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A well-travelled professor is happy to be in Gothenburg


Kevin Cullinane

Kevin Cullinane has helped rebuild Beirut and improve the logistics for pilgrims visiting Mecca. He has been a transport consultant to the Hong Kong government, researched the effectiveness of the privatisation of Australian ports, and headed a research institute in Scotland. He has now arrived in Gothenburg, as Professor of Logistics and Transport Economics.

While still only a child growing up in London, Kevin Cullinane dreamed about Sweden with its fair and equal society and high standard of living. And so time passed by. His work took him out into the world and Sweden was all but forgotten - until he was invited to be part of the Visiting Professor Programme at the School of Business, Economics and Law.

Appreciates the sense of calm
After five years as a Visiting Professor, Kevin Cullinane along with his wife was so happy here that it was easy to accept the offer of a permanent position. Even if Sweden today perhaps doesn't fully match up to the dream, he considers the advantages to be many.

“Compared to Britain, Sweden is still a country that offers an equal society. The calm nature of the Swedes is something I appreciate and recognise in myself,” says Kevin Cullinane.

Productivity instead of bureaucracy
But what is it like working in Sweden? Kevin Cullinane, who has certainly seen a lot of the academic world, feels that it is different, but in a good way.

“Academic life in Sweden is more relaxed with less meaningless administration. We concentrate on the important, productive aspects and don't do things just because someone has said they should be done.”

For an Englishman who is used to holding senior positions, the Swedish consensus model can of course be frustrating at times. Despite this, however, Kevin Cullinane feels respect for the way of working here.

“It's in line with the fundamental values of equality. You can't have the one without the other.”

Environmental issues increasingly important
There has been a long-standing interest in environmental issues, and today nearly all Kevin Cullinane's research is connected to the environment. One example is a project on the way emission control for shipping in the Baltic will affect the infrastructure of transport by land. He is also studying the opportunities for emissions trading in shipping and is working on issues regarding the relationship between the shipping sector and the environment.

“This is one reason why I'm so glad to be in Sweden. Scandinavian shipping companies are seen to be market leaders in security, the environment and innovative solutions,” says Kevin Cullinane.

About Kevin Cullinane
Professor of Logistics and Transport Economics, Programme Coordinator of the Master’s Programme in Logistics & Transport Management. Honorary Professor at the University of Hong Kong and Visiting Professor at both Dalian Maritime University and Shanghai Maritime University.

This is an article from The School's Magazine 2015 (in Swedish)