News: Global related to Chalmers University of TechnologyFri, 21 Sep 2018 13:00:34 +0200 is key when discussing digitalisation<p><b>Questions surrounding global digital development are in focus when academics and innovators from all over the world comes to Gothenburg to participate in the conference CIP Forum. One of the conference highlights this year is the launch of the gender equality project, “The Vera Project”, aimed at highlighting women in technology.</b></p><div>​Digitalisation will be discussed in many ways when the CIP Forum conference takes place. The conference is the creation of CIP - the Center for Intellectual Property – and is a collaboration between Chalmers, University of Gothenburg and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Participants from all over the world will gather to discuss globalisation and digital development. This year’s theme is <em>Transformation</em> and one of the main topics is the opportunities and challenges of a digitalised economy, where China is becoming increasingly important. Questions raised during the conference will include the competition for the leading role in technological development and how China, as a new major innovator, affects the market.</div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">Highlighting women in technology</h4> <div>The conference will also introduce &quot;The Vera Project&quot;, aimed at highlighting more women in technology. The project is inspired by Vera Sandberg, who became Sweden's first female engineer in 1917 when she graduated from Chalmers. The purpose of &quot;The Vera Project&quot; is to contribute to greater diversity when it comes to both lecturers and participants in activities coordinated by CIP. The project will have a start-up panel at the beginning of the conference and the theme will then permeate the entire conference, as well as CIP's future work. CIP wants to highlight the diversity debate in technology and evaluate the types of activities that lead to a positive development. An important person in this project is Suzanne Munck, Deputy Director of the Federal Trade Commission in the United States, who will participate in the panel.</div> <div><br /></div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">Globalisation important for university utilisation</h4> <div>Fredrik Hörstedt is Vice President of Utilisation at Chalmers and has participated in the planning of the conference.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;The expectations that universities should contribute to global societal challenges and enhanced competitiveness affect how we utilise our knowledge and research results. This conference gives us a unique opportunity for dialogue between business, university and societal actors on the best ways to do that.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Other topics around the theme <em>Transformation</em> that will be discussed during the conference include artificial intelligence, machine learning and block chains. For example, there will be discussions surrounding other applications of block chains besides the well-known cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin. In particular, the possibilities and threats of block chains will be discussed from a commercial and legal perspective.</div> <div><br /></div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">Students present new business ideas</h4> <div>Many students from Chalmers and University of Gothenburg have participated in planning the event, including designing the panels. They will also participate in the conference, where they will be able to present their own business concepts and exchange ideas with researchers and innovators.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The conference will take place between 23-25 September in Gothenburg and between 200 and 250 invited people will attend.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Read more on the <a href="">CIP Forum website</a>.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Text:</strong> Sophia Kristensson<br /></div> Fri, 21 Sep 2018 10:00:00 +0200​Awarded pioneer in plasma-physics faces accelerating challenges<p><b>​They are in x-ray machines at the hospitals and in the safety controls at the airports. They can detect fake artwork and sterilize food. Particle accelerators are fundamental in our society as tools of scientific discovery, but they are very large and expensive. This year’s Gothenburg Lise Meitner Award Laureate Chandrashekhar Joshi’s work promises to pave the way for smaller and cheaper accelerators to face crucial challenges in science and technology. ​</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial">By using plasma to accelerate particles, Joshi has shown a new paradigm for building accelerators of the future. Professor Joshi is considered the Father of the experimental field of High-Gradient Plasma-based Charged Particle Acceleration. During four decades, Joshi and his colleagues have carried out pioneering experiments. By using plasma, they have managed to accelerate particles thousands of times more rapidly than in a conventional accelerator. </span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>“The goal is to make the accelerators as small and cheap as possible. Aside from their use in high-energy physics, imagine that you have a thumb-sized accelerator that could be inserted into your body to irradiate a tumour or to be carried around in your briefcase.  That’s my dream for future accelerators, “says Chandrashekar Joshi, in connection with the Gothenburg Lise Meitner award ceremony on 20 September 2018.  </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Joshi made the first basic experiments in the field in the 1980’s and since then he has taught generations of students and researchers who are now scientific leaders worldwide. Today, he works at the University of California in the US, but he started his career on the other side of the world. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>In his hometown, 150 kilometres outside Mumbai, it was very unusual to study abroad. </div> <div>“My father gave me a book about great scientists when I was around 10 years old. It was so cool, and I made up my mind: I also wanted to discover something that was not known before,” says Joshi. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“I was the second person ever who left the place and went abroad. But even though I came from a small town in India, I probably had fewer difficulties in my career than Lise Meitner had in hers, because of her gender. In that context, her achievements are even more remarkable!”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>At that time, when the Austrian-Swedish physicist Lise Meitner understood that it was possible to split an atomic nucleus, women were not even allowed in the laboratories. </div> <div>&quot;She was always running against the wind. She was a real pioneer and I admire her a lot. When I studied nuclear engineering when I was an undergraduate, Lise Meitner and Marie Curie were like Gods of fission to us. Therefore, I’m very pleased to receive the Gothenburg Lise Meitner award. She did get many prizes during her career, but never the Nobel Prize she so well deserved&quot;.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>In connection with the award ceremony in Gothenburg, Chandrashekhar Joshi gave a popular lecture at Chalmers in honour of Lise Meitner. </div> <div>He received the Gothenburg Lise Meitner award 2018 &quot;for conclusively demonstrating the advantages of using relativistically propagating plasma waves for electron acceleration.&quot;</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Mia Halleröd Palmgren, <a href=""></a></div> <div>Foto: Johan Bodell,<a href=""> </a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read more about Lise Meitner, the Gothenburg Lise Meitner Award and previous laureates.  </a></div>Thu, 20 Sep 2018 00:00:00 +0200 design forces are emerging at the AAG2018<p><b>​​The biennial International Conference AAG - Advances in Architectural Geometry - is held in different European countries. This year it is held in Gothenburg, Sweden, September 22-25, hosted by Chalmers University of Technology. Swedish and international architects, engineers and mathematicians will attend the conference to discuss how powerful design tools can solve complex problems in architecture and construction technology.</b></p><div>Architecture meets mathematics and engineering and the digital. The conference includes 15 workshops led by researchers and practitioners from around the world.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Among the speakers are Caroline Bos, one of the founders of UN Studio, Philippe Block, Professor at ETH Zurich and Leader of the Block Research Group and Julie Dorsey, Professor of Computer Science at Yale.