the world renowned institution. This demonstrates that Derek was a leader in his discipline and highly respected by his peers. I think that if we do something during our lifetime which benefits an individual or groups of people, then we can be satisfied we made a positive contribution to the world. People living in South Yorkshire are in debt to Derek who maintained the roads in the region for 15 years. Even though Derek was retired he thought it necessary to teach the next generation about the importance of maintenance. The hundreds of students that he has taught and inspired over the years is a credit to him.

Derek may be gone from this world but his wisdom remains in his books and his legacy lives on in the hearts and minds of the students who were fortunate enough to be taught by him. May God have mercy on his soul. Rest in Peace Derek Pearson

Zeeshan Arif , 9 July 2012

CIHT Award Winner

Leanne Farrow wins CIHT Young ‘Transportation Professional’ of the Year

Leanne Farrow, MSc Transport Planning (2006-2007) was awarded the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT) Young Professional of the Year for “her invaluable contribution to raising the Institution profile with younger members”.

For more details on the event visit:

Leanne is a Senior Transport Planner with JMP Consultants, having been with the organisation since graduating from the University of Leeds with an MSc in Transport Planning in 2007.  Leanne has experience in a wide range of areas, but has developed a particular interest and expertise in the development of sustainable transport strategies and in the delivery of behaviour change projects.  In 2008, the Yorkshire & Humberside Branch took the decision to set up a Young Professionals Committee (YPC) with the aims of promoting the CIHT, increasing membership and organising technical events and networking opportunities for its younger branch members.  Since 2008, Leanne has played an active role in the YPC through the roles of both Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson, arranging a series of meetings, including breakfast briefings, evening seminars and social activities that have been well attended, and often over-subscribed. By seeking sponsorship, Leanne has often helped the YPC to arrange such activities at no cost to the branch.  She is currently chairing the group.  

Leanne has also developed positive working relationships with other institutions and organisations in the built environment, including the Royal Town Planning Institute and the Transport Planning Society, to facilitate cross-sector networking and provide mutual support in the promotion of events. She has also worked with the University of Leeds to encourage student attendance at events. 

Students can join the CIHT for free and the YPC is always looking for student representation.  
If you are interested, please visit or contact Leanne Farrow at leanne.farrow(at) or on 0113 204 5782.

If you have a success story that you would like to share simply send us an email to info(at) along with a photo to accompany it.

Ghana Transport Group Improving Road Safety

Ghana Transport Group Improving Road Safety

Vehicle in Ghana

University of Leeds alumni association in Ghana have set up a Transport group looking at improving road transport safety in the country. Robert R.K. Quaye, graduated from ITS in 2009, advised us that the Transport group is mostly composed of alumni of ITS. The Transport group delivered a presentation at the last alumni association meeting and members supported the intention to do improve the road safety situation in Ghana. The Transport group is currently preparing a proposal to submit to the government agency (National Road safety Commission) in charge of road transport safety to support the study.

Muhammad Adnan wins Colin Relf Young Voices Award

Muhammad Adnan

Muhammad Adnan graduated with a PhD from ITS in 2010 and has recently been awarded a prize in a competition named the "Colin Relf Young Voices Award 2010" organized by the International Forum of Rural Transport and Development (IFRTD). IFRTD is a global network of individuals and organisations working together towards improved access, mobility and economic opportunity for poor communities in developing countries. The Colin Relf Young Voices Award 2010 competition required a submission of an article about transport improvement in developing countries and its effect on health related issues. This was an open competition for participants from all developing countries.  

Muhammad did his PhD under the supervision of Prof. Dave Watling and Dr. Tony Fowkes and currently works as an Associate Professor in the Department of Urban and Infrastructure Engineering, NED University of Engineering and Technology, Karachi.

If you have a success story that you would like to share simply send us an email to info(at) along with a photo to accompany it.

