News: Mechanics and Maritime Sciences, Sjöfart och marin teknik, Tillämpad mekanik related to Chalmers University of TechnologyThu, 13 Feb 2020 15:02:43 +0100 Fatal road accidents halved by year 2030<p><b>​Over 1.3 million people die in traffic accidents every year. Consequently, traffic accidents are the most common cause of death in certain age groups. The world&#39;s experts are now gathering in Stockholm to discuss new UN goals for road safety, developed under the leadership of Chalmers professor Claes Tingvall.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">Transports and traffic are fundamental parts of life for most of us. From our homes, we step into a traffic system that takes us to work, school, business, health care or to our loved ones.</span><div>But at the same time, 1.3 million people are killed in road accidents and 50 million people are injured – every year. Most accidents, as much as 93 per cent, occur in low- and middle-income countries, where the resources and technical solutions for road safety are lacking to a larger extent.<br /><br /></div> <div>“The problem of road accidents has not diminished the way we hoped. The recommendations proposed by our expert group are effective actions – it is now a matter if it gets done or not”, says Claes Tingvall, adjunct professor at the Department of Mechanics and Maritime Sciences at Chalmers and chair of the academic expert group that has developed new UN targets for world road safety.<br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Transport/_bilder-utan-fast-format/Claes%20Tingvall_300.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><span style="background-color:initial">T</span><span style="background-color:initial">he overall goal is to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries as a result of traffic accidents by fifty per cent over the next ten years. To achieve this goal by the year 2030, Claes Tingvall is certain about the way forward:</span><br /></div> <div>“We must constantly point to science as the solution to societal problems. Then stick to it and act accordingly!”<br /></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">A public health issue</h2> <div><span style="background-color:initial">On February 19–20, 2020, the world's leading road safety experts will convene together with decision-makers and ministers in Stockholm for the third global conference on road safety within the UN. There, the expert group's opinion will be indicative for the global cooperation for safer traffic.</span></div> <div>The academic expert group, chaired by Claes Tingvall, is composed of 13 experts from around the world and has been tasked with developing complementary methods, processes and tools for the new decade's global traffic safety. The fundament has been the global goals for sustainable development and Agenda 2030.<br /><br /></div> <div>“The lack of road safety is a public health issue. More than 100,000 children die each year in traffic accidents, making it the most common cause of death for in certain age groups. But it is possible to solve the problem, provided that scientifically developed methods are used”, says Claes Tingvall.<br /></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Collaboration is the key</h2> <div><span style="background-color:initial">T</span><span style="background-color:initial">oday broad research is being conducted in vehicle and road safety at Chalmers. The focus is, among other things, on understanding why accidents occur and how they can be prevented, as well as minimizing injuries to the human body when it is exposed to the extreme stresses that often occur in traffic accidents. Historically, vehicle and traffic safety has been a strong research area at Chalmers and the development of modern seat belts, child safety seats and airbags originated at the university.<br /><br /></span></div> <div>Research within road safety will be even more significant in the future as the volume of traffic is constantly increasing. According to the UN, the world's cities will grow by over 50 per cent in the next 30 years. It is important to have knowledge of how to develop roads and infrastructures in the best possible way as it is being built, while scientific solutions are applied and developed in already existing traffic systems.<br /><br /></div> <div>Magnus Granström is the director of the Safer competence centre at Chalmers, where multidisciplinary research is conducted in road safety. At Safer, various research areas – such as systems for accident prevention, road user behaviour, human body protection and safety performance evaluations – connect. Magnus Granström believes that there are many sub-areas to focus on in road safety, and unprotected road users will be a special challenge as we see an increasing number of cyclists, electric scooters and pedestrians.<br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Transport/_puffbilder/Magnus_Granstrom_350_cropped.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><span style="background-color:initial">“</span><span style="background-color:initial">Universities need to continue to invest in a breadth of research, as there is no single answer to the question of how traffic should continue to become safer. Above all, understanding the complexity of future traffic systems with different types of road users will be necessary”, says Magnus Granström.<br /></span><br /></div> <div>To reach the goal of cutting the number of deaths and injuries by half, Magnus Granström believes that the research community needs to gain further insight into existing obstacles. For example, he points to an over-reliance in automated vehicles and their contribution to increased safety, as well as a lack of system thinking among researchers and financiers, who instead focus too much on individual areas and personas.</div> <div>“The main key to achieving this goal is collaboration between the various players – industry, academia and politics”, says Magnus Granström.<br /></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Recommendations with a clear vision</h2> <div><span style="background-color:initial">T</span><span style="background-color:initial">he academic group of experts has presented a total of nine scientifically based recommendations. If the recommendations are followed, the expert group believes that the goal of reducing the number of deaths by half is likely to be achieved by 2030. The recommendations are interconnected and will guide the work on road safety as part of the Global Sustainable Development Goals. And for the first time, road safety is now included in international objectives through agenda 2030.</span></div> <div>“With the global goals, which point out who should do what, we have access to both the private and the public sector, and thus can benefit from the synergies that exist between climate, health and justice. For example, speed connects to clean air, climate and security”, says Claes Tingvall.<br /><br /></div> <div>At the same time, he emphasizes the fact that the most powerful tools will also make the greatest impact. Those tools are mainly about sustainability reporting and public procurement. If the work on road safety is integrated with these tools, large effects can be achieved. The report that the expert group recently released highlights collaborations between politics, academia, business and other organizations on a global scale.</div> <div>“To solve the problems in low-income countries, where the problems are greatest, you need to apply the simple and cheap solutions that already exist. In high-income countries, all known methods must be applied – it's as simple as that”, says Claes Tingvall.<br /><br /></div> <div>Text: Anders Ryttarson Törneholm and Mia Malmstedt<br />Photos: Rune Borgström, Emmy Jonsson and Pixabay</div> <div><h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">FACTS: The Sustainable Development Goals</h3> <div>The Sustainable Development Goals were adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.<br /><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>Road safety is directly connected to two of the 17 global goals:</div> <div> </div> <div>Goal 3: Good health and well-being</div> <div> </div> <div>Target 3.6:  Halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents.</div> <div> </div> <div>Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities</div> <div> </div> <div>Target 11.2: Provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons.<br /><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>Road safety also affects many of the other global goals indirectly.