News: Global related to Chalmers University of TechnologyThu, 21 Feb 2019 22:09:00 +0100 Master’s programmes focus on the future in digitalisation<p><b>​Three new Master’s programmes start at Chalmers this autumn – Data Science, High-Performance Computer Systems and Physics. In different ways, all three programmes focus on the needs and solutions of our digitalised future.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">The demand for skills in data science and artificial intelligence is heavily increasing. Courses in these subjects already exist in programmes at Chalmers, but with the extensive interest from both students and industry, the Master’s programme <em>Data Science</em> has now been created. It specifically focuses on increased digitalisation. </span><div><br /><span style="background-color:initial"></span><div>The interest in Chalmers programmes in Computer Science has also increased during the last few years. To meet the high demand, a new programme called <em>High-Performance Computer Systems</em> will start. The programme aims to give students cutting-edge expertise in computer systems engineering, with a focus on the future use of computing.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“The interest in our two new Master’s programmes is great, both here at Chalmers, and externally from industry. The great social upheaval that is made possible by digitalisation is leading to an increased need for qualified competence in Computer Science. I believe that the development of this type of education has only begun”, says Jörgen Blennow, Dean of Education for the educational area Electric, Computer, IT and Industrial Engineering at Chalmers. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>At the educational area for Physics, the two Master’s programmes <em>Applied Physics</em> and <em>Physics and Astronomy</em> have been the base for a whole new programme, called <em>Physics</em>. Anders Hellman, Director of the new Master's programme, says that with a new, creatively developed programme and new courses, they want to give the students more than just the skills needed in the industry today, thereby preparing them for a digitalised future.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“The students will receive knowledge in the areas of physics that in different ways are key to the advanced technologies of today and tomorrow. We want the students to get generic and long-term knowledge in physics that not only helps them with solutions for the needs of today, but that also prepares them for the challenges of the future industry, challenges that we cannot even foresee today.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The programme offers five specialisations – <em>Astronomy, Biological Physics, Computational Physics, High-energy Physics</em> and <em>Materials Science</em>. The programmes <em>Applied Physics</em> and <em>Physics and Astronomy</em> close when the new programme starts.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>For international students, two of the new Master’s programmes that start in autumn 2019 are still open for late application – <em>High Performance Computer Systems</em> and <em>Physics</em>. Learn more about this on the programmes’ respective webpages. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Read more about the new Master’s programmes:</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" /></a> <a href="/en/education/programmes/masters-info/Pages/Data-Science.aspx">Data Science</a></div> <div><a href="/en/education/programmes/masters-info/Pages/Data-Science.aspx"></a><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" /></a> <a href="/en/education/programmes/masters-info/Pages/High-Performance-Computer-Systems.aspx">High-Performance Computer Systems</a></div> <div><a href="/en/education/programmes/masters-info/Pages/High-Performance-Computer-Systems.aspx"></a><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" /></a> <a href="/en/education/programmes/masters-info/Pages/Physics.aspx">Physics</a></div> <div><div><br /></div></div> <div><div><em><br /></em></div> <div><em>Text: Sophia Kristensson</em></div> <div><em>Photo: Anna-Lena Lundqvist</em></div></div></div>Mon, 18 Feb 2019 14:00:00 +0100 develop new global goals for road safety<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 dinghies made of recycled plastic<p><b>​&quot;Optimist for the sea&quot; (&quot;Optimist för havet&quot;) is a project that puts focus on the huge amounts of plastic in our seas. To raise awareness of this problem, Chalmers and SSPA have built optimist dinghies out of plastic debris collected along the Swedish coasts with the help of volunteers.</b></p><div>​<span style="display:inline-block">The optimist dinghies are being built by experts at Chalmers and SSPA. The plastic debris has been sorted, ground down, encapsulated and hardened. Now, the first optimist dinghy is ready and it will be named during the Gothenburg Boat Fair by Team Anna, one of the project's four ambassadors and 10-year-old Freja Björling Duell from the Sailing Society Kaparen in Gottskär south of Gothenburg. The name has been chosen in a social media vote.