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Transportation Sciences

Master students Transportation Sciences present their internship project during a poster session

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Master students Transportation Sciences present their internship project during a poster session    Jun 21, 2017

Master students Transportation Sciences present their internship project during a poster session
Jun 21, 2017

Sustainable mobility, bike sharing systems, autonomous drones. This is only a small selection of the projects on which the master students Transportation Sciences intensively worked during their internship. They presented their results in a poster session at Hasselt University campus Diepenbeek.

The poster session covered a diversity of topics. Sustainable mobility, bike sharing systems, autonomous drones in smart urban environment. Master student Waqas Tariq did his internship at Yellow Design Foundation and helped to outline an ideal train station design. “An attractive station can motivate citizens to take the train instead of the car. But how does such a design look like?” It is a mix of several pillars: architectural design, signage and lighting. “A gateway has to be illuminated more brightly than the arrival hall. A train station that captures natural light through domes, creates a more agreeable and safer feeling. By using a bronze colour on the ceiling, the train station ‘hides’ dust and gives a cleaner impression.”

A professional and personal learning school

The master students thoroughly discovered the practical work field. “During my internship I learned to handle bigger amounts of data. How do I find my way through the datasets? How do I categorize these data? How do I turn this amount of information into an analysis? How do I explain the findings?”, said Shahbaz Altaf (trainee at DTU Copenhagen). All students agreed that their internship was also a valuable personal learning experience. Master student Erwin Slim (trainee at NMBS/SNCB): “I definitely became a problem-solver. If I don’t succeed at first, I rethink my strategy and try again.”

Beyond Belgian borders

This year, about ten master students crossed Belgian borders to do an internship. Master student Qinaat Hussain travelled to Australia to do an internship at the Transport and Road Safety Research (University New South Wales). “Higher speed increases the impact of a collision and … thus the fatality risk. What is the fatality risk of pedestrians at different speed levels? Scientific attention has been paid to this topic worldwide. However, there is a huge variation regarding the estimated risk factor between all studies.” Qinaat Hussain did a systematic review of all relevant papers and calculated the average pedestrians’ fatality risk in relation to speed impact. “When pedestrians get involved into an accident at 30 km/h, the fatality risk is 3.39%. When they get involved into an accident at 50 km/h, three in four pedestrians will survive the crash. At 70 km/h, only two in five pedestrians will survive.”

Job opportunities

The internship projects offered our master students several job opportunities. Master student Ron Derksen: “From July 2017, I will start working as a ‘Junior Traffic Expert’ at the municipality Lingewaard, where I did my internship.” In the framework of his project, he examined which measures should be taken to stimulate sustainable mobility in Lingewaard. “For example: design a road in favour of vulnerable road users. Increase the number of bike parking facilities. And very important – with regard to the air quality – set as municipality a good example to others.”