VGTU graduate has been entrusted with improving the London transport system

Vytautas Dumbliauskas. @ Monika Mazaliauskaitė

Vytautas Dumbliauskas is a graduate of Vilnius Gediminas Technical University (VGTU). He graduated from the Faculties of Environmental Engineering and Transport Engineering where he also defended his doctoral thesis.

Currently, he works for the company “Transport for London” and is responsible for setting up an efficient London transport system. The speaker is convinced that transport is a promising area. He recommends his Lithuanian colleagues to pursue innovative ideas of sustainable transport and not to expect that the construction of new streets will solve everything. For those who dream of an international career, V. Dumbliauskas’ recommendation is to gain knowledge in such areas as management, psychology, economics. He also suggests raising awareness in the field of tolerance for cultural and ethnic diversity that will be required when working in teams with colleagues from around the world. 

Vytautas, you live and work in London, at the company “Transport for London”. Can you tell us how you got there and what key activities your company is involved in.

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It is a rather regular story: I did an internship in the modelling and visualization team of this organization during my doctoral studies. Domas Žemaitis, another VGTU graduate who worked there at the time, made a strong contribution to making it happen. It was not difficult to join the team after I had graduated from VGTU as the confidence gained during the internship and the skills acquired helped to successfully overcome the selection.

“Transport for London” is a governmental organization responsible for the implementation of London transport policy and the provision of transport services, including the development of transport infrastructure, the set-up of a public transport network (metro, tram, bus, etc.) and passenger transport.   

What tasks do you have to perform? What does your working-day look like?

I am a consultant and my responsibilities cover the modelling and planning of strategic transport network. Our modelling and visualization team is responsible for the development, modelling and assessment of London strategic street network development solutions, as well as for the establishment of modelling methodology, implementation of innovations, etc.

The projects I’m involved in are very diverse. I am currently working on the update of the modelling methodology, search for the solution of future street network and modelling individual street network solutions. As a team, we are guided by a matrix structure, so we have different roles in different projects. We can perform a role of a leading specialist, a consultant for modelling and analysis, or an expert responsible for quality assessment.

It is difficult to describe my regular day. It’s probably a regular, much-common day for many employees that involves a couple of meetings, an organizational planning window, and a few hours of analytical work. On the other hand, there are days when we spend almost seven hours in discussions with colleagues about which solution is better, or we try to calibrate a rather complicated London model. The latter job usually comes as punishment for offenders.

What advice would you give to students who are thinking about a successful career in a transport area?

The field of transport is quite broad, so I would advise to choose a direction that suits the personality of a student. However, if it’s not road design and construction or transport policy making, I’m afraid, that then one may have to look for successful career opportunities abroad. Our transportation industry is quite archaic, with most of the resources still being spent on construction of streets and roads with assumption that this will solve the transportation problems. The truth is that the problems themselves are not well analysed and understood. I would suggest starting from that.

What are your future plans? Do you think of Lithuania, Your Alma Mater?

The future is quite unpredictable. I don’t plan that far. There are many degrees of freedom. I would never turn my back when it comes to talking about VGTU. And when I come to Lithuania, I always visit my colleagues at the Road Department. So, there can be everything on the horizon, including VGTU.

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