News: Globalhttp://www.chalmers.se/sv/nyheterNews related to Chalmers University of TechnologySat, 14 Jul 2018 18:41:57 +0200http://www.chalmers.se/sv/nyheterhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/news/Pages/No-finite-limit-to-the-human-lifespan,-believes-statistics-professor--.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/news/Pages/No-finite-limit-to-the-human-lifespan,-believes-statistics-professor--.aspxNo finite limit to the human lifespan, says statistics professor<p><b>​Is there a finite limit to the human lifespan? Among researchers of this issue, there is a lot of heated discussion. According to Holger Rootzén, Professor of Mathematical Statistics, there is not. His research has produced the surprising observations that survival rates after 110 years are seemingly unaffected by lifestyle or genetics – and that in the next 25 years, we may see a human live to 128 years old.</b></p><div>​In October 2016,<a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/nature19793"> a paper published in the scientific journal <em>Nature</em></a><em> </em>suggested that there was a hard limit to human lifespan. Looking at global demographic data, the researchers claimed that the natural limit for a human life was around 115 years. </div> <br />However, among the research community there was some serious doubt as to the accuracy of this claim. Holger Rootzén was contacted by the scientific journal <em>Extremes</em>, and asked to investigate the paper further. Together with his colleague Dmitrii Zholud, postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Mathematics, <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10687-017-0305-5">Holger published his work</a> last year, concluding that the original authors had analysed the data incorrectly. <br /><div><br /></div> <div>The original paper analysed data from 1968 – 2006, looking at the maximum age through the years. They saw that maximum lifespan increased from 1968, peaked in the 1990s, and then declined slightly towards 2006. The researchers concluded therefore, that an upper limit had been reached. But Holger and Dmitrii saw that this conclusion was false, and based on misinterpretation of limited data. <br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>“In the mid-90s, they had data from 4 countries, which they combined. But for the earlier and the later periods, they only had data from one or two countries. So of course, in the middle there was a higher number of supercentenarians, with fewer at the beginning and at the end,” explains Holger. “It’s like playing darts – if you throw 10 darts at a board, compared to if you throw 1000 – the best score of your 1000 tries will surely be better than the best score of your 10 tries. Likewise, for the second-best hit,” he continues.  </div> <div><br /></div> <strong></strong><div><h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Risk of dying 'plateaus' at extremely high ages</h3></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Now, another paper<a href="http://science.sciencemag.org/content/360/6396/1459.full"> recently published in the journal <em>Science</em></a><em> </em>seems to support Holger’s research. Holger was subsequently invited by the <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2018/06/28/new-study-questions-a-limit-to-the-human-life-span/?utm_term=.87817ef25ba1">Washington Post</a> and <a href="https://www.livescience.com/62942-human-life-span-limit.html">Live Science</a> to comment on the findings, and will very shortly publish a rejoinder article in <em>Extremes</em>, summarising the debate so far, and responding to points raised.   <br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>One of the biggest challenges for investigating the secrets of extremely long life is finding enough reliable, verifiable data. Claims of long-life are often prone to exaggeration, and lack of evidence. The new paper in Science made use of a brand-new dataset, of all the individuals in Italy aged 105 or older, between 2009 and 2015. All of the people in the data had accurate birth and death certificates (or were still alive), making it a very trustworthy source. Holger and Dmitrii’s data covered individuals aged 110 and older, from 15 countries.</div> <br />What Holger and the Italian researchers both agreed on, was that although the risk of dying increases as we get older, after a certain point the mortality rate actually levels off. In other words, the chance of living from 110 to 111 is the same as living from 111 to 112 – about 50%. Holger’s work observed this plateauing effect from the age of 110, but the Italian researchers, with their new data, saw it occur earlier, after 105. <br /><div>This indicates that we could yet see the human lifespan extend beyond that of Jeanne Calment, a French woman who died in 1997, at the age of 122 years and 164 days.   </div> <div><br /></div> <div><h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Survival chance after 110 years remains the same for all groups </h3></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Further to this, Holger and Dmitrii made another startling observation. Beyond the age of 110, there seemed to be very few identifiable factors that influenced survival rates. For example, women generally live longer than men, but, after the age 110, this difference disappears. There is also no appreciable difference in survival rates between different countries or regions –  supercentenarians from Japan, northern and southern Europe, and the USA all have the same mortality rate after 110 years. Additionally, so did people from throughout the entire period 1968 – 2006.</div> <div><br /></div> “This is quite surprising and interesting. You would expect genetics and lifestyle to play a role, as they surely do at earlier ages. But after 110, it seems you are equally likely to survive regardless,” says Holger. <br /><div>So will we see Jeanne Calment’s record broken anytime soon? Holger and Dmitrii’s paper offers their prediction for highest human lifespan in the next few decades.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“We need to know two things: first, we need to know the survival rate after 110. Second, we need to know how many people reach 110 in the first place. Based on these two factors, we came up with a distribution of somewhere between 119 and 128 years old. We would expect the oldest person in the next 25 years to be somewhere between those two ages. Assuming there isn’t a big war!”</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Text</strong>: Joshua Worth<br /></div>Wed, 11 Jul 2018 00:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/Now-the-quantum-computer-will-become-reality.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/Now-the-quantum-computer-will-become-reality.aspxNow the quantum computer will become reality<p><b>​A billion-dollar research effort will make Sweden a world leader in quantum technology. Now, Chalmers researchers have begun work on developing a quantum computer with far greater computational power than today&#39;s best supercomputers.​</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial">The days are currently full of interviews. Per Delsing, Professor of quantum device physics at Chalmers, is busy recruiting high-level researchers and doctoral students to help pull through a very challenging project: building a quantum computer that far exceeds today's best computers.</span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;To get the right staff is the alpha and omega of it all. But it looks promising, we have received many good applications&quot;, says Per Delsing.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The development of the quantum computer is the main project in the ten-year research program Wallenberg Centre for Quantum Technology, launched at the turn of the year, thanks to a donation of SEK 600 million from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation. With additional funds from Chalmers, industry and other universities, the total budget is landing nearly SEK 1 billion.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The goal is to make Sweden a leading player in quantum technology. Indeed, recent research in quantum technology has placed the world on the verge of a new technology revolution – the second quantum revolution.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="http://www.chalmers.se/SiteCollectionDocuments/Centrum/WACQT/Grafik%20kvantteknologi.pdf"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Centrum/WACQT/Grafik%20kvantteknolgi_liten.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:300px;height:178px" />​</a>The first quantum revolution took place in the 20th century, when one learned to utilize quantum mechanical properties of light and material. This led, among other things, to the laser and transistor – inventions that underpin information technology that largely shape today's society.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Now scientists have also learned to control individual quantum systems as individual atoms, electrons and photons, which opens up new opportunities. In sight, there are extremely fast quantum computers, interception-proof communication and hyper-sensitive measurement methods.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Interest is big worldwide. Decision makers and business leaders begin to realize that quantum technology has the potential to greatly change our society, for instance through improved artificial intelligence, secure encryption and more effective design of drugs and materials. Several countries are investing heavily and the EU is launching a scientific flagship in the area next year.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;If Sweden will continue to be a top level nation, we must be at the forefront here&quot;, says Peter Wallenberg Jr.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Several universities and major computer companies, like Google and IBM, are aiming to try to build a quantum computer. The smallest building block of the quantum computer – the quantum bit – is based on completely different principles than today's computers (see graphic). This means that you can handle huge amounts of information with relatively few quantum bits. To surpass the computational power of today's supercomputers, it's enough with 50-60 quantum bits. The Chalmers researchers aim at reaching at least one hundred quantum bits within ten years.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;Such a quantum computer could, for example, be used to solve optimization problems, advanced machine learning and heavy calculations of molecule properties,&quot; says Per Delsing, who heads the research program.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Centrum/WACQT/Kvantdator_180518_11_340.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />The Chalmers researchers have chosen to base their quantum computer on superconducting circuits. They have worked with single superconducting quantum bits for almost 20 years and delivered many contributions to knowledge building within the field. Now they are going to scale up and get many quantum bits to work together.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>At the lab, they are currently working to improve the lifetime of single quantum bits. Quantum physiological conditions are extremely sensitive, and collapse if they are exposed to disturbances. Among other things, the researchers paint the inside of the experimental chamber black, so that disturbing microwaves that succeed in slipping through cables are quickly absorbed. They are also investigating and evaluating different strategies for linking quantum bits to each other, which is necessary to be able to perform proper calculations.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;In addition to the lifetime and the relationship between quantum bits, the number of quantum bits is an important piece of puzzle to solve. Making many of them is easy, but we need to find smart ways to utilize the equipment to control each of them. Otherwise, it will be very expensive,&quot; explains Per Delsing.