News: Teknikens ekonomi och organisation related to Chalmers University of TechnologyThu, 14 Jun 2018 14:49:04 +0200 investigates how hard materials affect the environment<p><b>Hard materials are important for the manufacturing industry and for economic growth, but they also cause problems. Anna Furberg has examined the environmental, resource and health impact of hard materials - and sees the need to investigate whether some of the materials can be replaced.</b></p><div><div>Anna Furberg, PhD student at Chalmers, the Department of Technology management and Economics, applies a wider systems perspective to assess the environmental impact of hard materials. Now, she presents her licentiate thesis <em>&quot;Environmental, resource and health impacts of hard materials&quot;.<br /></em></div> <div><em></em></div> <div><strong><br />Tell us about your research!</strong></div> <div>Hard materials, especially cemented tungsten carbide with cobalt (WC-Co), have had a critical role in enabling the economic growth during the latest century. This material is important for the manufacturing and mining industry, for example for cutting and drilling. At the same time, WC-Co consists of scarce metals. Both tungsten and cobalt have been included on the European Union’s list of critical raw materials. Environmental impacts have been studied for Chinese production but not outside China, where a large share of WC-Co is produced globally.</div> <div> </div> <div>Furthermore, both tungsten and cobalt have been associated with the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) where minerals are extracted and finance the ongoing conflict. The global production is dominated by the DRC, where artisanal mining prevails under harsh conditions for the miners. The aim of my research is to assess environmental, resource and health impacts of hard materials by applying a wider systems perspective. WC-Co is applied as a case study as this material has such a great importance for the manufacturing industry of today.</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Why is this important?</strong></div> <div>My research is important as it contributes to knowledge about a material that is important for the manufacturing industry and has an economic importance that is difficult to question but which environmental, resource and human health impacts have so far not been assessed from a systems perspective.</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>What are your most important research findings?</strong></div> <div>An important conclusion from my research is that the dominating hard material of today being WC-Co is associated with both environmental and resource impacts as well as impacts on human health. This lead to the question whether there are alternatives to WC-Co that perform better from these perspectives.</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>What new perspectives do you bring forward in your research?</strong></div> <div>My research presents inventory data for assessing environmental impacts of WC-Co production outside China and assess resource impacts as well as human health impacts from WC-Co in a case study on tire studs, which constitutes WC-Co. This has not been done before.</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>What do you hope for your research to lead to?</strong></div> <div>I hope that the research results will be used to compare hard materials from a wider systems perspective to identify what materials that perform the best from an environmental, resource and health impacts perspective while maintaining the same function of the material.</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>What will be the next step in your research?</strong></div> <div>The next step will be to investigate possible alternatives to the hard materials used today and whether they can replace WC-Co in order to reduce environmental, resource and health impacts. The use of a wider systems perspective will continue to be important in this work in order to avoid alternatives where problems are shifted from e.g. resource impacts to environmental impacts.</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Text</strong>: Ulrika Ernström</div> <div> </div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">FACTS, RESEARCH, AND MORE INFORMATION<span><span></span></span></h4> <div>Read the licentiate thesis of Anna Furberg: <a href="">”Environmental, resource and health impacts of hard materials”</a><br /><br /><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/anna-furberg.aspx">Read more about Anna Furberg &gt;&gt;</a></div></div> <div> </div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4"> <span></span><span></span><span></span><span></span></h4> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3"> <span></span><span></span><span></span><span></span><span></span><span></span></h3> <span></span><span></span><span></span><span></span><span></span>Tue, 12 Jun 2018 09:00:00 +0200 research world needs more empathy and curiosity<p><b>She is driven by curiosity, empathy and the will to create change, and believes the action research paradigm is transforming academia. Meet Hilary Bradbury, jubilee professor at Chalmers 2018. – Our work as researchers is not just about understanding. It’s about making things better, she says.</b></p><div>“A shot of adrenalin”. That is how Hilary Bradbury, PhD and professor of organization studies, describes the feeling of being appointed one of four jubilee professors at Chalmers 2018. The Department of Technology Management and Economics (TME) is her host during the year, which she is determined to make the most of. </div> <div> </div> <div>– I am honoured and grateful for this opportunity. I feel very at home at Chalmers and the department. I would like to bring together the action researchers within Chalmers, across disciplines, and help connect them with other action research communities around the world in issues of ICT, healthcare and generally the transformation of education and research. I already find it very useful for me too, to be able to talk to my global colleagues about the focus on research utilization at Chalmers, she says.</div> <div> </div> <div>We meet at her temporary home at Chalmersska huset in Göteborg, a sparsely furnished apartment with creaking wooden floors and a beautiful view of the canal. Hilary is making tea, asking questions about the city and trying to find the cups, while explaining her enthusiasm for the utilization-oriented research at Chalmers.</div> <div> </div> <div>Hilary has been successful in conventional academic terms. Her PhD won an Academy of Management award, her first publication was in the highly esteemed journal, Organization Science, her edited books have been best sellers, she became Full Professor in 2012 at OHSU.  But today she asks how to liberate the rewards and conventions of academia. How to open the doors and windows of the Ivory Tower, so our academic work is more useful to our communities.  She has a vision of academic supporting a more beautiful world, as measured by the sustainable development goals. She is therefore interested in what kinds of knowledge creation processes can make that possible. And how to engage fellow faculty and university administrator in this new way of creating knowledge.</div> <div> </div> <div>Hilary talks vividly and warmly of her latest visit at Chalmers TME: friendliness of colleagues, meeting with the doctoral students and the inspiring research and projects at the department – especially at Centre for Healthcare Improvement.</div> <div> </div> <div>– Centre for Healthcare Improvement has conducted some of the best action research in the world, she says, and mentions the mobile healthcare teams and the new patient models within “Skaraborgsmodellen” and “Kraftens Hus” – a support center for people affected by cancer – as examples.</div> <div> </div> <div>Research which affects people and creates positive change – that is the core of Hilary Bradbury’s passion for her work, and the reason she has chosen action research as her field. In action research, the researcher is directly involved in the problems or processes to be studied - and creates the knowledge in cooperation with the people concerned.</div> <div> </div> <div>– Being an action researcher is wanting to make a difference. All faculty want to make a positive difference. That requires more than understanding. We can use our work to help produce a change in collaboration. But we need to combine conventional research with the desire to help, she says.</div> <div><div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3" style="text-align:center">“Our knowledge needs to be actionable – and liberating. Otherwise, we are either just stuck in the Ivory Tower or we become project managers.”</h3> <div style="text-align:center"><em><strong>Hilary Bradbury</strong></em></div> <div> </div></div> <div>The key, Hilary points out, is creating good relationships for learning together. This is necessary for building trust, sharing ideas and making experiments. She emphasizes the importance of both action and reflection when conducting research, and describes much of the conventional research as “too much inquiry and too little action”.</div> <div> </div> <div>– Our knowledge needs to be actionable – and liberating. Otherwise, we are either just stuck in the Ivory Tower or we become project managers, she says. We need a middle path that brings inquiry and action together with stakeholders.  They may be patients in healthcare or employees in business. Executives who are transforming sustainability standards in their industry.</div> <div> </div> <div>In her reasoning, Hilary Bradbury often returns to two words: empathy and curiosity. When there is a lack of these components a lot of things can go wrong, she argues. She points to many examples of this in the healthcare system, and even in the university system itself.</div> <div> </div> <div>– Healthcare is designed for clinics, not for patients. Universities are not designed for their students or the communities who support them.  What if we put the experience of the end user in the center of learning how to redesign it. Isn’t it a bit crazy and undemocratic that we don´t organize our systems around the users!<br /><br /><img src="/en/departments/tme/news/Documents/Hilary%20Bradbury.jpg" alt="Hilary Bradbury.jpg" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /></div> <div><h3 class="chalmersElement-H3" style="text-align:center"> “Objectivity is not possible, at best it’s partial. So if we pretend we are objective our research is not so strong.”</h3> <div style="text-align:center"><em><strong>Hilary Bradbury</strong></em></div> <div> </div></div> <div>As researchers, we are trained to think and act objectively. This may sound obvious, but if it’s the only thing we care about, it poses a danger today, according to Hilary.</div> <div> </div> <div>– Objectivity is not possible, at best it’s partial. So if we pretend we are objective our research is not so strong. I bring subjectivity into action research, in the sense that I believe we need to be aware of our biases and how they can reflect on our research - otherwise, we are not meeting our co-subjects! To be a good researcher, you need to understand yourself - that’s reflexivity - as well as the other, she says. We do this in dialogue. With curiosity, we understand more. We can test our perceptions. We can have more interesting and more robust insights.</div> <div> </div> <div>For decades, Hilary Bradbury has brought voice to action research, writing books, editing research work and organizing the global community of action research. Over the years, she has encountered a fair amount of scepticism towards the inclusion of subjectivity in the research area but believes that this is beginning to change.</div> <div> </div> <div>– The action research paradigm can appear scary. People want control and certainty, but as an action researcher, I say: uncertainty, curiosity and change are good things! We need to respond to a world of change.