Institute for Transport Studies (ITS)

Profile

 

Country: Portugal   

Name: Manual Tao

Company: University of Algarve, Faro

Position: Senior Research Assistant/Lecturer

ITS Course: MSc (Eng) Transport Planning & Engineering, 1993 & PhD in Transport Economics, 1999

Currently I am a researcher at the University of Algarve. My focus is transport, regional planning and tourism. I also lecture in Geography and regional planning.

My experience at ITS has helped by career in that as a Geographer, concerned with rail and public transport in general, my post-ITS history is totally different in the exponential capacity I gained to analyse any new situation.

The first time I heard about the ITS course was when I was a student at the Lisbon British Council.  I discovered a book called “Economics of the Public Transport” written by Professor Chris Nash.  I hardly knew that such a book would change my life. I also would like to make special thanks to Prof Mark Wardman and John Preston.

My advice to other students considering a course here is to go to ITS if you can, even if your career is not strictly Transport.

During my time in Leeds I took part in a number of the ITS employer visits and the Masters European trip, with plenty of rail travel.   I visited the York wagon works.  I had a period of training at the former regional railway North West in York and much more.

There have been several highlights of my career so far.  In particular, I like to attend the European Transport Conference.  I also participate in events at Castilla-la-Mancha University at Ciudad Real, Spain.

I received help and advice from ITS when it came to finding and applying for jobs, they were precious- even during my PhD.  ITS was crucial in making contact with Renfe (the former name of the Spanish National Railway Network) and also supporting my stay in Madrid for a month.

As an international student myself my advice to other international students who are seeking work in the transport sector is that like a major railway junction, ITS is a place where plenty of interests converge. It’s a hub of knowledge and contacts.