</div></div> <div><div><a href="">​Read more about the UN Sustainable Development Goals here!</a></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">FACTS: Nine recommendations for safer traffic</h3> <div>The expert group's recommendations is divided into:<br /><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>1. Modal Shift</div> <div> </div> <div>2. Sustainable Practices and Reporting</div> <div> </div> <div>3. Safe Vehicles across the Globe</div> <div> </div> <div>4. Childrens Health</div> <div> </div> <div>5. Public Procurement</div> <div> </div> <div>6. Speed limit of 30 kph</div> <div> </div> <div>7. Upgrade Infrastructure</div> <div> </div> <div>8. Zero Speeding</div> <div> </div> <div>9. Technology</div></div> <div><div> </div> <div> </div> <div><a href="">Watch film clips with Claes Tingvall explaining each recommendation!</a></div> <div> </div> <div><a href="">Read the full report from the expert group here.</a></div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">FACTS: Safer</h3> <div> </div> <div>Safer is a centre of excellence for vehicle and traffic safety which conducts collaborative, interdisciplinary research and knowledge transfer to eliminate fatalities and serious injuries in traffic. Chalmers is the host for the center, which has in total 35 partners from academia, industry and society.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><a href="">Read more about Safer.</a></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3"> </h3> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">FACTS: A pre-event on the night before the UN conference arranged by Safer</h3> <div> </div> <div><span></span> <span style="background-color:initial">On the evening of February 18, the day before the UN conference, Safer organizes a pre-event in Stockholm. The focus will be, among other things, on collaborations and new research. Participants include Fredrik Hörstedt, Chalmers Vice President of Utilisation, and speakers from the European Commission and Volvo. About 200 guests are expected, including EU commissioners, decision-makers and Swedish parliament politicians. Most of the guests come from countries with many fatal road accidents, including Uganda, Liberia, India and Nigeria.</span></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>“We hope to spread the message about our way of collaborating to the international actors participating it our event, and at the same time create even better communication between both partners and research areas”, says Magnus Granström, Director at Safer.<br /><br /><a href="">Read more about the pre-event!</a><br /><br />Previous news article about Claes Tingvall: <a href="/en/departments/m2/news/Pages/Will-develop-new-global-goals-for-road-safety-in-the-UN.aspx">Will develop new global goals for road safety​</a></div></div> Wed, 12 Feb 2020 19:00:00 +0100 storage at sea augments grid stability<p><b>​To reach the climate goals, society will have to rely more on renewable energy. However, solar and wind power, do not necessarily supply electricity exactly when needed. Now researchers at Chalmers have received EUR 420,000​ from the EU to develop offshore energy storage to stabilize the electricity production.​</b></p>Wind-, hydro- and solar power are seen by many as the main methods to produce sustainable electric power. But when it is calm or cloudy, wind and solar power cannot supply enough electricity to the grid. And if there is no prerequisite for controllable hydropower, the risk of electricity shortages increases. To satisfy the need for electricity at any moment, the surplus energy generated under favourable conditions needs to be stored for later occasions.<p></p> <p>“With the entire society and our modern lifestyle built around electric power, it is incredibly important to have a stable electricity supply. Our project will develop techniques to stabilize the electricity grid by storing energy in seawater reservoirs. The idea is that seawater is pumped into the reservoirs when there is an excess of electricity and then release it through turbines to ‘get back’ the electricity when there is a deficit”, says Håkan Nilsson, professor in the Department of Fluid Science at the Department of Mechanics and Maritime Sciences.</p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">New technology at sea</h2> <p>The technique of storing water in reservoirs already exists in mountainous areas where there are large differences in altitude. This project aims to develop corresponding technology for flat coastal areas. Since the space is limited in existing coastal regions, an alternative is to build so-called &quot;energy islands&quot; offshore. The offshore plants are required to handle very small altitude differences and to be able to operate with saltwater instead of freshwater.</p> <p>The project has received EUR 5 million in total and is coordinated by TU Delft. In addition to the Department of Mechanics and Maritime Sciences at Chalmers, another 11 industries and universities in Europe are participating, with broad expertise to meet the goal. The competencies include civil engineering, fluid mechanics, electromechanics, machine design, economy and environment. <span style="background-color:initial">Chalmers has received EUR </span><span style="background-color:initial">420,000</span><span style="background-color:initial"> over 4 years.​</span></p> <p>“The role we have at Chalmers is to design and optimize pump turbines for these specific conditions. We will also look at what loads and deformations these are exposed to in different operating cases and change between pumping and running as a turbine. We will also conduct a smaller validation experiment for one of the techniques”, says Håkan Nilsson.</p> <p>Read more about the project: <a href="">Augmenting grid stability through Low-head Pumped Hydro Energy Utilization &amp; Storage​</a></p> <p>Text: Anders Ryttarson Törneholm​</p>Fri, 17 Jan 2020 10:00:00 +0100 floodings in cities with green roofs<p><b>​The amount of rain and extreme rainfall is expected to increase on our northern latitudes because of climate change. This can have major consequences in densely populated areas that run the risk of flooding and have problems with contaminated storm water. But advanced green roofs with microstructure design may be the solution, researchers at Chalmers believe.</b></p>“Global climate trends indicate an increase in both extreme and total annual precipitation in the northern latitudes. It will have a major impact on the quality of life in densely populated urban environments in Scandinavia. But at the same time, there is a great need to increase the quality of stormwater that drains into the sea”, says Dario Maggiolo, researcher at the Division of Fluid Dynamics at the Department of Mechanics and Maritime Sciences.<p></p> <p>In a scenario where the amount of rainfall is expected to increase drastically, two objectives are very important for the future development of cities and urban environments: firstly, efficient management of the amount of rainwater is required to minimize the risk of flooding and optimized management of water quality.</p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Green roofs with microstructure design can be the key</h2> <p>Green roofs can play a key role in achieving this two-fold objective by regulating rainfall runoff and the transport of stormwater-borne pollutants according to Dario Maggiolo:</p> <p>“Advanced green roofs with an optimal microstructural design can be a breakthrough in handling both water quantity and quality in urban environments. In this project, we will combine microscopic numerical calculations and experimental analysis to enable advanced design of green roofs”, he says.</p> <p>The project has received 3 million SEK from Formas and is a collaboration between the departments of Mechanics and Maritime Sciences as well as Architecture and Civil Engineering​.</p> <p><br /></p> <p>Text: Anders Ryttarson Törneholm​<br /></p>Tue, 03 Dec 2019 00:00:00 +0100 design in urban planning yields a better quality of life<p><b>​Due to dense city planning and tall houses, the wind speed is lower in cities compared to the countryside. This leads to reduced removal of heat and air pollution, which in turn creates problems for residents in larger urban areas. Now researchers at Chalmers have received 4.3 million to develop new tools for sustainable urban planning.</b></p>“Higher daytime temperatures reduced nighttime cooling and increased levels of air pollution have a negative impact on human health. For example, it can contribute to generally reduced well-being, respiratory difficulties, heat cramps, fatigue and heat stroke”, says Gaetano Sardina, assistant professor in the Division of Fluid Dynamics at the Department of Mechanics and Maritime Sciences.