</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Do you believe action research should be used more?</strong></div> <div>–    Yes. Way more! Action research is an evolution in knowledge creation, and I believe it is transforming academia and those who do it. With action research we see results. We also get to bring attention to important things in the world today, and communities like that and in turn see academia as more relevant. But I don´t think everybody can be an action researcher. Still, we certainly need more of it in the research ecosystem. In an ideal world, all students should be trained in more empathy and deep curiosity - about ourselves and others. Let’s have action research be part of all students repertoires.</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Text &amp; Photo: Ulrika Ernström<br /><br /></strong></div> <div><strong></strong></div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">Hilary Bradbury on…</h4> <div> </div> <div><strong>The </strong><strong>Metoo</strong><strong>-movement</strong></div> <div>“We are seeing all this raw experience and anger. Now we need to do something in response. We can move from rage to curiosity and learn during the process. In this process - which is really learning together - we can have new ways of relating between women and men.  That's new in history!”</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>The Swedish “</strong><strong>fika</strong><strong> -tradition”</strong></div> <div>“I love the Swedish fika! You meet and you talk – It’s simple, effective and creates a special platform that we don’t have in the US. The other day I started talking about a new research project with some colleagues at Chalmers, just because we had a fika together. I often think that Action Research takes normal Swedish culture of dialogue and makes it central to inquiry processes.”</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Her Irish background and how it has affected her choices</strong></div> <div>“I grew up in Ireland in a Catholic home and learned that you are not supposed to ask about a lot of things. Important things, like women and men and how they relate. It drove me crazy. So, I liberated myself. Maybe that is why I have a drive to help others ask what they need to be full selves too. I have always been action-oriented, I initiate a lot of experiments that I then learn from.  I like to do that with others and together we make things better”.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div>Mon, 28 May 2018 09:00:00 +0200 biofuels can be produced extremely efficiently, confirms industrial demonstration<p><b>​A chance to switch to renewable sources for heating, electricity and fuel, while also providing new opportunities for several industries to produce large numbers of renewable products. This is the verdict of researchers from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, who now, after ten years of energy research into gasification of biomass, see an array of new technological achievements.&quot;The potential is huge! Using only the already existing Swedish energy plants, we could produce renewable fuels equivalent to 10 percent of the world&#39;s aviation fuel, if such a conversion were fully implemented,” says Henrik Thunman, Professor of Energy Technology at Chalmers.​</b></p><h5 class="chalmersElement-H5"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Nyheter/Popreport_cover.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />Report detailing 200 man-years of research  </h5> <div>​We have summarized the work of the last ten years at Chalmers Power Central and GoBiGas in the report: &quot;GoBiGas demonstration – a vital step for a large-scale transition from fossil fuels to advanced biofuels and electrofuels&quot;. Researchers at the division of Energy Technology at the Department of Space, Earth and Environment at Chalmers have worked together with colleagues at the departments of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Microtechnology and Nanoscience, Technology Management and Economics, Biology and Biological Engineering, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences​ as well as a wide range of Swedish and international collaborative partners in industry and academia. <a href="" style="outline:none 0px"><span style="background-color:initial">Download the report: </span><span style="background-color:initial">GoBiGas demonstration – a vital step for a large-scale transition from fossil fuels  to advanced biofuels and electrofuels. </span></a>(21 Mb). <div><h6 class="chalmersElement-H6">​Pathway to a radical transition</h6></div> <div><div>How to implement a switch from fossil-fuels to renewables is a tricky issue for many industries. For heavy industries, such as oil refineries, or the paper and pulp industry, it is especially urgent to start moving, because investment cycles are so long. At the same time, it is important to get the investment right because you may be forced to replace boilers or facilities in advance, which means major financial costs. Thanks to long-term strategic efforts, researchers at Sweden´s Chalmers University of Technology have now paved the way for radical changes, which could be applied to new installations, as well as be implemented at thousands of existing plants around the globe.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The solution presented involves widespread gasification of biomass. This technology itself is not new. Roughly explained, what is happening is that at high temperatures, biomass is converted into a gas. This gas can then be refined into end-products which are currently manufactured from oil and natural gas. The Chalmers researchers have shown that one possible end-product is biogas that can replace natural gas in existing gas networks.</div> <h6 class="chalmersElement-H6">The problems with tar are solved​</h6> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Nyheter/tar-problem-before-and-after.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />Previously, the development of gasification technology has been hampered by major problems with tar being released from the biomass, which interferes with the process in several ways. Now, the researchers from Chalmers’ division of Energy Technology have shown that they can improve the quality of the biogas through chemical processes, and the tar can also be managed in completely new ways, see images to the right. This, in combination with a parallel development of heat-exchange materials, provides completely new possibilities for converting district heating boilers to biomass gasifiers. <a href="">Watch an animation with more details about how the problems with tar has been solved​</a>. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;What makes this technology so attractive to several industries is that it will be possible to modify existing boilers, which can then supplement heat and power production with the production of fossil-free fuels and chemicals.&quot;, says Martin Seemann, Associate Professor in Energy Technology at Chalmers.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“We rebuilt our own research boiler in this way in 2007, and now we have more than 200 man-years of research to back us up,” says Professor Henrik Thunman. “Combined with industrial-scale lessons learned at the GoBiGas (Gothenburg Biomass Gasification) demonstration project, launched in 2014, it is now possible for us to say that the technology is ready for the world.” </div> <h6 class="chalmersElement-H6">Many applications</h6> <div>The plants which could be converted to gasification are power and district heating plants, paper and pulp mills, sawmills, oil refineries and petrochemical plants.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“The technical solutions developed by the Chalmers researchers are therefore relevant across several industrial fields”, says Klara Helstad, Head of the Sustainable Industry Unit at the Swedish Energy Agency. “Chalmers´ competence and research infrastructure have played and crucial role for the demonstration of advanced biofuels within the GoBiGas-project.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The Swedish Energy Agency has funded energy research and infrastructure at Chalmers for many years. </div> <div>How much of this technological potential can be realised depends on the economic conditions of the coming years, and how that will affect the willingness of the industrial and energy sectors to convert. The availability of biomass is also a crucial factor. Biomass is a renewable resource, but only provided we do not deplete the conditions for its biological production. There is therefore a limit for total biomass output.</div></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Christian Löwhagen, Johanna Wilde. </div> <div>Translation: Joshua Worth.</div> <div>Tar illustration: BOID. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href=""><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Nyheter/Process-video.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />Watch a film detailing the process in the GoBiGas Plant</a>. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="">Read more in the international press release. ​</a></div> <div>​<br /></div></div>Mon, 21 May 2018 07:00:00 +0200 of Advance Award for research into future energy services<p><b>​Sustainability, digitalisation and service innovation in the energy sector are the ingredients of the collaborative project which is receiving the 2018 Areas of Advance Award. Chalmers researchers Árni Halldórsson, Holger Wallbaum, Ida Gremyr and Sofia Börjesson are receiving the award for their multidisciplinary collaboration.</b></p>​ <br />Digitalisation is contributing to far-reaching changes in almost all sectors of society, which means that we can do things in different ways and do completely new things. At the same time, we must address the question – how?<br /><br />Researchers from the departments of Technology Management and Economics, and Architecture and Civil Engineering are collaborating on the project “Energy Services: Processes for Innovation, Provision, and Use of Customer Feedback”. <br /><br />“The energy sector faces a challenge as on the one hand it needs to obtain a good return on its sales of renewable energy and from its capabilities and technology, while on the other also contributing to the customer’s energy efficiency. We are therefore looking at new ways of designing services which provide added value for customers, promoting the transition to sustainable energy consumption and guaranteeing steadyrevenue streams”, says project manager Halldórsson.<br /><br /><strong>Customers become key players</strong><br />Customers and end-users can become key players in the energy company’s ecosystem and contribute to continued energy efficiency. <br /><br />“New digital technology allows us to measure performance, using sensors for example, gather data and analyse phenomena more extensively than in the past. This gives us the opportunity to design new innovative services,” says Gremyr.<br /><br />Researchers working on the project have started assessing processes and needs throughout the chain from energy supplier, property owner/manager to customer, to learn key lessons which will form the basis of future energy services.<br /><br />“The idea is that the design of the services can contribute to a more sustainable society by influencing customer behaviour, for example. It is also interesting to analyse the conditions required for new types of services to become established,” Wallbaum says.<br /><br /><strong>A collaborative research approach</strong><br />The project is a pilot study which was made possible through seed funding provided by the Energy Area of Advance and the work is being undertaken in close collaboration with Göteborg Energi. <br /><br />“Here we have a great opportunity to get involved with Göteborg Energi and understand their perspective, the same goes for the customer and end-user side, and from there we try to conceptualise the service development. We don’t yet know where this will take us, there is no final template so we are navigating from our different perspectives,” Börjesson says.