Institute for Transport Studies (ITS)



Adrian Ortega Calle

Country: Ecuador

Name: Adrian Ortega Calle

Company: Municipality of Cuenca, Ecuador

Position: Public Transport Planner

ITS course: MSc Transport Planning and the Environment (2015)

I currently work at the municipality of Cuenca as a transport planner. Specifically, I focus on public transport planning and all related topics. My main role so far is working on the integration process between buses and trams that will start running in Cuenca at the beginning of 2019, which will become the first tram system to be implemented in Ecuador. At the same time, I am part of a team working on the program “Ciudades Sustentables Intermedias“ (Intermediate Sustainable Cities) with the GIZ. The objective of this program is to implement sustainable mobility projects in Cuenca, primarily to reduce greenhouse gases from transport. 

ITS not only gave me specific knowledge about the transport field, but it also expanded my mind to a broad range of related topics from, that definitely gave me an advantage to find and develop at my current job and be capable to undertake different duties. I feel confident that everything I learned at ITS has allowed me to provide solutions in my job. 

I remember I found ITS for the first time when I was looking for a transport masters course overseas on the web, my priority was a masters taught in English. I discovered ITS had a wide range of programs that really called my attention. Then I looked about ITS and found it was between the most acknowledge transport institutes, as well as University of Leeds been on the top ranking, since that I knew ITS was my best option. 

I enrolled on the MSc Transport Planning and the Environment. I was a little worried at the beginning because my skills wouldn´t be 100% applied in my country yet, but actually, the concern of the impact of transport on air quality and global warming has let me apply my knowledge from the program perfectly in my job. Therefore I highly recommend students to be part of the ITS because a career in transport opens a range of possibilities. My advice is to get involved in different activities with your mates, professors and PhD´s not only at the academic aspect but all kind of topics. I still have the chance to get advice from academics and students from ITS about topics related to transport and emissions. 

I did not take part of the ITS Employer visits only because I was granted a scholarship by the government of Ecuador which obligated me to go back to my country. 

Being part of the ITS has given me a reputation in the transport field that has let me be part of the most important transport project in my hometown and be supported by my decisions, this shows the confidence they have on me thanks to my acquired knowledge. 

As an international student my advice is to enjoy living in a new city and culture, and take the opportunity to make friends from all over the world. Take advantage of the high quality infrastructure that the University has and enjoy participating in other activities at Leeds with your friends and even ITS staff.