</span></div> <div><span style="display:inline-block"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="display:inline-block">&quot;It is great fun to name our first finished dinghy made of debris from the sea. Of course, it is good that the plastic in the sea can be used, but the solution to the problem is not to clean it out but instead to stop the supply. This is where we can make a difference by showing off our fine dinghies and through education,” says Thomas Hansson-Mild, project manager for the Swedish Sailing Association.</span></div> <span style="display:inline-block"><div><br /></div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Study on the environmental effects<br /></h2></div> <div>As part of the project Optmist for the sea, students at the Master's program Production Engineering will do a life cycle analysis and compare the manufacturing processes with new materials versus recycled plastic. The purpose of this study is to assess if the reuse of such plastic waste in new products actually generates a positive impact on the<span style="background-color:initial"> </span><span style="background-color:initial">e</span><span style="background-color:initial">nvironme</span><span style="background-color:initial">n</span><span style="background-color:initial">t</span><span style="background-color:initial">. </span><span style="background-color:initial">The study will tell with more certainty whether reuse is a better alternative compared to destroying the plastic.</span></div> <div></div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;Because the material we use is recycled plastic, we have high hopes for a positive environmental effect when it comes to the material extraction. But there are still questions about the manufacturing process and the use of the product. We want the optimist dinghy to perform just as well as other dinghies, and we do not want them to leak any hazardous substances,” says Mélanie Despeisse, Assistant Professor at Chalmers University of Technology.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">More information</h2> <div>&quot;Optimist for the sea&quot; is a three-year collaborative project run by the Keep Sweden Tidy foundation (Håll Sverige rent), Swedish Sea Rescue society (Sjöräddningssällskapet) and the Swedish Sailing Association (Svenska seglarförbundet) with financing from Postkodlotteriet. The main purpose of the project is to show how much debris gets into the sea and thus contribute to reducing the supply.</div> <div><a href=""></a></div> <div> </div> <div>About 30 cubic meters of garbage was collected by volunteers during the spring and summer of 2018 along the Swedish coast line, of which six cubic meters of plastic debris was sent to Chalmers. The public, volunteer sea rescue and other actors have been involved. The Sea Rescue Society has optimized four environmental rescue trails to facilitate the collection of the garbage. In total, five dinghies will be built.</div> <div> </div></span><div><span style="display:inline-block">The building is done at SSPA Sweden AB by Christian Finnsgård, research director, John McVeagh, boat builder and sailor and Giada Lo Re, Associate Professor at Chalmers University of Technology.</span><span style="background-color:initial">​</span></div>Thu, 31 Jan 2019 16:00:00 +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 elected member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences<p><b>​​Tünde Fülöp, Professor of Physics at Chalmers University of Technology, is a new member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. She is one of four new members of the Academy’s Class for Physics and the only one from Chalmers to be selected.</b></p>​<img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/350x305/Tunde350x305.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><span style="background-color:initial">“I feel deeply honoured and I am looking forward to contributing to the important task of the Academy – to promote science and strengthen its role and influence in our society. It will also be interesting to exchange experiences and ideas with the other members,” says Tünde Fülöp, a Professor at the Department of Physics at Chalmers.</span><div><br /><span style="background-color:initial"></span><div>Tünde Fülöp is a theoretical plasma physicist and her research focus is magnetic fusion and laser-plasma accelerators. Plasma physics is a subfield of physics which brings together electromagnetics, fluid dynamics, wave-particle interaction, relativistic effects and subatomic physics. Applications range from cancer therapy and lightning initiation, to fusion devices for large scale energy production. Her research focus is set on plasma stability, impurity transport, runaway particles and radiation. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>In addition to Tünde Fülöp, Stefan Kröll, Lund University, was elected new swedish members of the Academy’s Class for Physics in January 2019. At the same time Richard Brenner, Uppsala University and Klaus Blaum, Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg, Germany, were elected foreign members of the Academy's Class for Physics.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Mia Halleröd Palmgren, <a href="">​</a></div> <div>Image: Peter Widing</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />More about the new members of the Academy.</a></div> <div><a href="/en/research/our-scientists/Pages/The-Royal-Swedish-Academy-of-Sciences.