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>In order for the project to get initiated councils, they are in the process of setting up a scientific board. Per Delsing is currently waiting for answers from eight quantum experts who were asked to be board members.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;They become a sounding board that we can discuss complex issues with, for instance how fast we will be able to scale the number of quantum bits. The technology we need to build the quantum computer is constantly evolving, and it's difficult to determine when it's time to buy it,&quot; he says.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>On the theory side, the recruitment of competent staff is at the focus right now. Theoretical physicist Giulia Ferrini, expert on quantitative calculations in continuous variables, was in place already in January and the recruitment process is ongoing with a number of applicants. A total of 15 people will be employed at Chalmers.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;We have received great response and good applicants. Getting the right people is the most important thing – the project does not get any better than the employees,&quot; says Göran Johansson, professor of applied quantum physics and one of the main researchers in the quantum computer project.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The theoretical efforts will initially focus on developing a computer model of the quantum computer experiment so that they can help experimentalists forward through simulations.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Centrum/WACQT/Kvantdator_180518_16.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:350px;height:234px" />&quot;A challenge is to identify early properties which are important in the model, so we do not include too many details when scaling up. Otherwise, we'll hit the ceiling for what a supercomputer can simulate before we reach up to 40 quantum bits,&quot; says Göran Johansson.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Another important task for the theorists is to explore what a smaller quantum computer model can do. With eight-digit well-functioning quantum bits, one could drive the so-called Shors algorithm – which aroused the world's interest in building quantum computers - and crack today's encryption system. But the first quantum computers, which can do anything beyond what a regular computer can, will be significantly smaller.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;The question is what becomes the breakthrough application for a small quantum computer. We need to find out what a hundred bit quantum computer can solve for problems that someone is interested in knowing the answer to,&quot; says Göran Johansson.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Here, collaboration with companies comes into the picture - from them, researchers can get tips for real-life and urgent applications to investigate. The Chalmers researchers have conducted discussions with Astrazeneca, who would have a lot to gain if they could calculate the characteristics of large molecules in their drug development, and Jeppesen who works to optimize aircraft crews and routes. The interest in becoming part of the quantum technology initiative is generally large among companies that have challenges that would be appropriate to solve with a quantum computer.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;They are keen to not miss the train. This can go quite quickly when it's getting started, and then it's important to have skills and be able to get up at the right pace,&quot; says Per Delsing.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Ingela Roos</div> <div>Photo: Johan Bodell</div> <div>Graphics: Yen Strandqvist</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="http://www.chalmers.se/sv/nyheter/magasin/Sidor/default.aspx">This is a text from Chalmers magasin #1 2018​</a></div> <div><br /></div> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">Facts about the Wallenberg Center for Quantum Technology</h5> <div>• Wallenberg Center for Quantum Technology is a ten-year initiative aimed at bringing Swedish research and industry to the front of the second quantum revolution.</div> <div>• The research program will develop and secure Swedish competence in all areas of quantum technology.</div> <div>• The research program includes a focus project aimed at developing a quantum computer, as well as an excellence program covering the four sub-areas.</div> <div>• The Wallenberg Center for Quantum Technology is led by and largely located at Chalmers. The areas of quantum communication and quantum sensors are coordinated by KTH and Lund University.</div> <div>• The program includes a research school, a postdoctoral program, a guest research program and funds for recruiting young researchers. It will ensure long-term Swedish competence supply in quantum technology, even after the end of the program.</div> <div>• Collaboration with several industry partners ensures that applications are relevant to Swedish industry.</div>Fri, 06 Jul 2018 09:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/Fibre-optic-transmission-of-4000-km-made-possible-by-ultra-low-noise-optical-amplifiers.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/Fibre-optic-transmission-of-4000-km-made-possible-by-ultra-low-noise-optical-amplifiers.aspxFibre-optic transmission of 4000 km made possible by ultra-low-noise optical amplifiers<p><b>​Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, and Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia, have demonstrated a 4000 kilometre fibre-optical transmission link using ultra low-noise, phase-sensitive optical amplifiers. This is a reach improvement of almost six times what is possible when using conventional optical amplifiers.​ The results are published in Nature Communications.</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/figure_amplifier_comparison_eng_adj_180628_350x305.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />Video streaming, cloud storage and other online services have created an insatiable demand for higher transmission capacity. To meet this demand, new technologies capable of significant improvements over existing solutions are being explored worldwide.</span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>The reach and capacity in today’s fibre optical transmission links are both limited by the accumulation of noise, originating from optical amplifiers in the link, and by the signal distortion from nonlinear effects in the transmission fibre. In this ground-breaking demonstration, the researchers showed that the use of phase-sensitive amplifiers can significantly, and simultaneously, reduce the impact of both of these effects. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“While there remain several engineering challenges before these results can be implemented commercially, the results show, for the first time, in a very clear way, the great benefits of using these amplifiers in optical communication”, says Professor Peter Andrekson, who leads the research on optical communication at Chalmers University of Technology. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/peter_andrekson_170112_350x305.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" />The amplifiers can provide a very significant reach improvement over conventional approaches, and could potentially improve the performance of future fibre-optical communication systems.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Such amplifiers may also find applications in quantum informatics and related fields, where generation and processing of quantum states are of interest, as well as in spectroscopy or any other application which could benefit from ultra-low-noise amplification”, says Professor Peter Andrekson (tpo the left).</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The research has been funded by the European Research Council (ERC), the Swedish Research Council, and the Wallenberg Foundation.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>Caption, figure in top of page:</strong> Recovered signal constellation diagrams comparing conventional amplification and phase-sensitive amplification in an amplifier noise limited regime (-2 dBm launch power) and a fibre nonlinearity limited regime (8 dBm launch power). Illustration: Samuel Olsson</span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Photo of Peter Andrekson:</strong> Henrik Sandsjö</div> <div><br /></div> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">Read the paper &gt;&gt;&gt;</h5> <div>Olsson et al., Long-haul optical transmission link using low-noise phase-sensitive amplifiers, Nature Communications 9, 2513 (2018). DOI 10.1038/s41467-018-04956-5​</div> Thu, 05 Jul 2018 04:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/news/Pages/big-investment-to-make-Chalmers-equal.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/news/Pages/big-investment-to-make-Chalmers-equal.aspxA big investment to make Chalmers equal<p><b>​Through an investment of several hundred million kronor, Chalmers is considerably stepping up its gender equality work. Through concrete, ground-breaking changes of the system, and direct recruitment of top female researchers, Chalmers will achieve a significantly more equal gender balance within the faculty over ten years.</b></p>​Like other technical universities, Chalmers has a very low share of women at faculty levels. At Chalmers, the share is currently 22 percent. However, research shows that a more equal gender balance leads to greater scientific success, and also to a better work environment, both for men and women.<br /><br />Therefore, Chalmers is now making a great effort to deal with the skewed gender distribution. The investment is funded by the Chalmers Foundation and has a budget of 300 million SEK over ten years.<br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/20180101-20180630/StefanBengtsson_170907_150x200.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:145px;height:193px" /><br />“Different studies clearly show that the academy is not equal today – men and women are judged and treated differently. With this powerful investment, in addition to what we already do, we want to correct the imbalance and in addition become a stronger and more successful university. It's about making better use of the competence of the entire population,&quot; says Stefan Bengtsson, president and CEO of Chalmers.<br /><br />Chalmers has been working on gender equality for a long time. But the new investment, named Genie as an abbreviation of Gender Initiative for Excellence, represents a huge move to speed up the changes.<br /><br />Genie consists mainly of two parts. One is concrete work at each department in order to identify and eliminate structural and cultural barriers that impede women's careers. Departments that meet Chalmers’ gender equality requirements will receive a bonus in the internal funding distribution.<br /><br />The second p<span></span><span><span><span><span><span><span></span></span></span></span></span></span>art is direct recruitment of top female scientists, and to ensure that other recruitments, for example due to retirements, result in at least 50 percent women.<br /><span><span><span><span><span><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/20180101-20180630/PernillaWittungStafshede_150x200.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:140px;height:186px" /></span></span></span></span></span><br /><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span>&quot;It is abou<span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span>t bui<span><span><span><span></span></span></span></span>lding a critical mass of women. A small minority has difficulty gaining proper support. But that does not mean that we are lowering our competence requirements –<span><span><span></span></span></span> there are many female researchers who are extremely competent,” says professor<span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span> Pernilla Wittung Stafshede, one of the initiators of Genie.