<br /><br />“What is clear is that this is a key issue. Everyone knows this work has to be done but just what is needed is complex. It affects different areas of expertise, systems, people, business models and technologies,” Gremyr says.<br /><br /><strong>Research spotlighted in professional education</strong><br />Future services will of course also create complexity for purchasing and procurement, something which Halldórsson has lectured on through Chalmers Professional Education. In other respects it can be seen that the service development area has not yet made much of an impact in the education provided at Chalmers.<br /><br />“There are many new subject areas which have emerged and which do not yet form part of Chalmers’ courses. But there are already educational components where these can be included, such as in degree projects, or quite simply by shining the spotlight on our research in our teaching,” says Börjesson.<br /><br /><strong>Applications in all industries</strong><br />The researchers are already aware of opportunities for continued collaboration after they have completed their pilot study. <br />“The project we are conducting on sustainability and digitalisation can be applied to other contexts. This then opens many doors – in a number of different industries,” Halldórsson says.<br /><br />They all agree that the Areas of Advance have an important role to play in promoting multidisciplinary collaboration at Chalmers. This in turn lays the foundations for an exchange of expertise and renewal.<br />“New contacts can also reduce the thresholds for collaboration in our infrastructures, where you might not always realise that you are in demand,” says Wallbaum.<br /><br />“And seed funding from the Area of Advance gives the slight nudge which makes collaboration happen,” Börjesson says.<br /><br /><br /><strong>Award winners </strong><br /><a href="/en/staff/Pages/sofia-borjesson.aspx" target="_blank">Sofia Börjesson</a>, Professor, Technology Management and Economics. She conducts research into the organisation and management of innovation in established organisations and into the prerequisites for innovation. <br /><br /><a href="/en/staff/Pages/ida-gremyr.aspx" target="_blank">Ida Gremyr</a>, Professor, Technology Management and Economics. She conducts research into quality management and service development, service innovation and processes for increased customer interaction.<br /><br /><a href="/sv/personal/Sidor/arni-halldorsson.aspx" target="_blank">Árni Halldórsson</a>, Professor, Technology Management and Economics. He conducts research into service supply chains, customer-supplier relationships and energy efficiency.<br /><br /><a href="/en/staff/Pages/holger-wallbaum.aspx">Holger Wallbaum</a>, Professor, Architecture and Civil Engineering. He conducts research on sustainability strategies for building stocks, energy-efficient renovation and smart infrastructures.<br /><br /><br /><br /><strong>The Areas of Advance Award</strong><br />Through the Areas of Advance Award, the leadership at Chalmers wants to reward people who have made significant contributions to interdisciplinary collaborations and who, in the spirit of the Areas of Advance, integrate research, education and utilisation. The award will be bestowed during the doctoral degree ceremony on 2 June 2018.<br /> <br /><em>Text: Malin Ulfvarson</em><br /><em>Photo: Johan Bodell</em>Wed, 09 May 2018 16:00:00 +0200 recruits new professor in Management of Digitalization<p><b>Listed as one of Sweden’s most influential women in technology, Robin Teigland focuses on how the convergence of emerging technologies challenges long-standing institutional structures in society. – Through this recruitment we truly strengthen our competencies within Management of Digitalization and Entrepreneurship, says University President Stefan Bengtsson.</b></p>Robin Teigland, currently Professor at Stockholm School of Economics, has accepted the position as Professor in Management of Digitalization at the Department of Technology Management and Economics and will join Chalmers this fall.<br /><br />Robin’s research interests reside at the intersection of strategy, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship. She focuses on how the convergence of emerging technologies such as 3D printing, artificial intelligence, IoT, and smart robotics enable communities to create value outside of a firm’s traditional boundaries as well as challenge long-standing institutional structures in society. <br /><br />– I am very pleased that we managed to recruit Robin Teigland to Chalmers. This area is strategically important for Chalmers and through this recruitment, we truly strengthen our competencies within Management of Digitalization and Entrepreneurship, says University President Stefan Bengtsson.<br /><br />In 2017 and 2018 Robin Teigland was listed by the Swedish business magazine, Veckans Affärer, as one of Sweden’s most influential women, primarily in technology. She has also been nominated as one of the Global Top 50 Business Professors on Twitter.<br /><br />Robin is originally from Nashville, Tennessee, and in her free time, she enjoys constantly learning from her five children as well as surfing longboard waves in Portugal and other sunny places around the world. <br /><br />The recruitment was made possible through an investment by Chalmers Foundation.<br /><br />Read more about Robin Teigland at her website:<a href=""></a><br /><br /><strong>Text:</strong> Ulrika Ernström<br /><br />Fri, 04 May 2018 09:00:00 +0200 innovations and new technology in focus at Northern LEAD Day<p><b>​Autonomous vehicles in urban freight transport, more efficient maintenance solutions for heavy vehicles and the first mile problem of waste collection. Those were some of the topics at the Northern LEAD Day 2018, which gathered almost 60 participants – all eager to ask questions and engage in discussions.</b></p><div>​Six researchers from Chalmers and the University of Gothenburg presented their work during the day, which was focused on business innovations and new technology within the field of logistics and supply chain. These themes were also picked up by a panel discussing the feasibility of industrial realization. Hinders and enablers in this respect were discussed in a most engaging way by representatives from various types of organizations.<br /><br /></div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">Business innovations</h4> <div>The first presentation focused on the first mile problem of waste collection logistics and its influences on the quality of household waste. According to Ceren Altuntas Vural the consumer is the new supplier in a circular economy. The consumer plays an important role when it comes to sorting the household waste in fractions so that it can be converted into new material in an effective way.</div> <div> </div> <div>In the area of supply chain finance, Viktor Elliot presented concepts for how forwarders’ knowledge of product location and status facilitates trade and lowers credit risks in the supply chain. Viktor’s experience is that there is much to gain if you can make the international supply chains visible in order to enable more efficient and less risky chains.</div> <div> </div> <div>Klas Hedvall studies how heavy vehicle maintenance solutions can be made more efficient, thereby contributing to an efficient transport system. Some upcoming challenges are for example that new technologies will require new competencies and that there is a shortage of technicians. However, improved connectivity leads to new possibilities within planning of maintenance, and electromobility means fewer moving parts in the vehicle, which may decrease the need of maintenance.</div> <div> </div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">New Technology</h4> <div>Automation of kitting, transport and assembly is in focus in Robin Hansson’s research. Automation is not that common in the field of materials supply systems, partly because of little knowledge on how contextual variables affect the proper choice of automation. The decisions are fairly complex and there are many factors to consider, for example what level of automation is suitable, what type of technology to use and how to organize the interfaces and the management systems.</div> <div> </div> <div>Patrik Jonsson’s research focus how new technology, for example big data and digital product models, can make the supply chain both more efficient and responsive. One of the presented projects is looking closer at digital product fitting in retail supply chains.</div> <div> </div> <div>What are the potential benefits and challenges with autonomous vehicles in urban freight transport? Michael Browne points at potential benefits such as lower costs, increased safety and greater opportunities for time shifting. However, there are also some challenges, for example that both the transports and products are heterogeneous in many ways and physical challenges in the urban environment. <br /><br /><strong>Text and photos:</strong> Malin Tengblad</div> <div> </div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">Speakers at Northern LEAD Day 2018</h4> <div><strong>• Ceren Altuntas Vural:</strong> Consumer is the new supplier! Co-producing sustainable value propositions at the first-mile of waste service systems </div> <div><strong>• Viktor Elliot:</strong> Supply Chain Finance</div> <div><strong>• Klas Hedvall:</strong> Underhållslösningar för fordon i framtida hållbara vägtransporter - utmaningar och möjligheter</div> <div> </div> <span><strong>• <span style="display:inline-block"></span></strong></span><strong>Robin Hanson:</strong> Automation i materialhantering – möjligheter och utmaningar <div><strong>• Patrik Jonsson:</strong> Ny teknologi för effektivitet i supply chain</div> <div><strong>• Michael Browne:</strong> Urban freight transport and autonomous vehicles: Opportunities and challenges </div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Per-Olof Arnäs: </strong>Moderator of the panel discussion on ‘“How can innovations become real in the industry’?” with the panel members Sofie Vennersten (Lindholmen Science Park/Closer), John Wedel (Business Region Göteborg), Andreas Thieme (Care of Carl/Steerlink) and Jon Williamsson (Göteborgs Universitet).</div> <div><br /></div> <div><h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">About Northern LEAD Day</h4> <div>Northern LEAD DayApril 11 2018, was arranged by Northern LEAD logistics research centre – a logistics competence centre formed by University of Gothenburg and Chalmers University of Technology in co-operation with Logistics and Transport Society LTS</div></div>Thu, 26 Apr 2018 00:00:00 +0200“Odour-Footprint”-now-in-use.aspx your LCA stinks - “Odour Footprint” now in use<p><b>Odour is one of the major concerns for industries working with putrescible organic matter. The &quot;Odour Footprint&quot; method, developed by researchers at Chalmers, deals with the problem in an LCA framework - and is now made operational for practical use.</b></p><div>​One of the issues that has been hard to cope with in LCA is the problem of odorous emissions. Though odour is one of the major concerns for many industries working with putrescible organic matter (agriculture, municipal solid waste treatment, wastewater treatment, etc.) and others with volatile organic compounds (food manufacturers, textile manufacturing, etc.) little work was done to update methods for dealing with odour in an LCA framework since the 1990s. </div> <div> </div> <div>But now some good news on this front: the February upgrade to the popular Gabi LCA software from Thinkstep includes odour potential characterisation factors. Called the &quot;Odour Footprint&quot;, this method for including fate and effect characteristics of odorants in LCA was developed recently by Greg Peters and Magdalena Svanström, ESA, with colleagues from Chalmers, Copenhagen and Aarhus. </div> <div> </div> <div>This method is now made operational as a midpoint indicator in the Gabi software, and is integrated into the Professional and Ecoinvent databases when Gabi users update with the latest software service pack. Thus making it available outside academia for practical use in agriculture, waste management, the water sector and other industries with organic waste.