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Chalmers researchers in the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences​</a><br /></div> <div><div><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Tünde-Fülöp.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read more about Tünde Fülöp</a><span style="background-color:initial">.</span><br /></div></div> <div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />&quot;Opportunities in everything​&quot; - read a personal portrait of Tünde Fülöp.​​</a></div> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">Two research breakthroughs for Tünde Fülöp's group at Chalmers:</h5> <div><a href="/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/Flares-in-the-universe-can-now-be-studied-on-earth.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Flares in the universe can now be studied on earth.</a></div> <div><a href="/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/Deceleration-of-runaway-electrons-paves-the-way-for-future-fusion-power.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" /><span style="background-color:initial">D</span><span style="background-color:initial">eceleration of runaway electrons paves the way for fusion power</span></a></div></div> <div><div><br /></div></div>Wed, 30 Jan 2019 00:00:00 +0100 movements reduce power peaks<p><b>​By programming industrial robots to operate more smoothly, and thus avoiding heavy accelerations and decelerations, energy consumption as well as power peaks can be significantly reduced. Based on these results, researchers are now taking a step further to investigate how other production equipment containing moving devices can be optimized.</b></p>​D<span style="background-color:initial">esigning optimal processes, while considering energy and environmental aspects, is becoming an increasingly important concern for the manufacturing industry. In the long run, it provides a competitive edge in terms of reduced production costs and a stronger sustainability profile.</span><div><br /></div> <div>Since several years, the research group Automation at Chalmers University of Technology has collaborated with the automotive industry to reduce energy consumption in robotic systems used in manufacturing processes. The industrial robots are energy-intensive. For example, in automotive bodywork factories the robots' consumption amounts to about half of the total energy used in production.<img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Mjukare%20rörelser%20kapar%20effekttoppar/Bengt-Lennartsson_250px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /></div> <div><div><strong>Lower energy demand and no production loss</strong></div> <div>”Our results show that the energy consumption can be reduced by 20-25 percent when industrial robots operate with smoother movements and avoid unnecessary starts and stops”, says Bengt Lennartson, Professor of Automation at the Department of Electrical Engineering. “And this without reducing the pace of production.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The reduction is even greater when it comes to the robots´ power demands – the power peaks can be decreased by as much as 60 percent. As the powerconsuming accelerations are greatly reduced, in favour of a more balanced mode of driving, not as large momentary power demands occur. This also has a positive impact on the life-span of the components.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“The power demand being reduced to such high extent is a positive side effect of the energy saving we initially intended to achieve. So far, the power balance in the Swedish energy system has been good, but in the future, if the country is facing a situation where power shortage may occur, it will be expensive for industries whose electricity consumption is characterized by high power peaks.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Bringing the method forward</strong></div> <div>“Our method for optimizing the robots has proved to be both simple and efficient,” says Bengt Lennartson. “The optimization never changes the robot’s operation path, only the speed and sequence. We collect data from the real robot and process it in an optimization program. The result is improved control instructions that are directly fed back to the robot.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The research group has now started to apply their method in other fields of engineering as well, where there are moving and energy-intensive systems. This could include automated guided vehicles, conveyor systems and numerically controlled machining tools.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>The production system of the future</strong></div> <div>The research on energy efficiency conducted by the Automation research group is a good example of computer-driven optimization methods. This type of optimization, combined with artificial intelligence, AI, is about to make its entry into industrial production to form what is known as Intelligent Manufacturing. It is about smart machines and connected manufacturing systems that interact and communicate with each other.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Not least in China, there is a great interest in intelligent and sustainable production systems,” says Bengt Lennartson, who recently has participated as invited speaker in several research conferences on this topic. “Sweden is often mentioned as a good example of how sustainable and energy efficient manufacturing systems can be designed, and I agree that it really is our strength.