Institute for Transport Studies (ITS)

Profile

Country: Sweden  

Name: Pelle Envall

Company: TUB Trafikutredningsbyrån AB

Position: CEO

ITS Course: PhD Transport Studies 2007

I am CEO of an urban development and transport consultancy firm in Stockholm, Sweden. It is a small company which means that I project manage contracts as well as dealing with time sheets and business development. The company is highly specialised, so I talk to and collaborate with many skilled people in our field on a day to day basis.

I believe that the skill set that I gained from my PhD work at ITS is fundamental to the work I do. Without it I don't think I would have had the confidence, nor the ability, or patience to set up a successful independent business.

There were a number of factors that contributed towards my choice of Leeds. However, the most important thing for me was probably the solid reputation of ITS and its size, meaning that ITS covers a wide range of the important issues in order to understand urban transport and how to deal with it in an intelligent way. The interest in my research ideas from my supervisor was also very important.

My advice to new students is that the selection of a PhD topic is an important issue. Don’t hesitate to ask practitioners as well as professors for ideas about significant and manageable research questions.

I cannot really remember taking part in the employer visits arranged by ITS. Probably I did, and I do remember that it was and is great that ITS has such close interactions with transport planning employers (I say that now from being an employer). I later went to a small number of company presentations and workshops at the end of my studies. I found it very useful to see what larger market leading companies in other fields were looking for in terms of staff skills and how they presented themselves.

One of my career highlights so far is that I have coordinated a number of rather large research and development contracts within parking policy, urban development and planning for cycling. In terms of the number of staff and external organisations involved, these projects have given me important experience. However, I think the highlight of my career is every time a client comes back to me with a new piece of work, because they are happy with the work I previously did for them.