</div> <div> </div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">MORE INFORMATION:</h4> <div>Read more about the metod: </div> <a href=""><div><em>Improving odour assessment in LCA-the odour footprint</em></div></a><div> </div> <div>Read more about <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/gregory-peters.aspx">Gregory Peters</a></div> <div>Read more about <a href="/en/staff/Pages/magdalena-svanstrom.aspx">Magdalena Svanström</a></div>Thu, 29 Mar 2018 00:00:00 +0200 to Northern LEAD Day 2018<p><b>​Get inspired, listen to the latest research findings within Logistics and Supply Chain, and enjoy the discussions. Welcome to Northern LEAD Day 2018!</b></p>​Following the success of the first Northern LEAD day last year, the second Northern LEAD day will bring presentations of research results from Northern LEAD research and a chance to meet and discuss.<br /><br />​During three hours, researchers from Chalmers and University of Gothenburg will present their research results. There will also be an interesting discussion on a current logistics related topic. Take the opportunity to listen to the latest findings, and meet other people interested in the field.<br /><br /><strong>When:</strong> Wednesday, April 11, 9.00-12.00, with lunch afterwards<br /><strong>Where:</strong> &quot;Volvosalen&quot;, School of Business, Economics and Law at University of Gothenburg (Handelshögskolan), Vasagatan 1<br /><a href="">Map of the premises</a><br /><br />The conference and lunch is free of charge. There will be presentations in both English and Swedish<br /><br /><strong style="font-size:18px"><a href=";w=1">Register here</a></strong> (no later than April 4)<br /><br /><br /><strong>Program: </strong><br /><br />8.30 Coffee and registration<br />9.00 Welcome<br /><br />BUSINESS INNOVATIONS:<br />•    Ceren Altuntas Vural: Consumer is the new supplier! Co-producing sustainable value propositions at the first-mile of waste service systems (the presentation will be held in English)<br />•    Viktor Elliot: Supply Chain Finance<br />•    Klas Hedvall: Underhållslösningar för fordon i framtida hållbara vägtransporter - utmaningar och möjligheter<br /><br />Panel discussion: Hur kan innovationerna bli verklighet ute i industrin?<br />Moderator, Per-Olof Arnäs<br /><br />10.30 - 11.00 Coffee<br /><br />NEW TECHNOLOGY: <br /><br />•    Robin Hanson: Automation i materialhantering – möjligheter och utmaningar<br />•    Patrik Jonsson: Ny teknologi för effektivitet i supply chain<br />•    Michael Browne: Urban freight transport and autonomous vehicles: Opportunities and challenges (the presentation will be held in English)<br /><br />12.00 Lunch<br /> <br /><strong>Contact:</strong><br />Mats Johansson, Northern LEAD<br />E-mail:<br />Phone: 031-7721329<br /><br />Jonas Flodén, Northern LEAD<br />E-mail:<br />Phone: 031-7865131 <br /><br />John Wedel, LTS<br />E-mail:<br />phone: 031-3676121 <br />Tue, 27 Mar 2018 00:05:00 +0200 world pioneer in life cycle research<p><b>Henrikke Baumann was one of the first people in the world to earn a doctorate in life cycle assessment. Over the past 25 years, she has contributed to building up the renowned research topic at Chalmers University of Technology - and has also worked her way back from a severe riding accident. Now she is to become Sweden&#39;s first professor of industrial and domestic ecologies.</b></p><div><div>The academic world was not a place where Henrikke Baumann had ever imagined herself working, but her life's path led her down that road and she's never looked back. &quot;I think research suits me and my widely varied background,&quot; she says. &quot;I don't know what else I possibly could have done.&quot;</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>We're sitting in the spacious lunchroom in the Environmental Systems Analysis Division, a part of the Department of Technology Management and Economics at Chalmers University of Technology. Baumann speaks thoughtfully and calmly, using examples to explain her reasoning.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>No one in her family works in the academic world, but she can still see how her background led her to where she is today. Baumann was born in Sweden, to a Norwegian father and an Estonian mother, both of whom came to the country as refugee children. Her family moved around a lot; she spent her childhood in France and Belgium and attended a British convent school. Social issues and politics were constant topics of discussion at home, and she developed an analytical approach at an early age. &quot;I think it was a way of managing all the culture clashes I encountered,&quot; she says. &quot;I really do like observing things and relating what I see to the things people say.&quot;</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>She began her studies at Chalmers in chemical engineering, then went on to study history of technology, international relations, environmental science and nuclear chemistry. It may seem like a broad palette of topics, but Baumann sees a common thread: &quot;I've always enjoyed technical subjects that can be linked to some kind of social debate.&quot;</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>Her first encounter with life cycle assessment (LCA), which came to be her major field of research, occurred when she was hired on a large Chalmers project on packaging and the environment. Headed by Chalmers researcher Anne-Marie Tillman, the project was the first public study in Sweden using life-cycle assessment - in this case, to analyse the environmental impact of packaging in all of its phases, from cradle to grave.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>This was in the early 1990s when life-cycle assessment was still a new field. Baumann was there when the methodology was developed and scientific life cycle research got off the ground. In time, she became the first PhD holder in the LCA group at Chalmers, and one of the first 12 people in the world to get a doctorate in the field.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;I was one of the first generations of researchers in life cycle assessment,&quot; she says. &quot;It's been very rewarding to watch a field of research being created and developing in the academic world.&quot;</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><div>Life-cycle assessment can be described as a method of tracing a product's environmental impact through its entire lifecycle - from the extraction of raw materials, through manufacture and use, to disposal.</div> <div style="text-align:center"> </div></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3" style="text-align:center"> </h3> <div><h3 class="chalmersElement-H3" style="text-align:center"> &quot;This is a research field that embraces environment, technology and society, and you have to bring them all together. It's like one long mystery that you never get tired of.&quot;</h3> <div style="text-align:center"><em> – Henrikke Baumann, professor, Chalmers</em></div> <div> </div></div> <div> </div> <div>As an example, Baumann holds up the coffee cup in her hand. &quot;An LCA study can calculate the total emissions this mug generates throughout its life cycle, from a lump of clay to its use as a mug, and finally its disposal. One thing we learn from this is how many times we need to use the mug for it to be a better environmental option than a disposable one.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;Life cycle assessments allow us to compare different products' environmental impacts, to see where in the cycle emissions occur and where it will be most effective to introduce environmental measures.&quot;</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>Environmental studies and LCAs are complicated, she explains. That's what she likes about them. &quot;This is a research field that embraces environment, technology and society, and you have to bring them all together. It's like one long mystery that you never get tired of.&quot;</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>In the past ten years, Baumann has paved the way for a new perspective on LCAs, by introducing human activity and material flows into the research. From a start, where she calculated of the environmental impact of products themselves, she now focuses more on the networks of actors surrounding them. The research field is called &quot;societal material flows&quot;, and for Henrikke, it's about seeing the big picture and combining a variety of perspectives.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;Social scientists study interpersonal relationships and attitudes, but they miss out on the physical environmental impact. Engineers do calculations - but they don't take into account how learning, organisation and change occur. These are the aspects I want to unite. I found a way to study product flows themselves, not just do calculations on them. It's important to understand how existing conditions and different interests in the product chain are connected if we are to achieve change. Because it's not always where the biggest emissions occur that measures need to be introduced.&quot;</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>When LCAs are combined with an understanding of how technical and social systems interact, it spotlights even more aspects, Baumann says. She provides another example, this time a study in Ghana, where she compared product flows of both standard and environmentally labelled cocoa. The research team studied the organisation and players in the product flows growers, wholesalers, retailers and government agencies. Soon it was clear that the product chain for the environmentally labelled cocoa was significantly more complex because it involved more players.</div> <div> </div> <div><br /><img src="/en/departments/tme/news/Documents/Henrikkemat.jpg" alt="Henrikkemat.jpg" style="margin:5px;width:102px" /><br /><br /><strong><sup>Studies society’s material flows. </sup></strong><sup>What environmental impact do the items on the shelf have? Henrikke Baumann conducts research in the field of life cycle assessments, which focus on the environmental impact of products throughout their </sup><sup>life cycle</sup><sup> - from cradle to grave.</sup><br /><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>At the same time, other effects - for the players themselves - became clear. &quot;The farmers who chose to grow environmentally labelled cocoa were taught to keep shade trees and to grow their products without pesticides. They avoided the added expense of the pesticides, increasing their return, and that, in turn, gave their families improved opportunities to send their children to school. The long-term value, in this case, came out of the societal effects - the knowledge they gained lasted longer than the environmental labelling.&quot;</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>Over the past three decades, Baumann has written over a hundred articles and books, and she has been an important force in the establishment of life cycle research at Chalmers.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>But she has also been forced to change her pace in life.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>Thirteen years ago she had a serious riding accident, and these days she only works part-time. After the accident, she woke up to a new life situation, where a brain injury and post-traumatic stress syndrome taught her about brain fatigue and the importance of focusing on one thing at a time.