Helping to Influence Future Transport Thinking

As a Senior Principal for Transport Advisory and Planning in our Sydney office, Elly Short is passionate about developing integrated transport solutions and tackling congestion in our major cities.

Originally from the UK, Elly has a Geography background and a doctorate focusing on road pricing from the University of Southampton.


Beginning her career in the policy and strategy space at Transport for London, she has worked across both the public and private sectors; in consultancy and contracting, and spent five years in business development. She says, “I enjoyed the fast paced and challenging nature of pursuits; particularly the strong team culture and opportunities to work closely with clients. It came time for me to make the move back into transport advisory and I’m relishing the opportunities at WSP to deliver strategic projects that make transport better for everyone.”


“WSP is a global company influencing future transport thinking and helping create amazing places. I’m interested in how mega-trends like autonomous, connected, electric and shared vehicles are influencing the future of mobility in our cities; and the important role of policy makers in this. I was impressed by WSP’s New Mobility Now whitepaper and am excited to be working with thought leaders like Scott Benjamin, and Mary Haverland in this space.


From an early age, Elly has often challenged the status quo. She is an advocate for road pricing reform, and says “Congestion is getting worse as our cities grow. The current system of paying for road use in Australia is not transparent, not fair and doesn’t help solve congestion. It is great to see many countries investigating and implementing road pricing reforms; delivering benefits for individuals and cities. With emerging ‘Mobility as a Service’ (MaaS) models of transport pricing and new mobility taking off, I believe it’s time we made some brave decisions about paying for road use differently.”


Working a four-day week, Elly is managing her work life balance. “It is really important for me to be a role model for my young daughter Jessica, and show her you can progress your career, raise a family and have fun too. The reality of course is the juggle is often a challenge on a personal level. I’ve had to learn new time management strategies, and be disciplined about not taking on too much. I really appreciate WSP’s family friendly approach, and how flexible the firm has been.”


Adding her thoughts to the topic of gender balance, Elly says “For me, gender balance is of course all about opportunities for men as well. My husband also works four days a week, and is loving having dedicated daddy daughter time. It’s great that his company, like WSP, enable people to have the right work life balance for them; no matter what their gender or family circumstances.”


Outside of work, Elly enjoys a wide range of interests; from adventure sports like canyoning and rock climbing; to bushwalking, sewing and baking. She adds, “Getting out of my comfort zone and a little bit scared in my hobbies is usually pretty fun. I think it’s good to sometimes be a bit uncomfortable at work too. Some of my best career (and life) decisions have been when I’ve taken a big risk or done something terrifying - be it taking on a high-profile project for the London 2012 Olympics; or deciding to emigrate to Sydney having never been here before! I ended up receiving a commendation for that project and love living in Australia more than I could have imagined.


“My tip for emerging professionals is to look for and embrace challenges; they are great opportunities to grow and you’ll probably surprise yourself.”


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