Bursaries and other education grants

The Fund has made bursary awards for 2015 to the following students about to undertake a masters course in a subject related to highways and transportation:

Matthew Thompson – Cardiff University

Amelie Caille – Imperial College

Mark Harrison and Rosemary Ward – University of Leeds

Katie Knight – Salford University

Makito Shirahige – UCL

Nseke Nzuzi – University of Westminster

Jonathan Flower – University of the West of England

The Fund’s current bursaries policy is to make  awards of £10,000 each. Applications are invited in May and June of each year from the relevant university departments providing Transport Masters courses and are then considered by a special panel in early July. Expressions of interest should be directed in the first instance to the course director at the appropriate university.

Other education grants and awards are also made from time to time. In 2015 the Fund has continued its sponsorship of two Arkwright Scholarships.

THREE PREVIOUS BURSARY AWARD WINNERS

Matthew Seiboth

Travelling has always been a large part of my life. My parents’ work overseas meant that I have had opportunities to experience a variety of transportation modes in different countries: the excitement of taking the ferry across to Penang island in Malaysia; stuck in the never-ending traffic jams of Manila whilst packed like sardines in a hot jeepney; and the super efficient high speed rail in Taiwan.  This has left me with an appreciation for the diversity in transportation and how it is adapted to fit different societies, as well as an odd sense of familiarity and belonging whenever I find myself in an airport.

The MSc Transport course at Newcastle held an instant attraction when I first heard of it.  Coming to the end of my undergraduate degree in mathematics I was looking at possible jobs in logistics or modelling of some kind, and this course seemed to combine both of those as well as my interest in travel.   The fact that the course was half teaching based assured me that I would not be too out of my depths, not having come from an engineering background, and I felt that one year was worth the commitment of continued study to launch me into a career I would enjoy.

Although there has been a need to adapt to a new study routine and the faster pace of learning I am enjoying the subject immensely.  It has opened my eyes to how important good transport infrastructure is to the welfare of society and its economic growth.  I am also enjoying the benefits of being a transport student at Newcastle through student membership of groups such as ITS(UK) and CIHT.

I am grateful to the Rees Jeffrey Road Fund for providing me with the resources to study this course and look forward to see the future role I will play in the development of transportation.

David Arbuthnott

My undergraduate degree is in civil engineering, a subject I chose more because it fitted the A-levels that I was taking at the time, than because of a passion for the discipline. However, during my studies, I discovered a love for transport engineering and I took a great enjoyment from the study and design of transport infrastructure. Therefore, as I came to the end of my BEng degree I decided to apply for an MSc in Transportation Planning and Policy.

One of my biggest loves in life is cycling, both on- and off-road. This passion for cycling was mirrored in my choice of undergraduate dissertation, which was titled An Analysis of the Factors Affecting Bicycle Journey Times. The research for the dissertation consisted of surveys of inner-city bicycle journeys by GPS, which were then analysed to study the factors that affect a typical commute by bicycle. The results of this study showed that the types of road and junction cycled on/through are the biggest deciding factors.

I am now well into the course, and enjoying it immensely. The course is delivered mainly in block modules, i.e. a whole module being taught exclusively in one week. This is a very different way of being taught to what I’m used to, and although it is intensive it does give a chance to fully concentrate on the module for that week.

After I obtain this MSc I aim to get employment in a government department, or private firm where there is an opportunity to influence policy. I want to do this as I believe that the current support for cyclists on the road network is not sufficient and road design often seems to include bicycle facilities as an afterthought rather than being an integral part of their design process. I aspire to change this by either influencing government policy or changing design standards, and thus create a safer and more inviting environment for people to cycle in.

Dónal Emerson

Dónal graduated with a 2.1 BSc in Physics and Philosophy from the University of Bristol in 2010. He is now studying a Masters in Transport Planning at the University of the West of England, funded by a Rees Jeffreys Bursary. Dónal is particularly interested in Transport Modelling and the interaction between land use planning and transport.  He has completed work experience projects in the London Borough of Lambeth, working in their Development Control and Sustainable Transport Promotion teams.

For his dissertation he is studying the impact of the built environment on pedestrian behaviour, in the Bedminster area of in Bristol, working with the Bedminster Community Partnership.  The study will take the form of interviews with local residents about where and when they walk, and what preferences they have with regards to walking, then comparing the outcomes with other data on the local built environment.

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