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Welcome to Nordregio Julien Grunfelder

A warm welcome to Julien Grunfelder who started work as GIS expert at Nordregio in November 2013.

Or actually, welcome back! You have been to Nordregio before.

Yes, I studied spatial planning at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm from 2005 to 2007. That is where I heard about Nordregio for the first time, from Karin Bradley. She was a former research fellow at Nordregio, who taught a course on Sustainable Cities. KTH also offered a GIS-course that I really enjoyed. I thought it would be a fruitful experience to apply my new skills in parallel to my studies at KTH. Since I knew GIS was one of Nordregio's core activities, I contacted Alexandre Dubois and Erik Gløersen to check the possibilities for being a student assistant in spring and summer 2006. It came out that I had the chance to assist them on different GIS-related tasks for an ESPON and an Interact project as well as on data collection.

What have you done in between?

Between 2006 and 2013, I studied urban developments in Europe at the Institute of Planning in Lille, and I was awarded a PhD in territorial and urban studies at the University of Copenhagen. My research developed quantitative analyses of the relation between commuting behaviours and urban forms in polycentric urban regions. I enjoyed disseminating my results and therefore took the opportunity to present my results at a number of conferences and gave a lecture to post-graduate students in Copenhagen, Taipei and Seoul. Once I defended my PhD, I worked as a traffic planner and GIS-specialist at the Danish Transport Authority where I contributed to develop decision-support tools for the Ministry of Transport. During my five years in Denmark, I also discovered two new passions: swimming in open-water and biking to work; and I hope to have the opportunity to continue with these two activities in Stockholm.

My desire to work within my fields of expertise, at different scales, and beyond national borders spurred me to apply for GIS-Expert position at Nordregio. Furthermore, being part of an international and dynamic team of experts in different fields was additional motivation me to send in my application. Finally, with an idyllic location in the heart of Stockholm, I would have the possibility to choose my commuting mode to Nordregio (public transport, bike or jogging) which I consider to be a great asset.

What will you bring with you to Nordregio as a GIS-expert?

I will obviously contribute to the development of the GIS activities within Nordregio with both enthusiasm and result-oriented work. I would also very much appreciate to share my interest in the fields of transport and mobility at different scales within the Nordic countries, the Baltic Sea Region and Europe. Last but not least, I will most likely bring some confusion when talking Danish with a French accent before a gentle transition to Swedish (with a French accent, probably).