News: KoM related to Chalmers University of TechnologyFri, 15 Feb 2019 17:47:15 +0100 develop new global goals for road safety in the UN<p><b>Claes Tingvall is best known as the man behind the Vision Zero, a strategy that revolutionized road safety in Sweden and many other countries. This adjunct professor at Chalmers University of Technology, Department of Mechanics and maritime Sciences, division of Vehicle engineering and autonomous systems has now been appointed chairman of an international expert group that will propose a new global goal for road safety within the framework of Agenda 2030.</b></p>He is an internationally recognized traffic expert, a widely used lecturer and inspirer who has worked with road safety for more than 40 years. In his world of road safety, the post of chairman of the international expert group is something that tops a very successful career. <div><br /></div> <div>“I’ve been given the privilege to get responsible roles during my life, but this time it’s breathtaking. It feels like the peak. At the same time, it’s a completely crucial opportunity to be able to make an effort for the world's population together with other experts” says Claes Tingvall. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Claes Tingvall will gather the expert group consisting of 14 researchers and experts from all over the world. A mix of epidemiologists, engineers, medical professionals and social scientists at the highest possible level. Together, they will develop a renewed global goal for road safety within the framework of Agenda 2030, the UN's 17 global goals for the world's development. They should also present a number of recommendations on how states, organizations and companies can make a change. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Claes Tingvall believes that it’s not a coincidence that Chalmers got the chairmanship. Sweden is one of the most successful countries in the world in terms of road safety. The vision zero was born in Sweden but is now a world standard. It’s based on research and applications of effective methods that have been proven. This means that one must understand the connection between man and machine, in a social system. Engineering is an important part of this. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Chalmers has a very long successful history with worthies such as Bertil Aldman and Per Lövsund who led Chalmers' work on road safety. I’ve been involved in building up a research group, specialists in system safety in traffic, and this is the one that forms the very basis for the global overall work that the UN and the World Health Organization need. At Chalmers there is also what is known as the Vision Zero Academy with a number of researchers linked to the future work on road safety.” </div> <div><br /></div> <div>He sees the chairmanship as an acknowledgment that interdisciplinary research belongs at Chalmers and that it is possible to build up extremely successful environments with researchers from different scientific disciplines. This means that Chalmers is a global player in welfare and health issues, which in this case affects all people on earth. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“We actually have solutions that can eliminate the risk of dying in traffic and that is something we should be proud to share with others in the world.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The result of the expert group's work is presented at the UN's third, global high-level conference on road safety in 2020. Sweden is the host for the conference.<br /></div> <div><span style="color:rgb(33, 33, 33);font-family:inherit;font-size:16px;font-weight:600;background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="color:rgb(33, 33, 33);font-family:inherit;font-size:16px;font-weight:600;background-color:initial">More information</span><br /></div> <div><div><a href="">Resolution adopted by the General Assembly - Improving global road safety </a></div> <div><a href="">Decision to integrate road safety in the Sustainable Development Goals </a></div> <div><a href="">Sweden to host UN conference on road safety in 2020 ​</a><br /></div> <div><a href="">The Global Goals​</a></div> <div><a href="">Vision Zero Academy </a></div> <div><a href="/en/departments/m2/research/veas/Pages/default.aspx">Research division Vehicle engineering and autonomous systems​</a></div></div>Thu, 14 Feb 2019 14:00:00 +0100 Jubilee Professor that unwinds complexity<p><b>​The difficulty often lies in simplicity. To Qing Zhao, Jubilee Professor at Chalmers, understanding of a research problem is crucial. Merely solving the problem is not sufficient for her – she strives for achieving understanding and thus finding the simple, and also the best, solution.​</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">Professor Qing Zhao from Cornell University, USA, is one of Chalmers´ four Jubilee Professors in 2019. The Department of Electrical Engineering is her host during the year-long visit. Her expertise will benefit Chalmers, as well as Volvo Cars and Ericsson, in a project run by Region Västra Götaland, with the purpose to study how machine learning can be used to increase road traffic safety (MoRE2020).</span><div> <div><br /></div> <div>“For me, it is really exciting to do research in cooperation with industry”, Qing Zhao says. “My work is theoretical in nature and focuses on fundamental research problems. Now I have the opportunity to take a step further and explore how theories and algorithms from my research can be applied to real-world problems. Chalmers is well-known for its close and fruitful relations with the industrial companies in the region, and I am glad to be involved in this.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Qing Zhao´s research interests include sequential decision theory, stochastic optimization, machine learning, and algorithmic theory with applications in infrastructure, communications, and social economic networks.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>A great deal of this will be of use in the MoRE2020 project ”Active Learning for event detection in large-scale information networks”. In short, the project aims at teaching a safety system in a vehicle, connected to the cloud, to detect rare events in the surrounding traffic environment as quickly and as reliably as possible. The challenge lies in the large number of hypotheses, the noisy observations, and the limited prior knowledge on the rare events.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Using data sharing, where information is extracted from massive data streams, a collective learning in large complex networks is being built up”, Qing Zhao explains.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>”Qing Zhao adds vital complementary knowledge to Chalmers and our department in the field of machine learning and reinforcement learning”, says Professor Tomas McKelvey, who is the leader of the signal processing research group. “We strive for expanding our research in that direction, and therefore I am pleased that we managed to enroll her for quite a long time, thanks to the jubilee professorship.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Understanding fascinates her</strong></div> <div>A scientific problem that keeps fascinating her, and many more researchers over decades, is the so-called multi-armed bandit problem. It is a classic mathematical framework for online learning and sequential decision making under unknown models. The problem can be likened to gambling on a slot machine with multiple arms, where the player faces the dilemma of staying on a seemingly good arm (exploitation) versus trying out a less observed arm (exploration).  </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“The problem, first considered in 1933, fascinated the research community for many years, while the answer eluded them until early 1970s. Legend has it that the problem, formulated during World War Two, so sapped the energies and minds of Allied analysts that a suggestion was made to have the problem dropped over Germany as the ultimate instrument of intellectual sabotage”, Qing Zhao says with a smile. ”After the breakthrough in early 1970s, researchers continued to search for the simplest proof and understanding of the optimal solution, until an ingenious proof, expressible in a single paragraph of verbal reasoning, was given in 1992.” </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“I find this type of research, this pursuit of understanding, most inspiring. To me, it is not only about solving a problem, it is about really understanding a problem and finding the pieces that, as simple as possible, comprise the solution. The task is not complete until one understands the underlying causes. I like unwinding the complexity of a problem. I find it most satisfying when simple solutions emerge from a morass of complications.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>This was also one of Qing Zhao´s statements when she was an invited speaker at a well-attended seminar at Chalmers arranged by the network <a href="/en/departments/e2/network/wise/Pages/default.aspx">Women in science, WiSE​</a>. She also shared some advice for young female researchers who are in the beginning of their academic careers.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Play to your strengths rather than compensating for your weaknesses. If you are really good at something, let that be your focus. To establish yourself as a prominent researcher, you need to concentrate your effort rather than spreading too thin. Choose a topic, choose a research community, and generate results of critical mass.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>A tough start in life</strong></div> <div>No doubt, Qing Zhao is an eminent scientist with an impressive career record. Her start in life was however not very favourable. </div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Qing%20Zhao/WiSE_seminar_IMG_0615_300px.jpg" alt="WiSE seminar with Qing Zhao" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>“It could have been me”, that was the headline of the last slide from her WiSE seminar, showing young girls worn down with household chores in rural villages in China. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>A couple months old, Qing Zhao was brought by her aunt to a small village in northern China and grew up there. The village had no electricity or running water. Her aunt was illiterate, there were no books in her home, and the village school was very poor with a single teacher teaching all subjects to all kids of all ages in the village.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“When I was seven I moved back to live with my parents, my older sister and younger brother”, Qing Zhao says. “At age seven, I was not able to count to ten. If I had stayed in the village, I probably would be living my life like those girls in the picture, without much education. Thinking back, now being a mother myself, I realise what a difference it makes to give children the right opportunities in life in terms of a nourishing environment, intellectual stimulation, education and encouragement. You never know what they will accomplish!”</div></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text and photo: Yvonne Jonsson</div> <div><br /></div> <div><div><a href="" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />More about Qing Zhao, Cornell University</a></div> <div><a href="/en/research/our-scientists/Pages/Jubilee-Professors.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />More about Chalmers´ Jubilee Professors​</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>More about the research</strong></div> <div><a href="" target="_blank">The Mobility for Regional Exellence 2020 programme (MoRE2020)</a> is a research mobility programme run by Region Västra Götaland and co-funded by the European Union. </div> <div>Qing Zhao is working on the project <a href="" target="_blank">“Active Learning for event detection in large-scale information networks, MoRE2020”​</a>.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>For further information, please contact</strong></div> <div>Qing Zhao, Professor at Cornell University, USA, and a Chalmers Jubilee Professor 2019, hosted by the Department of Electrical Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology</div> <div><a href=""></a></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Tomas McKelvey, Professor and Head of the Signal processing research group, Department of Electrical Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology</div> <div><a href=""></a></div> <div><br /></div></div>Tue, 12 Feb 2019 10:30:00 +0100–-and-better-beer.aspx cell stress for better health – and better beer<p><b>​Human beings are not the only ones who suffer from stress – even microorganisms can be affected. Now, researchers from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have devised a new method to study how single biological cells react to stressful situations. Understanding these responses could help develop more effective drugs for serious diseases. As well as that, the research could even help to brew better beer. ​​</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial">All living organisms can experience stress during challenging situations. Cells and microorganisms have complicated systems to govern how they adapt to new conditions. They can alter their own structure by incorporating or releasing many different substances into the surroundings. Due to the complexity of these molecular processes, understanding these systems is a difficult task. </span><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span> </div> <div>Chalmers researchers Daniel Midtvedt, Erik Olsén, Fredrik Höök and Gavin Jeffries have now made an important breakthrough, by looking at how individual yeast cells react to changes in the local environment – in this case an increased osmolarity, or concentration, of salt. They both identified and monitored the change of compounds within the yeast cells, one of which was a sugar, glycerol. Furthermore, they were able to measure the exact rate and amount of glycerol produced by different cells under various stress conditions. Their results have now been published in the renowned scientific journal Nature Communications. </div> <div><br /> </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">With the help of holographic microscopy, researchers have studied biological microorganisms in three dimensions to be able to see how they react to changes in their surroundings. The cells’ reactions to stress is measured through a method in which a laser beam is first split into two light paths. One of the light paths passes through a cell sample, and one does not. The two beams are then recombined at a slight offset angle. It is then possible to read changes in the cell’s properties through the variations in the beams’ phase offsets. Understanding these responses could help develop more effective drugs for serious diseases. Additionally, the research could even help to brew better beer. </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span> </div> <span></span><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/DanielMidtvedt_20190125-01_webb.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;font-size:medium" /><span style="font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;font-size:medium"></span><div>​&quot;Yeast and bacteria have very similar systems when it comes to response to stress, meaning the results are very interesting from a medical point of view. This could help us understand how to make life harder for undesirable bacteria which invade our body – a means to knock out their defence mechanisms,” says Daniel Midtvedt, researcher in biological physics at Chalmers, and lead writer of the scientific paper. </div> <div><br /> </div> <div>He has been researching the subject since 2015, and, together with his colleagues, has developed a variant of holographic microscopy to study the cells in three dimensions. The method is built upon an interference imaging approach, splitting a laser beam into two light paths, with one which passes through a cell sample, and one which does not. The two beams are then recombined at a slight offset angle. This makes it possible to read changes in the cell’s properties through the variations in beam phase offsets.</div> <div><br /> </div> <div>With this method of investigating a cell, researchers can see what different microorganisms produce under stress – without needing to use different types of traditional ‘label-based’ strategies. Their non-invasive strategy allows for multiple compounds to be detected simultaneously, without damaging the cell.</div> <div>The researchers now plan to use the new method in a large collaboration project, to look at the uptake of targeted biomedicines. </div> <div><br /> </div> <img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/FredrikHook_20190201_01_webb.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;font-size:medium" /><span style="font-family:helvetica, arial, sans-serif;font-size:medium"></span><div>​“Hopefully, we can contribute to improved understanding of how drugs are received and processed by human cells. It is important to be able to develop new type of drugs, with the hope that we can treat those illnesses which today are untreatable,” says Chalmers professor Fredrik Höök, who further leads the research centre Formulaex, where AstraZeneca is the leading industry partner. </div> <div><br /> </div> <div>As well as the benefit to medical researchers, improved knowledge of the impact of stress on yeast cells could be valuable for the food and drink industry – not least, when it comes to brewing better beer.</div> <div>“Yeast is essential for both food and drink preparation, for example in baking bread and brewing beer. This knowledge of yeast cells’ physical characteristics could be invaluable. We could optimise the products exactly as we want them,” says Daniel Midtvedt. </div> <div><br /> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Text: <span>Joshua Worth,<a href=""></a>​ and Mia Halleröd Palmgren, <a href=""></a></span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span>Images: Mia Halleröd Palmgren</span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span><br /></span> </p> <span></span><h3 class="chalmersElement-H3" style="font-family:&quot;open sans&quot;, sans-serif">The new method to analyse cells’ reactions to stress:</h3> <span></span><h3 class="chalmersElement-H3" style="font-family:&quot;open sans&quot;, sans-serif"></h3> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/holografisktmikroskop_20190125-04._webb.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" /> With the help of holographic microscopy, researchers have studied biological microorganisms in three dimensions to be able to see how they react to changes in their surroundings. The cells’ reactions to stress is measured through a method in which a laser beam is first split into two light paths. One of the light paths passes through a cell sample, and one does not. The two beams are then recombined at a slight offset angle. It is then possible to read changes in the cell’s properties through the variations in the beams’ phase offsets. </p> <div>Understanding these responses could help develop more effective drugs for serious diseases. Additionally, the research could even help to brew better beer. </div> <div><br /> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">About the scientific paper:</h3> <img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/ErikOlsén_DanielMidtvedt_GavinJeffies_20190204_02_webb_liten.