Institute for Transport Studies (ITS)

Dr Judith Wang

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Joined ITS:

Associate Professor in Transport Engineering - Resilient Transportation

Hong Kong citizen

Spatial Modelling and Dynamics

January 2013

Judith Wang

What attracted you to ITS and the University of Leeds?

I graduated from ITS in 1993 with a MSc (Eng) in Transport Planning and Engineering.  It is a pleasure to be back in the University of Leeds where I started my career in transport planning twenty years ago.

What did you do before you joined ITS?
And how did you first get interested in transport?

I first went back to Hong Kong in 1993 after I finished my Masters to gain experience in the industry.  I spent eight years in the transport industry in Hong Kong, specialised in transportation systems modelling.  I have worked in both private and public sectors in Hong Kong, including consultancy, Mass Transit Railway and Airport Authority Hong Kong.  I joined the Airport Authority two years before the opening of the new Hong Kong International Airport in 1998, and have experienced both the planning and operations of the airport during my five years there.  I then decided to pursue my PhD, which I had always wanted to do since I graduated from ITS, because I was so fascinated with what I learned and just wanted to learn more and more.  Upon graduation from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in 2004, I was appointed as a Lecturer by the University of Auckland, New Zealand.  Since then, I had been living in Auckland in the last eight years or so and have gained experience in lecturing, research and also spent some time in the industry as an Associate in consultancy with Booz & Company.

What are your first impressions of ITS, the University and the city?

I came back to visit Leeds for the first time after eighteen years for the 2nd International Choice Modelling Conference held in July 2011.  I was impressed by the changes in the city, e.g. the pedestrian zone in the shopping area, a better organised Leeds Market, etc.  I also noticed the new modern buildings at the University, but ITS, where my fond memories as a student remain, has retained its special characteristics.

Which modules will you be teaching on and can you give us a flavour of the topical issues these cover?

I will be teaching part of the Year-2 transport engineering and planning module in the School of Civil Engineering, which covers the introduction to transport policy and planning, transport modelling and traffic engineering.  I am planning to introduce concepts in transport economics and sustainability as well so that students will get to know all the fundamental concepts required for planning a sustainable and resilient transportation system.

What are your main research interests and can you tell us about the projects you are currently working on?

With an operational research background, I have always been interested in transport modelling.  My PhD thesis was on 'Strategic Gaming Analysis of Competitive Transportation Services', where I applied game theory to support strategic transport policy analysis.  Since I arrived in New Zealand in 2004 to take up a lecturer position at the University of Auckland, I have developed a strong research interest in integrating land use, transport and air quality modelling.  In recent years, I have also become interested in sustainability analysis in transport and have started working on a few research projects to enhance the sustainability and resilience of the transportation system in Auckland.

What do you like to do in your spare time, when you’re not busy teaching and researching?

I love travelling to see the world, experience different cultures and taste different food, and whenever possible, try out different kinds of transportation systems.

Which single piece of advice would you like to pass on to students?

I found that the comprehensive training that I received from the Masters programme in ITS has provided me the solid foundation for my 20-year career in transport planning and coming to Leeds to do my Masters degree twenty years ago was one of the best decisions that I have ever made in my life.  I would highly recommend the Masters programme at ITS to students of any background.

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