<span><span><span><span><span><span><span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><br /><span><span><br /><br /><br /></span></span><br />Text: Ingela Roos<br />Photo: Johan BodellFri, 29 Jun 2018 09:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/news/Pages/Sweden-invests-1-billion-SEK-in-testbed-for-electromobility.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/news/Pages/Sweden-invests-1-billion-SEK-in-testbed-for-electromobility.aspxSweden invests 1 billion SEK in testbed for electromobility<p><b>​RISE (Research Institutes of Sweden), and Chalmers University of Technology have now begun, with support from the Swedish government, the establishment of a Swedish testbed for electromobility. Overall, contributions from the government, and the industrial partners CEVT, Scania, Volvo Cars and Volvo Group, enable an investment of 1 billion Swedish krona for the testbed.</b></p>​In 2017, RISE and Chalmers University of Technology were tasked by the Swedish government with creating a testbed for electromobility. It has now been decided that the testbed, called the Swedish Electric Transport Laboratory (SEEL), will be located in the Lindholmen area of Gothenburg, with facilities in the Stockholm region too. RISE and Chalmers will build and own the facility jointly, with industry as the customer base.<br /><br />The aim of SEEL is to strengthen the competitiveness of the Swedish automotive industry, to help Sweden remain at the forefront of innovations in the transport sector, and to accelerate the shift towards a fossil-free Swedish society.<br /><br />SEEL will provide testing for all the different areas of electrified transport. For example, electrified gearboxes and driveshafts for different types of vehicles, drivetrain and component testing for hybrids and electric vehicles, as well as charging and smart power-management. Even the marine and aviation sectors are expected to be able to make use of the testbed.<br /><br /><div>“The automotive industry is extremely important for Sweden, and today we take an important step to secure Swedish automotive jobs in the great transition that is taking place in the transport sector. From fossil to renewable, from petrol and diesel to electricity. Our goal is to make Sweden one of the world's first fossil-free welfare states. And to do that we need to both cut emissions and secure our competitiveness. The Swedish automotive industry will play a key role in this transformation,&quot; says Mikael Damberg, Minister of Enterprise and Innovation.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/20180101-20180630/SEEL%20Presskonferens/180629-SEEL-1_750x340px.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><em>Mikael Damberg, </em><span><em>Minister of Enterprise and Innovation.</em></span><em>, speaking at the launch of SEEL</em><br /><br /></div> Stefan Bengtsson, President and CEO of Chalmers says, &quot;this investment offers great opportunities for education, research and industrial development. The testbed complements the laboratories that Chalmers already has. It is ideal for us to take responsibility as one of the owners, to effectively contribute to rapid knowledge development relating to electric vehicles&quot;.<br /><br />&quot;SEEL is unique in terms of the close collaboration that will take place between industry, institutes and academia. It has all the potential to become a world-leading electromobility testing facility. Together with our testing area for active vehicle safety, AstaZero, and our new test facility for stress-testing automotive electronics and wireless communications, Awitar, SEEL makes RISE well-equipped to be a strong innovation partner for the Swedish automotive industry in the future,&quot; explains RISE CEO Pia Sandvik.<br /><br />&quot;CEVT has a clear mission within the Geely Group to become a world-leading innovation center. Electromobility is an area that allows for new features that will be absolutely essential for our future products to meet tomorrow's requirements for fossil-free vehicles. Development of these features requires deep understanding of components and systems – SEEL will be part of the base we need to continuously develop this knowledge,&quot; says Mats Fägerhag, CEO of CEVT (China Euro Vehicle Technology).<br /><br />&quot;Scania is driving the shift towards a fossil-free transport system. Electrification will be an important part of that journey, and Sweden – with large vehicle makers, green energy and good cooperation between politics, academia and the corporate sector – has unique conditions to take a heavy role in this development globally,&quot; believes Björn Westman, Senior Vice President and head of powertrain development at Scania. &quot;The two electric transport laboratories will be very beneficial for both developing and testing of heavy electric vehicles in Sweden,” he continues.<br /><br />&quot;We in the automotive industry have a major role to play in climate-management, and electrification is an important part of that work,&quot; states Lars Stenqvist, Chief Technology Officer at Volvo Group. “We have started with buses and our first electric trucks, but much more research and development is required. SEEL will help us – and Sweden – to remain a leader in the development of vehicles and systems for climate-neutral transport.&quot;<br /><br />“Volvo Cars’ ambitious electrification strategy means that SEEL will be an important tool when developing and verifying the new technologies we are planning for the coming years,” says Paul Welander, Senior Vice President at Volvo Cars. &quot;During the years 2020-2025, we anticipate a significant shift towards electrified vehicles, so the timing for SEEL is ideal. It is also an investment that will benefit both the industry and society.”<br /><br /><div>The different parts of the test bed will come into use as they become ready, with the lab expected to be fully operational by 2022.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Text</strong>: Joshua Worth </div> <div><strong>Foto</strong>: Cicci Jonson/RISE <br /></div>Fri, 29 Jun 2018 00:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/How-smart-technology-gadgets-can-avoid-speed-limits.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/How-smart-technology-gadgets-can-avoid-speed-limits.aspxHow smart technology gadgets can avoid speed limits<p><b>Speed limits apply not only to traffic. There are limitations on the control of light as well, in optical switches for internet traffic, for example. Physicists at Chalmers University of Technology now understand why it is not possible to increase the speed beyond a certain limit – and know the circumstances in which it is best to opt for a different route.</b></p><div>Light and other electromagnetic waves play a crucial role in almost all modern electronics, for example in our mobile phones. In recent years researchers have developed artificial speciality materials – known as optomechanical metamaterials – which overcome the limitations inherent in natural materials in order to control the properties of light with a high degree of precision. For example, what are termed optical switches are used to change the colour or intensity of light. In internet traffic these switches can be switched on and off up to 100 billion times in a single second. But beyond that, the speed cannot be increased any further. These unique speciality materials are also subject to this limit.</div> <div> </div> <div><span><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/340x296px/philippeandsophieapple340x295.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><span style="display:inline-block"></span></span>“Researchers had high hopes of achieving higher and higher speeds in optical switches by further developing optomechanical metamaterials. We now know why these materials failed to outcompete existing technology in internet traffic and mobile communication networks,” says Sophie Viaene, a nanophotonics researcher at the Department of Physics at Chalmers.</div> <div> </div> <div>To find out why there are speed limits and what they mean, Viaene went outside the field of optics and analysed the phenomenon using what is termed non-linear dynamics in her doctoral thesis. The conclusion she reached is that it is necessary to choose a different route to circumvent the speed limits: instead of controlling an entire surface at once, the interaction with light can be controlled more efficiently by manipulating one particle at a time. Another way of solving the problem is to allow the speciality material to remain in constant motion at a constant speed and to measure the variations from this movement.</div> <div> </div> <div>But Viaene and her supervisor, Associate Professor Philippe Tassin, say that the speed limit does not pose a problem for all applications. It is not necessary to change the properties of light at such high speeds for screens and various types of displays. So there is great potential for the use of these speciality materials here since they are thin and can be flexible.</div> <div>Their results have determined the direction researchers should take in this area of research and their scientific article was recently published in the highly regarded journal Physical Review Letters. The pathway is now open for the ever smarter watches, screens and glasses of the future. </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>“The switching speed limit is not a problem in applications where we see the light, because our eyes do not react all that rapidly. We see a great potential for optomechanical metamaterials in the development of thin, flexible gadgets for interactive visualisation technology,” says Philippe Tassin, an associate professor at the Department of Physics at Chalmers.</div> <div>  <br /></div> <div>Text and image: Mia Halleröd Palmgren, <a href="mailto:mia.hallerodpalmgren@chalmers.se">mia.hallerodpalmgren@chalmers.se</a></div> <div> </div> <div>Caption (the image in the text above):Chalmers researchers Sophie Viaene and Philippe Tassin recently published their research findings in nanophotonics in the well-respected journal Physical Review Letters. They have determined what direction to take in their area of research. <br /></div> <div> </div> <div><span><a href="https://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.120.197402?"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" /></a><a href="https://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.120.197402?"><span style="display:inline-block"></span></a></span>Read the scientific article <a href="https://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.120.197402?">Do Optomechanical Metasurfaces Run Out of Time?</a> in Physical Review Letters. The article is written by Chalmers’ researchers Sophie Viaene and Philippe Tassin together with Vincent Ginis and Jan Danckaert from the Vrije Universitet Brussels and Harvard University.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">How nanophotonics and optomechanical metamaterials work:</h4> <div>Nanophotonics is a sub-field of physics which studies how to control and manipulate light by using structured electromagnetic materials.