“On our way into the summer vacations, we can establish that Transport is and remains an Area of Advance with a high level of activity and even bigger ambitions. We continue to invest in challenging multidisciplinary thematic projects, and this spring we received a large number of valid project proposals within the three areas we chose to focus on: Electromobility, Autonomous transport and Transition to Transport Systems of the Future. We are glad to say that these thematic project calls have led to the formation of many new research constellations – researchers from different disciplines who have not previously collaborated have thus found each other.
The approved projects become part of our contribution to the transition to future transport systems. I am convinced that this focus on broad collaboration projects will increase the researchers’ collaborations with other actors, while increasing the relevance and quality of their research.
An important task for the Transport Area of Advance is to contribute to the integration of research, education and utilization in the knowledge triangle. For several years, we have therefore invited our partner companies to participate in international student projects together with Chalmers and an additional university, according to the so-called Capstone model. First out was AB Volvo and Pennsylvania State University. During the past year, we have carried out projects with the same partners, as well as with Polytechnique Montréal and AB Volvo, and UC Berkeley and Volvo Cars. In addition, we have initiated dialogues on student projects with Tongji University in Shanghai.
We also work actively to increase mobility between Chalmers and our partner companies. During this year, we have created a model for our researchers to become academic experts at partner companies. Today, we already have academic experts at Volvo Cars, and we work together with AB Volvo and CEVT to create similar opportunities, stimulating researcher mobility. The increased opportunities for mobility will further nourish collaborations between Chalmers and the partner companies.
Another important task for Chalmers Areas of Advance is to increase opportunities for additional research funding. Transport finances memberships in organizations that influence EU’s research policy agenda, such as EARPA and ERTICO. To benefit as much as possible from our participation in EU organizations, I have formed an EU group, consisting of researchers who are representatives in the EU’s various influence platforms. In addition, we have set aside funding for researchers who want to write an EU application and coordinate projects. I hope that these initiatives will lead to an increased involvement of our researchers in EU projects.
Transport Area of Advance also focuses on gender equality. As a part of this, we have started a mentoring program aimed at female researchers. The purpose is to utilize existing expertise at Chalmers, while increasing the proportion of women in leading academic positions in areas of relevance to AoA Transport. The mentoring program is aimed at PhD’s with permanent positions at Chalmers, as well as Assistant Professors with tenure track. Four female researchers have been admitted to the program, with kick-off on September 13.
Last but not least: Introduce A Girl to Engineering Day was held on March 29, and the Transport Area of Advance invited 17 young girls between the ages of 12 and 17 to Chalmers. They experimented with air resistance in Chalmers’ wind tunnel, programmed a vehicle simulator, drove self-driving cars and experienced life as a student here at Chalmers. It was a rewarding day for our guests and also for us at the Area of Advance. Hopefully we will meet some of our visitors again, as future students.
With this, I wish you all a nice summer, and we will meet back here again with renewed strength in the autumn. Don’t miss our Initiative Seminar, Transportation in the Age of Digitalisation, on September 26!”
Sinisa Krajnovic, Director of Transport Area of Advance