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;Putting yourself back together after an accident is hard work,&quot; she tells us. &quot;I have to be very careful these days with what I choose to do. I've learned an awful lot about how the brain works. It can be difficult for people to understand that they can't expect the same performance from me anymore.&quot;</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>But Baumann returned to research and was recently awarded a professorship in industrial and domestic ecologies. She doesn't have any easy answers to the question of what it means to become a professor; in fact, she confesses that her first reaction to the news was pure stress.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;A professorship can mean a lot more publicity and visibility, and I think that scared me most of all. From the start I never had any thoughts of going into research, much less becoming a professor. It sort of came with the job.&quot;</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>At the same time, she feels that a professorship is a form of recognition for all her hard work and that it may open new doors. &quot;It feels important to be recognised for what I do,&quot; she says. &quot;I hope that my professorship can contribute to greater interest in the issues involved in product and material flows in society.&quot;</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Text: Ulrika Ernström</strong></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">Henrikke Baumann on…</h4> <div> </div> <p><strong>Academics</strong><br />&quot;Academics is a place for discussion and reflection, and an important source of change in society.&quot;<br /><br /><strong>Teaching</strong><br />&quot;It's important not to trivialise environmental research, but to show our students what happens, who is affected, what the reactions are.&quot; <br /><br /><strong>Dreams for the future</strong><br />&quot;I'd like to write another book. Maybe a genuine 'coffee table book' about where all of our things come from, what happens in different parts of the chain and everyone who is involved in manufacturing them.&quot;</p> <div> </div> <p><br /></p> <div> </div> <p></p> <div> </div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">About: Henrikke Baumann</h4> <div> </div> <div><strong>Born in: </strong>1964</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Lives in:</strong> Gothenburg</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Research field</strong>: Society’s material flows. Currently focusing on plastics in our seas. The new professor of industrial and domestic ecologies at Chalmers.</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Bonus information</strong>: Lived in Chalmers student accommodation as a baby, when her father was studying engineering at the university. Worked for a while as a reporter for the technology magazine Ny Teknik during a sabbatical from the university. In collaboration with Professor Anne-Marie Tillman at Chalmers, wrote an internationally best-selling textbook on life cycle assessment: <em>The Hitch Hiker's Guide to LCA. </em><br /><br /><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/henrikke-baumann.aspx">Read more about Henrikke Baumann's research</a> <br /><a href="">Read more about Henrikke Baumann's writing and projects</a> <br /><br /></div> <div> </div> <p></p></div>Fri, 16 Mar 2018 12:00:00 +0100 of household waste in focus for Renova&#39;s Environmental Grant 2018<p><b>From researching energy efficiency of freight transportation towards the end consumer, Chalmers researcher Jessica Wehner switches her focus to the transportation of household waste away from the point of consumption. She now receives Renova&#39;s Environmental Grant for 2018. &quot;Energy efficiency is as much about behaviours and attitudes as it is about technology,&quot; she says.</b></p><p>Jessica began her PhD studies in a research project called &quot;The Fifth Fuel&quot;, funded by the Swedish Energy Agency. The project is about increasing energy efficiency in freight transportation and logistics, which benefits both environment and economy. In logistics contexts, a term that is often used is &quot;the last mile&quot; - meaning the last leg of transport from retailer to household. The end consumer is recognised as playing a very important role in the process of increasing energy efficiency in the reversed supply chain.<br /><br />&quot;I got the idea of looking at the transportation of goods in an opposite direction,&quot; says Jessica. &quot;To see households as suppliers of waste in a reversed supply chain and the research makes an effort to initiate a new way of thinking towards waste collection .&quot;<br /><br />According to Jessica, energy efficiency is as much about behaviours and attitudes as it is about technology.<br /><br />&quot;I call the transport leg from households &quot;the first mile&quot;. The way in which the waste is collected, how it's sorted and where households leave their waste, is crucial to energy efficiency. Perhaps we need to reconsider today's methods for sorting and collecting&quot;, she says.<br /><br />Jessica conducts her research at Chalmers University of Technology, at the Department of Technology Management and Economics, Division of Service Management and Logistics. She plans to use the grant of 50,000 SEK to establish new collaborations with colleagues working on the same subject, including a colleague at the Hanken School of Economics in Helsinki who works with logistics regarding food waste supply chains. At the moment she is also working on a conference paper together with Chalmers colleagues Árni Halldórsson and Ceren Altuntas Vural.<br /><br />Jessica Wehner received the 2018 Environmental Grant at Renova's Annual Meeting on March 9, 2018.<br /><a href=""><br />Read more about Jessica Wehner's research<span style="display:inline-block"></span></a><br /><a href="">Read more about Renova's Environmental Grant and former fellows (in Swedish)</a><br /><br /></p>Mon, 12 Mar 2018 09:00:00 +0100 the life - cycle perspective around the world<p><b>​For more than two decades, the Swedish Life Cycle Center has been a driving force in developing the life-cycle perspective, both in Sweden and internationally. The centre has now been reorganised under the Department of Technology Management and Economics at Chalmers University of Technology, which brings together academia, industry and government agencies to solve today&#39;s most important sustainability issues.</b></p><div>If we want to save the world, we have to work together. That's the basic conviction behind the Swedish Life Cycle Center, which has been a unique platform for expanding knowledge and developing and spreading the life cycle perspective in society since the mid-1990s. The goal is to enhance understanding of the environmental impact of our consumption and production patterns.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>In practice, taking a life-cycle perspective means assessing and creating an overall picture of the whole of a product's environmental impact through its entire value chain, from &quot;cradle to grave&quot;. This allows organisations to develop more sustainable products and services because it identifies at what points in the chain various measures will have the greatest chance of leading to improvements - from the extraction of raw materials to manufacturing and transport, to the product's use, recycling or disposal.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;It's a broad field with many perspectives,&quot; says project manager Carl Karheiding. &quot;Our job at the Swedish Life Cycle Center is to pull all the pieces together.&quot;</div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;It's about building up expertise, but also about integrating the knowledge we already have and making sure it comes to good use,&quot; says director Sara Palander.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Solving shared problems</h2> <div> </div> <div>The Swedish Life Cycle Center brings together companies, universities and government agencies, all of which must deal with similar thoughts and questions about the life-cycle perspective. One important element is to identify shared problems and to lay the foundations for new collaborations that can lead to solutions.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;What are the mutual, cross-sector issues? What needs does society have as a whole? These are the considerations we want to identify, and then see how we can combine our efforts to influence development. Many who work on life-cycle issues are fairly isolated in their industries. We can connect them with colleagues from other organisations, so they can exchange their experiences and find opportunities for new joint projects,&quot; Palander continues.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>The Swedish Life Cycle Center is a partner-driven organisation that combines the expertise of universities, research institutes, government agencies and giant multinational companies to build up an extensive knowledge bank.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;If you work on life-cycle issues in the industry, or if your company has decided to adopt a life-cycle approach, then you are going to come into contact with us,&quot; Palander says.</div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;Companies often say that collaborating through the Swedish Life Cycle Center gives them extra credibility in their own organisation's internal procedures,&quot; Karheiding adds.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>Over the years, the Swedish Life Cycle Center has had a significant impact on developments in the life-cycle field, both in Sweden and globally. For example, the centre has initiated and provided expertise for new ISO standards, developed concrete tools to make it simpler to carry out life-cycle assessments (LCAs) and established an open LCA database.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>Karheiding points out that knowledge in the field has grown a lot in recent years, particularly in the public sector. &quot;I think we are part of the reason that Swedish government agencies communicate better about life-cycle issues today and have improved their methods in the practice&quot;, he says.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>Even outside the nation's borders, the Swedish Life Cycle Center is a recognised knowledge platform. Among other things, the centre has played an important role in developing international standards in the area and has also helped to build up a similar collaborative platform in northern Spain.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;Resources and services flow globally,&quot; Sara Palander says, &quot;so we need to be able to handle processes globally.&quot;</div> <div> </div> <div><img src="/en/departments/tme/news/Documents/SaraCarlkollage_750x340.jpg" alt="SaraCarlkollage_750x340.jpg" style="margin:5px" /> </div> <div><strong><sup>Sara Palander</sup></strong><sup> and </sup><strong><sup>Carl Karheiding</sup></strong><sup> expand and spread knowledge about the life-cycle perspective in society.</sup></div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3" style="text-align:center">&quot;Society's need for, interest in and awareness of the life-cycle perspective is growing all the time.&quot;</h3> <div style="text-align:center"><em>– Sara Palander, Swedish Life Cycle Center</em></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Life-cycle perspective reaching more people</h2> <div> </div> <div>Recently the centre launched a new, open website in collaboration with a project entitled &quot;Swedish platform for the life-cycle perspective&quot;, funded by the Swedish Energy Agency. The goal is to enhance collaborations within Sweden and prompt even more organisations to begin taking a life-cycle approach; in addition, the centre aims to spread and develop the life-cycle perspective globally.