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Examples of questions to be examined during the conference include:</div> <div><ul><li>What role can an industrial robot have in the design process and for the production of architecture?<br /></li> <li>How do we use artificial intelligence and machine learning for analysis and design?<br /></li> <li>What new design opportunities are given by automated production tools?<br /></li> <li>In what ways can we optimize designs using digital technology?<br /></li></ul></div> <div><br /></div> <div>The concept of computational design is central in this context, which means that the computational power of the computer is fully utilized in the design process, while the architect or engineer can directly adapt the methodology to different tasks. Here geometry, mathematics and digitalization meet in the solution of complex geometric problems, the simulation of construction, light or wind, or the rational production of advanced forms. At Chalmers, these methods are studied in the research groups Architecture &amp; Engineering and Architecture &amp; Computation.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/ACE/nyheter/2018/JonasRunberger_170.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="picture of Jonas Runberger" style="margin:5px" />– Computational design helps us investigate and try alternative concepts in the early stages of design, in order to make intelligent and informed design and production choices. Here, Swedish construction industry can be cross-fertilized by the international context. The conference gives us a glimpse of where international architecture and engineering is today, concludes Karl-Gunnar Olsson, Professor of Architecture and Technology, and Jonas Runberger, Artistic Professor of Digital Design, both at Chalmers Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, ACE.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div style="text-align:right">Jonas Runberger</div> <div><br /></div> <div>September 22-23: workshops. </div> <div>September 24-25: seminars</div> <div>Location: Chalmers, campus Johanneberg.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Registration is open. Welcome!</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Read more about the conference and register at the AAG2018 home page: </div> <div><a href="">​</a></div> Wed, 19 Sep 2018 17:00:00 +0200 freight transport grows despite extreme competition<p><b>​The topics ranged from electric aircraft to city planning at Chalmers Initiative Seminar on electromobility, 13 September. We had a few words with speakers Laetitia Dablanc and Tom Nørbech about the development of electric freight transport in France and Norway.</b></p><div>​Norway is well known for its large share of electric passenger cars. Over the last few years, the country has also taken the lead in electric ferries. In 2022 the country will have between 70 and 80 hybrid or battery electric ferries, according to Tom Nørbech, senior advisor at the Norwegian Public Roads Administration.</div> <div> </div> <div>However, the development for freight vehicles does not look as positive. The market share for this type of vehicles is only two percent, while the corresponding figure for electric passenger cars is 25 percent. How can this be?</div> <div> </div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">Slow but steady increase</h4> <div>“One reason is that until now only the smallest freight vehicles have come into mass production, so the comparison is not totally fair”, explains Tom Nørbech. </div> <div>The high sale of electric vehicles in Norway can to a large part be explained by tax exemptions that apply to conventional private vehicles. Such a tax exemption would have little effect on commercial vehicles where taxes are already low, according to Tom Nørbech. Still, the number of freight vehicles is growing in Norway, but at a slower pace than passenger cars.</div> <div> </div> <div>“The smallest freight vehicles have increased from 4.5 percent of sales in their vehicle segment in 2013 to 10.5 percent in 2017”, he says.</div> <div> </div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">An extremely competitive market</h4> <div>“Freight operators have been reluctant to switch to electric”, comments Laetitia Dablanc. She is professor at University Paris-East, French Institute of Science and Technology for Transport, Development and Networks, and visiting professor at the University of Gothenburg.</div> <div> </div> <div>“Freight businesses are afraid of the changes involved if they switch to electric, training staff and implementing charging stations for example”, she says, and points out that the urban freight industry is extremely competitive, with low margins, and mostly short-term concerns. </div> <div> </div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">Better batteries push the development forward</h4> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Transport/_bilder-utan-fast-format/LaetitiaDablanc_300x205.jpg" alt="Audio description: Laetitia Dablanc" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" style="margin:5px" />At the seminar, Laetitia Dablanc presented the results of a recent study of the challenges for electromobility in urban freight, using France as a case study. The study was made by PhD candidate P. Camilleri and will be published later this year.</div> <div> </div> <div>“Our scenarios show that, when taking the main current operating constraints faced by urban freight companies in France into account, the realistic market share for electromobility for this market is about 13 percent by 2032”, she says. “It is both very little, compared to politicians’ declared objectives in many cities, and not so bad, when thinking about the complexity of the freight delivery business today.” </div> <div> </div> <div>According to Laetitia Dablanc, we can expect a slow but steady uptake of electric freight vehicles in Europe in general. A continuous progress in battery range in combination with an increased variety of e-vans and government incentives such as subsidies, tax or traffic advantages is pushing the development forward in most European countries. Large companies such as UPS or DHL also increasingly require from their urban contractors to enhance the share of environmentally-friendly operations.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><em>Text and photo: Emilia Lundgren and Ann-Christine Nordin</em><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><strong>FURTHER READING</strong></div> <div><a href="/en/areas-of-advance/Transport/news/Pages/Electric-vehicles-a-game-changer-for-cities-and-transport.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Electric vehicles a game changer for cities and transport</a></div> <div><a href="/en/areas-of-advance/Transport/calendar/Initiative-seminar-2018/Pages/default.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Presentations from the Initiative Seminar <span>“<span style="display:inline-block"></span></span>Electromobility - Back to the future<span>“<span style="display:inline-block"></span></span></a></div> <div><br /></div> <div>The study results from P. Camilleri will be made public after 26 October 2018, and will then be available from <a href=""></a> </div> <div><em><br /></em></div> <div><em>Previous publication:</em> Camilleri, P., Dablanc, L. (2017) An assessment of present and future competitiveness of electric commercial vans, Journal of Earth Sciences and Geotechnical Engineering. Vol 7(1), p. 337-364.</div>Tue, 18 Sep 2018 00:00:00 +0200 ceremony for unique sailing boat<p><b>​Linnea – that will be the name of the sailing dinghy, built from balsa wood, flax and cashew nuts. The organic boat created by master’s students at Chalmers, is now ready to compete in Italy and in the middle of September the naming ceremony was held.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">Eight students at Chalmers studying Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering have, over the past year, designed and built a sailing dinghy as part of Formula Sailing, the project where 70 percent of the boat must be made of natural materials. The students chose to build the boat with a balsa wood core with flax and a cashew nut-based epoxy. The unique sailing dinghy will participate in a three-day race in Palermo, Sicily. </span>Starting Thursday, September 20, they will compete against teams from seven Italian universities and one German university in the regatta 1001VELAcup.​<div><br /><span style="background-color:initial"></span><p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">To mark that the boat is ready for departure to Italy, a naming ceremony was held at Teknologgården. Angela Hillemyr, Head of Department and responsible for utilisation at the department of Mechanics and Maritime Sciences, had the honour of naming the boat. Of course, as part of boating tradition, the naming ceremony was completed with champagne.