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How did you get to where you are now?

I am a Geography graduate from the University of Leeds where I studied BA Geography with Transport Planning. Following graduation, I joined WSP as a Graduate Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) Consultant. I have developed a career within ITS focusing on application of technology to enable operational and safety benefits to transport projects. I have been involved in the development of various Smart Road concepts and currently lead the operational safety delivery of a programme of smart motorways schemes for WSP.

What do you do as part of your role?

My current role centres on the delivery of major projects, typically smart motorway schemes, across the UK where I am the Operational Safety Subject Matter Expert and technical lead for WSP. I hold a position on the ITS Technical Leadership Group and help shape technical excellence across the business as well as developing future ready thinking.

What skills and characteristics do you need for this role, apart from geographical knowledge?

Leadership, communication and technical ability are all areas alongside geographical skills that enable  success within my current role as a consultant.  Alongside this a variety of personal skills such as confidence, ability to inspire and resilience go a long way to making sure I and the wider team remain successful.

How does geography feature in your work/what difference does it make?

Geographical knowledge is applied to my work on a frequent basis, this ranges from the use of GIS to plot and model information, through to understanding complex human and physical impacts of transport projects. 

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The best part of my job is the variety of work and the future thinking of the industry I work in.  Very few industries are moving at such a pace and I am lucky enough to work on anything from major highway schemes through to connected and autonomous vehicle projects.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to go in to this career?

Take every chance you can get! Showing willing and enthusiasm, along with an aspiration to continually learn will set you up for a great career in transport. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, they offer ways to continually improve both professionally and personally.

Why did you choose geography? Why should others choose geography?

My decision to study geography was based upon an enjoyment of the subject, the variety of topics meant there was always something new to learn and the speed of change in the world around us meant this was never likely to change.  A geographical background provides a unique position for any career, enabling us to understand complex issues and how these impact the world around us.

* This interview was undertaken in 2019 and was correct at the time of publication. Please note that the featured individual may no longer be in role, but the profile has been kept for career pathway and informational purposes.


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Manchester, UK