Chris has a strong analytical focus, with a background in operations research and systems analysis. After returning from an OE in 2017, Chris is enjoying undertaking a wide variety of technical work while building experience in the transportation sector.
What made you decide to become a transportation modeller?
I’ve always been interested in complex problem solving, especially in cases where easy methods for optimisation are not obvious. Transportation definitely fits the bill, with many stakeholders, often with competing interests, combined with complex multi-layered decision making.
What did you do before joining Abley?
I spent two years on my OE, pursuing a long-held dream of spending winter skiing the mountains of Canada.
What does a typical day include?
After biking to the office, my day is a mix of carrying out tasks to assess the transportation effects of developments and providing technical and analytical support to my colleagues.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I enjoy working within the great team environment here. Coming from outside the transportation sector, my colleagues have been incredibly supportive and keen to share their industry knowledge, while also being open to outside perspectives.
What’s the most challenging thing about your job?
While in many respects a network equation is a network equation regardless of whether the flows consist of people, water or cars. There are many specific technical details that require a transportation modeller to apply professional judgement. With the wide range of models we work with, from large regional strategic models down to individual intersections, there is definitely a challenge in developing the engineering knowledge to understand the way each element interacts with everything around it.
What’s been your career highlight so far?
I was recently the modelling lead for the development, build and validation of a Paramics microsimulation of a small regional town. This build was an opportunity to combine the first-principles land use based approach for trip generation with an analytical operations research forecasting method for the busy State Highway. Being able to follow the modelling process through from start to finish as well as lead the presentation to the client was a very rewarding experience.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I really feel at home in the mountains, so my main aim is to get away from the busy city life. In the weekend I can usually be found skiing, hiking, or on my mountain bike somewhere in the Southern Alps.