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"><br /></span></p> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">A challenging and educational project</h4> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">Eric Eriksson is one of the master's students who participated in the project. He tells us that the work has been tough at times but that, first and foremost, it has been fun and educational.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="background-color:initial">​&quot;It has been a very complicated and time-consuming project, but it has also been very interesting to get to see a project that we have been working on for so long become reality.”</span><br /></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="background-color:initial">Adam Persson, PhD student, has been the group's supervisor throughout the project, from creating the design to completing the boat.</span><br /></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="background-color:initial">&quot;The purpose of a project like this is to learn about the challenges you face when you go from designing something to actually building it. Finding materials, the right suppliers and managing to plan the project correctly.”</span><br /></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="background-color:initial">The sailing dinghy is an extreme building project in several ways. To optimize the boat for the wind conditions at Palermo during the race, the boat has been built with a very tall sail-plan and very large sails. The group has also struggled to make the boat very light to make it as fast as possible.</span><br /></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"><br /></span></p> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">Preparing for the competition in I​ta​ly</h4> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">Now the group is preparing for the three-day race in Italy. Adam tells us that he is pleased with the project, both the process and the result, and that he has high hopes for the competition.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="background-color:initial">&quot;If the boat works as we hope, I definitely think we have a big chance of winning the whole competition.”</span><br /></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="background-color:initial">According to the rules of the competition, the person who sails the boat must study at the same university as those who built it. Two crew members studying at Chalmers will therefore be on board during the sailing. They are both elite level sailors in the Olympic 49er class. The competition in Sicily takes place from 20 to 23 September.​ </span><br /></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"><br /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">Read more: <a href="/en/news/Pages/Organic-boat-building.aspx">&quot;Organic boat building in a nutshell&quot;</a></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"><br /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:10px"><span style="font-weight:700">Text:</span> Sophia Kristensson</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom:10px"><span style="font-weight:700">Film:</span> Johan Bodell</p> </div>Mon, 17 Sep 2018 09:00:00 +0200 Prize Laureate on stage at upcoming seminar<p><b>​The Nobel Laureate Konstantin Novoselov is the major highlight at the initiative seminar &quot;2D materials beyond graphene&quot; on 1-2 October in Palmstedtsalen at Chalmers. &quot;I think that it was crucial for him to see that we have managed to gather leading scientists in this growing field of research for our seminar&quot;, says Ermin Malic, associate professor at the Department of Physics and director of the organizing Graphene Centre at Chalmers (GCC).</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial">Konstantin Novoselov, professor at the University of Manchester, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics 2010 for his achievements with the novel material graphene. He will open the seminar's second day with a lecture entitled &quot;Materials in the Flatland&quot;. </span><br /></div> <div>Ermin Malic is very pleased to welcome the prominent guest among the many other well-renowned speakers: </div> <div>&quot;Konstantin Novoselov is very busy and gets many of such invitations. Therefore, we are, of course, very happy that he picked our event. I think that it was crucial for him to see that we have managed to gather leading scientists in this growing field of research for our seminar. Certainly, the talk of Konstantin Novoselov is a highlight, but I am really excited about every single talk&quot;, he says.</div> <div> </div> <div><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/emalic_350x305.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" />Every year, the Excellence Initiative Nano has a topical event under the title Initiative Seminar. This year, the seminar is organized by the Graphene Center, which is an umbrella for all research at Chalmers on atomically thin 2D materials. </div> <div>&quot;Graphene is the most prominent representative of this class of materials. However, other 2D materials gain more and more importance in the current research. Therefore, we have put the focus of the seminar to 2D materials beyond graphene, in particular including monolayer transition metal dichalcogenides and related van der Waals heterostructures. We have invited leading experts in this emerging and technologically promising field of research&quot;, says Ermin Malic (to the left).</div> <div> </div> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">What's not to miss at the seminar? </h5> <div>&quot;The program is relatively dense covering a large spectrum of 2D material research. We will have 18 excellent talks in 8 different sessions including exciton phenomena, novel heterostructures materials, energy applications, opto-electronic applications as well as composite and bio applications.&quot;</div> <div> </div> <div>There will also be a poster session reflecting the 2D material research at Chalmers. </div> <div>&quot;The idea here is to offer Chalmers researchers the opportunity to present their research on 2D materials, now also including graphene. We would like to show the full spectrum and the excellence of 2D materials-based research at Chalmers.&quot;</div> <div> </div> <div>The participants can also look forward to hearing about exciting new research: </div> <div>&quot;Definitely. The field is very dynamic and there are still many open questions that are relevant for fundamental research and possible technological applications. The invited speakers perform cutting-edge research in this field, so we can expect many new insights and hopefully exciting discussions&quot;, says Ermin Malic.</div> <div> </div> <div>The two busy days aim at a broad audience; researchers, postdocs, PhD and master students and even industry representatives who are interested in novel developments in nanotechnology. Already, over 100 people are registered for the seminar, which takes place in the elegant auditorium Palmstedtsalen in Chalmers student union building. </div> <div>&quot;The large majority of the registered participants are researchers and students from Chalmers. However, some of the international speakers bring their own students to the seminar. We have also participants from other Swedish universities as well as company representatives.&quot;</div> <div> </div> <div>The invited speakers come from Sweden, Italy, Germany, Spain, Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, Russia, USA and UK. Among them are Frank Koppens (ICFO, Spain), Paulina Plochocka and Bernhard Urbaszek (CNRS, France), Thomas Müller (University of Vienna, Austria), Kristian Thygesen (DTU, Denmark) and Miriam Vitiello (National Research Council, Italy). Chalmers is represented by Timur Shegai (Physics), Saroj Dash (MC2), and Vincenzo Palermo (IMS).</div> <div> <span style="background-color:initial">&quot;Lunch and coffee breaks will offer a lot of time for deeper discussions&quot;, concludes Ermin Malic.</span></div> <div> </div> <div>Text: Michael Nystås</div> <div>Photo of Konstantin Novoselov: By Sergey Vladimirov (vlsergey) (Konstantin NovoselovUploaded by vlsergey) [CC BY 2.0  (], via Wikimedia Commons</div> <div>Photo of Ermin Malic: Private</div> <div><br /> </div> <div>The seminar is free of charge, but don’t forget to register no later than 19 September. <br /><a href="/en/centres/graphene/events/2D%20beyond%20graphene/Pages/Registration.aspx" target="_blank" title="Link to seminar page">Read more, register and see full schedule of the seminar​</a> &gt;&gt;&gt;</div> Thu, 13 Sep 2018 09:00:00 +0200 collaboration in visualisation<p><b>​Visualization Research Gothenburg (VisRes) and Visual Arena have signed a collaboration agreement to join efforts in stimulating and strengthening development within, and through, visualisation.