Sunday, May 24, 2015

Why I Love Being A Visiting Professor in Sweden

One might wonder why, once the academic year is over, a faculty member would travel thousands of miles to be a Visiting Professor on another continent?

This is something I have been doing now for 5 years.  Come mid-May I am off to the School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden where I hold a Visiting Professorship in Operations Management.

I have had an affinity for Sweden, going over many years, and it may be because I am of Ukrainian heritage and I would not be surprised if I had some good Viking blood in me. I always feel completely comfortable when I land in Sweden.

My colleagues at the University of Gothenburg are always so warm and welcoming.  I enjoy the research that we have done together, especially with Professor Jonas Floden, on various supply chain, freight, and sustainability themes, and the many conversations that I have had with faculty in the Transportation and Logistics group as well as in Finance and even in Energy Economics. I look forward to  research that we will be doing.

I also very much enjoy my interaction with students here on various transportation and logistics themes, including shipping and urban freight, as well as on financial topics.

I have been here, this time around, only 10 days and already have had so many rich experiences. Below are some photos taken just during this past week.

Nice to have the sign below on my office door and today the school was flying the Swedish flag.

Celebrating last Thursday with Dr. Niklas Arvidsson and his wife, Alla,  Niklas's dissertation prize with delicious Swedish food, of course at Hus Pelle, a restaurant with the same owner for 30 years.
Celebrating Zoi Nikopoulou's recent wedding with colleagues, students,  and staff as is a tradition every Thursday during our afternoon cake and coffee sessions
 Enjoying the beauty of nature and architecture in the city of Gothenburg
Sampling the treats, some only visually

Loving the experiences of riding the trams in this very green city, some of which even fly the Ukrainian flag!
Plus, how can you not love a place which hosts the biggest half marathon in the world, which took place yesterday, with over 64,000 runners from 64 different countries. The logistics behind the organization were tremendous, including the rerouting of several trams plus even having free boats to ferry passengers over the canals and under bridges downtown towards the Central Station - a great experience of intermodal transport!

Working and living in a port city that is so forward in terms of transportation and policies is truly inspiring. I thank the University of Gothenburg and especially the School of Business, Economics and Law for such exceptional opportunities.