<p></p> <p>In densely populated areas, temperatures become higher and the air quality deteriorates due to lower wind speeds as buildings act as a wind trap and shut in the hot and polluted air. This effect is known as &quot;Urban Heat Islands&quot; and is most noticeable during the summer and winter months. Also, the effects of heatwaves in the urban areas are heightened with increased air temperature. Sensitive individuals such as children, the elderly and people with certain illnesses are particularly exposed to such events.</p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Bad air increases deaths</h2> <p>The combination of severe heat and high levels of air pollution can be very problematic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that between 1979 and 2003, heat waves contributed to more than 8,000 premature deaths in the United States. It is more than the deaths caused by hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, floods and earthquakes altogether.</p> <p>The large-scale effects on society are evident in the increase in costs for health care, lost working days and reduced productivity. But researchers expect that economic losses due to increased temperatures in urban areas can be reduced by up to 200 per cent in cities that have implemented appropriate measures.</p> <p>“Our goal is to find out how the cities of the future will be built to improve thermal comfort and air quality for its inhabitants. In current urban planning practices in Sweden, these aspects of residents' health are not considered”, says Gaetano Sardina.</p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Digital tool for city planning</h2> <p>The researchers will develop a new digital tool that can provide a representation of an urban area in 3D. The use of digital tools will increase significantly in the future and change regulations and help urban planners to start using effective data-driven design. The results of this study will provide new guidelines for sustainable urban planning to improve the quality of life for residents in terms of thermal comfort and air quality.</p> <p>The project has received 4.3 million SEK from Formas and is a collaboration between the departments of Mechanics and Maritime Sciences as well as Architecture and Civil Engineering together with FCC Fraunhofer.</p> <p><span style="background-color:initial">Read more about Goal 11 in Agenda 2030: </span><a href="">Sustainable Cities and Communities​​​​</a></p> <p><span style="background-color:initial">Text: Anders Ryttarson Törneholm​</span>​<br /></p>Wed, 27 Nov 2019 00:00:00 +0100 the Fulbright inaugural lecture with Professor David Blekhman<p><b>We are standing in the doorway of a transportation revolution with the advent of electrified and autonomous vehicles&quot;. How can hydrogen be the fuel of the future? Professor David Blekhman is an expert in the field of hydrogen infrastructure and has been selected as a Fulbright Distinguished Chair of Alternative Energy Technology. On the Sustainability Day, November 8, he gave his inaugural lecture.</b></p>​<img src="/sv/styrkeomraden/energi/nyheter/PublishingImages/Blekhman21.jpg" alt="David Blekhman" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" style="margin:5px" />Watch the seminar:<br /><a href=";"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Fulbright inaugural lecture with Professor David Blekhman </a><div><br /></div> <div>Interview with David Blekhman:<br /><span style="font-size:14px"><span></span><a href="/en/areas-of-advance/energy/news/Pages/Fulbright-inaugural-lecture---How-can-hydrogen-be-the-fuel-of-the-future.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />How can hydrogen be the fuel of the future?</a></span><br /><br /><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Cal State LA technology professor named a Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Alternative Energy Technology</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div>​<a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />UB alum David Blekhman inspires students to develop a passion for clean energy</a></div>Mon, 18 Nov 2019 00:00:00 +0100 at the end of the nanotunnel for catalysts of the future<p><b>Using a new type of nanoreactor, researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have succeeded in mapping catalytic reactions on individual metallic nanoparticles. Their work could help improve chemical processes, and lead to better catalysts and more environmentally friendly chemical technology. The results are published in the journal Nature Communications. ​​​</b></p><div><div><span style="background-color:initial">Catalysts increase the rate of chemical reactions. </span><span style="background-color:initial">They play a vital role in many important industrial processes, from making fuels to medicines, to helping limit harmful vehicle emissions.</span><span style="background-color:initial"> They are also essential building blocks for new, sustainable technologies like fuel cells, where electricity is generated through a reaction between oxygen and hydrogen. Catalysts can also contribute to breaking down environmental toxins, through cleaning water of poisonous chemicals, for example. </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div>To design more effective catalysts for the future, fundamental knowledge is needed, such as understanding catalysis at the level of individual active catalytic particles. <span style="background-color:initial"> </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div>To visualise the problem of understanding catalytic reactions today, imagine a crowd at a football match, where a number of spectators light up flares. The smoke spreads rapidly through the crowd, and once a smoke cloud has formed, it is almost impossible to say who actually lit the flares, or how powerfully each one is burning. The chemical reactions in catalysis occur in a comparable way. Millions of individual particles are involved, and it is currently very difficult to track and determine the roles of each specific one – how effective they are, how much each has contributed to the reaction. <span style="background-color:initial"> </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div>To better understand the catalytic process, it is necessary to investigate it at the level of individual nanoparticles. The new nanoreactor has allowed the Chalmers researchers to do exactly this. The reactor consists of around 50 glass nanotunnels filled with liquid, arranged in parallel. In each tunnel the researchers placed a single gold nanoparticle. Though they are of similar size, each nanoparticle has varied catalytic qualities – some are highly effective, others decidedly less optimal. To be able to discern how size and nanostructure influence catalysis, the researchers measured catalysis on the particles individually. <span style="background-color:initial"> </span></div></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/350x305/Sune%20Levin_foto_Kristofer%20Jakobsson%20350x305.jpg" alt="" style="margin:1px 10px;width:200px;height:174px" /><div>“We sent into the nanotunnels two types of molecules, which react with each other. One molecule type is fluorescent and emits light. The light is only extinguished when it meets a partner of the second type on the surface of the nanoparticles, and a chemical reaction between the molecules occurs. Observing this extinction of the ’light at the end of the nanotunnel’, downstream of the nanoparticles, allowed us to track and measure the efficiency of each nanoparticle at catalysing the chemical reaction,” says Sune Levin, Doctoral Student at the Department of Biology and Biotechnology at Chalmers University of Technology, and lead author of the scientific article.<span style="background-color:initial"> </span></div> <div>He carried out the experiments under the supervision of Professors Fredrik Westerlund and Christoph Langhammer. The new nanoreactor is a result of a broad collaboration between researchers at several different departments at Chalmers.</div> <img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/350x305/Fredrik%20Westerlund_foto_Peter_Sandin_350x305.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:200px;height:174px" /><div><br /> <span style="background-color:initial">“Effective catalysis is essential for both the synthesis and decomposition of chemicals. For example, catalysts are necessary for manufacturing plastics, medicines, and fuels in the best way, and effectively breaking down environmental toxins,” says Fredrik Westerlund, Professor at the Department of Biology and Biotechnology.