Vars is the Chief Research Fellow of the Science Engineering and Management Research Institute (SEMRI) of the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P). He is a lecturer at the UA&P School of Management and School of Sciences and Engineering where he teaches Business Analytics, Management Science, Operations Research and Data Science.
As a Fulbright visiting scholar, Vars will spend 4 months with Prof. Aaron Golub at Portland State University, Oregon, United States. Prof. Golub is a world-renowned scholar in the fields of informal transport and justice-based transport planning. At PSU, Vars aims to develop and refine a method for transport planning in the Philippines based on the principles of equity and justice.
Vars finished a PhD in Urban Management at Kyoto University in 2018 under the supervision of Prof. Jan-Dirk Schmöcker. He was also a visiting scholar at the University of Tokyo, Japan, with Prof. Hironori Kato as his host professor. Vars had a stint at the Philippines’ Department of Transportation, working as part of the Data Science Team under the Management Information Service (MIS) of the department. He is also a Science and Technology Fellow (for transportation and logistics) at the Philippines’ Department of Science and Technology.
Vars specializes in the reform of public transport systems in the Global South, covering topics such as digitalization, electrification, service contracting, governance and State regulation, equity and justice issues, and the financing of informal transport reforms. Over the years, he has expanded his areas of research beyond public transportation, which now include: Logistics and Supply Chain, Maritime transport, Digital transformation, Sustainable Finance, Energy transitions, Technological innovations, Innovation Management, and Sustainable development.
By participating in the Fulbright program, Vars hopes to begin a professional relationship and research collaboration with Prof. Golub on equity-based transport planning. Such collaboration may become a venue for starting new initiatives such as new research, new educational programs on transport planning in the Philippines, and a new practice of transport planning for the public transport modernization program and service contracting in the Philippines.
Moreover, through the Fulbright program, Vars hopes to broaden his intellectual and professional networks and establish long-term collaborations on research topics of mutual interest. He also aims to expand his social circle by meeting other Fulbright fellows and making new international friends.
Besides research and teaching, Vars spends time further learning and refining his Japanese language skill, by watching anime and movies, traveling to Japan, speaking with Japanese friends, studying textbooks and teaching the language at the university.