Institute for Transport Studies (ITS)


Alan Beswick

Country: UK

Name: Claire Whitfield

Company: Parsons Brinckerhoff

Position: Senior Transport Planner

ITS Course: BA Geography with Transport Planning, 2005

Having worked in the transport consultancy field since graduating from ITS in 2005, I moved to Parsons Brinckerhoff in November 2012 having previously worked for Jacobs (2008 - 2012) and Grontmij (previously Carl Bro) from 2005 - 2008.

Having completed a two year secondment, as Project Manager on Tyne and Wear's Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) project, I have been appointed PB's National Lead for Smarter Choices and Behaviour Change, as part of the business's Specialist Team. My previous work with Jacobs and Grontmij involved a significant amount of development control work, including Transport Assessments and Travel Plans for sites across the UK. I also wrote the Major Scheme Business Case, and various following submissions to DfT, for the A684 Bedale, Aiskew and Leeming Bar Bypass in North Yorkshire; the £50m scheme was granted DfT funding in December 2011.

In December 2014 I was awarded Transport Planning Professional (TPP) status, by the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation and was amongst those profiled as part of New Civil Engineer magazine's 'Future Leaders' feature.

Without the knowledge and experience I gained at ITS I would never have been able to pursue what, to date, has been a very successful and rewarding career. I also made some great friends and, in such a tight knit industry, I'm constantly coming across people I met through ITS.

I chose Leeds University because I loved the city - it was also far enough from home (in Durham) that I wouldn't be tempted to disappear home to my friends every weekend and miss out on the university lifestyle, while still being close enough that I could go back and get my washing done if I got desperate. In terms of my course - I knew that I wanted to do Geography having enjoyed it through GCSE and A-Level, however I was also aware that it was a very diverse course and that at the end there would be a lot of people heading out into the job market with the same degree as me. With that in mind I decided that I wanted to specialise in something and transport sounded really interesting. It's the best decision I ever made and has truly shaped the way my life has developed since then.

My advice to potential students interested in this course is to absolutely go for it - TRY and make it to every lecture (although sometimes bed might seem like a better idea) and make the most of the incredible reputation ITS has in the industry.

Congratulations to Claire who was named CIHT Young Professional of the Year (North East and Cumbria) in October 2015.