</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div>Developing better catalyst materials is necessary for a sustainable future and there are big social and economic gains to be made. <span style="background-color:initial"> </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <img class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/350x305/ChristophLanghammerfarg350x305.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px 8px;width:200px;height:174px" /><div>“In the chemical industry for example, making certain processes just a few per cent more effective could translate to significantly increased revenue, as well as drastically reduced environmental impacts,” says research project leader Christoph Langhammer, Professor at the Department of Physics at Chalmers. </div></div> <div> </div> <div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read the scientific article.​​</a><br /></div> <div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read the press release and download high resolution images.​​​​</a><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"> </span><br /></div> <div><span style="color:rgb(33, 33, 33);font-weight:700;background-color:transparent">Text: </span><span style="color:rgb(33, 33, 33);background-color:initial">Joshua Worth,</span><a href=""></a><span style="color:rgb(33, 33, 33);background-color:initial">​ and </span><span style="color:rgb(33, 33, 33);background-color:transparent">Mia Halleröd Palmgren, </span><a href=""></a><span style="color:rgb(33, 33, 33);background-color:transparent"> ​</span><br /></div> <div> <a href=""></a></div> <div><strong>Photos:</strong> Kristofer Jakobsson (Sune Levin), Peter Sandin (Fredrik Westerlund) och Henrik Sandsjö (Christoph Langhammer). <span style="background-color:initial">​</span></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span style="font-family:inherit;background-color:initial">For more information, contact: </span><br /></h2> <div><strong><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/fredrik-westerlund.aspx">Fredrik Westerlund​</a></strong>, <span style="background-color:initial">Professor at the Department of Biology and Biotechnology, Chalmers University of Technology, </span><span style="background-color:initial">+ 46 31 772 30 49, </span><a href=""></a></div> <div> </div> <div><strong><a href="/en/staff/Pages/Sune-Levin.aspx">Sune Levin</a></strong>, <span style="background-color:initial">Doctoral Student, Department of Biology and Biotechnology, Chalmers University of Technology<br /></span><span style="background-color:initial">+ 46 76 242 92 68, </span><a href=""> </a></div> <div> </div> <div><strong><a href="/sv/personal/Sidor/Christoph-Langhammer.aspx">Christoph Langhammer</a></strong>, <span style="background-color:initial">Professor, Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology, </span><span style="background-color:initial">+46 31 772 33 31, </span><a href="">​</a></div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">More on the res​earch behind the discovery: </h2> <div><span style="background-color:initial">The scientific article</span> <a href="">&quot;A nanofluidic device for parallel single nanoparticle catalysis in solution&quot; </a><span style="background-color:initial">was published in Nature Communications. It was written by Sune Levin, Joachim Fritzsche, Sara Nilsson, August Runemark, Bhausaheb Dhokale, Henrik Ström, Henrik Sundén, Christoph Langhammer and Fredrik Westerlund. The researchers are active in the Departments of Biology and Biotechnology, Physics, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, as well as Mechanics and Maritime Sciences. The project originated from the framework of the current Nano Excellence Initiative at Chalmers (formerly the Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Area of Advance).</span></div> <div> </div> <div>The research was funded by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation and the European Research Council.<span style="background-color:initial">​</span></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">More on catalysis</h2> <div>Catalysis is the process by which a catalyst is involved in a chemical reaction. In a catalyst, metal nanoparticles are often some of the most crucial active ingredients, because the chemical reactions take place on their surface. The best-known example is probably the three-way catalytic converter found in cars, which mitigates harmful emissions. Catalysis is also widely used in industry at large scale and has a key role to play in new sustainable energy technologies, such as fuel cells. To develop catalysts for the future, new and effective materials are needed. It is therefore necessary to be able to identify how the size, shape, nanostructure and chemical composition of individual nanoparticles affects their performance in a catalyst. </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">​More on the nanoreactor</h2> <div><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Illustration av nanoreaktor" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/350x305/Nanotunnlar%20350x305%20webb.jpg" style="width:200px;height:174px;background-color:initial" /><div>​A nanoreactor developed at Chalmers visualises the activity of individual catalytic nanoparticles. To identify the efficiency of each particle in the catalytic process, the researchers isolated individual gold nanoparticles in separate nanotunnels. They then sent in two kinds of molecules that react with each other on the particles’ surfaces. One molecule (fluorescein) is fluorescent and when it meets its partner molecule (borohydride) the light emission stops upon reaction between the two. This makes it possible to track the catalytic process​.</div></div> <div>​<br /></div>Wed, 13 Nov 2019 07:00:00 +0100 can hydrogen be the fuel of the future?<p><b>We are standing in the doorway of a transportation revolution with the advent of electrified and autonomous vehicles. This is speaking from the point of view of a Los Angeles resident where both air quality and congestion are major factors”. Professor David Blekhman is an expert in the field of hydrogen infrastructure and has been selected as a Fulbright Distinguished Chair of Alternative Energy Technology. On the Sustainability Day, November 8, he gives his inaugural lecture.​</b></p><p>​<img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Production/David%20Blekhman.jpeg" alt="David Blekhman" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" style="margin:5px" /><span style="background-color:initial">“Like Greta, my older son is 16 years old. At this age, our kids are already old enough to tell us that we are not leaving them the world in a pristine condition. Rapid climate change, multiple sites of human operation, and rampant exploitation of the Earth’s resources are the drivers for finding solutions that are more humane. Hydrogen is one of the pathways we are exploring to address these challenges. Hydrogen has its positive properties as well as challenges. But it certainly is and will be the technology of interest,” says David Blekhman, ​<span style="font-size:14px"></span></span><span></span><span style="background-color:initial;font-size:14px">professor at California State University Los Angeles and Technical Director of  Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility, He</span><span style="background-color:initial"> will conduct research an</span><span style="background-color:initial">d teach at the Department of Mechanics and Maritime Sciences at Chalmers for one year.</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span></p> <p><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span><span style="background-color:initial">“It means a lot for Chalmers to have David here for one year, participating in education, research collaboration and outreach activities,” says Maria Grahn, associate professor, Director of Energy Area of Advance, and host for David Blekhman.</span><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></p> <p>His research fits well into what many researchers already do at Chalmers. Maria Grahn especially highlights his broad network within academia, industry and other actors and appreciates David Blekhman´s natural ability to explain in a pedagogical way:</p> <p>“He is a true inspiration for me and for the researchers he has met. I encourage everyone to register and join the inaugural lecture and take the opportunity to meet David”.