Research for Trafi

By: Katja Palovaara

Interview with Tayyab Iqbal, an IBL student who conducted a research project for Trafi, Liikenteen turvallisuusvirasto.

1) First of all, can you tell what you are studying and which year?

I am Tayyab and I am a student from Pakistan studying for my final year in International Business and Logistics at Helsinki Metropolia UAS.

2) Tell a little bit about the research and its extent?

The process of the whole research project was fairly conventional. I started under Kaija Haapasalo’s supervision and worked up a plan to initiate, work-through, conclude and finalise the whole project. The project assignment was divided into 2 phases. One of them ended earlier already in mid august and 2nd one ended in December. The 2nd assignment based on “International reporting mechanisms of transport markets” was the most demanding and kept me hooked to my work computer even on the weekends.

Kaija Haapasalo (Head of the International Business and Logistics Degree Programme Senior Lecturer) and I arranged meetings with Pietari Pentinsaari and Laura Riipinen (from Trafi) on periodic intervals to discuss the bottlenecks and the direction of the research if it is heading in proper direction so things won’t go wrong in the last minute.

3) How did you find an opportunity to do this research?

A lot of fellow students and friends in and out of metropolia network kept asking me the same question that how did I get this  research project and my answer has always been the same i.e. By being proactive.

In spring semester of 2017, students from Helsinki Metropolia and Saarbrücken (Germany) did an Innovation Project for City Logistics with Kaija Haapasalo as our supervisor. When that project was over and pretty much most of the students had left for vacations or had stopped reading school emails, I still used to read emails and i was working in vacations to save up for autumn semester. In May of 2017, i received an email from Kaija Haapasalo regarding a paid thesis project for National Transport Agency of Finland and I wasted no time to contact Kaija and over the subsequent weeks after some discussions between Trafi and Metropolia, I was given the project.

4) What was conducting a research for a company as Trafi like?

In the beginning it was a lot of pressure. Firstly because I had never done this type of work before. Secondly my own school’s reputation was at stake and I wanted the work to be more than perfect.

5) What you found in your research?

The research revolved around benchmarking the information about reporting mechanisms and indicators used to follow up different transport modes, follow up procedures, and pricing of MaaS (Mobility as a Service) services. The information which was gathered from New Zealand, State of California in the USA, Sweden, Norway and Belgium was then compared with the current status of reporting and monitoring in Finland.

6) What advise would you give to a student considering doing a similar research?

  • Be proactive and keep looking for opportunities which interest you and not the ones you “have to do” out of peer pressure.
  • Researching topics always require a lot of patience and a lot of thought process goes into answering a research question. Be patient and keep your final goal in mind at all times.
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