</div></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Yvonne Jonsson</div> <div>Photo: Malin Ulfvarson and Oscar Mattsson</div> <div><br /></div> <div><div><strong>More about the research</strong></div> <div><a href="/en/departments/e2/news/Pages/Smooth-robot-movements-reduce-energy.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Smooth robot movements reduce energy consumption by up to 40 percent</a></div> <div><a href="/en/projects/Pages/Automation-and-Robotics-for-EUropean-Sustainabile-manufacturing.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Automation and Robotics for EUropean Sustainabile manufacturing (AREUS</a>)</div> <div><a href="/en/projects/Pages/Sustainable-motions---SmoothIT.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Sustainable motions, SmoothIT</a></div> <div><a href="/en/projects/Pages/ITEA3Q-Smart-Prognos-av-EnergianvQndning-med-resursfQrdelningQ.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Smart prognos av energianvändning med resursfördelning, SPEAR​</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>For more information, please contact:</strong></div> <div>Bengt Lennartson, Professor of Automation, Head of Division System and Control, Department of Electrical Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden</div> <div>+46 31-772 37 22,<a href=""></a></div></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/Mjukare%20rörelser%20kapar%20effekttoppar/Energy-robot_power_consumption_500px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="Power consumption industrial robot" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">​</span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></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">Reducing power peaks through minimizing accelerations in the robot movements.</span><span style="background-color:initial">​</span><br /></div>Thu, 24 Jan 2019 07:00:00 +0100 Foundation awards bio-based material research<p><b>​Brina Blinzler is the 2018 recipient of Hasselblad Foundation’s annual research grant for female researchers. The grant will be used to increase the understanding of how to make bio-based composites, which will lead to a variety of new sustainable materials.</b></p>​There is an ever-increasing demand for a variety of sustainable materials: materials that consume less energy to manufacture, materials that can be recycled or reused, materials that require safer chemical processing and materials that are derived from sustainable, non-food competing resources.<br /><br />Bio-based structural material technology available today allows us to breakdown and sort natural fibers into many varieties, such as nanofibrils and cellulose nanocrystals. These nanomaterials are derived from the most abundant natural polymer in the world, cellulose. <br /><br /><div>Brina believes it is possible to process high quality composite reinforcement from natural plant-based materials and to derive sustainable resins compatible with these reinforcements.</div> <div><br /> </div> <div>-    I’m very glad and excited to receive this grant from the Hasselblad Foundation. It will allow me to pursue bio-based polymer composite research in three key areas, says Brina. </div> <br /><div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/IMS/MoB/BrinaBrinzler_hasselbladsstiftelsen_190114_02_680pxl.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:446px;height:271px" />First, predicting the microstructure of cured composite parts. <br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Second, predicting the mechanical, moisture absorption, thermal, and electrical properties of cured composite parts. <br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Third, developing tools for material specialists to design custom multifunctional composite materials for specific purposes.</div> <br /><div><em>Brina is here congratulated by the Hasselblad Foundation chairman, <br />Göran Bengtsson, and </em><em>CEO Christina Backman.</em><br /><br /></div> <div>By combining these three research areas, I can begin to build an approach for predicting the microstructure and multifunctional properties of the resulting composite materials. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">About Brina</h2> <div> </div> <div><a href="/en/staff/Pages/brina-blinzler.aspx">Brina Blinzler</a> is Assistant professor at the Division of material- and computational mechanics, Department of industrial and materials Science. She specializes in composite mechanics. Her research interests include the optimization of polymer matrix composite processing techniques (heat and pressure cycles during curing), multifunctional composite materials, renewable materials (bio-composites) and advanced energy materials. Brina is also part of the Graphene Flagship.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"> Hasselblad Foundation </h2> <div><a href="">The Hasselblad Foundation</a> grant programme was established in 2011 to acknowledge female researchers and enable them to continue and further develop their research. The intention is, to appropriate SEK 2,000,000 annually to be used as further research funding for two women researchers (SEK 1,000,000 each). Marina Rafajlovic, Assistant Professor at Department of Marine Sciences University of Gothenburg, was the second recipient of the 2018 grant.