Panel Discussion by the Presidents of International Transport Association and Societies 

EASTS, WCTRS and CODATU

During the CODATU Conference in Istanbul, 3 February 2015


  • Summary
  • Full Report
    • About the International Transport Association and Societies
    • About the Panelists and the moderator
    • Discussion
    • Outcomes
  • Download slides


Panelists
  • Professor Cheng-Min Feng, President of EASTS, National Chiao Tung University
  • Professor Yoshitsugu HayashiPresident of WCTRS, Nagoya University
  • Professor Ali Huzayyin, First Vice-President of CODATU, Cairo University
  • Professor Kazuaki Miyamoto, Tokyo City University (Moderator)

Summary

CODATU 2015 witnessed the first official meeting between the International Transport Association and Societies of EASTS (East Asian Society for Transportation Studies), WCTRS (World Conference on Transport Research Society) and CODATU (COopération pour le Développement et l’Amélioration du Transport Urbain). The meeting focused on the possible collaboration between the three societies with an emphasis on the capacity building of young researchers and practitioners in developing countries. The meeting started with a brief introduction about the societies by their respective presidents. The introduction covered various aspects that included the purpose of the societies, membership of the societies, different activities initiated by the societies, details of awards and journal publications, and future prospects and challenges in front of the societies. 

In the second round of the meeting, the panelists discussed about the different capacity-building activities that their societies have undertaken for young researchers and practitioners. This included various initiatives like promotion of collaborative research among young researchers (such as the International Research Group (IRG) of EASTS), training programs for young researchers and practitioners (Distance Learning program of WCTRS, capacity-building seminars and training program and courses of CODATU), and incentives for young researchers (International Cooperative Research Activities (ICRA) grant by EASTS and PhD Students’ Grants of WCTRS). 

In the third round of the meeting, the panelists suggested various proposals for future collaborations among the three societies. These encompassed activities like exchanging information through networking among the societies, enhancing the conference participation through inclusion of special sessions, organizing joint workshops and training programs, and including panel sessions by the presidents on emerging topics in the upcoming conferences of the societies. 

Further, it was also suggested to establish a president panel of International Transport Association and Societies (ITAS), and to hold their meetings regularly. The panel discussion concluded with the presidents inviting the transport professionals, across the globe, to the upcoming conferences and other endeavors of the societies.


Full Report

The 16th conference of CODATU (COopération pour le Développement et l’Amélioration du Transport Urbain), CODATU 2015, witnessed the first official meeting between the International Transport Association and Societies of EASTS (East Asian Society for Transportation Studies), WCTRS (World Conference on Transport Research Society) and CODATU. The meeting was the culmination of a consensus among the three bodies especially on the need for cooperation in identifying common issues, and in developing continuous collaborative activities. The first meeting between the three societies held at ITU Macka Campus, Istanbul, Turkey emphasized on the capacity building of young researchers and practitioners in developing countries. The meeting had Prof. Cheng-Min Feng, president of EASTS, Prof. Yoshitsugu Hayashi, president of WCTRS and Prof. Ali Huzayyin, first vice-president CODATU as the panelists, and Prof. Kazuaki Miyamoto as the moderator.

