Saniul Alam

MSc Transport and Planning (2008)
Current Job: 
Junior Technical Consultant (Transport Modeler), Clean Air and Sustainable Environmental (CASE) Project, Transport Coordination Board, Bangladesh

Why did you choose Cardiff University as a place to study?

As a student from foreign country, I have few considerations in mind while chosen a university. These are: reputation of the university and programme of the study, location of the university in terms of proximity of out-campus living, tuition fees and above all the target course structure. Now I am very happy that my own selection criteria proved effective.

What was the best thing about your time as a student at Cardiff?

Off course the study environment. The whole system was fantastic - excellent teaching with techniques, coherent and informative lecture delivery by approachable teaching staffs, remarkable library facility......

What one thing would you tell someone else about the School of Planning and Geography at Cardiff?

A school of learning, a place of friendship and a building of beauty.

What thing or person inspired you most whilst you were a Cardiff University student?

Well, CPLAN teaching staffs are very friendly and always welcome my queries. It could be difficult to survive in a totally new environment without their support. I am always thankful to them especially Dr. Shin Lee and Dr. Martyn Senior. Dr. Shin Lee is very knowledge person and very helpful for providing guidelines for study and personal development. Dr. Martyn Senior has an analytical mind. He is very experienced and friendly. I am really grateful to him that he agreed to supervise my dissertation on Dhaka city and spent enough time to understand the facts about Dhaka to supervise the dissertation. I think the students will miss his class as he has retired now. It’s a pity that new students will also miss Mr. Chris Yewlett.

How did your degree most help you in the career or job you have now chosen?

After my graduation from Cardiff University, I worked as transport planner in a local government project in Bangladesh. That was my first step in transport field. Before that (between my two academic degrees) I worked as town planner in another project. The graduate progrmme provided a scope to enter into a new arena. The modules offered in the programme Transport and Planning provide a scope to improve skills in transport issues and other subject areas according to individual interest. In my case, my own interest was environmental aspects along with transport. The transport modeling and environmental modules directly facilitated me to involve in this particular job.

Tell us a bit about your current job, how you got into what you are doing and what you enjoy about it most.

I was appointed as a transport modeler recently in the CASE project funded World Bank. I have to go through a government procedure to join this very competitive job. Public Transport modeling will be my primary role; however I will have to deal with other transport issues according to the terms of reference. This project deals with three components. Among these, I was appointed for BRT and Bus network studies. I am enjoying the whole work because I have to work with international firms and local government bodies. It’s time to apply my advanced theoretical knowledge and experience for my country.

What opportunities do you feel have opened up to you as a result of being a student at the Cardiff School of Planning and Geography?

It is difficult to express, because the planning profession is still not a good shape in our country and CPLAN is hardly known to people. However, while searching opportunities for higher studies in universities of UK, Australia and Canada the responses are remarkable.