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div></div>Thu, 17 Jan 2019 10:00:00 +0100 the researchers at the fronts of physics<p><b>​Uniting exceptional performance requirements with mass production can sound like an impossibility. Nevertheless, Low Noise Factory has succeeded in making its extremely low-noise microwave amplifiers. Today, they are the first choice in both radio telescopes and quantum computers.</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial">Both the E6 and Västkustbanan sweep close to the office building in Kallebäck. Nevertheless, no traffic noise is considered on the thirteenth floor, where Low Noise Factory is located. Instead, here is another kind of noise in the center. Namely, the inevitable signal noise that occurs in all electronics, including the random movements of the electrons in semiconductors.</span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/lownoisefactory_I0A5271_350x305.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />In the company's transistor-based amplifiers, this noise is reduced to an absolute minimum. How?</div> <div>Well, you benefit from phenomena that only occur on a nano-scale, with exotic materials such as indium phosphide and - in most cases - through cryogenic use. That is, cooling to a few degrees above absolute zero.</div> <div>&quot;The vast majority of applications do not benefit from such a low noise. It is fine with something worse and cheaper&quot;, explains the company's founder and principal owner Niklas Wadefalk (to the right).</div> <div>One exception is the radio astronomy, which is trying to capture extremely weak signals from space.</div> <div>&quot;It is usually said that the sensitivity of a radio telescope is equal to the capture area divided by the system noise. This means that the sensitivity can be improved either by larger antennas, which can cost millions, or by less noise in the amplifier&quot;, explains Niklas Wadefalk and adds that the latter becomes considerably cheaper.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>It was precisely to meet the demanding radio astronomers' needs that he started the company thirteen years ago. He had previously worked for a few years as a research engineer at Chalmers and learned to build cryo-amplifiers. Such amplifiers had long been an important research area at Chalmers, driven by recurring assignments to build single-piece amplifiers for different space projects, including for the Odin satellite. Then Niklas Wadefalk was attracted to the Caltech University in California, where for five years he further developed the design of the cryo amplifier. During these years the radio astronomy changed. Gradually, they began to plan future telescopes in the form of many, small scattered antennas instead of single large ones.</div> <div>&quot;Hence, hundreds, perhaps thousands of low noise amplifiers would be needed, something that universities and research institutions would hardly be able to produce themselves. I saw a niche for a commercial and serious company that could provide guarantees and ensure continuity.&quot;</div> <div>He decided to move home to Gothenburg and Chalmers again, while he started Low Noise Factory alongside. Bit at first, it wasn't so much of a factory. The company's first amplifier, Niklas Wadefalk manufactured in his own bedroom. But graduallt, orders rolled in.</div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/lownoisefactory_I0A5159_amplifier_665x330.jpg" alt="Picture of amplifier." style="margin:5px" /><br /><em>Inside the Low Noise Factory's best-selling amplifier, popular in both quantum research and radio astronomy.</em><br /><br /></div> <div>Since the core component itself, the half-millimeter-sized transistors, was processed in Chalmers cleanroom, a steep learning curve was also initiated in production technology at Chalmers. At the start, a few hundred transistors were manufactured on centimeter-sized pieces of indium phosphide.</div> <div>&quot;Today, 50,000 transistors can be placed on a &quot;wafer&quot; large as a CD. It has been an avalanche development thanks to all the feedback between us and Chalmers.&quot;</div> <div>Another big change is that many amplifiers are now made in the form of an integrated circuit, which minimizes the need for manual mounting work on the microscope.</div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/lownoisefactory_I0A5142_pincett_665x330.jpg" alt="Pincette on wafer." style="margin:5px" /><br /><em>With a pincette, one of the fifty thousand transistors from the &quot;wafer&quot; manufactured in Chalmers clean room is picked to become a core component of a new amplifier.</em><br /><br /></div> <div>Low Noise Factory is today, with its nine employees, almost alone in the world to manufacture cryogenic amplifiers for the very highest low noise requirements.</div> <div>The production rate is now up to a thousand units per year. But the radio astronomers are not behind the recent increase in order intake. Instead, the orders come from the many universities and IT companies that are competing to create the first useful quantum computer.