Alvaro Guzman


Alvaro Guzman



PhD topic:

Exploring Power Relations during Framing and Reframing of BRTs in a Developing City


Professor Greg Marsden
and Dr Karen Lucas

What are you researching for your PhD and what motivates you to study this area?

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems are a popular transport scheme in Latin America which is rapidly being implemented in many cities. However the results are not always what is expected from the systems. I want to explore the power relations between the different stakeholders, in order to understand if the existing relations affect the planning, the resulting plans and the quality of the implemented systems.

Why did you decide to study at ITS?

I did my MSc Sustainability (Transport) at ITS. My experience was great, the quality of the professors, supporting staff and the existing resources in the University are top quality. For the PhD, I did not think it twice as I knew the quality of the Institute and the range of wider opportunities it offers.

Another important fact is the city; Leeds offers something for everybody which is particularly important for a student with a family as is my case.

What did you do before you were a PhD student?

After my MSc I worked in different transport related companies. I started a cargo company which is pioneer in Ecuador in the implementation of sustainability policies and practices.

I did some consultancies for the city council and the ministry of transport in cycling network design. I also worked in a consultancy during the implementation of BRT systems in Ecuador.

How would you describe the experience of being a PhD student?

It is a constant learning experience, which needs the development of new skills. The support from ITS is constant and the University of Leeds offers many training courses which are of fundamental help.

What kind of support do you get?

The supervisors are one of the best researchers on their fields which provide security and quality support for my research. Members of staff are very kind and always open for help and support.

How are you financing your studies?

I have a scholarship from the Ecuadorian Government.

What do you aim to do once you’ve completed your PhD?

I want to work in my country. I would like to continue in the transport consultancy arena but would like to explore the opportunity of teaching.

Do you have any advice for prospective PhD students?

If you have a research interest come to ITS, the institute will help you develop your interest in the best possible way. Come and enjoy your time in Leeds!