</div> <div>Light and electromagnetic waves are of crucial importance in our society, for the internet, smartphones, TV screens and so on. But in order to make further progress in developing optics technology, natural materials are no longer adequate. Artificial speciality materials, known as optomechanical metamaterials, are needed to circumvent the limitations inherent in natural materials. The research involves studying and designing artificial materials in order to develop properties which enable these materials to manipulate electromagnetic waves – ranging from microwaves through terahertz waves to visible light. The researchers design the materials by allowing small electric circuits to replace atoms as the underlying building blocks for the interaction of electromagnetic waves with matter. These structured electromagnetic materials allow components to be designed that can exert high-level control over light with a high degree of precision. <br /></div></div> <div> </div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">For more information:</h4> <div><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Philippe-Tassin.aspx">Philippe Tassin</a>, Associate Professor, Department of Physics, Chalmers, <a href="mailto:philippe.tassin@chalmers.se">philippe.tassin@chalmers.se</a>, </div> <div>+46 31 772 22 92</div> <div><a href="/en/staff/Pages/viaene.aspx">Sophie Viaene</a>, Researcher, Department of Physics, Chalmers, <a href="mailto:sophie.viaene@chalmers.se">sophie.viaene@chalmers.se</a>, +32 2 629 36 13 <br /></div> Thu, 28 Jun 2018 07:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/ict/news/Pages/Chalmers-makes-big-investment-in-AI.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/ict/news/Pages/Chalmers-makes-big-investment-in-AI.aspxChalmers makes big investment in AI<p><b>​Chalmers has committed to a big investment in Artificial Intelligence, that will raise research, development and innovation in this area to a new level. The Chalmers Foundation will co-finance a new competence centre, which will benefit and strengthen Sweden’s expertise in autonomous transport, digitalisation, healthcare, and more.</b></p><div>​New technology based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) has emerged from many different research areas at Chalmers. The combination of access to large amounts of data, powerful computational resources, and algorithms for machine-learning, has led to dramatic improvements in AI-based technologies. <br /> </div> <div><br /></div> <div>But, hand-in-hand with hopes for the great potential and social value of the technology, go concerns for the consequences – in terms of Swedish competitiveness and the technology’s possible risks for society. <br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>“We conduct outstanding research in AI, but we need to strengthen and coordinate what we do. Therefore, we are starting a new competence centre in AI at Chalmers, which shall involve several different departments, in collaboration with industry,” says Stefan Bengtsson, President and CEO of Chalmers. <br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>The centre for Artificial Intelligence will be led by the Chalmers Area of Advance, ‘Information and Communication Technology‘, where researchers from several departments, along with industry partners, students and guest researchers, will work together. <br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Interest in the new Chalmers AI centre is big, and the research has applications in many different areas. In transport, autonomous vehicles and AI based methods of modelling goods and developments are developing. In production, research in digitalisation and Industry 4.0 are in focus, and in eHealth, AI based solutions for diagnosis and patient processing are being investigated. <br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>The focus of the centre’s applied research will be created in close collaboration between Chalmers’ different Areas of Advance, and strategic industry partners. An important role of the centre is also to integrate its work with the national and international research initiatives in which Chalmers is actively involved. <br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Examples of such initiatives include the recently announced investments from the government into development of AI, which Chalmers has been tasked with coordinating, as well as initiatives from Swedish industry, who are ready to work with investing in AI research and development. This includes the Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program (WASP-AI), in which Chalmers has an active role, as well as the forthcoming AI &amp; Data Factory Arena, at Gothenburg’s Lindholmen Science Park. <br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>“To benefit from all these versatile initiatives, we need a strong collaborative effort and a clear, strategic vision. This coming investment will lift Chalmers’ AI research, development and innovation to a new level,” says Stefan Bengtsson. <br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Work on the new AI centre will begin immediately, with the goal of opening in January 2019. The financing will come mainly from the Chalmers Foundation, with 317 million kronor for the period 2019-28. Other investments from Chalmers’ industry partners will double the revenues for the centre. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>On Wednesday 20th June, Chalmers held a seminar to present in more detail all AI-related activities. <a href="/en/areas-of-advance/ict/news/Pages/AI-at-Chalmers-seminar.aspx">You can view the recorded livestream here.</a> <br /><br /></div>Wed, 27 Jun 2018 16:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Unique-energy-system-is-being-tested-at-Chalmers.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Unique-energy-system-is-being-tested-at-Chalmers.aspxUnique energy system is being tested at Chalmers<p><b>​This week, for the first time, a unique local marketplace for electricity, heat and cooling is being tested at Chalmers University of Technology, campus Johanneberg. The EU funded initiative is a collaboration between nine local partners and is being held to find new ways towards a fossil-free energy supply system at international level.​</b></p>​The Fossil-free Energy Districts (FED) project has been running for a year and a half, and now the digital, IoT-based marketplace is ready to be connected to campus buildings and tested in a sharp spot. The idea is that buildings that both consume and in some cases produce energy should communicate with each other to avoid energy consumption peaks that are both expensive and bad for the environment.<br /><br />– FED's marketplace is unique in several ways, partly because it connects both electricity, heat and cooling, and partly because it allows smaller players, such as a property owner who has installed solar panels on the roof, to participate in energy trading. At the same time, the system is connected to the larger external network, in our case Göteborg Energi, which provides cover when needed, says Claes Sommansson, FED Project Manager at Johanneberg Science Park.<br /><br />The FED system handles large amounts of data, both from property owners own systems and information such as weather and electricity pricing, and is updated hour by hour. But it is not the property owners themselves who have to process the information. This work is done by smart digital agents who make decisions to optimize energy efficiency in the area. The AI agents are programmed by Ericsson and based on machine learning, which means that they will get better at their job over time.<br /><br /><div>– The biggest advantage of FED is that it's a flexible system and that's something we'll need in the future when the share of energy from renewable sources, like solar and wind, grows. The uneven supply of these sources causes price fluctuations to grow, but the agents in the FED system can for example predict a cold spell and decide to start heating a house before it happens. In this way, you can buy energy at a lower price, before demand increases, but you also avoid burning fossil fuels like gas and oil, says Ericsson's Joakim Pontén, who has been in charge of the IT solution within FED.</div> <div><br />Researchers at Chalmers have done simulations and analysis to build the models that will make the energy system and the marketplace work. <a href="/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Chalmers-is-becoming-a-unique-marketplace-for-energy.aspx">Read more about the work of the researchers.</a><br /></div> <br />The two property owners at Chalmers, Akademiska Hus and Chalmersfastigheter, are obvious partners in the project, and together they are making significant investments that will be rolled out in the autumn, including several new solar cells and a large battery for storing solar power. The entire FED system is expected to be operational at the end of the year, and the tests being carried out now are an important milestone.<br /><br />– A major challenge has been to connect the property owners' systems with Ericsson and Göteborg Energi's systems. The test week we are now completing is confirmation that our property systems linked to the parent FED marketplace are working well, says Per Löveryd, Innovation Coordinator at Akademiska Hus. <div><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="Joakim Pontén and Per Löveryd" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Chalmers%20blir%20unik%20handelsplats%20för%20energi/FED-Per-Löveryd-Joakim-Ponten_500px.jpg" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><div><br /></div> <div>Joakim Pontén, Ericsson and Per Löveryd, Akademiska Hus. <br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Facts about the project</strong></div> <div>The Fossil-free Energy Districts project, FED, is an innovative effort by the City of Gothenburg to decrease the use of energy and the dependence on fossil fuel in a built environment. A unique local marketplace for electricity, district heating and cooling is being developed together with nine strong partners. The City of Gothenburg, Johanneberg Sciene Park, Göteborg Energi, Business Region Göteborg, Ericsson, RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Akademiska Hus, Chalmersfastigheter and Chalmers University of Technology are all contributing with their expertise and knowledge to make FED attractive for other European cities as well. Johanneberg Science Park has the coordinating role on behalf of the city. During 2017−2019 the FED testbed will be situated on Chalmers Campus Johanneberg. FED is co-financed by the European Regional and Development Fund through the Urban Innovative Actions Initiative, an initiative of the European Commission for cities to test new solutions for urban challenges.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Read more:<br /><a href="https://www.johannebergsciencepark.com/en/projects/fed-fossil-free-energy-districts" target="_blank">About FED on the Johanneberg Science Park website</a><br /><a href="http://www.uia-initiative.eu/en/uia-cities/gothenburgiencepark.com/fed" target="_blank">About FED in Urban Innovative Actions</a><br /><br /></div></div>Wed, 27 Jun 2018 13:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/news/Pages/new-masters-students.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/news/Pages/new-masters-students.aspxWhat to expect as a Master&#39;s student<p><b>​This autumn hundreds of Master´s students from around the world will arrive at Chalmers. There are many new experiences that come with moving to not just a new university, but also a new country.</b></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">University Vice President Maria Knutson Wedel, and Student Union President Gustav Eriksson share their advice for making the most of your time at Chalmers, and in Gothenburg.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">“For many students it can be surprising that students here are also ‘co-actors’ at the university. </span><span lang="EN-US">Many former Master´s students mention that the learning proces at Chalmers is different from how it is in their home countries, with ‘Swedish study habits’, says Maria Knutson Wedel. <br /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">“In Sweden we use a lot of team work when we study, and students call their teacher by first name </span><span lang="EN-US">– even the University President”, she continues.<br /></span></p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span lang="EN-US">&quot;All members should thrive and develop&quot;</span></h2> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="background-color:initial">Gustav Eriksson stresses that the Student Union is about being there for the students, and that students should seize the opportunity to take part in the union´s activities to get as much as possible out of their study time at Chalmers.