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><div>The article, <a href="">“Label-free spatio-temporal monitoring of cytosolic mass, osmolarity, and volume in living cells” ​</a>is published in Nature Communications. It was written by Chalmers researchers Daniel Midtvedt, Erik Olsén and Fredrik Höök from Chalmers’ Department of Physics, and Gavin Jeffries (Fluicell AB), previously at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. </div> <div><span><span style="background-color:initial"><span style="display:inline-block"></span></span></span><br /> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">For more information, contact: </h3> <div><strong><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Daniel-Midtvedt.aspx">Daniel Midtvedt</a></strong>, Post Doc, Biological Physics, Department of Physics</div> <div>+46 ​73 736 85 05, <span></span><span style="background-color:initial"><a href=""></a></span></div> <div><br /> </div> <div><strong><a href="/en/staff/Pages/Fredrik-Höök.aspx">Fredrik Höök</a></strong>, Professor/Head of Division, Biological Physics, Department of Physics </div> <div>+46 31 772 61 30, <span style="background-color:initial"><a href="">​</a></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span> </div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/Blandade%20dimensioner%20inne%20i%20artikel/DanielMidtedt_20190125_03_webb_750x.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;background-color:initial" /><span style="background-color:initial">With the help of h</span><span style="background-color:initial">olographic microscopy, the researcher Daniel Midtvedt studies biological microorganisms in three dimensions to be able to se</span><span style="background-color:initial">e how they react to changes in their surroundings.</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span></div> <div><br /> </div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">Related material: </h4> <div><a href="/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/75-MSEK-for-developing-target-seeking-biological-pharmaceuticals.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read the press release “75 million SEK for developing target seeking biological pharmaceuticals”.</a></div> <div><a href="/en/centres/FoRmulaEx/about/Pages/default.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read more on Formulaex.​</a><br /></div>Tue, 12 Feb 2019 07:00:00 +0100 architectural design could prevent suicide<p><b>​Suicide among younger people is often so spontaneous that it can be prevented if they do not encounter a potentially dangerous place outdoors. Getting the form of the built environment correct is therefore a very important factor in stopping suicide among young people. This is the finding of Charlotta Thodelius, a researcher at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.</b></p><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">​Suicide the second most common cause of death among young people​​</h2> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Combining sociology and criminology with architecture in her doctoral thesis, Charlotta Thodelius’ dissertation centres on injuries among young people up to 19 years old, and how the built environment influences these injuries. It consists of three parts: accidents in the home environment, the risk of violence at school, and the importance of location in suicidal situations. </span><div><span style="background-color:initial"></span><div><span style="background-color:initial"></span><div>Globally, suicide is the second most common cause of death among young people. Their suicide often differs radically from adults when it comes to the level of planning and conviction. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Yonger people commit a different type of suicide​</h2></div> <div>“I have observed that younger people commit a different type of suicide from adults,” says Charlotta Thodelius. “They are spontaneous and act very impulsively. They might not want to actually die, they just want something to stop. It might be something that has been going on for a while, but it can also be something that, as adults, we might find quite trivial – breaking up with a partner, fighting with parents, doing badly in a test, or being gossiped about.” </div> <div><br /></div> <div>She continues, “If you compare with suicide among adults, that is usually more well-planned. Bills are paid, letters are sent, and a place is chosen where they won’t be easily found beforehand – out in the woods, or in a hotel room.” </div> <div><br /></div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2" style="font-family:&quot;open sans&quot;, sans-serif">Important to prevent easy access to a deadly place​​</h2></div> <div>She believes that we should first understand suicidal impulses among the young as their way of dealing with a difficult situation. In this case, the deciding factor could simply be if they have easy access to a deadly place or not. They seek out desolate, but easily accessible places which they know well and are close to where they spend most of their time. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>If there are obstacles to taking their own life in these places, there is a high chance that they have no plan B and will abandon the attempt. After the acute stage of the crisis passes, they may not make another attempt to commit suicide. Earlier research, mainly in the USA, has already demonstrated that when you set up obstacles at ‘hotspots’, the total number of suicides goes down and there is no corresponding increase in other places instead. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“There are therefore good reasons to modify the built environment around known hotspots and try to avoid creating new ones in city development,” says Charlotta Thodelius. “This requires input from engineers, city planners and architects.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Unclear authority over the question​</h2></div> <div>One difficulty is that no one really has authority over the question. This hinders collaboration between different actors, from civil engineers to emergency personnel, psychiatrists and local authorities.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“These groups have to speak to one another, and really analyse each hotspot individually to be able to take effective measures. Standard solutions, for example glass barriers on train platforms which have been installed on certain train tracks in Japan, work poorly. There are good local examples where the collaboration required has been achieved, but it is not done systematically throughout society.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Furthermore, it is important that preventative measures do not disturb the original and everyday function of a place, or their pleasant atmosphere. Attractive places with many visitors rarely become hotspots. In city planning, it is necessary to avoid creating new dangerous places in desolate ‘no-man’s-land’ areas where city builders don’t really cooperate; environments where it’s not natural for people to be.</div> <div> </div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Attractive places rarely become hotspots​</h2></div> <div>“The best thing is to understand and adopt this perspective as early as the planning stage for new buildings and city areas,” says Charlotta Thodelius. Adjustments made after construction are more difficult, but even existing hotspots can usually be made safer while still maintaining a pleasant atmosphere and their functionality. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>She has seen many examples, both good and bad. <span style="background-color:initial">“A bad example would be a bridge with unattractive suicide nets set up. This can easily stigmatise a place, and make the general public avoid it. A better example is a bridge, with a fence covered in plants and flowers. This doesn’t affect a place in the same way – instead of being perceived as a suicide prevention measure, it can rather be seen as something to simply make the place nicer.” </span></div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">More about the research</h3> <div>Charlotta Thodelius presented her doctoral dissertation <a href="">Rethinking Injury Events. Explorations in Spatial Aspects and Situational Prevention Strategies</a> on November 23, 2018. She previously completed a Bachelor’s in sociology and a Master’s in criminology.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The part of the study looking at violence in school shows that a key factor in reducing risks is getting the balance right between supervision and freedom in ‘unowned’ places, such as corridors, shelters and bathrooms, the places where most violent events occur. Charlotta Thodelius believes that many schools have too much separation of the premises for teachers and students, which results in too little natural contact between adults and young people.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The part of the study on accidents in housing environments shows that it is mainly stairwells in multi-occupant buildings and outdoor areas near residential buildings that would benefit from preventative work, focusing on design issues to reduce injury events.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The doctoral dissertation from Chalmers Department for Architecture and Civil Engineering is part of a multidisciplinary research project on injury events in home and living environments.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">For more information, please contact:</h2> <div>Charlotta Thodelius, Division of Building Design, Department for Architecture and Civil Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, <a href=""></a>, +46 31-772 23 57​</div> <div></div> <br /> </div></div></div>Mon, 11 Feb 2019 08:00:00 +0100 dexterous hand prosthesis implanted<p><b>​A female Swedish patient with hand amputation has become the first recipient of an osseo-neuromuscular implant to control a dexterous hand prosthesis. In a pioneering surgery, titanium implants were placed in the two forearm bones (radius and ulnar), from which electrodes to nerves and muscle were extended to extract signals to control a robotic hand and to provide tactile sensations. This makes it the first clinically viable, dexterous and sentient prosthetic hand usable in real life. The breakthrough is part of the European project DeTOP.