</b></p><div>​ <br /></div> <div><div>&quot;The goal of the collaboration is to form an open and neutral platform for academy, industry and society, which will promote and facilitate work within visualisation,&quot; says Monica Billger, academic leader and director of VisRes.</div> <div> </div> <div>Anyone who use, research or develop in visualisation, and those who seek inspiration and information about how to benefit from visualisation, are welcome to take part of the collaboration platform. Researchers and teachers at Chalmers and University of Gothenburg are welcome to book the studio and lobby at Visual Arena free of charge.</div> <div> </div> <div>In practice, the new agreement includes coordination of activities such as seminars, workshops, training and joint project initiatives. The parties will together invest and develop the infrastructure currently available at Visual Arena, with high-tech visualisation equipment, studio labs, facilities?, workplaces and meeting rooms. A goal is also to bring in new partners, such as Johanneberg Science Park, Sahlgrenska Science Park and Universeum, which are about to build a new visualisation dome. </div> <div> </div> <div>Åsa Andblad, Program Manager for Visual Arena, is commissioned to lead the joint work.</div> <div>&quot;The vision is that West Sweden will continue to develop as a nationally and internationally recognised center for visualisation,&quot; says Åsa Andblad.</div> <div> </div> <div>A strategic steering committee will be appointed with representatives from all involved partners and funders: Lindholmen Science Park, Chalmers, University of Gothenburg, Västra Götalandsregionen and Gothenburg City.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">About:</h4> <div>Visualization Research Gothenburg (VisRes) is an academic research center for Chalmers and University of Gothenburg, with the aim to strengthen, gather and develop research and education in visualisation. VisRes represents Chalmers and University of Gothenburg in the collaboration platform Visual Arena Lindholmen.</div> <div><a href="" target="_blank"></a> </div> <div> </div> <div>Visual Arena is an open collaboration platform for stimulating and enhancing development within and through visualisation. Visual Arena runs as a program at Lindholmen Science Park, in close cooperation with industry, academia and society. Partners are Gothenburg City, Region Västra Götaland, Chalmers and University of Gothenburg.</div> <div><a href=""></a> </div> <div> </div> <div>Common portal for visualisation projects:</div> <div><a href=""></a> </div></div>Thu, 13 Sep 2018 08:00:00 +0200 race debut for self-driving racing car<p><b>​After one year of preparation, the Chalmers team was set to put their self-driving racing car on trial in the Formula Student Driverless competition in Germany. As the only first-year team, their car completed all inspections and brought home a worthy fifth place in one of the racing moments.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">“It was real fun. A lot of work, but real fun”, summarizes Martin Baerveldt, one of the members of Chalmers first Formula Student Driverless team.</span><div> </div> <div>Together with eleven other students from a total of five different master's programs, he has rebuilt the electric race car from last year's Formula Student Competition for self-driving. In August the ordeal took place: the prestigious Formula Student Driverless competition in Hockenheim, Germany.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The competition took place for the first time in 2017, but this year was the first that Chalmers participated. Out of 17 competing cars, Chalmers was one of nine, and sole newcomer, who completed all inspections and safety checks and got to participate in the actual racing moments.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Hopeful and nervous, the team stood by the side while the car drove completely on its own on the track. Most successful was the skidpad driving, that is, driving as fast as possible on a track shaped like an eight.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;But what I enjoyed most was to talk to the other teams and see what they had developed. And to show what we had been working for over a year”, says Martin Baerveldt.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Now he has left Chalmers and gone out to work. Like many of his teammates, he has got a job through his role in the team, more specifically as a consultant in the automotive industry.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>At Chalmers, a new team of fourteen students from eight different master programs has taken over the relay pin. They can further develop and compete with the same car as long as they make significant changes to the software.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;It gives them a longer time to test and improve the performance of the car. And the expectations of reaching a better performance in next year's competition will be higher, says Ziwei Huang.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>She was in the team behind this year's car, and during this autumn she functions as a bridge to the new team.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;Being part of the team was a fantastic experience. I really appreciated applying my academic skills and designing a real, functional racing car. And I'm so proud of the team – we started from scratch, drove the project and made all the important decisions ourselves”, she says.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>In June 2019 there will be a chance to apply to the team of the academic year 2019–2020. For those who are really eager, there might even be a possibility to join this year's team.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;It is aimed primarily at last year students. The team needs many different skills, and you do not need to have specialised in self-driving vehicles – the idea is also to learn, says Ola Benderius, supervisor of the Formula Student Driverless team.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Read more about the work of the Formula Student Driverless team in <a href="/en/news/Pages/Students-build-self-driving-race-car.aspx">&quot;Students build self-driving race car&quot;</a>.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Text:</strong> Ingela Roos</div> <div><strong>Photo:</strong> Weiming Li / Chalmers Formula Student Driverless</div> Wed, 12 Sep 2018 10:00:00 +0200 summer for the Formula Student team<p><b>The Chalmers Formula student team participated in more competitions than ever before this summer – with several top results.​</b></p><div>The Chalmers Formula Student Team – which during the academic year designed a race car with electric motor operation – tested its creation in three European competitions: in the Netherlands, Austria and, during August, in Spain.</div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">That is more competitions than previously – usually Chalmers participates in just two.</span><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">&quot;</span><span style="background-color:initial">We thought it worked well, and it was so fun to drive that we attended another competition,&quot; says Josefine Johansson, one of the team members, and its communicator.</span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>There are races throughout the year, since many universities have teams that work continuously with their vehicles. At Chalmers, there is a new team that takes over each fall, and then competes only in the summer.</div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">At the competitions it's not just about driving fast. The event is divided into static and dynamic stages.</span><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">“In the static competition, for example, you present your work, describe your design concept, the cost for the project and more. Then you get judged on it,” says Josefine Johansson.</span><br /></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Top three in Austria</h3> <div>The dynamic stages include accelerating over 75 meters, and driving a figure-of-eight lap in the shortest possible time. There is also an endurance test, where the challenge is to drive 22 laps around a track with the car.</div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">&quot;It's tough – the equipment or battery may break,&quot; says Josefine Johansson.</span><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">The team achieved greatest success in the race in Austria, when they landed a third place.