</span><br /></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">“Our vision is ‘All members </span><span lang="EN-US">should thrive and develop during their time at Chalmers’ </span><span lang="EN-US">– and that is of course also true for the master students”, he says. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">Maria Knutson Wedel recommends going to the many events that are being held during the orientation weeks.<br /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">“During this time, there´s a wide range of events on offer, and you can find friends and study companions. Have a look at the ‘ice breaker-events’”.</span></p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span lang="EN-US">An international campus</span></h2> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">Gustav Eriksson, also emphasises the international flair that the foreign students give Chalmers.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">“It is great to have you here, and to have you contribute to the international atmosphere at Chalmers that makes us all grow”.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">“Building contacts with the Swedish students is one of the keys to achieving an international and integrated environment at Chalmers – which benefits us all”.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"><strong>So – how do you make friends with a Swede?</strong></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">“I think all of us here really welcome your arrival which brings the world to Chalmers . Swedes really appreciate being approached, and people trying to make contact with them – even if we might seem a bit difficult and shy in the beginning. Just try!”, says Maria Knutson Wedel.​</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"><br /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"><strong>Text:</strong> Erik Krång</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"><strong>Photo:</strong> Johan Bodell</span></p> Wed, 27 Jun 2018 11:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/ims/news/Pages/on-the-quest-for-high-entropy-alloys.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/ims/news/Pages/on-the-quest-for-high-entropy-alloys.aspxOn the quest for high-entropy alloys that survive 1500 °C<p><b>​An aero-engine should operate at the highest possible temperature for the best output power and energy efficiency. But today’s metal alloys in the engines need cooling – otherwise they turn into powders. This causes alarming energy losses. Saad Sheikh is on the quest to design optimum alloys that survive ultra-high temperatures.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">High-entropy alloys (HEAs), or multi-principal-element alloys, is a new and growing field, and has gained enormous interest in recent years as potential ultra-high temperature materials. The materials and manufacture researcher Saad Sheikh focuses on developing HEAs with optimum tensile ductility and strength, superior than the current state-of-the-art nickel based superalloys. </span><div><br /><span style="background-color:initial"></span><div>This work is driven by the need to improve the energy efficiency of aerospace and power-generation gas-turbine engines. For example, if cooling of aero-engines can be avoided, the aero-engine output power and energy efficiency would increase up to 50%. Other applications like solar power, fuel cells, materials processing and petro-chemistry can also benefit from the results. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>The aim is to be able to operate engines at higher temperatures </strong>than today. Today’s engines expose the nickel based superalloys inside to temperatures approaching 1200 °C, which is close to 90% of their melting points. In the hottest region of a turbine engine, temperatures are approaching 1500 °C. By using complex cooling systems and coatings the nickel based superalloys can exist in the hottest region but the efficiency gained from operating at higher temperatures is greatly reduced, as the cooling needs extra work.</div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/IMS/Material%20och%20tillverkning/Saad-Sheikh_250pxl.jpg" alt="Saad Sheikh" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" style="margin:5px" /><br /><span style="background-color:initial;font-family:calibri, sans-serif;font-size:11pt">– </span><span style="background-color:initial">The current situation of higher inefficiency losses is alarming, but also provides opportunity to look for new ground-breaking materials. It is a big but intriguing scientific challenge, says Saad Sheikh.</span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Saad Sheikh</strong> comes from a materials science background and did his Masters in Materials Processing at KTH in Stockholm. Before joining Chalmers University of Technology as a PhD student, he also worked on mechanical properties of cutting tools within the Swedish industry. He is very interested in alloy development and mechanical properties of new structural and high-temperature materials for sustainable energy systems. He explains the difference between HEAs and conventional alloys. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="font-family:calibri, sans-serif;font-size:11pt;background-color:initial">– </span>Conventional alloys are usually based on one or two principal elements. HEAs consist of at least four principal metallic elements with an atomic percentage of each element between 5 % and 35 %. These multi-component element alloys can enable formation of simple solid solution phases. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>In his research</strong>, Saad Sheikh has strived to improve HEAs in several ways. Firstly he has contributed with improved understanding of the solid solubility in HEAs. Secondly he has proposed a mechanism and route for increasing the ductility in refractory, or heat resistant, HEAs – so-called RHEAs.</div> <img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/IMS/Material%20och%20tillverkning/Saad-Sheikh-True-tensile-stress-strain-curve_250pxl.png" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="True tensile stress-strain curve for Hf0.5Nb0.5Ta0.5Ti1.5Zr. The inset shows the microstructure at the fractured surface." style="margin:5px" /><span style="font-weight:700"></span> <div><br /></div> <div>Thirdly, which has been the ultimate goal of his work, Saad Sheikh has addressed the balance of mechanical properties and oxidation resistance for RHEAs, aiming at high-temperature applications. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="font-family:calibri, sans-serif;font-size:11pt;background-color:initial">– </span>In studies I have found out that the insufficient oxidation resistance in existing ductile RHEAs is attributed to the failure in forming protective oxide scales accompanied by the accelerated internal oxidation leading to pesting corrosion. Aluminizing is a promising solution.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><em>Image: </em><span style="background-color:initial"><i>True tensile stress-strain curve for the as-cast Hf0.5Nb0.5Ta0.5Ti1.5Zr. The inset shows the microstructure at the fractured surface.​</i></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><i><br /></i></span></div> <div>These studies provide important input to the further development of RHEAs as novel high-temperature materials and shed light on the design of refractory HEAs with optimal mechanical as well as heat and oxidation resistance properties.</div> <div><br /></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">FACTS</h2> <div>Saad Sheikh belongs to the division of <a href="/en/departments/ims/research/mm/Pages/default.aspx">Materials and Manufacture</a> at the department of <a href="/en/departments/ims/Pages/default.aspx">Industrial and Materials Science</a>. He recently presented his doctoral thesis with the title: </div> <div><a href="https://research.chalmers.se/publication/503532" target="_blank">Alloy Design for High-Entropy Alloys: Predicting Solid Solubility, and Balancing Mechanical Properties and Oxidation Resistance</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div>If you want to learn more about refractory high-entropy alloys, we recommend to read:</div> <div><a href="https://aip.scitation.org/doi/abs/10.1063/1.4966659" target="_blank">Alloy design for intrinsically ductile refractory high-entropy alloys, published 2016 in the prestigious Journal of Applied Physics.</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Saad Sheikh has been granted a postdoc fellowship by the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research (SSF) and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). He will be placed in Japan at the <a href="http://www.nims.go.jp/eng/" target="_blank">National Institute for Materials Science in Tsukuba</a>, with focus on ultra-high temperature materials (alloy design and mechanical properties) for two years. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Please contact <a href="/en/staff/Pages/sheng-guo.aspx" title="Link to profile page of Sheng Guo" target="_blank">Associate Professor Sheng Guo​</a>, Saad Sheikh's supervisor for more information</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>RELATED NEWS</strong></div> <div><a href="/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/Ground-breaking-discoveries-could-create-tougher-alloys-with-many-applications.aspx" target="_blank">Superior alloys could be possible, thanks to ground-breaking research</a></div> <div><br /></div></div> ​<div><em>Text: Nina Silow</em><br /><em>Images: Airbus, Nina Silow and Saad Sheikh</em></div> ​Wed, 27 Jun 2018 00:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/production/news/Pages/first-harvest-from-the-seed-bed-programme.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/production/news/Pages/first-harvest-from-the-seed-bed-programme.aspxFirst harvest from the seed-bed programme<p><b>​​Earlier this year we reported about the launch of a new Research Associate Programme in the Production Area of Advance. Four students from four different master programs were appointed as the pioneering research associates in this seed-bed programme. Having just presented their research results, what did the students think about the programme?</b></p><div>Inspired by US universities, <a href="/en/areas-of-advance/production/Pages/default.aspx">the Production Area of Advance</a> earlier this year launched a new Research Associate Programme to enable talented students from the master programs to obtain some experience from research activities. In the first round, four project applications by students from four different master programs was granted. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="/en/areas-of-advance/production/news/Pages/Seed-bed-for-future-production-researchers.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read more about the programme and the pioneering projects in the first article: Seed-bed for future production researchers</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div>The projects have been reported mid-term and the final reports have recently been held. We are now curious to hear how the students have experienced this period as researchers. <strong>Priska Herzog</strong> is the first to answer and she starts with the very beginning.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“It was nice to be able to choose ourselves what we wanted to do”, says Priska Herzog.