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;Our new website provides a forum for dialogue and sharing of material,&quot; Palander says. &quot;One important idea is that our partners will contribute to the content, thus helping to spread knowledge regarding life-cycle assessments. These are issues that cannot be managed individually, we need to find joint solutions to them.&quot;</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>Both Palander and Karheiding see an increasing need for the platform that the centre offers, as more parts of society adopt the life-cycle perspective. They expect to see it included more in consumer labelling and in the requirements in various types of procurements.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>Palander says the life-cycle perspective will take an increasingly leading role as organisations develop more sustainable business models. &quot;Society's need for, interest in and awareness of the life-cycle perspective is growing all the time. We see new companies basing their entire business concept on the life-cycle perspective, and also that the idea is catching on more and more internationally - even in developing countries.&quot;</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Text: Ulrika Ernström</strong></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">About: The Swedish Life Cycle Center</h4> <div> </div> <ul><li>The Swedish Life Cycle Center is Sweden's only national platform for the life-cycle perspective. It was founded through a joint initiative by Nutek (now VINNOVA), Chalmers University of Technology and several international organisations under the name CPM.<br /><br /></li> <li>Since the centre was founded in 1996, it has brought together representatives from universities, industry, research institutes and government agencies to discuss and promote the use of life-cycle assessments and related issues.<br /><br /></li> <li>The centre has 13 partners and hosts a collaborative group of seven Swedish government agencies.</li></ul> <div> </div> <div><strong> </strong></div> <div> </div> <div><strong>These organisations are a part of the centre</strong></div> <div>- AkzoNobel</div> <div>- AB Volvo</div> <div>- Chalmers University of Technology</div> <div>- Essity Hygiene and Health</div> <div>- IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute</div> <div>- Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)</div> <div>- NCC Sweden</div> <div>- RISE Research Institutes of Sweden</div> <div>- Sandvik Materials Technology</div> <div>- SKF</div> <div>- Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences</div> <div>- Vattenfall</div> <div>- Volvo Car Company</div> <div>- The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and six other authorities</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <ul><li>The centre's technical office has a staff of four: Sara Palander, director; Carl Karheiding, project manager and acting director in 2018; Anna Wikström, project manager; and Ulrika Georgsson, communications officer.<br /><br /></li> <li>The centre was previously organised by the Gothenburg Centre for Sustainable Development, GMV, but since January 2018 its new host is the Department of Technology Management and Economics at Chalmers.</li></ul> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>Read more about the <a href="" target="_blank">Swedish Life Cycle Center </a><br /></div>Fri, 09 Mar 2018 09:00:00 +0100 some of the women in science<p><b>Academia has no room for gender inequality. What we do have room for, however, is research and education. Not only today but all year round, women here contribute to making the world a bit better. And today, on the International Women&#39;s Day, we want to highlight some of them.</b></p><div>Research in forefront, esteemed awards, and government assignments. At Chalmers, the Department of Technology Management and Economics, hundreds of women contribute to the development of society with their research, teaching and studies. We have chosen to present the amazing work which some of them have conducted that we have presented in articles during the last year - dated back to March 8, 2017.</div> <div> </div> <div><a href="/en/departments/tme/news/Pages/Untapped-gold-mine-is-lost-from-end-of-life-vehicles.aspx" target="_blank">Untapped gold mine is lost from end-of-life vehicles</a></div> <div><em>Maria Ljunggren Söderman, Researcher</em></div> <div> </div> <div><a href="/en/departments/tme/news/Pages/Procurement-requirements-to-solve-labor-shortages-in-construction-industry.aspx" target="_blank">Procurement to solve labor shortages in construction sector</a></div> <div><em>Daniella Petersen, PhD Student</em></div> <div> </div> <div><a href="/en/departments/tme/news/Pages/She-studies-the-collaboration-on-the-dream-of-fusion.aspx" target="_blank">She studies the world's largest collaboration on the dream of fusion</a></div> <div><em>Anna Åberg, Assistant Professor</em></div> <div> </div> <div><a href="/en/centres/CHI/news/Pages/Smart-IT-solutions-can-improve-the-lives-of-dementia-patients.aspx" target="_blank">Smart IT solutions for cognitive impairment</a></div> <div><em>Monica </em><em>Jurkeviciute</em><em>, PhD Student</em></div> <div> </div> <div> <a href="/en/departments/tme/news/Pages/-How-to-strengthen-quality-improvement-in-healthcare.aspx" target="_blank">How to strengthen quality improvement in healthcare </a></div> <div><em>Sara Dahlin, PhD Student</em></div> <div> </div> <div><a href="" target="_blank">The muddle of values and goals in collaboration</a></div> <div><em>Jane Webb, PhD Student</em></div> <div> </div> <div><a href="" target="_blank">The antecedents and processes of business model innovation</a></div> <div><em>Sara Fallahi, Doctor</em></div> <div> </div> <div><a href="" target="_blank">How to build strong venture teams in a landscape of uncertainty</a></div> <div><em>Pamela Nowell, PhD Student</em></div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Artic<span></span><span style="display:inline-block"></span>les only available in Swedish</strong></div> <div> </div> <div><span><a href="" target="_blank">Chalmersstudent utsedd till årets Female Leader Engineer</a></span></div> <span><div><em>Cecilia Svennberg, student at Industrial Engineering and Management<br /></em></div> <div><span><br /><a href="" target="_blank">Hon forskar om kvalitetsförbättringar i sjukvården</a></span></div></span><div><span><em>Petra Apell,</em></span><span><em>PhD Student</em><span style="display:inline-block"></span></span></div> <span><div> </div> <div><a href="" target="_blank">Minska kläders miljöpåverkan - årets mest nedladdade avhandling</a></div></span><div><span><em>Sandra Roos, Doctor</em></span></div> <div><span><span><br /></span></span><a href=""><span><span>Start-ups i industriella nätverk - när relationer bygger innovationer</span></span></a></div> <span><div><em>Maria Landqvist, PhD Student</em></div> <div> </div> <div><a href="" target="_blank">De globala frågorna avgörande för vår relevans</a></div> <div><em>Helene Ahlborg, Researcher</em></div> <div> </div> <div><a href="" target="_blank">Hilary Bradbury blir ny jubileumsprofessor på TME</a></div> <div><em>Hilary Bradbury, Doctor<br /><br /></em></div> <div><span><a href="">Prisad forskning skapar ramar för Design Thinking</a></span></div></span><div><span><em>Lisa Carlgren, Researcher och Maria Elmquist, Head of Department and Professor</em><span style="display:inline-block"></span></span></div> <div> </div> <div><span>We also want to highlight the pioneer Vera Sandberg, who became Chalmers' - and Sweden's - first female engineer when graduating in 1917 </span></div> <span><div><a href="" target="_blank">Vera Sandberg - Sveriges första kvinnliga ingenjör</a></div></span><div><span><em>Vera Sandberg, Engineer</em></span></div> <div> </div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">More good news - a selection of all achievements of our female researchers during the year</h4> <div> </div> <div><strong>Kajsa Hulthén</strong>, co-author of the publication &quot;Wroe Alderson, IMP and the evolution of theory&quot; that won the award Outstanding Paper in the 2017 Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence.</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Ingrid Svensson</strong> and <strong>Pernilla Gluch</strong> won the Taylor and Francis award for best theoretically informed contribution with the publication <em>&quot;The role of objects for institutional work in energy efficient renovation&quot;</em></div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Susanne Ollila</strong> is part of the extensive EU project, Iris, for environmentally friendly solutions - for example, within energy and sustainable transport.</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Lisa Melander</strong> has been assigned a research grant from <em>Familjen Knut &amp; Ragnvi Jacobssons foundation</em>.</div> <div>She recieves the grant for green innovation in leading Swedish industrial companies.</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Anna Bergek</strong> has been appointed by the government as a new member of the EUN (Energiutvecklingsnämnden) at the Swedish Energy Agency. EUN:s role is to decide how the government's energy research budget will be used to support research, development and innovation.<br /></div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Maria Massaro</strong> has been awarded the Young Scholar Program Award from Pacific Telecommunications Council (PTC).</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Charlotta Kronblad</strong> was nominated as Legal Innovator of the Year during Swedish Legal Innovation Awards.</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Henrikke Baumann</strong>, a first-generation researcher in life cycle analysis, has been a driving force in establishing the highly acclaimed research subject at Chalmers. She has now become Sweden's first professor in industrial and domestic ecologies.</div>Thu, 08 Mar 2018 09:00:00 +0100 gold mine is lost from end-of-life vehicles<p><b>Vast quantities of scarce metals are being lost from Europe&#39;s urban mine of vehicles, including 20 tonnes of gold each year - and the proportion of critical metals in vehicles is continuing to increase. A database is now being published that charts the metals and facilitates recycling. On 8 March Maria Ljunggren Söderman, researcher at Chalmers University of Technology, will present the results at IEA&#39;s expert meeting.</b></p><div>Metals, such as gold, cobalt and lithium, are an indispensable part of our batteries, mobile phones, electronic gadgets and vehicles. At the same time, Europe is highly dependent on imports of metals, which makes some of them critical for the EU.</div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;These metals are required for the ongoing transition to greener technologies, such as electric cars, solar cells, LED lighting and wind power, so any supply risks are a strategic and economic problem for the EU. What's more, these are finite resources that must be used in a sustainable way,&quot; says Maria Ljunggren Söderman, Researcher at Environmental Systems Analysis at Chalmers University of Technology.</div> <div> </div> <div>She is part of the extensive European research project Prosum, which has now compiled a new database with which to address the problem. The Urban Mine Platform - the only one of its kind in the world - charts what is known as the urban mine: the metals that are already in circulation and could be recycled from our end-of-life vehicles and electrical and electronic equipment.</div> <div> </div> <div>Maria Ljunggren Söderman has been responsible for the survey of the 260 million light-duty vehicles in Europe's vehicle fleet. She notes that the quantities of critical and scarce metals have increased substantially and that vehicles also now include many new metals.