The international Intelligent Transport Systems community has paid tribute to one of the pioneers of cross-border co-operation in transport technology as he enters retirement.
Christer Karlsson is stepping down after nearly 40 years in transport during which time he founded ITS Sweden in 1999 and in 2004 initiated and became the Founding Chair of the Network of National ITS Associations which he then played a key part in throughout the rest of his career.
During this time he worked tirelessly for the organisation, simultaneously placing ITS Sweden at the heart of the Network. He has been honoured with a special award to mark his retirement which was given to him by fellow founding Network member Jennie Martin of ITS (UK) and current Network vice-Chairman Mihai Niculescu of ITS Romania.
“Christer really has made such a difference to intelligent transport across the continent and further afield,” said ITS (UK) Jennie Martin, who has also been involved in the Network since its inception and who hosted its founding ceremony in London. “When people leave a role, others often overstate their contribution, but it’s impossible to exaggerate just what a difference Christer has made. Without his ideas and driving energy, we would not have had anything like the amount of close work between ITS industry associations which has led to so many cross-border standards and knowledge sharing.”
Current Network Chair Günther Weber commented, “Christer supported the Network with all his drive, initiative, spirit and good advice. Such a network can only flourish and be successful with people like Christer. We owe him a great ‘thank you’” while current Vice-Chair Mihai Niculescu added, “I had the privilege to cooperate with Christer for several years on Network activities and I appreciated his dedication, knowledge, and excellent advices. Christer has made a great contribution to the Network and the ITS community and I’m happy I had the opportunity to honour him in person at an event that was the core of Christer’s activity – the ITS world Congress”.
Mr Karlsson gained an MSc in Transportation and Mobility Management in 1981 before starting his career in the Swedish Transport Authority in 1983. In the last ten years he has run his own consultancy as well as heading up the family business which includes plant hire and quarries.
(Main picture shows, L-R Mihai, Christer and Jennie, courtesy ITS (UK))