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>She decided on a project connected to her burning interest in sports. The project was about involving sports technology in product development with the aim to improve the offering of sports projects for students. <span style="background-color:initial">Priska did a survey among her fellow students to investigate the interest for sports related studies. The result was very positive and Priska now recommends Chalmers to motivate lecturers to use sports technology in courses. As for trying out as a researcher, she made an observation during the project. </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div>“It was good to have a project to refer to when contacting professors. It was easier to get their attention than usual”, says Priska. On that comment, the other students nods and <strong>Adis Imsirovic</strong> says:</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“I got good help from my mentor MariAnne (professor MariAnne Karlsson, editor’s note) to narrow the scope of my research”. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>In Adis project he wanted to compare the view of design between Scandinavian and Balkan designers and based his research on several interviews with both academic and industrial representatives in Sweden and Bosnia-Herzegovina. At the beginning of the project he got a bit overwhelmed about the task. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“It would have been nice to have an introduction to research work in the beginning, in order to get a good start”, says Adis and continues “the research turned out to be a lot more work than expected”. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>During the project accounts, Adis Imsirovic presented a thick research report and <a href="/en/staff/Pages/johan-malmqvist.aspx">Professor Johan Malmqvist</a>, who is responsible for the Research Associate Programme, suggested that Adis should use the report as a basis and submit it to a scientific conference. Being a student with a published scientific article in his CV would be unusual and a benefit to him. By publishing the material, all Adis hard work during the spring would provide him additional bonus effects.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Also <a href="/en/staff/Pages/melanie-despeisse.aspx">Assistant Professor Mélanie Despeisse</a> thought that publishing the student’s results would be a good idea. Her protégé <strong>Hasnain Thathia</strong> studied how digital technologies can support the conversion towards sustainable production. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Both Adis and Hasnain used interviews in their research and came across one of the challenges this research method brings. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“It was very time consuming to listen to all the recorded material afterwards”, says Adis. Hasnain smiled in recognition and agrees but also says that he appreciates the Research Associate Programme. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“I am grateful for this opportunity. It has been a good experience to get insights about what research is and helps me to make a good decision about whether or not I want to pursue with research”, says Hasnain.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The forth student is <strong>Shankar Paramasivam</strong>. Unlike the others, he used physical experiments, modelling and analysis in his research. For example he used a single fibre pull-out test to see what force was needed before the bio composite cellulose fibre broke and how the force affected the fibre.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“I’ve learn a lot about time management and taking up responsibilities. In student projects we usually work in groups and take common responsibility. In this project it was down to me alone and that was a new educative experience”, says Shankar.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>However, the responsibility does not seem to have scared him off. Shankar definitely sees research as a future career path.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Yes, I would like to work as a researcher in the future”, says Shankar.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Adis Imsirovic says that he wants to work in industry first but might come back to research later on. Priska Herzog shares Shankar’s view.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“I will definitely want to work either as a PhD student or with product development in an innovation driven company”, says Priska.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>The person behind the idea</strong> of the Research Associate Programme is Professor Johan Malmqvist who initially had the ambition to show students some of the benefits of being a researcher. How does he think the program has worked out?</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“I am very pleased with outcome of the programme. It was the first time that is was operated, but it seems that we got the basic design right. Many students applied to the programme. The ones selected worked very hard and, with the engaged guidance from their faculty sponsors, produced very interesting results. In addition, the students expressed that the programme enabled them to develop personally in a way that is not possible in a regular course. The first round of the programme was a clear success”, says Johan Malmqvist.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>So the final question is, will there be a continuation?</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Yes, the programme will be offered in a similar form the next academic year. Further ahead, we expect the programme to become a regular component of the master’s programmes within the Production Area of Advance, with recognized importance for attracting potential student to Chalmers, for encouraging personal student-faculty interaction, and for stimulating talents students to pursue a research career”, concludes Johan Malmqvist.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="/en/areas-of-advance/production/education/Pages/production-research-associate-programme.aspx" title="Link to basic info about the research associate programme" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read more about the Production Research Associate Programme​</a></div> <div><br /></div> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">For more information, please contact:</h5> <div><a href="/en/staff/Pages/johan-malmqvist.aspx">Professor Johan Malmqvist</a>, Educational Officer of the Production Area of Advance.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><ul><li><span style="background-color:initial">Priska Herzog is studying Product Development and her mentor was Professor Ola Isaksson.</span><br /></li> <li><span style="background-color:initial">Adis Imsirovic is a student in Industrial Design Engineering with Professor MariAnne Karlsson as his mentor. </span><br /></li> <li><span style="background-color:initial">Hasnain Thathia is a student in Production Engineering mentored by Assistant Professor Mélanie Despeisse.</span><br /></li> <li><span style="background-color:initial">Shankar Paramasivam is a student in Applied Mechanics with Associate Professor Martin Fagerström and Professor Gunnar Westman as his mentors.</span><br /></li></ul></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text and photo: Nina Silow</div> ​​Tue, 26 Jun 2018 00:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/Graphene-assembled-film-shows-higher-thermal-conductivity-than-graphite-film.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/Graphene-assembled-film-shows-higher-thermal-conductivity-than-graphite-film.aspxGraphene assembled film shows higher thermal conductivity than graphite film<p><b>​Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have developed a graphene assembled film that has over 60 percent higher thermal conductivity than graphite film – despite the fact that graphite simply consists of many layers of graphene. The graphene film shows great potential as a novel heat spreading material for form-factor driven electronics and other high power-driven systems.</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial">Until now, scientists in the graphene research community have assumed that graphene assembled film cannot have higher thermal conductivity than graphite film. Single layer graphene has a thermal conductivity between 3500 and 5000 W/mK. If you put two graphene layers together, then it theoretically becomes graphite, as graphene is only one layer of graphite.</span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Today, graphite films, which are practically useful for heat dissipation and spreading in mobile phones and other power devices, have a thermal conductivity of up to 1950 W/mK. Therefore, the graphene-assembled film should not have higher thermal conductivity than this. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Research scientists at Chalmers University of Technology have recently changed this situation. They discovered that the thermal conductivity of graphene assembled film can reach up to 3200 W/mK, which is over 60 percent higher than the best graphite films.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/jliu_2016_350x305.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />Professor Johan Liu (to the right) and his research team have done this through careful control of both grain size and the stacking orders of graphene layers. The high thermal conductivity is a result of large grain size, high flatness, and weak interlayer binding energy of the graphene layers. With these important features, phonons, whose movement and vibration determine the thermal performance, can move faster in the graphene layers rather than interact between the layers, thereby leading to higher thermal conductivity. </div> <div>“This is indeed a great scientific break-through, and it can have a large impact on the transformation of the existing graphite film manufacturing industry”, says Johan Liu.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Furthermore, the researchers discovered that the graphene film has almost three times higher mechanical tensile strength than graphite film, reaching 70 MPa.  </div> <div>“With the advantages of ultra-high thermal conductivity, and thin, flexible, and robust structures, the developed graphene film shows great potential as a novel heat spreading material for thermal management of form-factor driven electronics and other high power-driven systems”, says Johan Liu.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>As a consequence of never-ending miniaturization and integration, the performance and reliability of modern electronic devices and many other high-power systems are greatly threatened by severe thermal dissipation issues.</div> <div>“To address the problem, heat spreading materials must get better properties when it comes to thermal conductivity, thickness, flexibility and robustness, to match the complex and highly integrated nature of power systems”, says Johan Liu. “Commercially available thermal conductivity materials, like copper, aluminum, and artificial graphite film, will no longer meet and satisfy these demands.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The IP of the high-quality manufacturing process for the graphene film belongs to SHT Smart High Tech AB, a spin-off company from Chalmers, which is going to focus on the commercialization of the technology.</div> <div><br /></div> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">More about the research</h5> <div>The work has been done in collaboration with research teams at Uppsala University and SHT Smart High Tech AB in Sweden, Shanghai and Tongji University in China and University of Colorado Boulder in USA.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>The paper is published online in the well-known scientific journal Small, with the weblink: </strong><a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/smll.201801346">onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/smll.201801346</a></div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Related publications:</strong> </div> <div>Nat. Commun. 