</div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;This is mainly because we are constructing increasingly advanced vehicles, with a great deal of electronics, lightweight materials and catalytic converters. The increase in the numbers of electric vehicles adds to this development, even though they so far represent a small proportion of the vehicle fleet,&quot; she says.</div> <div> </div> <div>One such example is neodymium, one of the rare earth metals (REM). It is estimated that by 2020 there will be nearly 18,000 tonnes of neodymium in the active vehicle fleet - nine times the amount present in the year 2000.</div> <div> </div> <div>Gold is another example - and the researchers were surprised by just how vast the quantities of hidden gold in our vehicles actually are. In 2015 there were an estimated 400 or so tonnes of gold in Europe's vehicle fleet, while the vehicles that left the fleet contained in the region of 20 tonnes of gold - which, in addition, was not recycled.</div> <div> </div> <div>This means that gold worth many hundreds of millions of euros is wasted - each year</div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;Our calculation shows that that the quantity of gold in end-of-life vehicles is now in the same order of magnitude as the quantity of electrical and electronic scrap. This is an increase that cannot be ignored,&quot; Ljunggren Söderman says.</div> <br /><img src="/en/departments/tme/news/Documents/Maria-L-Soderman_750x340.jpg" alt="Maria-L-Soderman_750x340.jpg" style="margin:5px" /><br /><strong><sup>Charting the gold that is wasted.</sup></strong><sup> The proportion of gold and other critical and scarce metals in vehicles has increased substantially in Europe. &quot;I don't think people are aware that they have such a large part of the periodic table in their cars,&quot; says Maria Ljunggren Söderman at Chalmers.</sup><br /><br /> <div>In general very little of the critical and scarce metals in vehicles is recycled. The major challenge is that they are spread out in small quantities; in a new car, for example, there may be a gram or two of gold distributed over several tens of components.</div> <div> </div> <div>But while the EU has clear requirements for the recycling of precious metals in electrical and electronic equipment, such stipulations are lacking as regards vehicles.</div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;There are no requirements or incentives for recycling gold from vehicles, but there are clear economic values here that I don't think people have realised the extent of,&quot; she says.</div> <div> </div> <div>She hopes that the research findings will spur on a change.</div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;Automotive manufacturers and the recycling and material industries need to work together to ensure that something happens. It must be possible to do more than at present - after all, this has been achieved with electrical and electronic equipment,&quot; she says.</div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;Having said that, gold is a comparatively low-hanging fruit, and the prospects for recycling other critical and scarce metals are significantly less favourable - from both electronics and electronic equipment and vehicles. If we want to alter this, policy changes may be necessary.&quot;</div> <div> </div> <div>On 8 March she will present her research findings at an expert meeting on material trends and climate change within the area of transport, organised by the IEA, the International Energy Agency of the OECD countries. She emphasises that a change towards more recycling of metals is a key part of the EU's efforts to create a more circular economy.</div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;The critical and scarce metals in our products have increased substantially, and in most cases, we only use them once. This must be addressed, especially because these metals are required for many of the sustainable technological solutions that we currently have on the table,&quot; she says.</div> <div> </div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">FACTS<br />The database that charts Europe's urban mine</h4> <p></p> <ul><li>In the international EU project Prosum (Prospecting Secondary raw materials in the Urban mine and Mining wastes) 17 parties from universities, research institutes and expert organisations have together surveyed the quantities of critical and scarce metals that can be recycled from Europe's batteries, vehicles and electrical and electronic. The project is funded by the EU's Horizon 2020 research programme.</li> <li>The results are presented in the database called the Urban Mine Platform, which shows the route taken by the critical metals from when they enter the market until they become waste. The intention is to create a knowledge base to reduce the dependency on imports and harness the resources in end-of-life products more effectively.</li> <li>Chalmers Researcher Maria Ljunggren Söderman, from the Division of Environmental Systems Analysis in the Department of Technology Management and Economics at Chalmers University of Technology, has been responsible for the survey of the vehicles in the project. Duncan Kushnir from Lund University and Amund N. Løvik from Empa in Switzerland have also participated in the vehicle survey.</li></ul> <p> <style> , , {margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;} .ExternalClass . {;} @page WordSection1 {size:612.0pt 792.0pt;margin:70.85pt 70.85pt 70.85pt;} .ExternalClass div.WordSection1 {page:WordSection1;} </style> <span></span><strong>Links<br /></strong></p> <p><a href="">Read more about the Prosum project</a><br /><a href="">Read the final report from Prosum</a><br /><a href="">Urban Mine Platform</a><br /><a href=";">Watch the film about the Urban Mine Platform</a><br /><br /></p> <p><strong>A few figures from the report</strong></p> <p></p> <ul><li>In the EU, Norway and Switzerland about 10 million tonnes of electrical and electronic equipment and 2 million tonnes of batteries are disposed of as waste each year, while 14 million tonnes of vehicles leave the fleet.</li> <li>On average every individual in the EU owns 250 kilograms of electrical and electronic equipment, 17 kilograms of batteries and nearly 600 kilograms of vehicles.</li> <li>One single smartphone contains about 40 critical and scarce metals, with a concentration of gold that is 25-30 times higher than in the richest gold ores.</li> <li><div>The EU's, Norway's and Switzerland's vehicle fleets in 2015 contained about 30 tonnes of gold in new vehicles that entered the market, about 400 tonnes of gold in vehicles in use, and about 20 tonnes of gold in vehicles leaving the fleet.</div> <div> </div></li></ul> <p></p> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4"><span></span>FACTS</h4> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">Critical and scarce metals</h4> <p><span></span>The Urban Mine Platform charts geochemically scarce metals, which means metals with a low occurrence in the Earth's crust. Many of the metals are also on the EU's critical metals list, which means that they are very significant for Europe's economy, at the same time that the risk of limited availability is high, mainly due to the considerable dependency on imports.<br /></p> <p></p> <p><br /></p>Tue, 06 Mar 2018 12:00:00 +0100 muddle of values and goals in collaboration<p><b>​When people from different organisations work together, goals and values get all muddled up. So what does this mean for making joint work count? In her research, Jane Webb invites people to reflect on the way they interact with others during work between organisations. - If people can learn to live with the variety of goals and find a way to bring some of them together, real magic happens, she says.</b></p><div>Has working with people from other organisations become a value to pursue in and of itself? Jane Webb, PhD student at Chalmers, the Department of Technology Management and Economics, reflects on this question in her licentiate thesis: &quot;He just doesn't catch it in his heart.&quot; Untangling goals and values in inter-organisational collaboration.</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Tell us about your research!</strong></div> <div> </div> <div>Today it’s common that people from many organisations work together to tackle societal challenges, like social exclusion or sustainability transitions. I spent time with people working in two examples of this, observing how they got their work done. I’ve called my thesis “He just doesn’t catch it in his heart”. This is a quote from someone telling me about his frustration when a partner didn’t seem to have the same idea as he did about what they were working together for. This got me wondering about the different goals people have for collaboration and the values that connect to these. I’ve analysed some of the goals and values in the two settings where I did fieldwork. I talk about what a web of goals and values means for finding a way to keep collaboration going.</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Why is this important?</strong></div> <div> </div> <div>Researchers and managers often take for granted that it’s possible to reach a shared understanding when it comes to the goals of inter-organisational collaboration. In my research, I talk about how such a sense of shared understanding may lead to people not putting in the time and effort to pick up on the wide variety of goals. Some of these goals may be complementary. Some may be in conflict. A lot of them are hidden until people really sit down and talk about it. I believe that collaboration itself is underwritten by a load of values about how people should interact with each other and what each person should put into the collaboration. Talking about expectations of what partnership entails on a regular basis helps people better understand these values and figure out how they can pursue a variety of goals.</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Why do you find this area interesting?</strong></div> <div> </div> <div>Goals and values are everyday words that we all use, whatever we work with, the whole time. It’s a very human topic. Researchers have put time into studying dynamics within a team, or between people working across different teams that are part of the same company/organisation. Something really exciting happens, though, when the team is made up of people who come from different organisations. Within an organisation, employees have a lot of shared reference points – the ways they get things done, the jargon they use, the different people they see as responsible for change initiatives…When a team is made up of people from different organisations, they have to shape something new. And it’s super-exciting to watch these processes!</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>What are your most important research findings?</strong></div> <div> </div> <div>I ask whether work between people from different organisations has become a value to pursue in and of itself. I encourage everyone taking part in inter-organisational collaboration to put effort into finding out about the variety of goals and values of their fellow participants. This helps create working practices that encourage many perspectives, something that helps with coming up with new approaches to the big issues facing society. </div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Was there anything that surprised you during your research?</strong></div> <div> </div> <div>My approach to research is always to follow my gut instinct – what matters to people and what is surprising to me during fieldwork are what I live for! I was pleased to find a topic for the licentiate thesis which allowed me to talk about both of the inter-organisational partnerships that I have studied. They are very different from one another. But considering how people talked about goals and values in both settings, helped me understand something new about each setting.</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>What new knowledge do you bring forward in your research?