</span><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">“It was really fun. It was tough to handle the batteries in 35-degree heat. But we have a good cooling system,” says Josefine. </span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>In the summer's first competition, in the Netherlands, the Chalmers team came fifth, after having had some problems with the engine and a sensor. But in both summer competitions, the team achieved their goal, which was to be the top 5 in the competitions in which they participated. </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">During the weekend of the 25-26 August, the final competition for Chalmers Formula Student was held in Spain. Although the result – an 11th place – was a disappointment, it should be seen in the light of the fact that only half of the team could participate, and that they were still able to complete all the stages. </span></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Time to pass on the knowledge</h3> <div>Now the final phase of an intense year is ahead. </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">&quot;You spend more time </span><span style="background-color:initial">on this than the points it gives, but you gain a lot of other things. At Chalmers courses we learn things theoretically, but here we get to do it practically: designing things that will work in reality”, says Josefine Johansson. </span><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">And now is the time for the next team of Chalmers students to follow in their footsteps.</span><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">&quot;After the project, we will finish the course, and some of us will help with the recruitment of the new team, and to pass on our knowledge,&quot; says Josefine Johansson.</span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Text:</strong> Erik Krång</div> <div><br /></div> ​Wed, 12 Sep 2018 08:00:00 +0200 innovation improves the diagnosis of dizziness<p><b>​Half of over-65s suffer from dizziness and problems with balance. But some tests to identify the causes of such problems are painful and can risk hearing damage. Now, researchers from Chalmers have developed a new testing device using bone conduction technology, that offers significant advantages over the current tests.​</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">Hearing and balance have something in common. For patients with dizziness, this relationship is used to diagnose issues with balance. Commonly, a ‘VEMP’ test (Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potentials) needs to be performed. A VEMP test uses loud sounds to evoke a muscle reflex contraction in the neck and eye muscles, triggered by the vestibular system – the system responsible for our balance. The Chalmers researchers have now used bone conducted sounds to achieve better results.</span><div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Ny%20metod%20ger%20bättre%20diagnos%20för%20yrsel/bo_hakansson_200px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="Bo Håkansson" style="margin:5px" />&quot;We have developed a new type of vibrating device that is placed behind the ear of the patient during the test,&quot; says Bo Håkansson, a professor in the research group 'Biomedical signals and systems' at Chalmers. The vibrating device is small and compact in size, and optimised to provide an adequate sound level for triggering the reflex at frequencies as low as 250 Hz. Previously, no vibrating device has been available that was directly adapted for this type of test of the balance system.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>In bone conduction transmission, sound waves are transformed into vibrations through the skull, stimulating the cochlea within the ear, in the same way as when sound waves normally go through the ear canal, the eardrum and the middle ear.<a href=""> Bo Håkansson has over 40 years of experience in this field and has previously developed hearing aids using this technology.</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br />Half of over-65s suffer from dizziness, but the causes can be difficult to diagnose for several reasons. In 50% of those cases, dizziness is due to problems in the vestibular system. But today's VEMP methods have major shortcomings, and can cause hearing loss and discomfort for patients. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>For example, the VEMP test uses very high sound levels, and may in fact cause permanent hearing damage itself. And, if the patient already suffers from certain types of hearing loss, it may be impossible to draw any conclusions from the test. The Chalmers researchers’ new method offers significant advantages.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Ny%20metod%20ger%20bättre%20diagnos%20för%20yrsel/Karl-Johan_Freden_Jansson_200px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />&quot;Thanks to this bone conduction technology, the sound levels which patients are exposed to can be minimised. The previous test was like a machine gun going off next to the ear – with this method it will be much more comfortable. The new vibrating device provides a maximum sound level of 75 decibels. The test can be performed at 40 decibels lower than today's method using air conducted sounds through headphones. This eliminates any risk that the test itself could cause hearing damage,” says postdoctoral researcher Karl-Johan Fredén Jansson, who made all the measurements in the project.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The benefits also include safer testing for children, and that patients with impaired hearing function due to chronic ear infections or congenital malformations in the ear canal and middle ear can be diagnosed for the origin of their dizziness.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The vibrating device is compatible with standardised equipment for balance diagnostics in healthcare, making it easy to start using. The cost of the new technology is also estimated to be lower than the corresponding equipment used today.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>A pilot study has been conducted and recently published. The next step is to conduct a larger patient study, under a recently received ethical approval, in collaboration with Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg, where 30 participants with normal hearing will also be included.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">More about the research</h5> <div><span style="background-color:initial">The scientific article <a href="" target="_blank">&quot;VEMP using a new low-frequency bone conduction transducer&quot;</a> has recently been published by Dove Medical Press, in the journal Medical Devices: Evidence and Research.</span><br /></div> <div>Chalmers’ partners in the study are the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, and the Danish audio companies Ortofon and Interacoustics. Grants for this project are received from Vinnova (Swedish Innovations Agency) and Hörselskadades Riksförbund (Hearing Impairment Federation).</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />See the researchers' own presentation of the project</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="/en/departments/e2/research/Signal-processing-and-Biomedical-engineering/Pages/Biomedical-signals-and-systems.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read more about research on medical signals and systems</a></div> <div><br /></div> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">More about Diagnostics for Dizziness</h5> <div>A common method of diagnosing the cause of dizziness is a VEMP test – Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potentials. The test uses sound stimulation to evoke a muscle contraction in the neck and eye muscles, triggered by a reflex from the vestibular system – the system that is responsible for our sense of balance. The muscular response is measured and provides you information on whether the disorders responsible for the patient’s dizziness are in the vestibular system, or in its pathways to the brain.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>In a traditional vestibular investigation, two variants of VEMP tests are used today: air transmitted sound through headphones or bone conducted sounds via a vibrating device attached to the head. When air transmitted sounds are used, high sound levels are required, which is uncomfortable to the patient and there is a risk of hearing damage. For bone conducted sound, the sound levels are lower, but the equipment currently available on the market is large and cumbersome, and therefore difficult to use. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The new method uses new transducer technology, is smaller in size and generates bone conducted sound at a lower frequency than has been possible before (around 250 Hz). At this level, the muscle reflexes are more efficiently evoked. <span style="background-color:initial">The muscle contractions in both the neck and the eye muscles are measured using fairly standardised equipment, so it should be easy to start incorporating it into healthcare systems.