“Awareness has been there for a good while”
Pilot Henrik Ekstrand took his degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2003 and since then has been a part-time industrial doctoral student at Chalmers. In 2010 he took part in the comprehensive Vinga Project, the purpose of which was to make the aviation industry more environmentally efficient. The aviation industry is a branch under constant pressure to reduce emissions.
The Vinga Project was executed at Landvetter Airport, Göteborg 2010-2011 and part-financed by EU. The purpose was to make aviation as environmentally efficient as possible in all phases, with the major focus on incoming traffic. Project participants included Novair, LFV, the airport company Swedavia and Chalmers. Henrik worked partly as internal project leader at Novair and as a participant in Chalmers’ work on producing a model to measure fuel efficiency.
Henrik now works continuously with the Novair internal fuel saving project. His is also involved in several projects at national and EU level that are aimed at making air traffic more efficient. The ambition is to be able to realise Vinga to a larger scale. The project was a tremendous success for everyone involved and Henrik is convinced that the changes made could be implemented at other airports in Europe.
Which other branches have the greatest development and improvement potential in terms of environment and sustainability?
Primarily within the sectors where large quantities of fossil fuel are used. We use a great deal of oil to generate energy, for example. Land transport of various kinds, such as cars and lorries, is another.
Aviation is responsible for no more than 2-3% of all emissions. Seen from that perspective, aviation is a rather small emissions sector, but one that still needs to do as much as possible to reduce its environmental impact.
What have you taken with you from Chalmers to your job as a pilot?
Reading such subjects as aircraft engine engineering and aerodynamics has been very useful, but I think perhaps it was even more important to learn think in the right way when dealing with problems of various kinds.
Why are you so interested in the environment?
I’ve been interested since I was a child. It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly when it started, but my environmental awareness has been there for a long time.
How can we take better care of the environment at home and at work?
Use public transport and try to recycle as much as you can. At work, such simple things as using electronic documents whenever possible, make a big difference.
NAME: Henrik Ekstrand
EDUCATION AT CHALMERS: Mechanical Engineering, is to present his thesis at the Institution of Applied Mechanics
WORKS AS: Pilot, Novair