</strong></div> <div> </div> <div>I pay attention to what happens when people from different organisations bring together personal goals and values, and the goals and values that they associate with their home organisations. I see this muddle of goals and values as adding a real energy to joint work. It can be frustrating and eat up a lot of time, but if people learn to live with the variety of goals and find a way to bring some of them together, then real magic happens.</div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3" style="text-align:center">“My research is all about inviting people to reflect. If people think more about the way they interact with others, I’ll be very happy”</h3> <p style="text-align:center"></p> <div style="text-align:center"><em>- Jane Webb, Chalmers</em></div> <p></p> <div> </div> <div><strong>What do you hope for your research to lead to?</strong></div> <div> </div> <div>I put the spotlight on some aspects that are important to be aware of when working with people from other organisations.  My research is all about inviting people to reflect – whether they’re participating in inter-organisational collaboration or are researching inter-organisational collaboration. If people think more about the way they interact with others and the research questions they’re asking, I’ll be very happy!</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>What will be the next step in your research?</strong></div> <div> </div> <div><div>I’ll be continuing with fieldwork for most of 2018. Then I’ll take stock of all the material I’ve gathered. I’m lucky enough to have regular contact with the people of one partnership between fourteen organisations over two years – there’s a lot that I would love to write about! First things first though, I’ll present a conference paper in June 2018 where I get more into the ideas I’ve sketched out in the licentiate.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">FACTS, RESEARCH AND MORE INFORMATION</h4> <div><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/janew.aspx">Jane Webb</a> is a PhD student at Chalmers, Department of Technology Management and Economics, Division of Entrepreneurship and Strategy. <br /><br />Read her licentiate thesis: <a href="" target="_blank">&quot;He just doesn't catch it in his heart.&quot; Untangling goals and values in inter-organisational collaboration.</a></div> <div> </div></div>Thu, 15 Feb 2018 09:00:00 +0100 to solve labor shortages in construction sector<p><b>Sweden is approaching the largest construction investment ever made, while the construction sector is lacking in construction workers. Chalmers researcher Daniella Petersen has examined how to create employment opportunities in the construction sector for long-term unemployed people through procurement.</b></p><div> <style> .ExternalClass p, , {margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;} .ExternalClass t {margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif;} .ExternalClass r {;} .ExternalClass div.WordSection1 {page:WordSection1;} </style> &quot;I think it is unnecessary that we have unemployment and lack of workers at the same time&quot;. That is the firm belief of Daniella Petersen, PhD student at Chalmers, the Department of Technology Management and Economics. She has spent the last few years researching how to create employment opportunities for long-termed unemployed people in the construction sector through procurement.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>In her licentiate thesis; <em>Let the right ones in? Employment requirements in Swedish construction procure</em><em>men</em><em>t</em> Daniella has studied how these “employment requirements” affect the daily work of individual actors and organizations in the construction sector.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Tell us about your research!</strong></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>I have conducted interviews with actors working with implementing employment requirements in the construction sector. Because social criteria such as employment requirements are novel in Sweden (and internationally), there is scarce knowledge about how to best implement employment requirements, and how this affects the daily work of the people working in the sector. Therefore, I investigate the organizational implications that arise due to the implementation of employment requirements, and what effect that has for different actors, like clients, contractors, architects, technical consultants, and the Employment Agency. What new roles and practices have been created in response to the implementation of employment requirements? Do actors think in a different way regarding the procurement process?</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> <br /></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3" style="text-align:center">”Employment requirements in procurement is a strategic tool for decreasing exclusion while simultaneously supplying the sector with new workers” </h3> <div> </div> <p style="text-align:center"></p> <div style="text-align:center"> </div> <h6 class="chalmersElement-H6" style="text-align:center">Daniella Petersen, Chalmers</h6> <div style="text-align:center"> </div> <div> </div> <p></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Why is this so important?</strong></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>Sweden is facing growing issues with social exclusion and unemployment among disadvantaged groups like immigrants, youths and the disabled. In addition, Sweden is approaching the largest construction investment ever made, while the construction sector is lacking in construction workers. Employment requirements in procurement are, therefore, a strategic tool for mitigating these issues, by decreasing exclusion while simultaneously supplying the sector with new workers.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Why do you find this area so interesting?</strong></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>I used to work as a recruiter, and have always been interested in people and employment issues, and I think it is unnecessary that we have unemployment and lack of workers at the same time. Therefore, I think employment requirements is an interesting procurement and employment tool to study. Employment requirements are novel in Sweden and there are many uncertainties in how to organize the implementation and design of the requirements, which adds another dimension. From a research point of view, this means that there is an opportunity to contribute with knowledge both to practitioners and to theory, as employment requirements and social sustainability, in general, is scarcely investigated.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><strong>What are your most important research findings?</strong></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>I have used an institutional perspective* to study the organizational implications of implementing employment requirements, and see that the construction sector seems to be undergoing an institutionalization process where old norms, logic, roles and practices are being reshaped. A new type of role has been created, but this is not a coherent profession yet. Practices have been reshaped, but there is no strong convergence of practices throughout the country. The sector is also thinking differently about the role of procurement and what procurement should entail and aim for. I have also outlined the barriers and drivers circumventing employment requirements.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Was there anything that surprised you during your research?</strong></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>It was interesting to see how actors are open-minded towards different work practices and the emphasis on collaboration, while many at the same time are careful to point out that their proposed practices are probably the best. I was also surprised to learn about the high ambitions surrounding employment requirements, while there is also a great humility in admitting that employment requirements are new and complex, and there is much we don’t know. Also noteworthy is the time and effort spent on consulting stakeholders in the design of the employment requirements, while the unemployed themselves have been left out of this consultation.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><strong>What new knowledge do you bring forward in your research?</strong></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>I have tried to outline the main barriers and drivers for implementing employment requirements. In my work, I have identified new work practices, like the extensive promotion of proposed practices and deeper collaboration, and new roles, like the “employment requirement professional” as an institutional entrepreneur. If looking to my theoretical framework specifically, I discuss who is important in institutionalization processes, and how one can characterize institutional work and institutional entrepreneurs. These findings add new knowledge for the research field, as well as provides useful insight to practitioners who might work in a more informed, effective, and efficient way.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><strong>What do you hope for your research to lead to?</strong></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>I hope that practitioners can get an insight into how employment requirements affect their daily work, and how the requirements are used by different actors throughout the country. I hope my results can provide an indication of how employment requirements and related roles, practices and logics might develop in the future. For those not yet implementing employment requirements, I hope my findings might give them support in possibly pondering if employment requirements might be a useful tool for them. For research, I hope to emphasize the importance of studying this phenomenon and social sustainability in general, as well as to show that institutional theory may be useful in construction management research.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><strong>What will be the next step in your research?</strong></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>During spring, I will spend approximately three months at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, as a guest PhD candidate together with a prominent professor in my field – Martin Loosemore. I hope to lay a foundation for future collaboration and co-publication, as well as to have a rewarding exchange of inspiration and knowledge. When I come home in the end of April I will start my next study, which hopefully will be a multiple case study. The aim is to study employment requirements from specification to hired employee, in order to delve deeper into the phenomenon and its implications.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Text: Ulrika Ernström</strong></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><strong>*</strong></div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Institutional theory </strong>is a perspective for studying change and behaviour in a field, e.g. the construction sector. By using the theoretical perspective of institutional theory one can study how established logic and behaviour may be broken down and replaced with something new, or be further strengthened.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div><h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">FACTS, RESEARCH AND MORE INFORMATION:</h4> <br /> <p><span><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/daniella-petersen.aspx">Daniella Petersen</a></span> is a PhD student at Chalmers, Department of Technology Management and Economics, the Service Management and Logistics division<br /><br />Read her licentiate thesis: <a href="">Let the right ones in? Employment requirements in Swedish construction procurement</a><br /><br /></p></div>Wed, 07 Feb 2018 15:00:00 +0100