About the International Transport Association and Societies

  • Eastern Asia Society of Transportation Studies (EASTS) is a 20 years old society that was set up mainly with an aim of sharing the experiences in the transportation sector of Eastern Asian countries. It provides incentives for young experts in transportation field, and focuses on enhancing the cooperation between different disciplines, academicians and practitioners. This cooperative society with members from about 18 countries utilizes the ‘human network’ in transportation field for its various activities that include organizing biennial conferences, and providing research grants. It also publishes selected research articles in its journals and conference proceedings. (http://www.easts.info/
  • World Conference on Transport Research Society (WCTRS) is an international academic and non-profit society that was started in Rotterdam in 1977. It aims to act as a forum for bridging the gap between transport researchers and practitioners. It provides a platform for the interchange of ideas among transport researchers, managers, policy makers, and educators from all over the world, from a perspective that is multi-modal, multi-disciplinary, and multi-sectoral. WCTRS has about 900 to 1500 registered members of researchers and practitioners from about 70 countries as of 2014. WCTRS has been organizing tri-annual conferences since its 2nd conference in Rotterdam in 1977, and runs two international academic journals published by Elsevier. (http://www.wctrs.leeds.ac.uk/)
  • COopération pour le Développement et l’Amélioration du Transport Urbain (CODATU, Cooperation for urban mobility in the developing world), founded in 1980, is a non-profit organization that promotes transport research in developing countries by bringing together researchers, academics, professionals, operators, policymakers, users, international organizations and donors. It encourages sustainable urban mobility in developing countries by organizing conferences, by encouraging city-to-city cooperation, and by imparting training to transportation professionals. It also communicates its research findings through books, proceedings, and special issues in journals. (http://www.codatu.org/?lang=en_US)

Panelists & Moderator

  • Prof. Cheng-Min Feng is the president of EASTS, and is a Professor at National Chiao Tung University in Taiwan. He is also a minister without Portfolio, Examination Yuan.
  • Prof. Yoshitsugu Hayashi is the president of WCTRS, and is a Professor at Nagoya University, Japan. He is an expert in the areas of mechanism analysis of economic development, urbanization, motorization and the environment.
  • Prof. Ali Huzayyin is the first vice president of CODATU, and is a Professor at Cairo University, Egypt. He is a member of the STC of WCTRS, and is the head of WCTRS Young Researchers’ Initiative. Prof. Ali Huzayyin was also the Chair of UN-HABITAT Global Research Network on Human Settlements during the period 2012 – 2013. 
  • Prof. Kazuaki Miyamoto (as the moderator), who is a Professor at Tokyo City University, is only one person who is a member of all the three societies: EASTS, WCTRS and CODATU. He is a member of STC and SCC of WCTRS, the Co-Chair of SIG-H5 in WCTRS and CODATU, and has served as the Chair of International Scientific Committee of EASTS.

Discussion

Prof. Miyamoto opened the panel discussion by briefing the objectives of the discussion and by introducing the three panelists: Prof. Feng Prof. Hayashi and Prof. Huzayyin. Following the introduction, the panelists made short presentations that provided a brief overview of their societies. In the presentation, each panelist described about their society’s aim and purpose. They also mentioned about the various activities carried out by their societies, and the future prospects and the challenges in front of them.

Prof. Feng’s introductory presentation unveiled the purposes of EASTS, which included aspects like sharing the experiences in the transport sector of east Asian countries, provision of incentives to young experts in the transport field, and enhancing the cooperation between different disciplines, academicians and practitioners. Prof. Feng also covered the details of various awards and schemes introduced by his society for motivating young researches to undertake inspiring researches. Prof. Feng concluded his presentation by highlighting his society’s willingness to be a partner along with other societies, to provide solutions for emerging transport challenges like resilient transport, affordable transport and seamless transport.

Prof. Hayashi introduced WCTRS as an international academic and non-profit society, that have eminent scholars from different parts of the world, who work on various aspects of transport ranging from engineering to policy making. He highlighted the support of his society for developing countries by serving as a primary forum for international exchanges in transport. Prof. Hayashi winded up his talk by introducing the society’s two official journals and the 25 partner journals, in which the best presented papers in WCTR conferences and seminars are automatically are published.


CODATU, which is a non-profit organization established in 1980, was introduced by its 1st vice president Prof. Huzayyin as a platform for promoting transport research in developing countries by bringing together researchers, academics, professionals, operators, policymakers, users, international organizations and donors. He also mentioned about the four pillars of urban mobility – conferences, city-to-city cooperation, publications, and trainings – on which CODATU is erected, and thus promotes sustainable urban mobility in developing countries. Finally, Prof. Huzayyin concluded his presentation by highlighting the role of his society as a consultant to its members for addressing the transportation issues.


