It was before the Swedish Paper and Cellulose Engineers Association, SPCI's, annual conference Ekmandagar 2018, that Jenny Arnling Bååth, PhD student at the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering, and working within the Wallenberg Wood Science Center, was asked if she would like to go to Stockholm to present her research according to the Pecha Kucha format.
– I enjoy doing things like that and saw it more like a fun experience. It wasn’t until I was going up on stage that I realized it was a contest! says Jenny Arnling Bååth.
Pecha Kucha is a presentation format where one shows 20 images in 20 seconds each, making the timing and practicing very important. And Jenny Arnling Bååth scored well on all the criteria – a neat, scientific and understandable presentation with good timing as she talked about her research. Very simplified she works with using residual products from the wood industry. And with the help of specific enzymes, breaking chemical bonds between the long polymer chains in the wood, she can get pure polymers, which can be used as building blocks to make materials for packaging, plastics, textile materials, biofuel and chemicals.
– I search in nature to find enzymes to cut these chemical linkages. And I've found promising enzymes in bacteria and in filamentous fungi, so I talked about that in my presentation, says Jenny Arnling Bååth.
The audience had mentometers and consisted of nearly 200 people from different areas of the pulp and paper industry. The winners were then appointed by a jury and Jenny was awarded the second prize.
– They said I was very close to first prize and that the audience really enjoyed my presentation so I’m happy anyway, says Jenny Arnling Bååth.
In addition to the honor to receive a second prize, she is also awarded 20,000 SEK from the Gunnar Sundblad Foundation, earmarked for travelling related to her research. But Jenny Arnling Bååth has no set plan for where she will go.
– Well, I’m doing my last year as a PhD student now so I'm really going to make use of it, says Jenny Arnling Bååth.
– I am discussing with my supervisors to visit another research group somewhere and perhaps do some complimentary analyses for my thesis. I think that could be very inspiring!
Text: Helena Österling af Wåhlberg
Photo: Camilla Herrera/Svensk Papperstidning