7:11281 doi: 10.1038/ncomms11281 (2016). <a href="http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2016/160429/ncomms11281/full/ncomms11281.html">www.nature.com/ncomms/2016/160429/ncomms11281/full/ncomms11281.html</a></div> <div>Carbon 106 (2016) 195-201, <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.carbon.2016.05.014">dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.carbon.2016.05.014</a> </div> <div>Carbon 61 (2013) 342-348,<a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.carbon.2013.05.014">dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.carbon.2013.05.014​</a></div> <div>Advanced Materials, DOI: 10.1002/adma.201104408)</div> <div><br /></div> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">More about the graphene film</h5> <div>The manufacturing method of the graphene film is based on simultaneous graphene oxide film formation and reduction, on aluminum substrate, dry-bubbling film separation, followed by high-temperature treatment as well as mechanical pressing. These conditions enable the formation of the graphene film with large grain size, good atomic alignment, thin-film structure, and low interlayer binding energy. All these features have great benefit for the transfer of both high-frequency diffusive phonons and low-frequency ballistic phonons, and thereby lead to the improvement of in-plane thermal conductivity of the graphene film. Phonons are quantum particles that describe the thermal conductivity of a material.</div> <div><br /></div> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">For further information, please contact:</h5> <div>Johan Liu, Professor at the Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience <span style="background-color:initial">–</span><span style="background-color:initial"> MC2, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, +46 31 772 30 67, </span><a href="mailto:jliu@chalmers.se">jliu@chalmers.se​</a></div> <span></span><div></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Photo Source: Johan Liu/Krantz Nanoart</div> Thu, 21 Jun 2018 13:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/ict/news/Pages/AI-at-Chalmers-seminar.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/ict/news/Pages/AI-at-Chalmers-seminar.aspxArtificial intelligence at Chalmers: present and future<p><b>​At this seminar, we provide insights into some of the ongoing and planned initiatives at Chalmers in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI), and discuss how they relate to other activities in the region and in Sweden.</b></p><div>​ <br /></div> <div><div><em><strong>Above you can access the seminar in whole, and below you will find direct links to the specific parts of the program.</strong></em><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>The programme</strong><br /></div> <div><ul><li>Chalmers president <a href="https://youtu.be/rxd5xRvUstE?t=5" target="_blank"><strong>Stefan Bengtsson</strong></a> opens the seminar with some introductory remarks. </li> <li>The ICT Area of Advance management, <a href="https://youtu.be/rxd5xRvUstE?t=470" target="_blank">Director <strong>Ivica Crnkovic</strong> and Co-Director <strong>Giuseppe Durisi</strong></a>, talks about the visions for a new centre in AI at Chalmers (Chalmers Artificial Intelligence Research Centre – CHAIR) and provides an update on the status of this initiative.</li> <li><strong><a href="https://youtu.be/rxd5xRvUstE?t=1519" target="_blank">Jan Smith</a></strong> will talk about the plans for a national initiative for education in AI. <strong><a href="https://youtu.be/rxd5xRvUstE?t=2381" target="_blank">Richard Johansson</a></strong> briefly presents the new master’s programme in Data Science at Chalmers.</li> <li><span><a href="https://youtu.be/rxd5xRvUstE?t=3212" target="_blank"><strong>David Sands</strong>, <strong>Holge</strong><strong>r Rootzen, Rebecka Jörnsten</strong> and <strong>Dag Wedelin</strong></a> provide an overview of some of the current activities within the Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software program, WASP.<span style="display:inline-block"></span></span><br /></li> <li><strong><a href="https://youtu.be/rxd5xRvUstE?t=7040" target="_blank">Maria Hedlund</a></strong>, acting CEO of Lindholmen Science Park will provide an update on the current discussion about creating an AI Arena at Lindholmen.</li> <li><a href="https://youtu.be/rxd5xRvUstE?t=8281" target="_blank">Panel on the current research challenges within AI</a>. Panelists: <strong>Erik Rosén</strong> (Zenuity), <strong>Devdat</strong><strong>t Dubhashi</strong> (Chalmers, CSE), <strong>Rebeck</strong><strong>a Jörnsten</strong> (Chalmers, MV), <strong>Lennar</strong><strong>t Svensson</strong> (Chalmers, E2), <strong>Robert Feldt</strong> (Chalmers, CSE). <br /></li></ul></div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The seminar was held on Wednesday 20 June 2018.<br /></div>Tue, 19 Jun 2018 08:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/Ground-breaking-discoveries-could-create-tougher-alloys-with-many-applications.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/Ground-breaking-discoveries-could-create-tougher-alloys-with-many-applications.aspxSuperior alloys could be possible, thanks to ground-breaking research<p><b>Many current and future technologies require alloys that can withstand high temperatures​ without corroding. Now, researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have hailed a major breakthrough in understanding how alloys behave at high temperatures, pointing the way to significant improvements in many technologies. The results are published in the highly ranked journal Nature Materials.​</b></p><div style="font-size:14px"><div><span>Developing alloys that can withst​and high temperatures without corroding is a key challenge for many fields, such as renewable and sustainable energy technologies like concentrated solar power and solid oxide fuel cells, as well as aviation, materials processing and petrochemistry. </span></div> <span> </span><div><span><br /></span> </div> <span> </span><div><span>At high temperatures, alloys can react violently with their environment, quickly causing the materials to fail by corrosion. To protect against this, all high temperature alloys are designed to form a protective oxide scale, usually consisting of aluminium oxide or chromium oxide. This oxide scale plays a decisive role in preventing the metals from corroding. Therefore, research on high temperature corrosion is very focused on these oxide scales – how they are formed, how they perform at high heat, and how they sometimes fail.</span></div> <span> </span><div><span>The article in Nature Materials answers two classical issues in the area. One applies to the very small additives of so-called ‘reactive elements’ – often yttrium and zirconium – found in all high-temperature alloys. The second issue is about the role of water vapour.</span></div> <div><span style="font-size:10.66px"> </span></div></div> <div><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/350x305/TItan%20Microscope.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><span style="font-size:10.66px"><span style="background-color:window"> <span style="font-size:14px">“Adding reactive elements to alloys results in a huge improvement in performance – but no one has been able to provide robust experimental proof why,” says Nooshin Mortazavi, materials researcher at Chalmers’ Department of Physics, and first author of the study. “Likewise, the role of water, which is always present in high-temperature environments, in the form of steam, has been little understood. Our paper will help solve these enigmas”. </span></span></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:10.66px"><span style="background-color:window"><span style="font-size:14px"><br /></span></span></span> </div> <span style="font-size:14px"> </span><span style="font-size:14px"></span><div style="font-size:14px"><span>In this paper, the Chalmers researchers show how these two elements are linked. They demonstrate how the reactive elements in the alloy promote the growth of an aluminium oxide scale. The presence of these reactive element particles causes the oxide scale to grow inward, rather than outward, thereby facilitating the transport of water from the environment, towards the alloy substrate. Reactive elements and water combine to create a fast-growing, nanocrystalline, oxide scale. </span></div> <div style="font-size:14px"><span><br /></span> </div> <span style="font-size:14px"> </span><div style="font-size:14px"><span>“This paper challenges several accepted ‘truths’ in the science of high temperature corrosion and opens up exciting new avenues of research and alloy development,” says Lars Gunnar Johansson, Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at Chalmers, Director of the Competence Centre for High Temperature Corrosion (HTC) and co-author of the paper. </span></div> <div style="font-size:14px"><span><br /></span> </div> <span style="font-size:14px"> </span><div style="font-size:14px"><span>“Everyone in the industry has been waiting for this discovery. This is a paradigm shift in the field of high-temperature oxidation,” says Nooshin Mortazavi. “We are now establishing new principles for understanding the degradation mechanisms in this class of materials at very high temperatures.” </span></div> <div style="font-size:14px"><span><br /></span> </div> <span style="font-size:14px"> </span><div style="font-size:14px"><span>Further to their discoveries, the Chalmers researchers suggest a practical method for creating more resistant alloys. They demonstrate that there exists a critical size for the reactive element particles. Above a certain size, reactive element particles cause cracks in the oxide scale, that provide an easy route for corrosive gases to react with the alloy substrate, causing rapid corrosion. This means that a better, more protective oxide scale can be achieved by controlling the size distribution of the reactive element particles in the alloy.</span></div> <span style="font-size:14px"> </span><div style="font-size:14px"><span>This ground-breaking research from Chalmers University of Technology points the way to stronger, safer, more resistant alloys in the future. </span></div> <div><br /> </div> <div>Text: Joshua Worth and Johanna Wilde</div> <div>Image: Johan Bodell</div> <div>Caption (the image in the text above): Nooshin Mortazavi and the Titan TEM microscope, which was used to investigate the nanocrystalline oxide forming on high-temperature alloys.  ​​<br /></div> <div><br /> </div> <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41563-018-0105-6"></a><a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41563-018-0105-6"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" /></a><div style="display:inline !important"><a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41563-018-0105-6">Read the scientific paper <span style="background-color:initial"><em>Interplay of water and reactive eleme</em></span><span style="background-color:initial"><em>nts in oxidation of alumina-forming alloys</em> </span></a><span style="background-color:initial"><a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41563-018-0105-6">in Nature Materials.</a></span></div> <div><div><a href="http://www.mynewsdesk.com/uk/chalmers/pressreleases/ground-breaking-discoveries-could-create-superior-alloys-with-many-applications-2546991"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read the press release from Chalmers University of Technology and download high-resolution images. ​</a></div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">More about: Potential consequences of the research breakthrough</h4> <div>High temperature alloys are used in a variety of areas, and are essential to many technologies which underpin our civilisation. They are crucial for both new and traditional renewable energy technologies, such as &quot;green&quot; electricity from biomass, biomass gasification, bio-energy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), concentrated solar energy, and solid oxide fuel cells. They are also crucial in many other important technology areas such as jet engines, petrochemistry and materials processing.