</p> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Fulbright Distinguished chair</h3> <p>Professor David Blekhman has been selected as a Fulbright Distinguished Chair of Alternative Energy Technology. He has expectations to establish new collaborations and research projects that he could continue in the future.<br /></p> <p>“Chalmers is a premier European institution with leading researchers in their field. My hope is that my contributions will expand projects already under development here at Chalmers. The university currently is the resource for contacts and my home base from which I am to travel to various hydrogen sites in Scandinavia. I look forward to hosting my colleagues at Chalmers back home at my institution in Los Angeles when visiting California”, says David Blekhman. </p> <p>He looks for projects that result in physical realization and real-world testing in the area of alternative fuels, advanced transportation and variety of topics in renewable energy. </p> <p>David Blekhman´s major focus area for the past ten years has been the construction and operation of the Cal State LA Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility. </p> <p>“Due to the inherent complexity and being a new technical undertaking, hydrogen infrastructure still has a number of lessons to learn and challenges to overcome. In addition to hydrogen, I have worked in the area of fuel cell and hybrid vehicle development,” says David Blekhman. </p> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Hydrogen – part of a sustainable future</h3> <p>Several years ago, Los Angeles hosted a small conference on the Scandinavian Hydrogen Highway. Ever since David Blekhman wanted to see it for himself. </p> <p>“As a part of my project at Chalmers, I plan to visit and asses the performance of hydrogen stations in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and wherever else that highway leads. I also look forward to forging collaborations with local researchers and industry”.</p> <p>The evolution of hydrogen as a fuel is a complex question with uncertain answers. <br /><span style="background-color:initial">“My general view and the hope for my work is that hydrogen and electricity will co-exist in powering our vehicles very similar to what is happening with gasoline and diesel. I also think that some applications will be better suited for hydrogen and some for electric,” says David Blekhman. </span></p> <p>Recently, energy storage has been adding another dimension to hydrogen as energy storage in intermittent renewable energy generation. David Blekhman thinks that this could be a part of building a circular and sustainable society.<br /></p> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Many applications for hydrogen</h3> <p>Twenty years ago, hydrogen was mainly targeting the light duty transportation, but the electric vehicles are now offering strong competition for short and medium transport. In response, hydrogen is evolving with heavier duty applications where additional range is associated with lighter than battery energy storage on board. Applications are currently developed in marine and heavy duty transport. </p> <p>“The large-scale of hydrogen operations is around the corner. Following the California leadership of the past twenty years, Japan, Korea, Germany and others have been rapidly developing their hydrogen infrastructure. Several stations also operate in Denmark and Norway. I am hoping that there will be several more in Sweden in a short time”.</p> <p>The technology for producing hydrogen on a large scale from natural gas has been well established due to space exploration and other broad technologies. This will be a transitional pathway for some time allowing for the development of the hydrogen infrastructure. As renewable energy resources become more prevalent, electrolysis will be the source of hydrogen.</p> <p>“Another scenario we are not talking about enough is the controlled nuclear fusion leading to a completely new world. That would also be based on hydrogen,” says David Blekhman.</p> <p>David Blekhman will conduct research and teach at the Department of Mechanics and Maritime Sciences during the 2019/2020 semesters. David Blekhman gives a special mention to his host Dr. Maria Grahn and says that her professional network is amazingly broad and she has generously shared her contacts with him, and also to professor Sonia Yeh who a few years ago was a Fulbright chair at Chalmers.</p> <p></p> <p>“My experience at Chalmers is nothing short of amazing. People are warm and genuinely interested in my work and share interesting opportunities that I could engage in”, he concludes.<br /><br />By: Ann-Christine Nordin and Anders Ryttarson Törneholm, ​<br /></p> <p><br /></p> <p><a href="/en/about-chalmers/Chalmers-for-a-sustainable-future/sustainability-day2019/Pages/default.aspx" style="outline:0px"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />The lecture is a part of Chalmers Sustainable day</a><br /><a title="link to registration" href="" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" style="background-attachment:scroll;background-origin:border-box;background-clip:border-box" />REGISTRATION (Masterclasses, workshops and Fulbright inaugural lecture) ​​</a><br /></p> <p><br /></p> <p><strong>The program for the Inaugural lecture of the 2019-2020 Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Alternative Energy Technology:</strong></p> <p><br /></p> <p><strong>​14:30-14:45</strong> Opening, moderator Maria Grahn, Director of Energy Area of Advance<br /></p> <p>Welcome speech, Stefan Bengtsson, president and CEO</p> <p><strong>14:45-15:00</strong> Sonia Yeh to speak about the Fulbright Distinguished Chair program and value it has had in her case, her research at Chalmers</p> <p><strong>15:00-16:00</strong> David Blekhman, Inaugural Lecture, “If you build it, he will come” – Hydrogen Infrastructure</p> <p><strong>16:00-16:30</strong> Bill Elrick, Director of California Fuel Cell Partnership to speak remotely on Hydrogen Developments in California perspective</p> <p></p> <p><strong>16:30</strong> Reception​​</p>Thu, 31 Oct 2019 09:15:00 +0100 researchers awarded for societal impact<p><b>​Their research has facilitated for freight transports through Europe, and also made it easier to plan maintenance. For this, the research group now receives Chalmers Impact Award.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">“Exiting and surprising”, says Anders Ekberg, Professor at the Department of Mechanics and Maritime Science and director of Charmec.</span><p>The competence centre Charmec is a national centre that gathers important railway actors – the Swedish Transport Administration, SJ and Bombardier just to mention a few. The researchers at Charmec are now acknowledged for contributing to new European rules that simplify for trains travelling across borders, and also for new ways to predict cracking in rails and wheels.</p> <p>“It’s not always easy to operate in the field between research and industry. When we address industry representatives, some of them believe research to be too theorizing. On the other hand, when we speak to the academy, some view us as consultants. Therefore, it is highly important that someone else now states that what we do is absolutely right”, says Anders Ekberg.</p> <p>“If you find the right balance between industry and academia, that’s when the big impact can occur. This award is a confirmation of that fact.”</p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Facilitates freight transports on rail</h2> <p>The research impact, for which the group is now awarded, has clearly benefited both train operators and infrastructure. The previous European lack of coordinated alarm limits for wheel loads made it difficult to transport goods through Europe; even to the extent that trains have had to cancel the journey and return to the home country. The new harmonising rules, which are based on the research group’s calculations, facilitate the expansion of freight transports on rail and thereby benefit the climate.</p> <p>The same can be said for the crack formation predictions. With new calculation models, it is easier to predict when a wheel or rail need maintenance, making it possible to schedule maintenance instead of waiting for unexpected stops when something is broken.</p> <p>“One of the challenges for coming decades is to increase the punctuality of train traffic, while at the same time we will have an increasing amount of trains operating the railways. This requires better precision in both train and rail maintenance”, says Anders Ekberg.</p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Charmec a prerequisite for success</h2> <p>The breadth and weight of the collaborations within Charmec are a prerequisite for the impact of science in society, says Research Professor Elena Kabo.