Institute for Transport Studies (ITS)



Sharif S Mohammad

Country: Qatar

Name: Balakumar Arumugham

Company: Duffy Consulting Engineers

Position: Traffic Engineer

ITS Course: MSc Transport Planning and Engineering, 2010

I am currently employed by Duffy Consulting Engineers (DCE) as a traffic engineer. My main responsibilities are to work in traffic impact studies for projects in Doha and Abu Dhabi.  To develop a local transportation team (in Qatar), provide training to new recruits, liaise with clients and local government authority (Ashgal and MMUP) and to prepare tender and fee quotes are few of the other main responsibilities in DCE.  DCE is an Irish based civil engineering consulting firm established in 1992. DCE's operation in Qatar was started in 2011 and has been actively involved in Road Safety Audit and Traffic Impact Study projects since 2012. I worked with PTV Asia Pacific, Brisbane as a Transport Planner before I relocated to Qatar.

While a master's degree from a Western country has a special value to any job in the Middle East region, to have a degree from ITS, University of Leeds has an added value within the transportation sector. In my everyday work, I come across ITS alumni in different roles working with different firms. Being an ITS alumni is definitely a plus on my CV and gives me the special bond (and an advantage) when I meet a fellow alumni. While attending a conference in Brisbane in 2011, where I was a part of the organising committee and among around 40 attendees, I was surprised to know that 5 were alumni of ITS, Leeds. 

Qatar is one of the richest countries in the world and invests heavily in infrastructure projects. Thus I come across different tasks (within transportation) every day. In these situations, my university education helps me much to understand the basics and to progress onwards with the help of professional experience. 

I chose my ITS course and Leeds University because a distant relative and a close friend of mine, who is currently employed by a leading UK based transportation consultancy referred me to ITS. He referred ITS because a number of his colleagues are ITS, Leeds University graduates and they are well respected. Fortunately, I took his advice and later on found it true and helpful.

For prospective international students, I would recommend them to choose ITS, Leeds if they are looking for a quality degree in the field of transportation. Although the current visa restrictions closes down the opportunity to secure a long term career in UK, a degree from ITS is well received in other parts of the world too.