MEET US

Karolina Smeds

Karolina Smeds has an MSc in Engineering Physics from KTH, Stockholm, Sweden, and an MSc in Audiology from the University of Southampton, Great Britain. She has been working as an engineer at the Manilla School for deaf children in Stockholm and has been lecturing at the Audiology program at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm. At the Audiology program she was responsible for technically oriented courses such as physics, signals and systems, psychoacoustics, hearing-aid technology and hearing-aid fitting.

Karolina Smeds carried out her PhD work at KTH under the supervision of professor Arne Leijon and in 2004 she earned her PhD with the thesis, “Less is more? Loudness aspects of prescriptive methods for nonlinear hearing aids”. Prescriptive methods were evaluated for hearing-impaired people with mild to moderate hearing loss. The main result was that generic prescriptive methods available today generally prescribe higher gain than members of this group of hearing-aid wearers prefer. A summary of the thesis can be found here.

In 2006, when Widex decided to establish the new ORCA Europe research group, Karolina Smeds was asked to be the director. She now holds a position as Principal scientist. Her main research areas of interest are hearing rehabilitation, hearing-aid gain prescription and evaluation, auditory reality, group conversations and social participation.

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Josefina Larsson

Josefina Larsson has a BSc in Audiology (Cert. Audiologist) from Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, a BSc in Phonetics from Stockholm University and a MSc in Audiology from Örebro university.

After graduating in 2003, she started working clinically with hearing rehabilitation at a clinic in Stockholm. She has also been lecturing in audiology diagnostics at the Audiology program at Örebro University and prior to joining the team at ORCA Europe she worked with hearing-aid development as a research audiologist at a hearing-aid company in Copenhagen, Denmark.

In December 2006, she returned to Stockholm and joined the ORCA Europe research group. She now holds a position as Senior research audiologist. Her main research areas of interest are hearing rehabilitation, empowerment and patient-centered care.

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Petra Herrlin

Petra Herrlin has a BSc in Communication disorders from Salem State University (Massachusetts, USA) and a BSc and a MSc in Audiology (Cert. Audiologist) from Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm.

After graduating in 2001, she has been working as a university lecturer at the Audiology program at Karolinska Institutet. At the Audiology program she was mainly responsible for courses such as hearing diagnostics and hearing rehabilitation. Parallel to teaching, she has been working clinically with hearing rehabilitation, with a focus on persons with severe/profound hearing loss at a clinic in Stockholm.

In August 2015, she joined the ORCA Europe research group. She now holds a position as Senior research audiologist. Her main research areas of interests are hearing rehabilitation, real-life hearing-aid evaluation, auditory reality and group conversations.

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Florian Wolters

Florian Wolters has a BEng in Audiology and Hearing Technologies from the University of Applied Sciences in Oldenburg and an Audio Engineering Diploma from the School of Audio Engineering (SAE) in Hamburg. He joined the ORCA team in August 2009 as a student carrying out his bachelor thesis on objective quality evaluation of noise reduction algorithms. From February 2010 on, he is integrated in the research group, and now holds a position as Senior Scientist. His main research areas of interest are real-life hearing-aid evaluation, auditory reality and sound quality evaluation.

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Gitte Engelund
Gitte Engelund has a Master's degree in Audiologopedics, and has 12 years of experience as an audiologist at a Danish hearing-aid manufacturer. She was a founding member of the Center for Design Thinking at its R&D department, serving as the user research manager.

Since 2006, Gitte holds a industrial PhD from Eriksholm, Oticon Research Centre, in collaboration with the University of Copenhagen. Her qualitative research resulted in a 4-stage social-psychological process for recognizing hearing loss, titled 'Time for Hearing; Recognizing process for the individual' using Grounded Theory. Gitte has also been an external lecturer for Master students in Audiologopedics at the University of Southern Denmark, focusing on design thinking, human factor engineering, user-driven innovation, and product development within audiology. As a senior researcher and project manager at Steno Diabetes Center in Copenhagen, Gitte developed health pedagogical tools and dialogue frameworks. Operating as a self-employed consultant, she focused on designing change, empowerment, CX and health pedagogical education.

In 2023, Gitte joined ORCA Europe and holds a position as Team Lead. Her main research interests are health behavior, health educational counseling, social-psychology and qualitative research.  
Frédéric Marmel

Frédéric Marmel has a PhD in Cognitive Sciences from the University of Lyon (France), which he completed in 2008 under the supervision of Dr. Barbara Tillmann, and which investigated the auditory processing of musical structures. Between 2009 and 2018, Frédéric completed a series of postdoctoral research projects in hearing science and audiology, focusing mostly on temporal processing abilities and mechanisms in normal-hearing and hearing-impaired listeners, as well as on cochlear synaptopathy.

Frédéric then joined the European RUMBLE project that aimed to develop regulations and norms for the low-level sonic booms of the future generation of supersonic aircrafts. This was the opportunity for him to take auditory research methods out of the lab and focus on listeners’ experience in realistic auditory environments.

Frédéric joined the ORCA Europe research group in September 2021, and now holds a position as Senior scientist. His main research area of interest is communication beyond speech understanding

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