</div> <div>All these industries and technologies are entirely dependent on materials that can withstand high temperatures – 600 ° C and beyond – without failing due to corrosion. There is a constant demand for materials with improved heat resistance, both for developing new high temperature technologies, and for enhancing the process efficiency of existing ones. </div> <div>For example, if the turbine blades in an aircraft's jet engines could withstand higher temperatures, the engine could operate more efficiently, resulting in fuel-savings for the aviation industry. Or, if you can produce steam pipes with better high-temperature capability, biomass-fired power plants could generate more power per kilogram of fuel. </div> <div>Corrosion is one of the key obstacles to material development within these areas. The Chalmers researchers' article provides new tools for researchers and industry to develop alloys that withstand higher temperatures without quickly corroding. </div> <div><br /> </div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">More About: The Research</h4> <div>The Chalmers researchers’ explanation of how oxide scale growth occurs – which has been developed using several complementary methods for experimentation and quantum chemistry modelling – is completely new to both the research community, and the industry in the field of high-temperature materials.</div> <div>The research was carried out by the High Temperature Corrosion Center (HTC) (www.htc.chalmers.se) in a collaboration between the Departments of Chemistry and Physics at Chalmers, together with the world leading materials manufacturer Kanthal, part of the Sandvik group. HTC is jointly funded by the Swedish Energy Agency, 21 member-companies and Chalmers. </div> <div>The paper was published in the highly prestigious journal <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41563-018-0105-6">Nature Materials​</a>. </div> <div><br /><br /></div> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">Related news: ​</h5> <div><a href="/en/departments/ims/news/Pages/on-the-quest-for-high-entropy-alloys.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />On the quest for high-entropy alloys that survive 1500 °C ​​</a><br /></div> <div style="display:inline !important"><span style="background-color:initial"><a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41563-018-0105-6"></a></span> </div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/750x340/Nooshin%20WEB.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br />Nooshin Mortazavi is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Physics at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden. <a href="/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/Materials-scientists-wins-two-prestigious-fellowships-------.aspx">She was recently awarded prestigious fellowships by the Wenner-Gren Foundation and the Wallenberg Foundation. ​</a><span style="background-color:initial">She can now choose between two or three years of postdoctoral training at either Harvard University or at Stanford University in the US – followed by two years at Chalmers Univ</span><span style="background-color:initial">​ersity. </span></div> <div><br /> </div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">For more information: </h4> <div><div><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Nooshin-Mortazavi-Seyedeh.aspx">Nooshin Mortazavi​</a>, Postdoctoral researcher, Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology, , +46 73 387 32 26, +46 31 772 67 83, <span style="background-color:initial">nooshin.mortazavi@chalmers.se</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span></div> <div><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/lg.aspx">Lars-Gunnar Johansson</a>, Professor, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, +46 31 772 28 72, <span style="background-color:initial">lg@chalmers.se,​</span></div> </div></div>Tue, 19 Jun 2018 07:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/ims/news/Pages/the-2018-jubilee-professor-wants-more-philosophy-in-businesses.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/ims/news/Pages/the-2018-jubilee-professor-wants-more-philosophy-in-businesses.aspxThe 2018 jubilee professor wants more philosophy in businesses<p><b>​Professor Claudia Eckert of Open University in the UK is one of Chalmers four jubilee professors in 2018. For three months she visits the hosting department of Industrial and Materials Science. With a background in mathematics and philosophy together experience from artificial intelligence, fashion and helicopter industries, she wants to help strengthen Chalmers research in design.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">Claudia Eckert has a combined background in mathematics and philosophy. Usually she is a professor of design at Open University in Great Britain, but in 2018 she spends three months in Gothenburg as one of Chalmers four jubilee professors. During her visit, her hosts are the <a href="/en/departments/ims/Pages/default.aspx" title="Link to department">Department of Industrial and Materials Sciences</a>, and more specifically, the research group <a href="/en/departments/ims/research/product-development/Pages/systems-engineering-design.aspx" title="Link to research group">Systems Engineering Design</a>.</span><div><br /><span style="background-color:initial"></span><div>The Systems Engineering Design group studies product development processes and has platform-based development as a special interest. This orientation fits well with Claudia Eckert's research. Her research aims at understanding how design processes work and she likes to compare different design areas, from the production of knitted garments in the fashion industry to production of helicopters or trucks. How is it possible to compare such different product areas?<br /><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">– Looking at the design processes, the similarities are greater than you might think,&quot; says Claudia Eckert. Here you are used to vehicle development, but in the fashion industry you also start with an idea, create a concept and go on producing prototypes and test series before running production. I also believe that the fashion industry has a platform approach where design elements and fabrics are reused in different garments to create a brand recognition and to save money. However, the term platform is not used.</span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>The big difference between the fashion design and product development processes in engineering is the time frame.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>– The process is much faster. Instead of taking several years to develop a new product, a new garment can be made in a week.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Claudia Eckert looks at processes as a system, or as multiple systems connected with each other. The systems approach is also in line with the research done at Chalmers. She says that the holistic view is necessary to be able to develop products in a sustainable way. Life cycle analysis is a relatively common approach to sustainability aspects of product development, but Claudia does not think that the method is sufficient. </div> <div>“It is a bit too narrow. There may be effects in the environment, at a higher system level, that are omitted. “</div> <div>She gives an example from a German children's program on asparagus cultivation.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>– The Germans love their asparagus in the spring. In one asparagus field they warm up the ground to get an earlier harvest. This sounds devastating from an environmental point of view – if you focus on the heating alone. But in this case the heat came from hot water waste that a nearby factory needed to get rid of and the waste became a resource instead.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>As a help to see the overall picture and act more responsibly, Claudia encourages more philosophy in the corporate world.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>– Yes, I think companies should hire philosophers to get more ethics into the business. It may sound strange, but I think it would help them to make carefully prepared decisions. If there was more philosophical thinking, I think we could avoid scandals like Volkswagen's diesel engines, for example.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Claudia Eckert has divided her stay at Chalmers into two visits. During the first month she has had a couple of open lectures, participated in the daily research activities and made a number of study visits, both at Chalmers and at collaborating industrial partners. But above all, she has prioritized to talk with PhD students at the department about their research.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>– I am astonished about how open and close cooperation the department has with industrial companies. From this perspective, I think Chalmers is one of the world's leading universities.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Since the industrial collaboration is so strong, academic positioning is the area where she thinks there is room for growth. By offering the PhD students an academic outside perspective, she hopes to strengthen the quality of their research. She would like to see researchers focusing on issues that create academic debate and more clearly pushes the field of research forward.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="/en/staff/Pages/iola.aspx">Ola Isaksson</a>, research group leader of Systems Engineering Design at Chalmers, was the one who nominated Claudia Eckert as a jubilee professor.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>–​ Claudia Eckert is a well-known researcher who contributes with both deep knowledge in product development and a slightly different perspective which is a positive contribution to the dialogue with researchers and PhD students here. We can challenge ourselves in how we look at the research. Not least the philosophical aspect is important. One example is when society and companies are actively looking at Artificial Intelligence in their product development, an area in which Claudia also has worked.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Now Claudia Eckert has left Gothenburg and Chalmers for the first visit but in August she returns and stays for two months. For those who want to take the opportunity to meet her, please contact her host <a href="/en/staff/Pages/iola.aspx">Ola Isaksson</a>.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>FACTS</strong></div> <div><strong><br /></strong></div> <div><strong>Chalmers jubilee professors</strong></div> <div>When Chalmers in 1979 celebrated 150 years, the government gave a Jubilee Professorship at Chalmers as a gift. The criteria to be met is that the holders will add Chalmers new skills and that the university's international relations will be strengthened. The chair is usually divided into three or four time intervals during the year and held by different professors. They are designated by the University President of Chalmers.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Chalmers all jubilee professors for 2018:</strong></div> <div><ul><li>Claudia Eckert (The Open University, UK), Industrial and Materials Sciences<br /></li> <li>Hilary Bradbury (Oregon Health Sciences University, USA), Technology Economics and Organization<span style="background-color:initial">​</span><br /></li> <li>Paula Caselli (Max-Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, Germany), Space Geo and Environmental Science<br /></li> <li>Keith Hampson (Curtin University, Australia), Architecture and Civil Engineering<br /></li></ul></div> <div></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="/en/research/our-scientists/Pages/Jubilee-Professors.aspx" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Holders of Chalmers Jubilee Professorship since 1991</a></div> <div><br /></div> ​</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text and photo: Nina Silow</div>Thu, 14 Jun 2018 00:00:00 +0200