Department of Geography employs renowned scholar

Stefan Bouzarovski is a leading researcher on energy and low-carbon transitions. He has accepted a visiting professorship at the University of Bergen.

Haarstad & Bouzarovski
ENERGY FORMS CITIES: Most people live in cities, and that is also where most energy is consumed. What happens when new energy systems come to town? Håvard Haarstad (left) and Stefan Bouzarovski want to find out.
Kim E. Andreassen

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Since 1 November, geography professor Stefan Bouzarovski from Manchester has been engaged as visiting professor at the Department of Geography at the University of Bergen (UiB). The arrangement has been funded through the Akademia agreement, a joint agreement between Statoil and UiB.

Together with his new colleague, researcher Håvard Haarstad, Bouzarovski will do state of the art research on urban energy transitions as part of the research group Spaces of Climate and Energy Laboratory (SpaceLab), which is headed by Haarstad.


Attracted by innovative Bergen research

Bouzarovski was attracted to the position because the Department of Geography and UiB is well known internationally for doing very innovative and high quality research in this field of research.

“SpaceLab, in particular, has established a research agenda in an area that desperately requires scientific and policy attention, but has remained relatively unexplored to date,” says Bouzarovski and continues:

“Energy is underpinning the way we build and construct cities. It is exciting to be able to work with a group that places the geographical and urban aspects of energy and low-carbon transitions at the forefront of its scholarly work.”


Stronger collaborative programmes

Bouzarovski is one of the internationally leading researchers and advisers in the field of energy transitions. He has already developed a top-notch research environment at Centre for Urban Energy and Resilience (CURE) in Manchester, and of which he is the director.

Bouzarovski will be engaged as Professor II for three years at UiB, and hopes to establish stronger links with researchers at the department and SpaceLab. He mentions joint papers, events, funding applications, as well as more unconventional forms of engagements and dissemination, via social media or stakeholder workshops.

“I am keen to develop a distinct programme of collaboration between the University of Bergen and the Centre for Urban Resilience and Energy, that I lead at the University of Manchester. We share very close intellectual interests and I can see many interesting synergies developing here,” says Bouzarovski.

A real capacity

Håvard Haarstad, leader of SpaceLab, is in the final round of the Recruitment Grant scheme of the Bergen Research Foundation (BFS). With SpaceLab, Haarstad has ambitions to apply for grants such as from the European Research Council (ERC) and Horizon 2020. With Bouzarovski on board, he is sure he and the research environment can produce stronger projects.

“Stefan Bouzarovski is very strong theoretically, and brings in a different empirical focus that is complementary to what we do,” says Haarstad.

“The tight collaboration gives us the possibility to take advantage of a real capacity in the energy and climate field of research. To strengthen our research, it is also critical to connect with other research environments, outside our own institution.”

A part of the agreement is an arrangement for SpaceLab researchers to visit Bouzarovski’s CURE centre at the University of Manchester.