</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Ny%20metod%20ger%20bättre%20diagnos%20för%20yrsel/yrsel_500px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><div><span style="background-color:initial">Bo Håkansson, Professor of Electrical Engineering, undergoes testing using the new compact vibrating device he and the team helped design. </span><span style="background-color:initial">​</span><br /></div></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">​<span>For more information contact</span></h5></div> <div><strong><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/bo-hakansson.aspx">Bo Håkansson</a></strong>, Professor in Biomedical Engineering at the Department of Electrical Engineering at Chalmers,</div> <div>031-772 18 07, <a href=""></a></div> <div><strong><a href="/en/staff/Pages/karl-johan-freden-jansson.aspx">Karl-Johan Fredén Jansson</a></strong>, Postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Electrical Engineering at Chalmers and in charge of clinical studies, 031-772 17 83, <a href=""></a></div> <div><br /></div> <div>​<br /></div></div> <div>Text: Yvonne Jonsson</div> <div>Translation: Joshua Worth<br />Photo: Johan Bodell</div> <div><br /></div>Mon, 10 Sep 2018 07:30:00 +0200 and Chalmers become strategic partners<p><b>​Chalmers University of Technology and vehicle developer CEVT have signed a ten-year strategic partnership agreement. The goal is to ensure long-term supply of well-educated engineers as well as efficient research.</b></p>​On September 7, Chalmers President Stefan Bengtsson and CEVT CEO Mats Fägerhag met at Lindholmen, Gothenburg,  to sign the agreement.<br /><br />“The collaboration between CEVT and Chalmers is an investment for the future. I see it as a very important strategic step in strengthening Chalmers, CEVT and the business community in western Sweden, since knowledge, competence building and research and development are the keys to success,” says Mats Fägerhag.<br /><br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Transport/_bilder-utan-fast-format/CEVT_Avtal_189807_06_350x305px.jpg" alt="Audio description: Decorative image" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px" />CEVT and Chalmers aim to jointly develop and strengthen education, research and innovation in a number of priority areas. These include self-driving cars, sustainable mobility, artificial intelligence and cyber security. The vehicle developer plans to have up to four industry doctoral students per year linked to Chalmers and the proportion of Chalmers students who do their degree projects at CEVT will also increase.<br /><br />“For us as a university, the agreement is particularly valuable in areas such as self-driving electric vehicles and artificial intelligence. It is all about defining relevant research questions and ensuring opportunities for our students - both during and after their studies,” says Stefan Bengtsson.<br /><br />Chalmers now has official partnership agreements with fourteen different companies.<br /><br />“The agreement with CEVT represents an interesting broadening of our partner agreements. We are developing in collaboration with a fast-growing player in the automotive industry, which strengthens both Chalmers and the west Swedish automotive industry, as I see it,” says Stefan Bengtsson.<br /><br /><div>The collaboration will ultimately be governed by an annual management conference where representatives of Chalmers and CEVT will meet to evaluate and define relevant areas of collaboration. At Chalmers, the commitment will be coordinated by the Transport Area of Advance.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><em>Text: Emilia Lundgren</em></div> <div><em>Photo: Johan Bodell</em><br /></div> <br /><strong>FACTS</strong><br />The vehicle developer CEVT (China Euro Vehicle Technology) is owned by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, which also owns Lynk &amp; Co, Volvo Cars, Polestar and Lotus, among others. The company has about 2 000 employees and has offices in Gothenburg and Trollhättan. Read more: <a href=""></a><br /> <br /><a href=";query=cevt"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Ongoing collaboration between Chalmers and CEVT</a><br /><br />Fri, 07 Sep 2018 00:00:00 +0200 new theory for phantom limb pain points the way to more effective treatment<p><b>​Dr Max Ortiz Catalan at Chalmers has developed a new theory for the origin of the mysterious condition, ‘phantom limb pain’. Published in the journal Frontiers in Neurology, his hypothesis builds upon his previous work on a revolutionary treatment for the condition, that uses machine learning and augmented reality.​</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">Phantom limb pain is a poorly understood phenomenon, in which people who have lost a limb can experience severe pain, seemingly located in that missing part of the body. The condition can be seriously debilitating and can drastically reduce the sufferer’s quality of life. But current ideas on its origins cannot explain clinical findings, nor provide a comprehensive theoretical framework for its study and treatment. </span><div><br /><span style="background-color:initial"></span><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Max Ortiz Catalan" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Ny%20teori%20om%20fantomsmärtor%20visar%20vägen%20mot%20effektivare%20behandling/max_ortiz_catalan_250px.jpg" style="margin:5px" /><div>​Now, Max Ortiz Catalan, Associate Professor at the Department of Electrical Engineering, has published a paper that offers up a promising new theory – one that he terms ‘stochastic entanglement’. </div> <div> </div> <div>He proposes that after an amputation, neural circuitry related to the missing limb loses its role and becomes susceptible to entanglement with other neural networks – in this case, the network responsible for pain perception. </div> <div><br />“Imagine you lose your hand. That leaves a big chunk of ‘real estate’ in your brain, and in your nervous system as a whole, without a job. It stops processing any sensory input, it stops producing any motor output to move the hand. It goes idle – but not silent,” explains Max Ortiz Catalan. </div> <div> </div> <div>Neurons are never completely silent. When not processing a particular job, they might fire at random. This may result in coincidental firing of neurons in that part of the sensorimotor network, at the same time as from the network of pain perception. When they fire together, that will create the experience of pain in that part of the body.</div> <div> </div> <div>“Normally, sporadic synchronised firing wouldn’t be a big deal, because it’s just part of the background noise, and it won’t stand out,” continues Max Ortiz Catalan. “But in patients with a missing limb, such event could stand out when little else is going on at the same time. This can result in a surprising, emotionally charged experience – to feel pain in a part of the body you don’t have. Such a remarkable sensation could reinforce a neural connection, make it stick out, and help establish an undesirable link.”</div> <div> </div> <div>Through a principle known as ‘Hebb’s Law’ – ‘neurons that fire together, wire together’ – neurons in the sensorimotor and pain perception networks become entangled, resulting in phantom limb pain. The new theory also explains why not all amputees suffer from the condition– the randomness, or stochasticity, means that simultaneous firing may not occur, and become linked, in all patients.</div> <div> </div> <div>In the new paper, Max Ortiz Catalan goes on to examine how this theory can explain the effectiveness of Phantom Motor Execution (PME), <a href="" target="_blank">the novel treatment method he previously developed​</a>. During PME treatment, electrodes attached to the patient’s residual limb pick up electrical signals intended for the missing limb, which are then translated through AI algorithms, into movements of a virtual limb in real time. <span style="background-color:initial">The patients see themselves on a screen, with a digitally rendered limb in place of their missing one, and can then control it just as if it were their own biological limb. This allows the patient to stimulate and reactivate those dormant areas of the brain.