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">The new implant technology was developed in Sweden by a team lead by Dr. Max Ortiz Catalan at Integrum AB – the company behind the first bone-anchored limb prosthesis using osseointegration – and Chalmers University of Technology. This first-of-its-kind surgery, led by Prof. Rickard Brånemark and Dr. Paolo Sassu, took place at Sahlgrenska University Hospital as part of a larger project funded by the European Commission under Horizon 2020 called DeTOP. </span><div><br /></div> <div>The DeTOP project is coordinated by Prof. Christian Cipriani at the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, and also includes Prensilia, the University of Gothenburg, Lund University, University of Essex, the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology, INAIL Prosthetic Center, Università Campus Bio-Medico di Roma, and the Instituto Ortopedico Rizzoli.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Implanted electrodes provide sensory and motoric control</strong><br /></div> <div>Conventional prosthetic hands rely on electrodes placed over the skin to extract control signals from the underlying stump muscles. These superficial electrodes deliver limited and unreliable signals that only allow control of a couple of gross movements (opening and closing the hand). Richer and more reliable information can be obtained by implanting electrodes in all remaining muscle in the stump instead. Sixteen electrodes were implanted in this first patient in order to achieve more dexterous control of a novel prosthetic hand developed in Italy by the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna and Prensilia. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Current prosthetic hands have also limited sensory feedback. They do not provide tactile or kinesthetic sensation, so the user can only rely on vision while using the prosthesis. Users cannot tell how strongly an object is grasped, or even when contact has been made. By implanting electrodes in the nerves that used to be connected to the lost biological sensors of the hand, researchers can electrically stimulate these nerves in a similar manner as information conveyed by the biological hand. This results in the patient perceiving sensations originating in the new prosthetic hand, as it is equipped with sensors that drive the stimulation of the nerve to deliver such sensations.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Works in everyday life</strong></div> <div>One of the most important aspects of this work is that this is the first technology usable in daily life. This means it is not limited to a research laboratory. The Swedish group – Integrum AB and Chalmers University of Technology – have previously <a href=";" target="_blank">demonstrated that control of a sentient prosthesis in daily life was possible in above-elbow amputees using similar technology</a> (video). This was not possible in below-elbow amputees where there are two smaller bones rather than a single larger one as in the upper arm. This posed several challenges on the development of the implant system. On the other hand, it also presents an opportunity to achieve a more dexterous control of an artificial replacement. This is because many more muscles are available to extract neural commands in below-elbow amputations.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Bones weaken if they are not used (loaded), as commonly happen after amputation. The patient is following a rehabilitation program to regain the strength in her forearm bones to be able to fully load the prosthetic hand. In parallel,<a href=";" target="_blank"> she is also relearning how to control her missing hand using virtual reality​</a> (video), and in few weeks, she will be using a prosthetic hand with increasing function and sensations in her daily life. Two more patients will be implanted with this new generation of prosthetic hands in the upcoming months, in Italy and Sweden.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Ny%20teori%20om%20fantomsmärtor%20visar%20vägen%20mot%20effektivare%20behandling/max_ortiz_catalan_250px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="Max Ortiz Catalan, foto: Oscar Mattsson" style="margin:5px;width:180px;height:212px" />“Several advanced prosthetic technologies have been reported in the last decade, but unfortunately they have remained as research concepts used only for short periods of time in controlled environments” says Dr. Ortiz Catalan, Assoc. Prof. at Chalmers University of the Technology and head of the Biomechatronics and Neurorehabilitation Lab (@ChalmersBNL)​, who has led this development since its beginning 10 years ago, initially in above-elbow amputations. “The breakthrough of our technology consists on enabling patients to use implanted neuromuscular interfaces to control their prosthesis while perceiving sensations where it matters for them, in their daily life.”</div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>Extensive </strong></span><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>Swedish participation in international project</strong></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">The contribution to this European project in Sweden is extensive. The way in which humans perceive touch, and how machines can replicate such feat, are addressed at the University of Gothenburg by Prof. Johan Wessberg’s group. On the other hand, the way in which humans produce motor control, and the algorithms that can replicate it, are studied by the group of Dr. Christian Antfolk at Lund University. The clinical follow-ups and further surgeries will be conducted at Sahlgrenska University Hospital by Dr. Paolo Sassu, in collaboration with Prof. Rickard Brånemark now at MIT in USA. The development of the osseo-neuromuscular technology as well as the integration with the Italian prosthesis along with all the other components will occurred in Sweden led by Dr. Ortiz Catalan at Chalmers University of Technology and Integrum AB.</span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read more about the DeTOP project</a></div> <div><a href="" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read more about Biomechatronics and Neurorehabilitation Lab (@ChalmersBNL)​</a><span style="background-color:initial">,</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Handprotes%20implanterad/Patient-and-Researcher_500px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><div>The patient is instructed by Dr.Max Ortiz Catalan to produce movements as indicated in the virtual hand. Muscular electrical activity captured by the implanted electrodes is displayed in the screen. This information is learned by the artificial limb to then respond to the desired movements.</div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Credits: Dr. Max Ortiz Catalan</span><span style="background-color:initial">​</span></div></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><div><span style="font-weight:700">See videos describing the project</span></div> <div><a href=";" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Patient video: Osseo-neuromuscular interface for below-elbow amputations</a></div> <div><a href="" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Prosthetic hand video: Sensorized Hand Prosthesis​</a></div> <div><a href="" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />DeTOP project video​</a></div> <span style="background-color:initial"></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><div><span style="font-weight:700;background-color:initial">For more information, please contact:</span><br /></div> <div>Dr. Max Ortiz Catalan, +46 70 8461065, <a href="">​</a></div> <span style="background-color:initial"></span></div>Tue, 05 Feb 2019 09:00:00 +0100 insights on aerosol formation in the atmosphere<p><b>​Close cooperation between researchers in Germany, England and Sweden has contributed to a completely new approach to studies of particle formation in the atmosphere. ​</b></p><div>The climatologists involved in the study took a new approach: they were the first to consider the fact that the atmosphere contains biogenic as well as anthropogenic trace gases and vapours in various mixtures. In their study, they revealed why the amount of aerosols formed in atmospheric mixtures can be significantly smaller than expected from previous laboratory studies. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The insights will lead to a better understanding of the influence that aerosols have on climate and air quality, and will <span style="background-color:initial">contribute to more precise and thus more reliable climate models – an important prerequisite for better climate protection and improved air quality. </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">David Simpson and Robert Bergström at the Chalmers division of </span><span style="background-color:initial">Microwave and optical remote sensing contributed the global model calculations to the study, which was published in Nature on January 31, 2019.</span><br /></div> <div>– With this new knowledge, we will also be able to study how other substances react to each other in different environments. Hopefully it will lead to more accurate calculations of particle impact on climate and air quality, says David.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><div><a href="">Link to the Nature article: <span style="background-color:initial">&quot;Secondary organic aerosol reduced by mixture of atmospheric vapours&quot;</span></a><span style="background-color:initial">.