</div> <div>&quot;It is a large and growing market for us, but it also means new and higher demands.&quot;</div> <div>One demand applies to the heat development of the amplifiers. Quantum computer scientists think that 4 kelvin is too hot, they prefer to go down in millikelvin.</div> <div>&quot;It is not certain that it is possible to use transistor amplifiers for this, but we are researching with Chalmers to get further.&quot;</div> <div>It will probably be in the form of the same kind of tangible experimentation that has so far yielded results. According to Niklas Wadefalk, there is no exclusive theoretical knowledge or &quot;business secret&quot; that lies behind the company's dominance within its niche.</div> <div>&quot;There is some feature of our transistors that makes them better than any other at cryogenic temperatures. Something we have come up with through a lot of trial-and-error. But exactly what, we don't actually know.&quot;</div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Text: Björn Forsman</span><br /></div> <div>Photo: Anna-Lena Lundqvist</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Previously published in Chalmers magasin, no. 2, 2018.</div>Thu, 17 Jan 2019 09:00:00 +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 gender equality project Genie is launched<p><b>​Within ten years, Chalmers hope to increase the proportion of women at the professor level from 17 percent to 40 percent and remove structural and cultural obstacles that hamper career progression of women. During January the Chalmers Foundation Initiative Genie, Gender Initiative for Excellence, begins its work.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">With a budget of 300 million kronor, Chalmers will create a more equal gender balance and a better working environment, for everyone. The project launched on 1 January 2019 and runs through 2028.<br /><br /></span><div>Pernilla Wittung Stafshede, who is a professor at the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering at Chalmers, is one of the initiators of the project and is also leading the project.<br /><br /></div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">What initiatives have you planned for the spring?</h4> <div><span style="background-color:initial">– During the next two months, we will meet with all thirteen heads of department at Chalmers to discuss their situation and what plans and ideas they have around gender equality. Thereafter, we will also meet with the faculty and perhaps other groupings in the departments. The aim is to produce tailor-made recommendations for each department. Different departments will have different needs; there are good examples at Chalmers too. We will return to the departments regularly to check on progress and give further guidance. <br /></span><br /></div> <div>– Later this spring, we will also announce a call for Genie funding for internal projects that aim to contribute in creating a more gender-balanced environment. In addition, we will also set up several campus wide efforts, such as seminars on gender issues with expert speakers and regular Genie pub evenings for informal discussions. We are also planning for an international visiting researcher programme.<br /><br /></div> <div><h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">What are your expectations for the project?</h4> <div> <span style="background-color:initial">– It is very exciting; the first focus is to make sure everything is up and running. An important point about Genie is that it is led by faculty. We work in the environment where we want to make improvements which helps us to understand the problems and be concrete about solutions. Chalmers has been working on gender equality for a long time, but with Genie we want to speed up the process by raising the priority of work with gender equality in every department to the leadership group. We also have money to invest where appropriate.<br /><br /></span></div></div> <div><h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">When do you think we will be able to see a change?</h4> <div> <span style="background-color:initial">–</span><span style="background-color:initial"> When it comes to what is measurable, such as the number of women in the faculty and responses on gender equality in the employee survey, I think we will be able to see an effect already next year, 2020. There is a general positive expectation at Chalmers, I think. We have already invested Genie money in the Area of Advance assistant professorship call since it contained so many top-ranked female candidates. But long-term changes in numbers, system and culture will take time, so I think we can expect that real, significant changes will take several years. Sustainable work on gender equality takes time so we must be patient, but it will be worth it because Genie will have a great positive impact on the future success of Chalmers.<br /><br /><br /></span></div></div> <div>Read more: <a href="/en/news/Pages/big-investment-to-make-Chalmers-equal.aspx">&quot;A big investment to make Chalmers equal&quot;</a>.</div> <div>Read more: <a href="/en/news/Pages/Gender-equality-a-powerful-tool-for-higher-quality.aspx">&quot;Gender equality a powerful tool for higher quality&quot;</a>.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><em>Text: Sophia Kristensson</em></div> <div>​​<br /></div> Mon, 14 Jan 2019 10:00:00 +0100