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Valini

Valini

Transport Planning and ITS: MSc.

My blogs

I have shared my reasons for choosing Newcastle. 

Choosing Newcastle

The course offered a good mix of topics that I am interested in. These include Intelligent Transport Systems, Transport Modelling, and Road Safety. The group carry out exciting research in many areas which feeds into their teaching. For example, we learn about electric vehicles, air quality, and driver behaviour. We have used their driving simulator.

I really liked the content of the course and student feedback was very positive about Newcastle University and the city.

Choosing transport planning with ITS

I chose this area of study because it focuses on bettering the lives of people. It includes a wide range of disciplines. Before I started my studies, I worked as a Civil Engineer with the Traffic Management Department of The Ministry of Works and Transport in Trinidad and Tobago. This has helped my understanding of how government policy affects decision making. I am aware of the issues people may face when trying to put in place schemes and projects.

About the programme

The programme is very well structured. The lecturers are knowledgeable and willing to help. It is a very positive environment that fosters and encourages learning and personal development. I love modelling programmes where you build a transport model and then see changes and their effects on a real-time basis. I also enjoy the ITS modules. I enjoy using the driving simulator to analyse the impacts of scenarios which may be unsafe to study in the ‘real world’.

I am enjoying the modules and I am learning a lot. They are more than I expected. The mix of theory and practical applications ensures that we can grasp what is being taught. The skills I've gained include improved teamwork skills as we have group assignments for every module. I have also developed improved time management, critical thinking and analysis as well as problem solving.

The group is very active in research which augments their teaching. It allows us to see beyond the theory and understand how we can apply how the taught material.

Postgraduate life

I have met a lot of postgraduate students through the Induction Week activities as well as the functions held for scholars. It has helped me form connections with people from a wide variety of backgrounds. These include PhD students, who have given me invaluable advice on life as an MSc student and beyond.

The atmosphere of the University fosters learning while allowing you to have a good balance between study and personal life. My programme also has a great mix of people from all around the world. I’ve made some great friends.

Fieldwork

The fieldwork has helped me to understand the practical applications of the theory, as well as the issues and limitations that may arise. 

Industry engagement

Every week we have seminars as part of our programme, and external speakers come in to give talks. People from companies have also come in to train us on using various software programs. Our industrial mentors are willing to assist us in academically and otherwise. They have provided excellent insight into how our learning applies to projects. They provide clear explanations of what industry requires of graduates.

The programme is very connected to industry through weekly seminars and external lecturers. It keeps us linked to what is happening in industry, so that we have a good understanding of what we are learning and how to apply it.  

We also have a lot of individual and group coursework which requires us to apply what we have learnt to real-world scenarios.

Facilities

Cassie Building and the Library have good facilities for doing research and work on projects (group and individual). It is easy to find an area and be productive. The areas for group and collaborative study within the libraries are excellent. They are invaluable when we have to compile group reports or work on presentations. There are so many areas to choose from, that we are rarely left without a proper space to use during group work.

Accommodation

I live in Leazes Terrace which is very close to both Uni and the city centre, so everything you need is within a 15-20 minute walking distance.

Living in Newcastle

Newcastle is a very student-friendly city, and it’s very easy to move around and get whatever I need.

Hobbies and interests

I love to dance and I also love cooking, so it’s great that I have a kitchen in my studio room at my accommodation. I also love learning languages and the University has a programme where you can learn foreign languages for free.

Clubs and societies

I'm a member of the Dance Society. Being able to connect with other dancers is a good stress reliever. It’s good to be part of a group of people who come together to have fun doing what they love.

CEGSoc, the Civil Engineering Society, allows me to connect with other people within Civil Engineering.

Support

I received support and feedback on funding opportunities, including Commonwealth Shared Scholarship. Newcastle University’s Student Financial Support Unit told me about the scholarship. They provided information on when and how to apply. I would not be here for this amazing experience if I didn’t get the scholarship.

Tutors within our programme guide us and assist us with any issues that may arise during our time here. It has provided a sense of comfort that we have a specific point of contact for any help or advice. Our lecturers are very knowledgeable and always willing to help. I also appreciate how light-hearted and approachable they are!

Career aspirations

I hope to gain a thorough understanding of transport planning and management and operational techniques for transport systems. I also hope to understand how to improve these systems using ITS and intelligent mobility.

I want to enhance my knowledge of and passion for transport modelling and human factors as they relate to transport systems. I would like to have as much hands-on experience as possible in projects which will enable me to become more skilful across transport planning. Ultimately, I see myself going on to a PhD.

Remembering Newcastle

I will remember Newcastle University as a place that fostered my personal and professional growth. I will remember the excellent mix of theory and practice. I will remember it for the lecturers who are accommodating, very knowledgeable and willing. I will remember it for a great group of classmates who are always ready to help each other.