​ </span></div> <div><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="Treatment of phantom limb pain" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Ny%20teori%20om%20fantomsmärtor%20visar%20vägen%20mot%20effektivare%20behandling/PME_500px.jpg" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /></div> <em> </em><div><br /> </div> <em> </em><div><br /> </div> <em> </em><div><br /> </div> <em> </em><div><br /> </div> <em> </em><div><br /> </div> <em> </em><div><br /> </div> <em> </em><div><em style="background-color:initial"><br /></em></div> <div><em style="background-color:initial">The patient, missing his right arm, can see himself on screen in augmented reality, with a virtual limb. He can control it through the electrodes attached to his skin, which in this treatment called Phantom Motor Execution allows the patient to stimulate and reactivate those dormant areas of the brain. Source: Catalan, Frontiers in Neurology, 2018</em><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>“The patients can start reusing those areas of brain that had gone idle. Making use of that circuitry helps to weaken and disconnect the entanglement to the pain network. It’s a kind of ‘inverse Hebb’s law’ – the more those neurons fire apart, the weaker their connection. Or, it can be used preventatively, to protect against the formation of those links in the first place,” he says. </div> <div> </div> <div>The PME treatment method has been previously shown to help patients for whom other therapies have failed. Understanding exactly how and why it can help is crucial to ensuring it is administered correctly and in the most effective manner. Max Ortiz Catalan’s new theory could help unravel some of the mysteries surrounding phantom limb pain, and offer relief for some of the most affected sufferers.</div> <div> </div> <div><h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">More Information</h4> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">Phantom Motor Execution undergoing global trial</h5> <div> <span style="background-color:initial">Dr Max Ortiz Catalan developed Phantom Motor Execution (PME) as a treatment for phantom limb pain, in which phantom movements are decoded from the residual limb using machine learning, and then visualised via virtual and augmented reality. The new hypothesis provides an explanation for the clinical successes observed for this therapy. PME has been shown to reduce phantom limb pain in chronic sufferers, for whom other treatments failed. At present, PME is being tested in clinics around the world, from Canada to Australia, with the majority of patients treated in Europe. A device allowing for this treatment is being commercialized by Integrum AB, a Swedish medical device company, and a large international clinical trial in 7 countries is currently in progress. On-going brain imaging studies on these patients treated with PME will support or challenge Max Ortiz Catalan’s theories. </span></div> <div> </div> <div>See a <a href=";" target="_blank">video presentation of Phantom Motor Execution in action</a>.​</div></div> <div> </div> <div><h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">More on the research</h5> <div>Dr Max Ortiz Catalan is an Associate Professor at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, and head of <a href="" target="_blank">the Biomechatronics and Neurorehabilitation Laboratory</a>. </div> <div>He has previously attracted international attention, for his pioneering work on osseointegrated bionic limbs, published in <a href="" target="_blank">Science Translational Medicine</a>, and for his Phantom Motor Execution treatment for phantom limb pain, published in <a href="" target="_blank">The Lancet</a>. </div> <div>His new paper, <a href="" target="_blank">‘The stochastic entanglement and phantom motor execution hypotheses: a theoretical framework for the origin and treatment of PLP’</a> is published in the journal Frontiers of Neurology. </div></div> <div> </div> <div><h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">Contact information</h5> <div>Max Ortiz Catalan, Department of Electrical Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, +46 70 846 10 65, <a href=""></a></div> <div> </div> <div>Visit the<a href="" target="_blank"> Biomechatronics and Neurorehabilitation Laboratory website</a>. </div></div> <div>​<span style="background-color:initial">​Read more about Chalmers´reserach on </span><a href="/en/departments/e2/research/Signal-processing-and-Biomedical-engineering/Pages/Biomedical-signals-and-systems.aspx">Biomedical signals and systems​</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><div>Text: Joshua Worth</div> <div>Photo of Max Ortiz Catalan: Oscar Matsson​</div></div> </div> ​​Thu, 06 Sep 2018 07:30:00 +0200 honorable appointed to CIRP Fellow<p><b>​Professor Rikard Söderberg has been appointed as Fellow of the International Academy of Production Engineering, CIRP. The selection is based on a long and rigorous process that guarantees the highest possible academic standard.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">Recently, the members of <a href="">CIRP, the International Academy of Production Engineering</a>, gathered for a meeting in Japan. At the meeting, <a href="/en/staff/Pages/rikard-soderberg.aspx" title="Link to profile page ">Professor Rikard Söderberg</a>, Head of <a href="/en/departments/ims/Pages/default.aspx" title="Link to department">Department of Industrial and Materials Science</a> and Director of the <a href="/en/centres/wingquist/Pages/default.aspx">Wingquist Laboratory</a>, was appointed as a Fellow in the organization.</span><div><br /></div> <div>&quot;It feels extremely honorable to be nominated and elected as a Fellow in CIRP,&quot; says Rikard Söderberg. &quot;It is an acknowledgment of the research that I and my research team conduct in the field of geometry assurance and robust design.&quot;</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Rikard Söderberg is a professor in product and production development and with his research he focuses on minimizing the effect of geometric variation. It includes areas such as industrial design, visualization, robust design, statistical variation simulation, optimization, assembly modeling and analysis, measurement preparation and analysis of measurement data.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>CIRP is a world-leading organization in production engineering research and is at the forefront of design, optimization, control and handling of processes, machines and systems. More and more of the business's attention is focused on challenges such as sustainable production, the environmental impact of new technology and manufacturing aspects of globalization. The Academy has limited membership based on demonstrated excellence in research and has about 600 academic and industrial members from 50 industrialized countries. Fellows are internationally recognized scientists chosen to be members of CIRP for life.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The nomination of Rikard Söderberg was supported by Professor Torsten Kjellberg of KTH, Professor Hoda ElMaraghy ​​of University of Windsor in Canada, Professor Luc Mathieu of École Normal Supérieure Paris-Saclay in France and Professor Eric Lutters of the University of Twente in the Netherlands.​</div> ​Wed, 05 Sep 2018 16:00:00 +0200 important for preventing type 2 diabetes<p><b>​It doesn’t matter if it’s rye, oats, or wheat. As long as it is wholegrain, it can prevent type 2 diabetes. This is the finding of a new study from researchers at Chalmers and the Danish Cancer Society Research Center.</b></p><p>​The comprehensive study is a strong confirmation of previous research findings on the importance of whole grains for prevention of type 2 diabetes – previously sometimes known as adult-onset diabetes. Even if the link has been known for a long time, the role of different wholegrain sources has not been investigated earlier. It has also been unclear how much wholegrain is needed to reduce the risk of developing diabetes.<br /> <br />“Most studies similar to ours have previously been conducted in the USA, where people mainly get their wholegrain from wheat,” says Rikard Landberg, Professor at the Division of Food and Nutrition Science, and senior researcher on the study.<br /><br />“We wanted to see if there was a difference between different cereals. One might expect there would be, because they contain different types of dietary fibre and bioactive substances, which have been shown to influence risk factors for type 2 diabetes.”<br /><br /><strong>The amount matters</strong><br />The study was conducted in Denmark, where there is a big variation in wholegrain-intake. The study showed that it made no difference which type of wholegrain product or cereal the participants ate – ryebread, oatmeal, and muesli, for example, seem to offer the same protection against type 2 diabetes. <br /><br />What is more important is how much wholegrain one eats each day – and the study also provides important clarification to the scientific knowledge when it comes to daily dosages. <br /><br />The participants were divided into 4 different groups, based on how much wholegrain they reported eating. Those with the highest consumption ate at least 50 grams of wholegrain each day. This corresponds to a portion of oatmeal porridge and one slice of rye bread, for example. <br /><br />The proportion who developed type 2 diabetes was lowest in the group which reported the highest wholegrain consumption, and increased for each group which had eaten less wholegrain. In the group with the highest wholegrain intake, the diabetes risk was 34 percent lower for men, and 22 percent lower for women, than in the group with the lowest wholegrain intake. <br /><br /> “It is unusual to be able to investigate such a large range when it comes to how much wholegrain people eat,” says Rikard Landberg.