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Caspar Neelen, GIS specialist at engineering firm DAGNL

Alumnus Geographical Information Sciences

I am currently working as a GIS specialist at engineering firm DAGNL, a multidisciplinary agency that offers services to support work in public spaces. My goal is to better integrate GIS and geo-information into the company's existing consulting and research services.

The company I work for offers a wide range of research and consultancy services in areas such as explosives detection, archaeology, ecology, spatial planning and sustainability. The service provision focuses on the design of public space, and GIS can make an excellent contribution to this. It always concerns the analysis of data in a spatial context. The challenge here is to find the right applications of GIS for each individual specialism. The UNIGIS master's program has helped me in this. The knowledge that you gain during the UNIGIS programme helps you to look at the processes in the organization from a broader perspective and to see the possibilities that GIS and geo-information have to offer for each area of expertise.

I chose the VU not only because this programme was well regarded, but also because I had the desire to obtain a university degree. A big plus for me definitely was that the programme can be followed from home. Since the programme is completely taught online. This resulted in a high variety in the origin and industry of fellow students. This way, I did not only learn from the programme itself, but also from fellow students and teachers, each with their own area of expertise and background.

During a number of courses, we were challenged to include practical situations from our work in the programme. You will then learn to approach the problem or a subject of your work in a GIS-driven manner. In my case, I was able to investigate an important topic from work in my thesis, which provided immediate added value because we came to new insights. The focus on practice in this programme was very helpful.

I have benefited a lot from Geographical Information Sciences in my career, and I have proceeded to the next level in a field from which I derive energy and satisfaction.

Caspar Neelen

“I chose the VU not only because this programme is well regarded, but also because I had the desire to obtain a university degree.”