Search Close

Alumnus of the Year: From Halmstad student to tech leader in the USA

Christian Gyrling, who is being awarded Alumnus of the Year by Halmstad University today, is a former computer engineering student who has had an impressive career in the gaming industry. His education at Halmstad University laid a solid foundation, helping him reach top positions as a programmer, game developer, and Vice President at international companies, including Meta. He has contributed to developing games like Uncharted and The Last of Us. The Last of Us has also been adapted into a critically acclaimed HBO series.

“If you don’t try, you will never succeed. Be yourself. Be passionate.”

Christian Gyrling, Alumnus of the Year 2024

“The education I received at Halmstad University has been incredibly useful for my career”, says Christian Gyrling, who was both pleased and surprised when the University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor Malin Hallén informed him that he was the Alumnus of the Year:

“Wow, what a surprise and such an honour! Thank you so much for this recognition and tribute. It means a lot to me.”

A person stands in a dark room, only the face is showing. The person has glasses. Photo.

Christian Gyrling is the Alumnus of the Year 2024.

Climbing to the top

Christian Gyrling started his career in the USA as a tester of slot machines at a casino in Chicago. At that time, his Swedish education was not recognised in the same way as today, which meant he had to work his way up. This soon resulted in a programmer position at the same casino. Following this, he experienced several successes in game development, including roles at Semi Studios (now High Moon Studios) and later Naughty Dog, where he worked for over 17 years. He began as an animation programmer but quickly advanced to Programming Director and Vice President.

“As Vice President, I was one of five who led the entire company. It took me away from what I truly wanted to do and was passionate about. Today, I am a software engineer at Meta, working on their third world, Horizon”, says Christian Gyrling.

Fundamental knowledge important for development

The computer engineering programme at Halmstad University has provided Christian Gyrling with valuable foundational knowledge in electronics, computer technology and mathematics, which he uses daily in his work.

“I recently solved a problem at Meta using the fundamental knowledge I learned at Halmstad University. Having that understanding is crucial”, says Christian Gyrling.

As an employer and recruiter, Christian Gyrling notes that newly graduated individuals often have high-level knowledge but lack other skills. They can develop games but do not know how to solve basic problem.

“It is becoming increasingly difficult to find candidates with that competence. Halmstad University provides this knowledge in their programmes”, says Christian Gyrling.

A person is holding a game console in his hands. Photo.

After his studies, Christian Gyrling has continued to stay in touch with his alma mater.

“Halmstad University has always been close to my heart. I have returned occasionally for guest lectures and interviews. It has been important for me to give something back.”

The University’s alumni network aims to maintain contact with students after graduation. With the Alumnus of the Year award, which is given for the seventh consecutive year this year, the University seeks to highlight former students who have distinguished themselves after graduation and inspire current students.

“Christian Gyrling is a deserving recipient of the Alumnus of the Year award. He is a valuable ambassador for Halmstad University and a great role model for our students. Christian’s journey shows how far you can go with an education from Halmstad University”, says Pro Vice-Chancellor Malin Hallén about the Alumnus of the Year.

Citation Alumnus of the Year 2024: Christian Gyrling

After graduating from the Computer Systems Engineering programme in 2001, Christian began his career in the USA. In the video game industry, he rose from programmer to Programming Director and Vice President at Naughty Dog. He played a key role in developing the game The Last of Us, which became a major success and a hit series on HBO.

Today, Christian works as a high-level engineer at Meta Platforms Inc in California. He is a valuable ambassador for Halmstad University, serving as an excellent role model for its students. His journey illustrates the potential that an education from Halmstad University can unlock. With the right education, hard work and dedication, anyone can shape their own future.

About the award Alumnus of the Year

Halmstad University rewards a former student every year with the award Alumnus/Alumna of the Year. By handing out the award, Halmstad University promotes former students who have excelled in different ways after graduation and are positive role models for the University, its students and the surrounding community.

The award is handed out at the graduation ceremony on 31 May this year. It is a festive event to celebrate the students who are graduating.

The award Alumna/Alumnus of the Year





  • Malin Hallén

  • Pro Vice-Chancellor with specific responsibility for education and quality