</span></div> <div><a href="">Link to Nature news, a short popular science summary of the article. </a><span style="background-color:initial"> </span><br /></div> <div><a href=""><span>Link to press release from the University of Manchester: &quot;Scientists find an unexpected link between air pollutants from plants and manmade emissions</span>&quot;​</a><span style="background-color:initial">.</span></div></div>Tue, 05 Feb 2019 00:00:00 +0100 theory on how the first human society was formed<p><b>​A new theory on how human early societies arose has attracted much attention in its research field since published. The concept of the &quot;social protocell&quot; draws inspiration from how the first signs of life are considered to have originated and developed on earth.</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial">– The theory we use explains how evolution under the right conditions can suddenly move from a micro to a macro level. A so-called Evolutionary Transition in Individuality, which is a nearly universal explanation of explosive increases in complexity and diversity of the kind we see when the human being entered the stage, says <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/claes-andersson.aspx">Claes Andersson</a>, at the Chalmers division of Physical Resource Theory.</span><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">– </span><span style="background-color:initial">The theory explains in a conceptually simple way how human societies could emerge evolutionarily as organized and functional entities at the community level - even though its individual </span><span style="background-color:initial">members didn't </span><span style="background-color:initial">understand, or even could</span><span style="background-color:initial"> understand, how </span><span style="background-color:initial">societies work. </span><span style="background-color:initial">The model we use is also considered to describe life's origin in primitive cells, so-called protocells, over four billion years ago., says Claes.</span><span style="background-color:initial">​</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">The article is published in Biological Theory by Claes and Petter Törnberg, previous PhD Student at Chalmers, currently at the ​</span><span style="background-color:initial">Universiteit van Amsterdam​. </span><br /></div> <div><a href=""><span style="background-color:initial">Read the full article: </span><span style="background-color:initial">Toward a Macroevolutionary Theory of Human Evolution: The Social Protocell</span></a> in the Chalmers research database. </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div>Thu, 31 Jan 2019 00:00:00 +0100 in organic electronics<p><b>​Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have discovered a simple new tweak that could double the efficiency of organic electronics. OLED-displays, plastic-based solar cells and bioelectronics are just some of the technologies that could benefit from their new discovery, which deals with &quot;double-doped&quot; polymers.</b></p><p>​The majority of our everyday electronics are based on inorganic semiconductors, such as silicon. Crucial to their function is a process called doping, which involves weaving impurities into the semiconductor to enhance its electrical conductivity. It is this that allows various components in solar cells and LED screens to work. </p> <p>For organic – that is, carbon-based – semiconductors, this doping process is similarly of extreme importance. Since the discovery of electrically conducting plastics and polymers, a field in which a Nobel Prize was awarded in 2000, research and development of organic electronics has accelerated quickly. OLED-displays are one example which are already on the market, for example in the latest generation of smartphones. Other applications have not yet been fully realised, due in part to the fact that organic semiconductors have so far not been efficient enough. </p> <p>Doping in organic semiconductors operates through what is known as a redox reaction. This means that a dopant molecule receives an electron from the semiconductor, increasing the electrical conductivity of the semiconductor. The more dopant molecules that the semiconductor can react with, the higher the conductivity – at least up to a certain limit, after which the conductivity decreases. Currently, the efficiency limit of doped organic semiconductors has been determined by the fact that the dopant molecules have only been able to exchange one electron each.</p> <p>But now, in an article in the scientific journal Nature Materials, <a href="/sv/personal/redigera/Sidor/Christian-Müller.aspx">Professor Christian Müller </a>and his group, together with colleagues from seven other universities demonstrate that it is possible to move two electrons to every dopant molecule. </p> <p>&quot;Through this 'double doping' process, the semiconductor can therefore become twice as effective,&quot; says David Kiefer, PhD student in the group and first author of the article. </p> <p>According to Christian Müller, this innovation is not built on some great technical achievement. Instead, it is simply a case of seeing what others have not seen. </p> <p>&quot;The whole research field has been totally focused on studying materials, which only allow one redox reaction per molecule. We chose to look at a different type of polymer, with lower ionisation energy. We saw that this material allowed the transfer of two electrons to the dopant molecule. It is actually very simple,&quot; says Christian Müller, Professor of Polymer Science at Chalmers University of Technology. </p> <p>The discovery could allow further improvements to technologies which today are not competitive enough to make it to market. One problem is that polymers simply do not conduct current well enough, and so making the doping techniques more effective has long been a focus for achieving better polymer-based electronics. Now, this doubling of the conductivity of polymers, while using only the same amount of dopant material, over the same surface area as before, could represent the tipping point needed to allow several emerging technologies to be commercialised. </p> <p>“With OLED displays, the development has come far enough that they are already on the market. But for other technologies to succeed and make it to market something extra is needed. With organic solar cells, for example, or electronic circuits built of organic material, we need the ability to dope certain components to the same extent as silicon-based electronics. Our approach is a step in the right direction,” says Christian Müller. </p> <p>The discovery offers fundamental knowledge and could help thousands of researchers to achieve advances in flexible electronics, bioelectronics and thermoelectricity. Christian Müller’s research group themselves are researching several different applied areas, with polymer technology at the centre. Among other things, his group is looking into the development of electrically conducting textiles and organic solar cells. </p> <p>Read the article in Nature Materials: &quot;<a href="">Double Doping of Conjugated Polymers with Monomer Molecular Dopants</a>&quot;</p> <p>The research was funded by the <a href="">Swedish Research Council</a>, the <a href="">Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation</a>, and the <a href="">European Research Council (ERC)</a>, and was carried out in collaboration with colleagues from Linköping University (Sweden), King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (Saudi Arabia), Imperial College London (UK), the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of California, Davis (USA), and the Chemnitz University of Technology (Germany). <br /></p>Mon, 14 Jan 2019 17:00:00 +0100 creates ripple effect for energy research<p><b>​For researchers to have access to a real arena where they can put their theories to test is invaluable. David Steen at Chalmers University of Technology finds that being involved in the project FED - Fossil-free Energy Districts, where the university campus is used as the testbed for a local energy market for heating, cooling and electricity, has opened new doors.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">“FED has become a springboard for our research group to look more into integrated energy systems and the demonstration arena we are building will also be used in future research projects. We have already gotten two other projects granted, where the campus of Chalmers will also act as a testbed,” says David Steen, researcher at the Department of Electrical Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology.</span><div><br /></div> <div>In addition to funding substantial investments, such as solar panels and various types of energy storages, the FED-project has connected the energy management systems of the buildings to a cloud-based marketplace. This allows the separate buildings, acting as energy consumers, producers and storages, to trade heating, cooling and electricity with each other based on what is most effective from both an economical and environmental perspective.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“One of the challenges with renewable energy is that it is not always produced when you need it the most. The local energy market we are developing in FED is one way to provide customers and users with incentives to shift their consumption in time, in order to use locally produced energy more efficiently.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>David Steen and his colleagues have contributed to the project by creating a simulation model of the campus area in order to measure the energy flows of heating, cooling and electricity. What makes FED unique is that three different energy carriers are connected into one common system.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“We are trying to take advantage of the flexibility of, for example, the heating system to help the electrical system, and vice versa. As far as I know, no one else has done this by using a local energy market before.