Full Profile - Xun Li
International student from China
Area of Interest: Equity in transportation systems
As an undergraduate student I studied civil engineering but decided to focus on transportation engineering because it integrates many subjects and it solves a wide range of problems.
My research topic looks at the equity issues in transportation systems. Because transport affects everyone’s daily life, transportation planners and system operators need to consider the issues of equity carefully when they make decisions.
On one hand, the concept of equity can be very simple: we just try to treat everyone equally and distribute costs and benefits fairly to all. But when we analyse the equity we find there are numerous impacts we need to consider, a lot of ways to measure equity and many ways to achieve equity. I chose this topic because equity issues related to other fields have been extensively studied, but in the field of transportation, more research about equity is required.
I chose UNSW because the university is well-known for engineering, and the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering is large and ranks highly. In addition, the School is home to rCITI, a dedicated transport research centre.
Coming from a civil engineering background, the most difficult aspect of my research is learning about programming. We use a lot of modelling and simulation so programming is important and I haven’t taken any programming courses before. The best things about studying here are the people. Not only the lecturers, but also other students – everyone is willing to help and offer advice. It can save a lot of time.