In the second round of the discussion, the panelists discussed about the different capacity-building activities that their societies have undertaken for young researchers and practitioners. One such activity of EASTS includes promotion of international cooperation among young researchers. This initiative is supported by the International Research Group (IRG), which is financially aided by the International Cooperative Research Activities (ICRA). IRG is a 20 years old body that bolsters young researchers of EASTS by promoting international research activities, and by organizing symposia, seminars and workshops. The ‘International Cooperative Research Activities’ financially supports the researches of young researchers that are scrutinized from perspectives like academic/practical novelty, usefulness, feasibility, and prospects. Further, EASTS also extends financial assistants to qualified young researchers in developing countries for participating in its conferences.

The two ways in which WCTRS supports young researchers are by a WCTRS-Young Researchers’ initiative and a WCTRS Distance Learning initiative. As a part of Young Researchers’ initiative (WCTRS-Y), WCTRS organizes a WCTRS Young Conference. Further, it provides grants to Ph.D Students, and also hosts a Young Researchers Online Facility. The Distance Learning initiative of WCTRS (WCTRS-DL) coordinates the leading distance learning programs in transportation, with a special interest to bring together students and experts distributed around the world. This initiative specifically targets the students in developing countries where the existing education fails to disseminate knowledge in modern transportation practices. One of the WCTRS-DL initiative is the ITU(Istanbul Technical University) -WCTRS DL Consortium for an Executive Master Program on Logistics’. This consortium promotes an inter-university network of education and also trains students, mainly from Eastern Eurasia and Eastern Mediterranean basin.

Since 1995, CODATU has been organizing capacity building seminars for decision makers, professionals, city managers, etc. in cooperation with various international agencies. It also conducts training programmes targeting young professionals and students. One such training program conducted in Vietnam introduced the young transportation professionals in developing countries to the concept of urban transportation planning.

Further, in the second round the panelists also addressed certain queries of the floor participants. The queries included questions regarding the funding aspects of the societies, and the need for making politicians and the policy makers aware of the significance of the research findings of the societies.

In the third round of the meeting, the panelists suggested various proposals for the future collaborations among the three societies, and invited the transport professionals, across the globe, to the upcoming conferences and other endeavors of the societies. The proposal for future collaboration encompassed activities like exchanging information through networking among the societies, enhancing the conference participation through inclusion of special sessions, and organizing joint workshops and training programs. Further, the moderator, Prof. Miyamoto, suggested establishing a president panel of International Transport Association and Societies (ITAS), and holding their meetings regularly. The panel discussion concluded with a message from the panelists, and a vote of thanks by the moderator.

Outcomes 


The panel discussion provided a road map for the future course of actions that has to be adopted for fostering collaborations among the three societies. The important outcomes of the discussion are summarized below.

  • Exchange of information among the three societies through networking.
  • Ensuring more participation of academicians and practitioners in the conferences of the three societies by setting up special sessions (For example, Natural Disaster session of WCTRS in EASTS conference).
  • Holding joint workshops and training programs on topics, which are of interest to the three societies.
  • Expansion of International Research Group (IRG) Scheme by recruiting members from non-EASTS societies
  • Provision for more flexible funds that can be used for various purposes like granting a special fund for young researchers.
  • Establishing a president panel for the International Transport Association and Societies (ITAS) of which the meeting will be held in the upcoming conferences of the three societies. 
  • Setting the panel session of the three presidents, focusing on an emerging or common topic in transport sector, as a regular event in the conferences of each society.
  • Procuring funding for the functioning of the societies by influencing the international funding agencies (like UN, ADB, WB etc.). 
  • Educating policy makers and politicians about the importance of the research findings and motivating them to implement it.

PPT for this panel session is available at the link below >>

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Varameth Vichiensan,
Mar 25, 2015, 9:46 PM
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