The rumors are true. The Transportist will be moving to Sydney, Australia. I have turned in my keys, and as of October 15, I am no longer an employee of the University of Minnesota. Thus I join the ranks of the unemployed, enter the Gig economy, become a freelancer, or as others might say, an author.
I hope I will soon, Australian Immigration officials willing, be issued a visa and be able to join the University of Sydney’s School of Civil Engineering to help set up the program in Transport Engineering there. This is a permanent move.* (If the Immigration officials are unwilling, I will get back to you).
Why Sydney? It’s a combination of push and pull factors.
- No winter. I could not imagine being in Minneapolis in the winter in my 60s and 70s, walking to work. So why should I do it when I enter my 50s?
- The Metric System
- It’s a great University
- The opportunity to build a new program in a growing country still building new infrastructure. In Sydney alone, new projects include: a second airport, a new Metro system, two new Light Rail lines, and a massive underground freeway scheme. I will withhold judgment on the worthiness of these projects, but it does require civil engineering.
- The low, low land prices (ok, not that)
- I predict we will get more out-of-town visitors in our first two years in Sydney than in 17 years in Minneapolis
- Parliamentary Government. As bad and crazy as the politics are in Australia with 6 PMs in 6 years, take a look in the mirror, America.
More generally, it is time for a change, exposure to new ideas and a new environment.
I will still retain some connections to the University of Minnesota, as an adjunct in Civil, Environmental, and Geo- Engineering, particularly while I continue to supervise some graduate students. I will also stay involved with research at the Accessibility Observatory, and with JTLU.
How to get in touch with me? I will always be on the Internet. My preferred work email will likely change once I arrive Down Under.
This of course means our houses for sale. If you want to move to Prospect Park, Minneapolis, or just change houses in the neighborhood, see this link. Moving out of our houses will be the hardest part of leaving Minnesota.
* Well, as permanent as anything in this world. I suppose if President Gary Johnson asks me to serve as his Secretary of Transportation, I will reconsider, but I suspect that is an unlikely outcome.