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The FED project ends in 2019, but the campus testbed will remain open to researchers and companies to test the new energy solutions needed in the transition towards a sustainable society. In two EU-funded projects, the researchers at Chalmers will examine advanced solutions for the future distribution system (<a href="" target="_blank">United Grid</a>) and how different micro-grids can interact in order to facilitate the use of renewable energy production (<a href="" target="_blank">From Micro to Mega - GRID</a>). Two additional FED partners, Göteborg Energi and RISE, are also included in these projects.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“It is very unique to have access to this kind of testbed and to be able to test solutions in close cooperation with industry,&quot; says David Steen. “It has helped us a lot and I do not think we would have received these two projects if we had not had the FED-project and the test arena here.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div><div><strong>Contact</strong></div> <div><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/david-steen.aspx">David Steen</a>, researcher at the Department of Electrical Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology</div> <div><a href=""> </a></div> <div>Claes Sommansson, Project Coordinator FED, Johanneberg Science Park</div> <div><a href=""></a> </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text, film and photo: Johanneberg Science Park​<br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>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 eight strong partners. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>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.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>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><div><a href="/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Unique-energy-system-is-being-tested-at-Chalmers.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" /><span style="background-color:initial">Unique energy system is being tested at Chalmers</span>​</a><br /></div></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Follow FED on Twitter: <a href="" target="_blank"></a><br /></div> <div><br /></div></div> <div><a href="" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read more about FED and UIA, Urban Innovative Actions​</a></div> <div><a href="" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read more about FED on​</a></div> <div><br /></div>Tue, 08 Jan 2019 00:00:00 +0100 project to make Swedes eat more whole grain<p><b>Eating more whole grain benefits public health. But nine out of ten Swedes eat too little. A collaborative project, initiated from Chalmers University of Technology, now aims at getting people to eat whole grain in products like bread, pasta and breakfast cereals.</b></p><div>Chalmers University of Technology and ten other participants from the food industry, consumer associations, public partners and nonprofit organizations now start up a new project, funded by the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation System, Vinnova. And more are welcome to join.</div> <br />&quot;The strengths of this new collaboration lie in the fact that it’s based on well-established research, with consistent results on the health effects of whole grain, and that many different players – with different focus and experience – gather around a common goal, namely to improve Swedish public health by increased consumption of whole grain. The mix of partners involved creates good conditions for this to be a success&quot;, says Rikard Landberg, Professor at the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering.<br /><br />Research clearly show that a high intake of whole grain lower the risk of developing many of major non-communicable diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, some types of cancer and type 2 diabetes. In fact, whole grain is the single most important dietary factor in preventing these diseases in Sweden. According to the Nordic Nutritional Recommendations, we need 75 grams of whole grain per day – but nine out of ten eat too little.<br /><br /><strong>Danish predecessor</strong><br />In Denmark, the successful Fuldkornspartnerskabet (Whole grain partnership) has increased the Danes' intake of whole grain from 32 to 63 grams per day since the project began in 2007. The Swedish project will find inspiration in the Danish example, taking into account Swedish conditions for cooperation, eating habits, innovation and communication.<br /><br /><div>The project, called Tomorrow’s cereal consumption, officially started on December 19, when the collaborators met for a first meeting. Karin Jonsson, researcher at the Divison of Food and Nutrition Science at Chalmers, is the project leader:</div> <div>&quot;The next step is to invite more stakeholders. At workshops during the spring we will jointly develop our planned activities, along with the establishment of an action plan for stage two of this collaborative project. It is all about translating well established research findings into consumption patterns that benefit public health and it’s great that we can now start with joint efforts&quot;, she says.<br /><br /><strong>A variety of activities planned</strong><br /></div> The project aims at improving public health through various efforts; through an increase in the development of wholegrain products and services, increased and improved communication about the health aspects of whole grain, and through making whole grain products more accessible.<br /><br />&quot;There’s a lot of benefits in eating more whole grain, and it’s all around us – in our fields, in stores and bakeries. Eating more whole grain should be as natural to us as the use of olive oil in Mediterranean countries. The health potential of whole grain is at least equal to that of olive oil. It is very positive that prominent researchers in the food and health area, and specifically focused on whole grain, have initiated this project&quot;, says Maria Sitell, spokesperson and dietician at The Bread Institute.<br /><br /><strong>FACTS: Initial participants in the project</strong><br />Chalmers University of Technology, The Bread Institute, Fazer, City of Gothenburg – Public meals, The Swedish Heart-Lung Foundation, Stockholm Consumer Cooperative Society, Lantmännen, Leksands knäckebröd, The Swedish Food Federation, Nestlé and Pågen.<br /><br />Text: Mia Malmstedt/Maria Sitell<br />Photos: Martina Butorac and Pixabay<br /><br />Thu, 20 Dec 2018 10:00:00 +0100 scale for electronegativity developed by Chalmers researchers<p><b>​Electronegativity is one of the most well-known and used models for explaining why chemical reactions occur. Now, electronegativity is redefined in a new, more comprehensive scale, published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. Behind the study is Martin Rahm, Assistant Professor in Physical Chemistry at Chalmers along with one Nobel laureate.</b></p><p>The theory of electronegativity forms an important basis for understanding why the elements react with each other to form different types of materials with different properties. It is a central concept used daily by chemists and material researchers all over the world. The concept itself originates from the Swedish chemist Jöns Jacob Berzelius’ research in the 19th century and is commonly taught as early as high school level.</p> <p><br />Electronegativity describes how strongly different atoms attract electrons. By using electronegativity scales one can predict the approximate charge distribution in different molecules and materials, without needing to use quantum mechanical calculations or spectroscopic studies. In this way, electronegativity offers clues to how atoms and molecules will react when assembled. This is very important for understanding all kinds of materials and for designing new ones.</p> <p><br /><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/rahmma.aspx">Martin Rahm, Assistant Professor</a> in Physical Chemistry at Chalmers together with his colleagues Toby Zeng at Carlton University in Canada and Roald Hoffmann, Nobel laureate in Chemistry 1981 working at Cornell University in the United States, has now developed a whole new electronegativity scale, which they have recently published in <a href=";">the Journal of the American Chemical Society</a>. The new scale has been devised by combining experimental photoionization data for atoms with quantum mechanical calculations for those atoms where experiments are missing.</p> <p><br />One motivation for the researchers to develop the new scale was that, although there are already several different definitions of the concept, these have only been applied to cover parts of the periodic table. An additional challenge for chemists is how to explain what it means when electronegativity sometimes fails to predict chemical reactivity or polarity of chemical bonds.</p> <p><br />“This old and useful concept now has a new definition. The new definition is the average binding energy of the outermost and weakest bound electrons, commonly known as the valence electrons. These values have been computed by combining experimental data with quantum mechanical calculations. By and large, most elements still relate to each other in the same way as in earlier scales, but the new definition has also led to some interesting changes where atoms have switched place in the ordering of electronegativity.  Some elements have also had their electronegativity calculated for the first time.” says Martin Rahm.</p> <p><br />For example, oxygen and chromium have both been moved in the ranking relative to elements closest to them in the periodic table, compared to in earlier scales. The new scale comprises 96 elements, which is a marked increase compared with several previous scales. In this way, electronegativity is available from the first atom, hydrogen or H, to the ninety-sixth, curium or Cm.