</p> <p>“It creates a long-term perspective – our impact is based on decades of research – and a synergy between industry and academia, which enables us to solve relevant problems while having a strong scientific base. Charmec also provides better opportunities for collaborations between different research disciplines, which make it possible to come a long way”, she says, adding:</p> <p>“I believe the fact that we now receive this award can broaden the view on the benefits of applied research, and the understanding that it is based on more basic research. Both basic and applied research are important. But it is often with the combination of both that a major societal breakthrough can occur.”</p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Diploma, flowers and speeches at ceremony</h2> <p>Chalmers Impact Award was presented by Fredrik Hörstedt, Vice President of Utilisation, at a ceremony at Veras Gräsmatta.</p> <p>“We build knowledge that finds its way out in society. Most often we do this through our students who enter the society with new skills. But we also work with many other approaches to utilise our knowledge – for example as advisors, close to industrial partners or together with research institutes”, Fredrik Hörstedt said, and continued:</p> <p>“This award puts the spotlight on those who have succeeded in creating great values for society. The researchers at Charmec have really shown the potential; how we at Chalmers can help solve societal challenges and at the same time build a strong industry.”</p> <div><br /></div> <p><strong>Text:</strong> Mia Malmstedt<br /><strong style="background-color:initial">Photo:</strong><span style="background-color:initial"> Charlotte Emlind Vahul</span></p> <p><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></p> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">FACTS Chalmers Impact Award</h3> <p>Chalmers Impact Award is 2019 given for the second time. This year’s award motivation reads:</p> <p><em>This year’s receivers of Chalmers Impact Award consist of researchers who, with the help of a purposeful, active and broad working method, have accomplished great social values. Based on a solid, scientifically substantiated knowledge in railway mechanics, the researchers have contributed to new methods as well as harmonised European rules for permitted wheel forces in train traffic. By collaborating with several parties from many countries, they have made an impact in both practice and governance and thus also laid the foundation for an impact that is deemed to contribute to transport of goods by rail being seen as something better in comparison with road transport.</em></p> <p><span style="background-color:initial">Two research teams, from the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and Technology Managemen</span><span style="background-color:initial">t and Economics, were also nominated for this year’s award.</span><br /></p> <p>Last year, the awardees were Johan Mellqvist and his research group at Space, Earth and Environment. Read more here (in Swedish): <a href="/sv/institutioner/see/nyheter/Sidor/arets-basta-genomslag-2018.aspx">Nyinstiftat pris till mätmetod för fartygsutsläpp​</a></p> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">FACTS The researchers and the research</h3> <p>Several Chalmers researchers have contributed to the work that is now acknowledged by Chalmers Impact Award. Beside Anders Ekberg and Elena Kabo, Hans Andersson, Jens Nielsen, Björn Paulsson, Bengt Åkesson, Roger Lundén, Johan Ahlström and Björn Pålsson are also mentioned.</p> <p>Read more about the harmonising European limits for wheel loads: <a href="/en/departments/m2/news/Pages/European-railway-harmony-better-for-the-climate.aspx">European railway harmony is better for the climate​​</a></p> <p>Read more about the prediction of cracking: <span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"><a href="/en/departments/m2/news/Pages/Prediction-of-cracking-increases-the-railway%27s-reliability.aspx">Prediction of cracking increases the railway's reliability​​</a></span></p>Mon, 28 Oct 2019 10:00:00 +0100 life of microplastics in the ocean to be mapped<p><b>​Microplastics in the ocean is a growing global problem. Researchers in the Division of Fluid Dynamics at the Department of Mechanics and Maritime Sciences has received 2 million SEK to study the transport pattern of microplastics in the sea. The long-term goal of the project is to gain a deeper understanding of the impact microplastics have on the marine environment</b></p><p>Plastics that pollute the oceans are a major problem because of the longevity of the material, the impact it has on marine life and the huge amount that is released continuously. Plastics that end up in the sea eventually go through a fragmentation process and become smaller and smaller pieces and eventually become so-called microplastics.</p> <p>Microplastics are usually defined as plastic pieces that are less than 5 millimetres. They are persistent environmental contaminants whose potential for physical harm and toxicity have a major impact on marine life. Partly physically in the form of suffocation and blocking of digestive systems in animals and in addition, it is often also toxic to living organisms. Now a research group at Chalmers has received 2 million SEK to develop computational models for the spreading of microplastics in the sea.</p> <p>“It is estimated that there are between 27 and 67 million tonnes of plastic in the ocean, and microplastic particles are by far the largest quantity of plastic pollution. Knowledge and understanding of smaller microplastic particles is limited, and our calculation models can be of great benefit here”, says Gaetano Sardina, project leader and assistant professor at the Division Fluid Dynamics at the Department of Mechanics and Maritime Sciences.​</p> <p>The computational model is part of a larger project, MikroplastiX, which is a collaboration between nine different universities. The goal is to evaluate microplastic interaction with the marine life, assess horizontal and vertical transport, gradients and temporal distribution, all which will contribute to advanced multiscale models to predict fate and pathways of microplastics.</p> <p>“The computational model we develop includes several different scales to be able to draw conclusions about where the plastics go. We will develop an open-source tool that will be able to calculate the flow of microplastics very precisely with the help of movements on a millimeter scale, meter scale and long-distance transport get several kilometres”, says Gaetano Sardina.​​</p> <p><br /></p> <p>Text: Anders Ryttarson Törneholm​<br /></p>Fri, 11 Oct 2019 10:00:00 +0200 cars increase safety but require trust<p><b>​In just ten years, self-driving cars could make traffic both safer and more environmentally friendly. But lack of legislation and trust can put this development at a halt, says Professor Erik Ström at Chalmers.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">Heavy traffic of autonomous vehicles driving at a very close range. It might be hard to grasp that this future scenario – which is actually not very distant – equals enhanced traffic safety and lower emissions. But it does, says Erik Ström, professor at the Department of Electrical Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology, who is attending Chalmers’ seminar on future transport next week.</span><div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Transport/_bilder-utan-fast-format/Erik-Strom_profile-picture.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px 10px;width:200px;height:264px" /><div><br /></div> <div>“When we share data, certain types of accidents are reduced; in the long run there should be no accidents at all. The efficient driving also reduces fuel consumption and exhaust emissions. In addition, we can make better use of the roads, driving closer together and in narrower lanes. This is a huge benefit as construction of new roads is expensive and has a major environmental impact.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The technology of self-driving cars has come a long way. Erik Ström describes autonomous driving as a step-by-step process, where step one is manual driving and step five is completely self-driving cars. Many cars already have, for example, cruise control, warning signals if the car departs from the lane, or automatic braking if you come to close to the car in front of you. But the implementation of the technology depends on other factors, such as commercial interests and legislation.