PhD Experience

First-year: 2016

By the end of 2015 I was about to get my Transportation Engineering professional title when I started to see myself working in academia in the near future. As I wanted to make some kind of contribution to my home town’s public transport system, I decided to enrol the PhD program in the Department of Transportation Engineering and Logistics, at PUC, Chile, under the supervision of Juan Carlos Muñoz and Sebastián Raveau.

During 2016 I worked defining my dissertation research, which ended up focused on the causes and effects of public transport reliability. In August, I also had the chance to participate in the “Modeling and Simulation of Transportation Networks” MIT short course, as well as to attend the TransitData16 conference in Boston.

Second-year: 2017

By the very beginning of 2017, I submitted my candidacy document to evaluation, which I successfully defended on May 29th, one week after presenting in an international conference for the first time: TransitData17, in Santiago. In June, together with Ricardo Sánchez (MIT), Cristián Navas (MIT) and Ignacio Tiznado-Aitken (PUC) applied the CoAXs platform to Santiago de Chile and presented our results in the MOBILIZE summit. One month later, we conducted a satisfaction survey in the surroundings of four different metro stations, which was part of my dissertation and ended up being the first published article of it.

One month later I started my external research stay in TU Delft, under the supervision of Oded Cats. Besides, the time I was there coincided with the creation of the Smart PT Lab, which I am still a member of. During this year, I also participated in two additional conferences, EWGT in Budapest, Hungary, and hEART in Haifa, Israel and also dictated a Demand Modelling short course in Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, México.

Third-year: 2018

In January I participated in two conferences: TRB, in Washington D.C., U.S.A., and INSTR, in Sydney, Australia. Four months later I ended my external research stay in TU Delft and came back to Chile, to start the second half of my dissertation. I participated in three additional conferences: IATBR, Santa Barbara, U.S.A., CASPT/TransitData in Brisbane, Australia and PANAM in Medellín, Colombia. 

Finally, by the end of this year, I was awarded the Lee Schipper’s Memorial Scholarship, which I received at the World Bank Headquarters, where I had the chance to present my dissertation.

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Fourth-year: 2019

In addition to the presentation at the World Bank, I also presented in TRB the same week. I participated in two additional conferences this year: TransitData, in Paris, France, and in the Chilean Conference of Transport Engineering, in Santiago, Chile. In October, we conducted the second (and last) survey of my dissertation. With this milestone, I was able to start finishing my dissertation document.

Finally, during the beginning of the COVID outbreak in Chile, I successfully defended my PhD on the 23rd of April 2020.