</p> <p><br />An additional advantage of the new definition of electronegativity is that it is part of a framework that can help explain what it means when chemical reactions are not controlled by electronegativity. In such reactions, which can be at odds with conventional chemical rationales, instead, it is typically complex interactions between electrons that are at work. What ultimately determines the outcomes of most chemical reactions is changes in the total energy. In their work, the authors offer an equation where the total energy of an atom can be described as the sum of two values, where one is the electronegativity, and the second describes the average electron interaction. The magnitude and sign of these values as they change over a reaction reveals the relative importance of electronegativity in governing chemistry.</p> <p><br />&quot;This scale is extensive, and I think and hope it will affect research in chemistry and material science. Electronegativity is routinely used in chemical research and with our new scale, a number of complicated quantum mechanical calculations can be avoided. The new definition of electronegativity can also be applied for analysing electronic structures calculated through quantum mechanics, by making such results more comprehensible.&quot; says Martin Rahm.</p> <p><br />There are endless ways to combine the atoms in the periodic table and to create new materials. Electronegativity provides a first important insight into what can be expected from these combinations. Development of numerous novel chemical reactions and materials may speed up due to the new scale. This is because the new definition allows for chemical intuition and understanding that, in turn, can guide both experiments and time-consuming quantum mechanical calculations.</p> <p><br />Fun fact: The UN has declared 2019 as the International Year of the Periodic Table. Electronegativity is commonly seen as a third dimension of the Periodic Table. <br /></p>Thu, 20 Dec 2018 00:00:00 +0100 new composite and manufacturing laboratory<p><b>​The demand for lightweight construction materials is constantly increasing, which has led to a greatly increased use of fiber-reinforced polymer composites in weight-optimized structures. Chalmers research is now strengthened with a new laboratory for composite manufacturing.</b></p><div>​Chalmers new laboratory for composites and manufacturing was opened on December 19. Maria Knutson Wedel, Vice Head of education and lifelong learning, and Anders Palmqvist, Vice Head of research and postgraduate studies, began the ceremony by launching a vacuum resin infusion where Chalmers logo appeared. <br /></div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/IMS/MoB/InvigningLaboratorieKomposittillverkning_181219_03_600pxl.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" /> </div> <div> </div> <div><em>Leif Asp, Anders Palmqvist and Maria Knutson Wedel inspect Chalmers logo after vacuum injection of resin.</em></div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>- It feels good that we have now started and we are looking forward to utilizing the new facilities as soon as possible. It really strengthens our research to be able to have a lab this close, &quot; says Leif Asp, who is the director.</div> <div><br /></div> <div></div> <div> </div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/IMS/MoB/Kolfiberrulle_webb.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px 15px;width:265px;height:398px" /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Several ongoing research projects are in line to use the new facilities. One of these projects is the highly noticed study that has shown that energy can be stored directly in carbon fiber as battery electrodes. This opens up new possibilities for so-called structural batteries which could halve the importance of future vehicles. The discovery was listed by Physics World as top ten scientific breaktroughs of 2018.</div> <div> </div> <div>The aviation industry has also shown great interest in the use of carbon fiber composites. This imposes high security requirements, and methods need to be developed to control the strength of carbon fiber composites over time. there is ongoing research to provide methods for the materials themselves to send signals when exhausted.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><em><br /></em></div> <div><em><br /></em></div> <div><em>A bobbin of carbon fibre yarn</em><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>The research is mainly conducted by researchers and postgraduate students in Chalmers Material Science field, but the purpose is to make the lab available to all who are part of Chalmers. Chalmers initiative for Sport &amp; Technology is one of the players who have shown interest in the development of lightweight composite materials for everything in skiing, sailing and motorsport.<br /></div> <br /><div>The research is mainly conducted by researchers and postgraduate students in Chalmers Material Science field, but the purpose is to make the lab available to all who are part of Chalmers. Chalmers initiative for Sport &amp; Technology is one of the players who have shown interest in the development of lightweight composite materials for everything in skiing, sailing and motorsport.</div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">The facilities</h2> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/IMS/Övriga/FormulaStudent_180315_12.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:349px;height:528px" />In the lab there will be equipment for the manufacture and characterization of multifunctional composites, especially structural batteries and the lab will be used both in education and research. Students in Chalmers Formula Student will be especially active in the lab.</div> <div> </div> <div>Manufacturing and processing of fiber reinforced polymer composites are some of the main areas. The business focuses on carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic composites, which are manufactured using injection technology or molding. There are also equipment for the manufacture and characterization of multifunctional composites, especially structural batteries.</div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><br /></h2> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">More information</h2> <div>Chalmers research in the field of materials has recently been noted both nationally and internationally. Read more on the links below.</div> <div> </div> <div> <br /></div> <div><a href="/en/departments/ims/news/Pages/breakthroughs-of-the-year.aspx">Top ten scientific breakthrough of the year</a></div> <div> </div> <div><a href="/en/departments/ims/news/Pages/carbon-fibre-can-store-energy.aspx">Store energy directly in carbon fiber as battery electrodes</a></div> <div> </div> <div><a href="/en/departments/ims/news/Pages/Airbus-collaboration-on-multifunctional-materials.aspx">Airbus cooperation with Chalmers around multifunctional materials</a></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Contact</h2></div> <div>Director Professor <a href="/sv/personal/Sidor/leifas.aspx">Leif Asp</a> at the Department of Industrial and Materials Sciences.</div> <div><br /></div> <br />Thu, 20 Dec 2018 00:00:00 +0100 new foods from beer production left-overs<p><b>​The left-overs from beer production – spent grains – contain a high amount of fibers and protein, and could be the basis of new foods. But today, the spent grain often goes to waste, or at best to animal feed. Researchers are now trying to change this.</b></p>​Swedes drink more and more beer. In the year 2016, 263 million liters of Swedish beer was produced, and microbreweries have been popping up everywhere, in particular in Gothenburg.<br /><br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/Bio/IndBio/IMG_3874_340.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Picture of product from spent grain" style="margin:5px;width:220px;height:220px" />As we brew more beer, there is a growing opportunity to take advantage of the spent grain. Swedish breweries produce over 50 000 tons of spent grain, annually. Today, this sidestream is viewed as waste, although it contains more than 50 percent fibers and about 20 percent protein, and could make the basis for excellent and nutritious foods.<br /><br /><strong>More to animal feed in 2018</strong><br />“Small breweries are paying for someone to come and remove the spent grain. They would like it to be used as animal feed, but it’s tricky and a logistical challenge”, says Joshua Mayers, researcher at the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering, who is now aiming to take a closer look at these processes, together with researchers from RISE and representatives from both food- and brewery industries.<br /><br />In a first project, headed by Chalmers Industriteknik, the researchers map out the lifecycle of the spent grain, prerequisites for a new way of handling this raw material, and the breweries’ interest in making change happen.<br /><br />”The really big breweries have solved this issue by selling their spent grain as animal feed, or using it as biofuel in their own production plants. This year we could also observe an increase in the amount of spent grain going to animal feed, even at the smaller breweries. We believe this to be a result of the summer's drought; farmers are in need of alternative feed. This solution benefits both farmers and breweries, who then don’t pay for disposal”, Max Björkman at Chalmers Industriteknik explains, and Joshua Mayers adds:<br /><br />“The smaller players don’t really have a long-term plan. But we think a change will come. We also see a big interest in developing foods from spent grain. There are many projects going on in the United States and even within Europe – Sweden, however, is falling behind.”