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“If an accident were to occur: Who is responsible? Are you responsible, sitting in your car even though you are not driving? Or is it the car manufacturer, or the provider of data sharing technology?” says Erik Ström.<br /></div> <div>“Trust is also an issue. Car manufacturers have to rely on each other in order to share data. And the public need to trust the technology.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>For example: In order for us to trust the autonomous cars, communication between cars and pedestrians is necessary. Today, a person crossing the street makes eye contact with the driver, and a nod or gesture indicates that it’s safe to pass. But what will happen in the future? Most likely, the cars need to be able to “wink” or “smile” to show that the pedestrian is registered.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Also, there is the question of privacy. How will the large amounts of data be handled, without compromising personal privacy? And how do you protect the system from being hacked?</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“There is always a risk of hacking, but we can make it difficult enough to not be worth the trouble. We have to balance benefits and risks. It’s like the Internet; being online always entail the risk of hacking, but to most of us it’s worth the risk,” says Erik Ström, adding that it’s still unclear who should pick up the bill of data security.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The self-driving cars will probably run slower than cars today. But it doesn’t matter. We will still arrive faster, as cars can interact better on the roads. And:</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“You don't have to spend time parking. You will be able to step out of the car at your destination, and the car will park itself,” says Erik Ström.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Note: <a href="/en/areas-of-advance/Transport/calendar/initiative-seminar-2019/Pages/default.aspx">Chalmers Area of Advance Transport organises the Initiative seminar Transportation in the Age of Digitalisation on September 26. Read more here.</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Mia Malmstedt</div> <div>Photo: Oscar Mattsson/iStock</div> </div>Fri, 20 Sep 2019 09:00:00 +0200 expert becomes professor at Chalmers<p><b>Hans Hederström has become professor of practice at the Division of Maritime Studies. He is considered one of the world&#39;s foremost authorities in using the team-based approach and simulation for maritime education.</b></p><p>A strong wind blows fro​m the northwest. Ship traffic is intense, visibility is poor and there is energetic activity on the large container ship bridge. A smaller fishing vessel suddenly emerges from the haze, dangerously close to the bow and there is a risk of collision. Suddenly the lights come on and the simulation is aborted. The students who have been at the bridge simulator are given strategic tips for the next run on the artificial ocean located on solid ground at Lindholmen.</p> <p>Before sea captains and engineers are ready for work at sea, it has become common practice for them to undergo rigorous safety training, using highly sophisticated simulators, which can mimic many different operations at sea and in port performed on a real ship. Manoeuvring takes place in various weather and environments, including in areas with limited space. Also, it is possible to simulate different types of vessels such as tugs, high-speed vessels and all types of merchant vessels.</p> <p>Hans Hederström is one of the most reputable experts in maritime navigation and safety and played a key leadership role in the design of a new Csmart Academy, the world's largest simulator centre located in the Netherlands, which provides annual training to an estimated 7,000 bridge, engineering, electrical and deck officers. He will now become professor of practice at Chalmers.</p> <p>“To proactively manage safety, we needed a paradigm shift in how we trained our people – from generic courses to programs focused on a team-based, or function-based approach, tailored on competency frameworks and evidence from operational data trends,” says Hans Hederström.</p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Cruise collaboration</h2> <p>Hans Hederström will, among other things, act as a strategic and operational sounding board for the division's researchers and teachers as well as teach the sea captain students in specific subjects linked to the cruise industry. The overall goal of Chalmers is to, with his expertise and guidance, improve command training for future cruise commanders and further strengthen the research toward sustainable shipping that is conducted today.</p> <p>“At Lindholmen in Gothenburg, we have Sweden's largest simulator centre for maritime education. Hans will be a huge asset for the continued development of our work and at the same time, we will further assure the quality of our education,” says Angela Hillemyr, Head of the Department of Mechanics and Maritime Sciences.</p> <p>In 2008, Hans established and led Csmart Academy, the underlying force behind Hans Hederström's employment at Chalmers. In January 2019, Hederström passed the baton of Managing Director to RAdm Bill Truelove.</p> <p>“We are very proud to partner with Chalmers University and to be given the opportunity to add value to the learning experience of its students through the Carnival Chair, while sharing best practices from the cruise industry. Captain Hans Hederström has been instrumental in the creation of Csmart Academy and a global leader in professional maritime training. The partnership between Carnival Corporation and Chalmers will strengthen our relationship and supports the mutual commitment to enhancing maritime safety,” says Bill Truelove, Managing Director for Carnival Corporation’s Csmart Academy.<span style="background-color:initial">​​</span></p> <p><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></p> <p>Text: Anders Ryttarson Törneholm​<span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></p>Wed, 04 Sep 2019 10:00:00 +0200 railway harmony is better for the climate<p><b>​Transporting goods by train instead of by truck is one of the keys to more sustainable transports within Europe. But the transition to rail is difficult, and one major problem is that alarm limit values for wheel loads are not coordinated between European countries. But thanks to researchers at Chalmers, new European rules have been introduced that will make it easier to transport goods by train.</b></p><p>“Our research was the scientific basis that convinced the rest of Europe to adapt to our Swedish proposal for alarm limit levels. The alternative for us in Sweden would have been the continuing lack of clarity on the matter. This would most likely have diminished our competitiveness for goods by rail”, says Anders Ekberg, professor at the Department of Mechanics and Maritime Sciences and director of Charmec*.</p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">More environmentally friendly transports</h2> <p>To achieve the overall climate targets, one of Sweden’s milestones is to double the share of goods transported by train by the year 2030. If that amplification is to become a reality, three important measures are needed – to increase both the operational safety as well as the capacity of the railway and to promote cross-border freight traffic ¬– something that today is difficult because alarm limit values for rail loads vary widely between countries in Europe.</p> <p>About half of the freight traffic in Europe is already crossing borders and that trend is expected to increase as the European freight corridors are gradually put into operation. This measure is necessary to enable railway freight to compete with freight on the road.</p> <p>The lack of coordinated alarm limits means that a damaged wheel can produce wheel load magnitudes that are allowed in one country, but not in another. For example, a Swedish train can travel through Europe just to have to turn around at the border of Switzerland, which today has the lowest permissible level, something that has occurred. This type of inefficient management of alarm levels also has consequences for passenger traffic as operational disruptions spread in the rail system – which leads to high costs for both railway managers and train operators in addition to the nuisance it causes to passengers.