"My vision is to make a contribution to achieving the new road safety goals for 2030, and one day what the Vision Zero describes where we lose neither life nor health," says Astrid Linder, researcher in vehicle and traffic safety.
Hi there, Astrid Linder, recently appointed Professor at VTI! What are you working on right now?
"I coordinate, among other things, the VIRTUAL project, for which we have received EUR 7 million from the European Commission. Chalmers is one of 15 parties included in the consortium. It finances the current development of open source Human Body Models (HBMs) at Chalmers.
In the VIRTUAL project, we build a platform, i.e. computer surface, with different tools. It's like a virtual workshop with human models, analysis tools and components that are open to everyone to use."
You have worked at VTI for a long time. How do you think you can develop the collaboration with Chalmers based on the fact that you are now a professor at VTI?
"Chalmers and VTI collaborate in vehicle safety since many years and I would like to both broaden and deepen that. An example is the exciting area where, among others, Mats Svensson and I work together to improve the opportunities to evaluate vehicle safety. We work with models of humans to find out the best ways to prevent people from suffering disabling injuries.
For the first time, we now have HBMs of both an average woman and an average man. Virtual models where both women and men are represented also make it possible to address the population more broadly."
In what ways do you see opportunities to broaden the collaboration with Chalmers?
"I see opportunities to work together with the group on vehicle safety to connect more competencies. An example is the environmental aspects of transport and how they affect health linked to the factors that affect the risk of injury in a collision.
Another area where I see great potential for collaborations is when it comes to sports injuries. There, our knowledge in crash safety, what we call biomechanics, could be combined with other researchers' knowledge of the human body, injuries, strain, and rehabilitation. The HBMs, i.e. our virtual models, are the tools we use when we implement our knowledge of the human body."
You also want to highlight an aspect of sustainability in traffic and vehicle safety that has less to do with physical environment, right?
"Yes, for us to achieve a sustainable society and a sustainable transport system, it‘s important to work to reduce the number of people killed and disabled in traffic. Road safety is part of the UN's global sustainable development goals.
My focus is on injury prevention. My vision is to make a contribution to achieving the new road safety goals for 2030, and one day achieving what the Vision Zero describes, that is a transport system where we lose neither life nor health.
Think of the steps that have been taken in the work environment area over the past hundred years. It still happens that people get injured at work, but we do not go and "expect" that someone will be killed or injured at work."
Over the years, you have more and more switched to leading research and working to get funding for research. How come?
"I work at an institute where the research is fully externally funded. When it comes to the research itself, I nowadays hand it over to others as soon as I can. It is about giving future generations opportunities to step into this area of research that is so important. That's part of my strategy."
About Astrid Linder and the new professorship at VTI (Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute)
, Head of Department at Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2):
"For several years, Chalmers has had a fruitful collaboration with VTI in various research areas. Through the new professorship at VTI in road safety with a focus on personal injury prevention, the collaboration will be strengthened with M2, and the Division of Vehicle Safety in particular.
VTI and Mechanics and Maritime Sciences have activities and resources that complement each other, among other things in the form of an advanced crash lab at VTI and of broad competence and experience in mathematical modeling of humans at M2 and Vehicle Safety. Our in-depth collaboration will promote the development of safety both in vehicles and for unprotected road users, and thus contribute to reduced human suffering."
, professor at the Research Department of Traffic and road-users at VTI:
"One of VTI's purposes with our professorships is to strengthen collaboration with strong academic universities in selected areas. With the appointment of Astrid Linder as a professor, we want to work for the development of good collaborations between Chalmers and VTI in the area of road safety with a focus on injury prevention."
Text: Anna Vörös