Institute for Transport Studies (ITS)



Anthanasios Matzoros

Country: Greece

Name: Anthanasios Matzoros

Company: Ministry of infrastructure and transport

Position: Head of Planning & Evaluation, Managing Authority for Transport

ITS Course: MSc Transport Planning & Engineering 1982 and PhD 1988

I work as the Head of Planning and Evaluation for the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport that manages the EU structural funds provided to Greece for developing a multimodal, interoperable national transport system. Our service currently manages a budget of approx €2.5billion over a seven year period and deals specifically with developing the rail system of the country (both inter-urban and suburban), selected important airports, the public transport system in Athens and other major cities.

"From my MSc, PhD and the research experience I gained at ITS all were instrumental in my career as a whole and in my present job. My postgraduate degrees gave me the leading edge over other candidates and also opened up opportunities I would not have had otherwise, to bid for senior posts, for example."

ITS has always had the reputation of being one of the best transport studies institutes in the UK and Leeds has been and is, even more so now, a great place to live. I was also motivated by my tutors at the National Technical University of Athens to take up the MSc course in Leeds. It was the right decision and afterwards I joined a vivid organisation where ideas were being generated as well as put into practice in an open forum of research and good company.

I fondly remember my first research experience. My MSc dissertation nested logit choice models  (which were very much in fashion then) and I was lucky enough to be supervised by Huw Williams, a man with a deep knowledge of the subject, cooperative manners and a “killing” sense of humour (I still recall some of his jokes almost 30 years on). After finishing my MSc I took up a post as a post graduate research assistant in ITS with Dirk Van Vliet in applying SATURN in a before and after study of a pedestrianisation scheme in Manchester. This was my first real world experience with transport and traffic management. After the job satisfaction offered by the project I still remember the support offered by the university staff (especially Tony May) in battling with the Home Office to get me a work permit.  Following this research assistant role I started my PhD which turned out to be one of the most productive periods of my life. I was blessed with having Dirk Van Vliet as my supervisor, a top transport modeller and a real tutor for me. Dirk was the kind of tutor who provided support and guidance to his students whilst treating them as equals. He offered his knowledge but never tried to impose. I enjoyed working with him.

"Upon finishing my PhD I took up another research post at Leeds and that concluded by 7 ½ year venture in to ITS – a place to be in the world of transport studies. My advice to students considering taking up an ITS course at Leeds would be go for it! You are on a good track."