<br /><br />“If you divided American participants into 4 groups, the group that ate the most wholegrain would be the same level as the group that ate the least wholegrain in Denmark. In Europe, Scandinavia eats the most, Spain and Italy the least.” <br /><br />Additionally, the study was uncommonly large, with 55,000 participants, over a long time span – 15 years.<br /><br /><strong>In line with dietary advice</strong><br />If you compare wholegrains’ role in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes against other foods that have been investigated in other studies, it is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk when it comes to diet. Drinking coffee, and avoiding red meat, are other factors that can similarly reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. <br /><br /> “Our results are in line with dietary advice, which recommends switching out foods containing white flour for wholegrains,” says Rikard Landberg.<br /><br />“You get extra health benefits – white flour has some negative effects on health, while wholegrain has several positive effects, beyond protection against type 2 diabetes.”<br /><br /><strong>Good to eat carbohydrates</strong><br />Wholegrains are defined as consisting of all three main components of the grain kernel: endosperm, germ, and bran. Those who avoid all cereals, in an attempt to follow a low carb diet, therefore lose out on the positive health effects of wholegrain, which come principally from the bran and the germ. Rikard Landberg thinks that cereals, and carbohydrates in general, should not be avoided in diet.<br /><br />“Carbohydrates are a very varied group of foodstuffs, including sugar, starch, and fibre. We should discuss these more individually, and not throw them together in one group, because they have totally different effects on our physiology and health. When it comes to wholegrains, the research results are clear: among the many studies which have been made, in varied groups of people around the world, there hasn’t been a single study which has shown negative health effects.”<br /><br />Read more: <a href="">Higher Whole-Grain Intake Is Associated with Lower Risk of Type 2 Diabetes among Middle-Aged Men and Women: The Danish Diet, Cancer, and Health Cohort</a><br /><br /><br /><strong>Facts: Wholegrains</strong><br />Wholegrains consist of all three main components of the grain kernel: endosperm, germ and bran. It can be both loose grains, and wholegrain flour. Grains such as oatmeal and rye, wheatberries, bulgur, and wholegrain couscous are all wholegrains. In bread and pasta, the wholegrain content can vary. Common cereals include wheat, rye, oats, corn, maize, rice, millet and sorghum. <br /><br />Swedish dietary advice is to eat around 70g of wholegrain a day for women, and 90g a day for men. Some examples of how much wholegrain different foods contain: </p> <ul><li>One 50g slice of rye bread: 16g wholegrain. </li> <li>One 35g serving of oatmeal porridge: 35 g wholegrain</li> <li>One 12g crispbread: 12 g wholegrain</li></ul> <p><em>Source: the Swedish National Food Administration and Chalmers</em><br /><br /><strong>Facts: The study</strong><br />The study used data from a prospective Danish cohort study on diet, cancer and health. It covered more than 55,000 participants, who were between 50-65 years old when the study started. During the initiation of the cohort study in the early 1990s, healthy participants had filled in detailed forms of their eating habits. Through these, the researchers established the participants’ total wholegrain intake per day, which of the most common cereals they got their wholegrain from, (wheat, rye, oats, in grams per day), and the total number, and different types, of wholegrain products (in grams per day) – rye bread, other wholegrain breads, oatmeal porridge and muesli. <br /><br />The cohort study was linked with data from Denmark’s national diabetes register, to investigate which participants developed type 2 diabetes during a 15 year period – which in total was over 7000 people.<br /><br /><br />Text: Johanna Wilde<br />Photo of Rikard Landberg: Johan Bodell<br /></p>Wed, 05 Sep 2018 07:00:00 +0200 and opportunities in renewable biofuels production<p><b>​Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have identified two main challenges for renewable biofuel production from cheap sources. Firstly, lowering the cost of developing microbial cell factories, and secondly, establishing more efficient methods for hydrolysis of biomass to sugars for fermentation. Their study was recently published in the journal Nature Energy.​</b></p>​<span>The study, by Professor Jens Nielsen, Yongjin Zhou and Eduard Kerkhoven, from the Division of Systems and Synthetic Biology, evaluates the barriers that need to be overcome to make biomass-derived hydrocarbons a real alternative to fossil fuels. </span><div><br /><span></span><div> <strong>“Our study is of particular interest </strong>for decision makers and research funders, as it highlights recent advances and the potential in the field of biofuels. It also identifies where more research is required. This can help to priorities what research should be funded,” says Eduard Kerkhoven.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>It is technically already possible to produce biofuels from renewable resources by using microbes such as yeast and bacteria as tiny cell factories. <br />However, in order to compete with fossil-derived fuels, the process has to become much more efficient. But improving the efficiency of the microbial cell factories is an expensive and time-consuming process, so speeding-up the cell factory development is therefore one of the main goals. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Professor Jens Nielsen </strong>and his research group are world leaders in the engineering of yeast, and in the development and application of computer models of yeast metabolism – as well as being noted for their world-class research into human metabolism, and investigations into aging processes and diseases. Their work informs how yeast can best be engineered to manufacture new chemicals or biofuels. In their article “Barriers and opportunities in bio-based production of hydrocarbons,” the researchers investigate the production of various biofuels using a model of yeast metabolism. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>“We have calculated</strong> theoretical maximum production yields and compared this to what is currently achievable in the lab. There is still huge potential for improving the process,” says Eduard Kerkhoven.</div> <div>The other main barrier is efficient conversion from biomass, such as plants and trees, to the sugars that are used by the cell factories. If this conversion were made more efficient, it would be possible to use waste material from the forest industry, or crops that are purposely grown for biofuels, to produce a fully renewable biofuel. Eduard Kerkhoven notes how important biofuels will be for the future.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>&quot;In the future, </strong>whilst passenger cars will be primarily electric, biofuels are going to be critical for heavier modes of transport such as jets and trucks. The International Energy Agency projects that by 2050, 27 percent of global transport fuels will be biofuels. Meanwhile, large oil companies such as Preem and Total also predict that renewable biofuels will play an important role in the future. In their '<a href="">Sky Scenario</a>', Shell expects that biofuels will account for 10 percent of all global end energy-use by the end of the century. That is in line with our research too,” he concludes.  </div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Read the article in Nature Energy</strong></div> <div><a href="">Barriers and opportunities in bio-based production of hydrocarbons ​</a></div> <div>the authors, Yongjin J. Zhou, Eduard J. Kerkhoven, Jens Nielsen</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>For more information, contact:</strong></div> <div><p style="margin:0cm 0cm 6.75pt;line-height:13.5pt"><span style="font-size:10pt">Eduard Kerkhoven , Project leader, Computational Metabolic Engineering, department of Biology and Biological Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, +46-31-772 3140, <a href=""><span></span></a></span></p> <p style="margin:0cm 0cm 6.75pt;line-height:13.5pt"><span style="font-size:10pt">Jens Nielsen, Professor, Quantitative Systems Biology, Head of Division of Systems and Synthetic Biology, <br />Chalmers University of Technology, +46-31-772 38 04, <span><a href=""></a></span></span></p></div></div> ​Tue, 04 Sep 2018 00:00:00 +0200