<br /><br /><strong>Cereals, flour or meat replacement</strong><br />Spent grain has previously been used in Sweden in a few small scale projects with flour, for example in pizza dough, but there’s a huge variety of possible uses. Spent grain could be used as an ingredient in energy bars or breakfast cereals. It could also replace potato or corn starch, be puffed into cheese doodle-like products, or even become a replacement for meat and soy products.<br /><br />”The raw material might not have the same taste, but the nutrition value is certainly higher as it contains less carbohydrates, and more protein and fibers”, Joshua Mayers says.<br /><br />An investment might be needed by the breweries to make use of the spent grain, but they could also save money on disposal while producing a new product. First of all, however, logistics and handling of spent grain – which have a high water content and spoil quickly – must be solved. The researchers also want to look more closely at the spent grain’s effect on the texture of a product, as well as the taste.<br /><br /><strong>An interest in alternative solutions</strong><br />“We know that spent grain could be used, but there’s a lot of questions to answer. There are challenges – but we also know that there’s a big interest in solving this”, Joshua Mayers summarizes, and gets support from Erika Brockberg, Head of Quality Control at the brewery Poppels:<br /><br />“Spent grain makes up a vast majority of our overall waste, so being able to dispose of it in a reliable and responsible way is important. We currently donate our spent grain to be used as animal feed, but if that plan ever got interrupted, it would stop the flow of brewing, put our whole production schedule at risk, and quickly become an expensive problem to solve. We’re glad to be contributing to this project and we're excited to see what alternative solutions are out there.”<br /><br /><br />Text: Mia Malmstedt<br />Photos: Picture of Chalmers students having a beer, Fredrik Åvall/ Picture of product from spent grain, Sophia Wassén at RISE.Tue, 18 Dec 2018 14:00:00 +0100 from COP24 – a meeting of paradoxes<p><b>​Ida Karlsson, PhD Student at Chalmers, working in the Mistra Carbon Exit research program, shares some thoughts and insights from a week at COP 24, the UN Climate Change Conference in Katowice.</b></p><h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">​<span>Paradoxes</span></h5> <div>The first week of COP24, the UN Climate Conference in Katowice, Poland was full of paradoxes. To start with, the site of the conference itself is one clear paradox. With the slogan Black to Green, Katowice has closed 18 of its 20 coal mines, one of which has been converted into the beautifully designed green roofed cultural zone housing the COP. At a first glance, Katowice appears transformed and thriving, having an unemployment rate of only 1.7% and one of Europe’s large fleet of electric buses. At the same time, the smoky haze over the city from the coal-fired residential heating is often thick and the strong ties to coal was rather unsubtle with Katowice pavilion at the conference decorated by chunks of coal stacked in metal crates parading jewelry and soaps made of coal. </div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>To continue this paradox, Poland got the first Fossil of the Day Award by NGO Climate Action Network (CAN) International on the grounds of the sponsorships of the conference and Polish President Andrzej Duda saying in his speech during the opening ceremony that there is no contradiction between climate protection and coal use, domestic coal reserves will last for 200 years. Nevertheless, the Polish presidency of the COP, led by Michał Kurtyka, has taken an active and significant role in driving the negotiations forward, chairing discussions and exploring landing grounds. </div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>Based on my experience from the first week, I would say that a few clear themes have emerged from the talks: </div> <div><ul><li>finance, </li> <li>the role of non-state actors, </li> <li>an enhanced focus on industry, partnerships and collaboration, </li> <li>a socially just transition, as well as </li> <li>moving from ambition to action. <br /></li></ul></div> <div> </div> <div><a href="">Ida's full report can be found at the Mistra Carbon Exit website​</a>.</div> <div>Ida is a PhD Student at the division of Energy Technology, at the department of Space, Earth and Environment. <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/ida-karlsson.aspx">​Read more about her research​</a>. </div>Mon, 17 Dec 2018 06:00:00 +0100 ten scientific breakthrough of the year<p><b>​We have previously reported about a study, led by Chalmers University of Technology, that has shown that carbon fibres can work as battery electrodes, storing energy directly. This research has now been listed by the regarded Physics World Magazine as one of this year’s biggest breakthroughs.</b></p><div>​It is a team of expert editors at <a href="">Physics World</a> that each year lists what they regard as the top ten biggest breakthroughs of the year. One out of these ten is then awarded Breakthrough of the Year and the other nine highly commended breakthroughs are listed in no particular order. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The Physics World 2018 Breakthrough of the Year went to Pablo Jarillo-Herrero of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US and colleagues for their discoveries in the area of graphene. In 2012 the title went to the discovery of a Higgs-like particle, which the following year was awarded with the Nobel Prize.</div> <br /><div>&quot;I’m very happy that our research on materials here at Chalmers University of Technology gain attention in this context. It is a big thing&quot;, says Leif Asp.</div> <br /><div>Asp headed up a multidisciplinary group of researchers who recently published a study on how the microstructure of carbon fibres affects their electrochemical properties – that is, their ability to operate as electrodes in a lithium-ion battery. So far this has been an unexplored research field.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/IMS/MoB/Kolfiber%20kan%20laga%20energi_webb_EN.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><em>Increased energy efficiency with multi-functional carbon fibre in a structural battery</em><br /><em>Illustration: Yen Strandqvist</em><br /><br /></div> <div>What the researchers have shown is that carbon fibres can perform more tasks than simply act as a reinforcing material. They can store energy, for example. This opens up new opportunities for structural batteries, where the carbon fibre becomes part of the energy system. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The use of this type of multifunctional material can contribute to a significant weight-reduction in the aircraft and vehicles of the future – a key challenge for electrification.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Has gained world-wide attention</h2></div> <div>The discovery has also attracted a lot of international interest with over 170 articles in more than 30 countries.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;Yes, I have been contacted by a lot of journalists. Among other BBC called me and wanted a live radio interview, which was quite exciting&quot;, says Leif Asp.</div> <br /><div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/IMS/MoB/EFANX_340x305_viewpoint-2-HD_BSJ_20180201.png" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />The industry has also shown great interest and Airbus has entered an agreement with Chalmers University of Technology, since it chimes with one of Airbus’ own strategic research fields: integrated energy storage. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Peter Linde from Airbus says that one absolutely crucial reason for the collaboration is the cutting-edge research being conducted by Leif Asp’s research team, together with colleagues at KTH Royal Institute of Technology within the field of multifunctional composites for energy storage.
 </div> <br /><div><br /></div> <div><div><h5 class="chalmersElement-H5"><br /></h5> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">More information</h2> <div>The research has been funded by <em>Vinnova, the Swedish Energy Agency, the Swedish Research Council </em>and <em>Alistore European Research Institute.</em><br /></div></div> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">Read the scientific article</h5></div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><a title="Länk till den vetenskapliga artikeln" href="">Graphitic microstructure and performance of carbon fibre Li-ion structural battery electrodes</a> published in the journal Multifunctional Materials.</p> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">Read more about how carbon fibre can store energy<br /></h5> <div><a href="/en/departments/ims/news/Pages/carbon-fibre-can-store-energy.aspx">Carbon fibre that can store energy in the body of a vehicle<br /></a></div> <div><h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">More information about the Airbus collaboration</h5></div> <div><a href="/en/departments/ims/news/Pages/Airbus-collaboration-on-multifunctional-materials.aspx">Airbus collaboration on multifunctional materials</a><br /></div> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">For additional information, contact:</h5> <span style="display:inline !important;float:none;background-color:transparent;font-family:&quot;open sans&quot;, sans-serif;font-size:14px;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;font-weight:300;letter-spacing:normal;line-height:22px;text-align:left;text-decoration:none;text-indent:0px;text-transform:none;white-space:normal;word-spacing:0px">Leif Asp, Professor of Material and Computational Mechanics at Chalmers University of Technology</span>, 031-772 15 43, <a href=""></a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div>Fri, 14 Dec 2018 00:00:00 +0100