In the latest TransiT Hub Podcast, Dr Jamie Blanche introduces some of the TransiT core delivery team and finds out why they’re excited to be involved in the project. We’re sharing some excerpts of those conversations in our new ‘Meet the TransiT team series’.
You can listen to Jamie and Andrew’s full discussion on The TransiT Hub Podcast on SoundCloud.
Q1. What’s your role in TransiT?
Hello! I’m Andrew Smith. I am at Heriot Watt University and I am the TransiT coordinator for the TransiT Hub consultation programme. There’s a large team of people running the TransiT hub’s consultation across the UK and that consultation exercise is very intensive and complex so, my role as Transit Coordinator is to develop and maintain the internal systems of the Hub in order to support the team’s consultation process and allow the consultation to run its course as efficient as possible.
Q2 What are your areas of expertise?
I have been a research coordinator for research projects that have been funded by the European Union and by UKRI since around 2006, a long time as a research coordinator. My early career was, funnily enough, in international logistics, specifically container shipping with what was then called Overseas Containers Limited, which was later called P&O containers. I then moved to New Zealand and worked for a New Zealand Crown Research Institute, and then I headed back to the UK with my family. And before joining Heriot Watt, I was in the Centre for Digital built Britain at Cambridge. So you can say that I’ve a great affinity for the world of both logistics and digital twins.
Q3. What excites you about being involved with the TransiT project?
Well, of course I’m working with a really fantastic team that’s been pulled together from across two Scottish universities and in addition to the academics on the team, there are business managers and communications experts and finance specialists and that creates a coordination challenge that I’m very much up for.
Q4. What are the potential benefits of digital twins for transport decarbonisation?
I will leave that to the experts in the field who have been researching and examining this for much longer than I have! But, of course, I understand that digital twins are another tool that help people understand situations and ecosystems, and support policymakers in deciding how to how to improve the world. So there are dozens of potential benefits there.
Q5. Why is the TransiT project significant?
Nobody else is doing what we’ve been asked to do. It’s extremely environmentally important for the UK environment to help the process of decarbonisation along its path with the minimum amount of bumps and obstacles. So, I think it’s significance really can’t be overstated.