</p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Sensitive system</h2> <p>The railroad is an interlinked system where the “weakest link” often dictates how the system can be used to transport goods. Other modes of freight transport can operate at higher levels of interference. It is easier to quickly redirect a truck when there are obstacles on the road than to redirect a train that often only has one way to go. For this reason rail traffic needs to put more efforts into avoiding interferences. Having the same alarm limits in all European countries is a step towards avoiding disturbances.</p> <p>“To be able to agree on common alarm limits, a solid, scientific basis is required. At the heart of the now common alarm limits is our research of forces from out-of-round wheels and how these affect the risk of rail breaks and disruptions​. The work has now also been accepted and established internationally in a so-called International Railway Solution (IRS) which the International Railway Union (UIC) has approved. Of course, we are very pleased with that”, says Anders Ekberg.</p> <div><br /></div> <p>* <em>Charmec (Chalmers Railway Mechanics) is a national centre in the field of railway mechanics with twelve business and administration stakeholders. The research is based on the interaction between vehicles/track and related phenomena (noise, material degradation, brake damage, etc.), which causes more than half of the maintenance costs of the track and freight trains.</em></p> <div><a href="">Read more about Charmec</a></div> <div><br /></div> <p>Text: Anders Ryttarson Törneholm</p>Tue, 20 Aug 2019 00:00:00 +0200's-fastest-ball-game-to-become-synthetic.aspx's-fastest-ball-game-to-become-synthetic.aspxThe world&#39;s fastest ball game to become synthetic<p><b>​Badminton is said to be the world&#39;s fastest ball game. The official speed record for a shuttlecock when smashed is at 427 kilometres per hour. Now, researchers from Chalmers have received funding from the Badminton World Federation to make the sport fully synthetic.</b></p><p>The best shuttlecocks for badminton are made from goose feathers and are also the type of ball used in international play. For a long time, companies and researchers have been trying to develop synthetic shuttlecocks to avoid using goose feathers. But so far, the goose feather shuttlecocks are superior to the synthetic balls, mainly for smash and net games. The Nanyang University of Technology in Singapore has so far been the only university in the world to work with the Badminton World Federation to develop synthetic shuttlecocks.</p> <p>Now Chalmers as the only other university commits to a unique collaboration with the Badminton World Federation that will include, among other things, developed methods for testing fully synthetic shuttlecocks that are planned to be standard in international games such as the World Cup and the Olympics. The unique development project will hopefully be the start of a more long-term development work and is part of Chalmers venture in sports technology.</p> <p>Most of the research will be conducted by the division of fluid dynamics at the Department of Mechanics and Maritime Sciences. The laboratory experiments are conducted in collaboration with Polyfor AB, which for more than 30 years has done testing of shuttlecocks for the Badminton World Federation.</p> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Read more:</h3> <p><a href="/en/centres/sportstechnology/Pages/default.aspx">Chalmers Sports and Technology​​</a><br /></p> <p>Text: Anders Ryttarson Törneholm​​</p>Thu, 15 Aug 2019 10:00:00 +0200 future of transport is being discussed at Lindholmen<p><b>​For the first time, one of the world&#39;s leading symposiums in rail traffic and road transport is being held in Gothenburg. Between 12 and 16 August, researchers and engineers from academia and business will meet to discuss the future of transportation.</b></p><div>​<span style="background-color:initial">Self-driving cars, more efficient railway traffic and safer transports are just some of the topics discussed by some 370 researchers from around the world at Lindholmen. It is the </span>26<sup>th</sup><span style="background-color:initial"> IAVSD* symposium, one of the world's foremost in vehicle dynamics, which is being organized between August 12-16. And this is the first time in Gothenburg.</span></div> <div><br /><span style="background-color:initial"></span><div>&quot;It is a fantastic opportunity to organize the conference here in Gothenburg – the automotive epicentre in Sweden. The symposium highlights what is at the forefront when it comes to research in vehicle dynamics both on rail and road&quot;, says Bengt Jacobson, professor of vehicle dynamics at Chalmers.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Hosts for the symposium are the Department of Mechanics and Maritime Sciences at Chalmers as well as the Chalmers Railway Mechanics (Charmec) and the Vehicle and Traffic Safety Center at Chalmers (Safer) with the support of the Transport area of advance at Chalmers.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>* <em>IAVSD is an abbreviation for the International Association for Vehicle System Dynamics, which is an organization that works to develop vehicle dynamics.</em></div></div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Read more:</h3> <div><div><a href="">IAVSD2019</a></div> <div><a href="">Charmec</a></div> <div><a href="">Safer</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Anders Ryttarson Törneholm<a href="">​</a></div></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3"> </h3>Tue, 13 Aug 2019 00:00:00 +0200's-reliability.aspx's-reliability.aspxPrediction of cracking increases the railway&#39;s reliability<p><b>​​Cracking in rails and wheels is one of the largest maintenance costs for railway traffic. It is also the reason for many delays and stops that can lead to considerable costs for both train companies and track managers. But through methods developed at Chalmers, which predict cracking in rails and wheels, train traffic is now more reliable and environmentally friendly.</b></p>​More than half of the maintenance costs for tracks and freight wagons are due to wear. Cracks in wheels and rails account for most of that wear. Together with organizations who are connected to railway traffic, <em>Chalmers Railway Mechanics </em>(Charmec*) has developed criteria for assessing the risk of cracking in wheels and rail. Anders Ekberg is an assistant professor at the Department of Mechanics and Maritime Sciences and director of Charmec:<div>“More and more railway traffic goes on the same network, which leads to smaller windows for maintenance. But by being able to predict cracking, the risk of operational disturbances, unplanned maintenance and environmental impact is reduced. Then the costs can also be kept down. And that is a necessity for a functioning and efficient railway”, he says. <div><br /></div> <div>The basis for the criteria lies in research done by Charmec. There, research on cracking in the contact between wheels and rails has been linked to research in railway dynamics. Results are the criteria that today are the standard tool for engineers who design wheels and boggies for trains. In addition, they are implemented in most commercial programs used to analyze how trains load the track. </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Catches risks at the design stage</h2> <div>The criteria developed at Chalmers are also an important ingredient in design, virtual testing and product approval. This means that engineers, already at the design stage, can ensure that the design of rails, gears, wheels and boggies has properties that give an acceptable low risk of cracking. </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">“I see the development of these criteria as an important part of what I consider to be the core of the railway's digitization: Having such accurate numerical simulations that only validation is needed in fields when new products are introduced or extensive maintenance is carried out”, says Anders Ekberg.​</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div>Examples, where the criteria saved a lot of money, are the design of new gear geometries that reduced the maintenance costs for the gears by in the order of 20 per cent. They have also been used to optimize wheel profiles on the ore rail, which is a contributing reason why the traffic is now starting to be upgraded from 30 to 32.5 tons of axle load.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>*Charmec is a national centre in railway mechanics. Read more about <a href="">Charmec​</a>.</div> ​</div> <div>Text: Anders Ryttarson Törneholm</div>Thu, 01 Aug 2019 00:00:00 +0200