Strategic transport modelling development

Location: Melbourne VIC

Duration: 5 months

Proposed start date: April 2019

Project Background

The Victorian Department of Transport owns and maintains a strategic ‘4-step’ transport model that is used to analyse the Victorian transport network and to evaluate the merits of potential Victorian transport projects and policies. To complement the existing model, the Department is currently developing a separate ‘activity-based’ strategic model that will be used to generate additional insights – it will, for example, provide greater understanding of the impacts of transport policy changes. While both models are at different stages of development, the Department is seeking intern support across the areas of model construction, maintenance, testing and reporting.

Please note: Due to funding requirements, students must have Australian or New Zealand Citizenship or Permanent Residency to apply. Any applicants not meeting this requirement will automatically be deemed ineligible for this project.

Research to be Conducted

Interns will typically focus on one of two models: the Victorian Integrated Transport Model (VITM), or the Melbourne Activity Based Model[1] (MABM).

The VITM is the Department’s established 4-step strategic mode, built and maintained according to established international modelling practice. Tasks for interns working on the VITM will focus on model developments that add or refine model features or the development of diagnostic tools to support policy analysis and project appraisals. The Department is also currently undertaking a recalibration of the VITM. Interns may contribute to recalibration tasks, including estimating trip generation, mode choice and trip distribution models.

MABM is an agent- and activity-based model that was developed by Infrastructure Victoria and KPMG in 2016. Tasks for interns working on the MABM will focus on model development. This includes improving model efficiency (e.g. reducing run times), developing walking and cycling modules, and developing a destination choice module and testing it for significance. Interns working with MABM may also undertake model runs to support policy analysis and project appraisal.

Skills Required

We are looking for a PhD student with the following:


  • Strong quantitative skills, experience with coding regardless of language (e.g. Python, C++, Java, R etc)
  • Strong interest in strategic transport modelling
  • A strong desire to develop new skills in transport modelling


  • The specific skills needed to use and develop MABM are Java object-oriented programming (while experience with Java is desirable, it is not essential), and use of the MATSim framework
  • Experience with the Cube software platform is highly desirable
  • Geographic Information System mapping experience
  • Experience with discrete choice theory and modelling

Expected Outcomes

Interns’ research projects will directly contribute to Victorian government modelling of the future path of the transport network and the impacts of infrastructure investments. Research projects are designed to be completed within the course of a fixed term internship. Interns will be provided with support from experienced transport modelling staff throughout their internships. However technical a research project is, interns are encouraged to present their research to the broader Transport Analysis and Assessment Branch at the end of the internship. The objective is for interns to leave the Department having built skills and networks that will assist with their career development.

Additional Details

The intern will receive $3,000 per month of the internship, usually in the form of stipend payments.

It is expected that the intern will primarily undertake this research project during regular business hours, spending at least 80% of their time on-site with the industry partner.  The intern will be expected to maintain contact with their academic mentor throughout the internship either through face-to-face or phone meetings as appropriate.

The intern and their academic mentor will have the opportunity to negotiate the project’s scope, milestones and timeline during the project planning stage.

Applications Close

 03 April 2019


APR – 0866

  • Justin Mabbutt Business Development - VIC
    (03) 8344 6991 / 0413 050 952