Dr Rico Merkert wins Michael Beesley Award

Dr Rico Merkert wins Michael Beesley Award

Dr Rico Merkert won the award for the best paper presented at the Thredbo 12 conference (in Durban, RSA) by a person in the first ten years of their career. Rico studied at ITS as a Marie Curie Research Fellow and PhD student in Transport Economics from 2006-2009). He is now a lecturer in Air Transport Economics and Management at Cranfield University.

The Michael Beesley Award:

Professor Michael Beesley was one of the most influential transport economists of his time. He was the co-founder (with Professor David Hensher) of the Thredbo conference series. In 2005 the conference series' International Steering Committee established the Michael Beesley Award to pay tribute to his memory. The award recognises the best workshop paper presented at the conference by a person in the early stages of their career (first ten years). The person must be the primary author of the paper presented. The award is determined by the Michael Beesley Award Committee Chair (appointed by the Conference Chair) in consultation with all Workshop Chairs. The award recipient receives a trophy presented on the closing day of the conference at the conference dinner.

If you have any interesting stories of achievement since graduating we would love to hear from you too. Simply email info(at) with your news and a photo.

ITS visits China's Southwest Jiao Tong University

Dr Frank Lai visited China's Southwest Jiao Tong University (SWJTU) in July 2011, to present a paper at the third International Conference on Transportation Engineering at SWJTU.  As part of the visit, Frank met members of the senior management team at the Faculty of Transportation and Logistics, including the Dean and Pro Deans - to discuss options for teaching and research collaboration.  Frank will be  hosting key members of staff from the SWJTU Faculty of Transportation & Logistics, when they make the return visit to ITS in the coming months.

ITS is keen to discuss opportunities to collaborate with other leading centres, researchers and practitioners. If you would like to meet with ITS staff during one of their regular overseas visits, please email your details to and we will be happy to facilitate.

From left to right: Mr Shichen ZHANG Researcher, China Academy of Railway Sciences, Dr Frank Lai, Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds, Professor Bin SHUAI, Pro Dean, Faculty of Transportation and Logistics, Southwe

From left to right:

Mr Shichen ZHANG, Researcher, China Academy of Railway Sciences. Dr Frank Lai, Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds. Professor Bin SHUAI, Pro Dean, Faculty of Transportation and Logistics, Southwest Jiao Tong University, China.  Ms Yulin MAO, Committee member, Chinese People’s Consultative Conference.

Frank Lai addressing conference

Peter Hendy, Commissioner of Transport for London and University of Leeds graduate, delivered the Annual Alumni Lecture to an audience of over 120 alumni.

Transporting London - the economics and politics of keeping a world city moving

Peter Hendy opened his lecture by outlining the history of the transport network in the capital; 'Transport in London has always been shaped by the parliamentary process.' explained Hendy. 'When transport links were first developed its purpose was to bring things within easy reach of the capital. Whilst mobility improved between London and the rest of the country, travel within the capital remained problematic.' It wasn't until the 20th Century that the capital's entrepreneurs developed the tube and built it in only 16 years.

London is the only city in the world to have its transport entirely under mayoral control, and Transport for London (TFL)'s remit is vast. Covering 'everything that moves in the city' the mayor's transport strategy is ambitious and Hendy argued that it could never have been delivered under central government control. Hendy believes that the implementation of a mayoral system was one of the best things that could have happened for transport in London and that the changes witnessed over the last two decades would not have happened without the political weight of an elected mayor.

Hendy argues that without the mayoral system, revolutionary ideas like the congestion charge, oyster cards and Boris bikes would never have been realised. There are now more people than ever on London's buses and there has been a 15% increase in cycling in the city within the last 12 months. The change in governance has been a huge step change for transport in London, and having a proper strategic authority that is prepared and supported by business has been a major boost for the city.

The lecture was followed by a question and answer session and drinks reception with Peter, whilst guests enjoyed stunning views from the balcony of London's Living room, on the 9th floor of City Hall, home of the Greater London Authority.

Alumni event in London on 8 June 2011 at which Peter Hendy, Commissioner of Transport for London, spoke about 'Transporting London - the economics and politics of keeping a world city moving'.