News: Global related to Chalmers University of TechnologyMon, 12 Apr 2021 16:32:55 +0200 creating the healthcare of the future<p><b>​Today&#39;s healthcare sector is becoming increasingly digitalized and tech driven. Chalmers invests heavily in the area of health and technology. In the elective course Here, there and everywhere – healthcare integrated in our everyday lives and places, students from different programmes, teachers and industry representatives with different areas of expertise, collaborate. Their task is to find new solutions to the challenges within the global healthcare sector.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">To improve the technical development of the sector, various areas of knowledge within Chalmers can play a key role, such as architecture, organizational development and e-health solutions.</span><div><br /></div> <div>“Chalmers has students who are competent in these three areas, but that doesn’t mean they are automatically good at collaboration. They need to practice interdisciplinary teamwork! For us, that was the starting point when we created this Tracks course” says Patrik Alexandersson who is responsible for the course.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/20210101-20210631/SebastanRye_biltilltext.jpg" alt="sebastian rye, student" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" style="margin:5px;width:180px;height:180px" /><br /></div> <div>Chalmers student, Sebastian Rye, participated in the first round of the course <em>Here, there and everywhere – healthcare integrated into our everyday lives and places</em>. He is currently studying his final year of Industrial Engineering and Management and is currently writing his Master thesis where he investigates how the use of artificial intelligence can be used in an efficient way in the healthcare sector.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“I had actually already chosen all my elective courses, but the Tracks course great combination of healthcare, interdisciplinary collaboration with mixed student groups and the opportunity to make contacts in the industry was a little too difficult to resist. I just had to take that extra course!”.</div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Current and real challenges</h3> <div>Tracks is a major investment in education and in new learning environments funded by the Chalmers Foundation. Tracks elective courses will complement students' programmes, introduce them to new subject areas and give them the opportunity to practice interdisciplinary teamwork.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Tracks courses are also linked to the latest research and to industry. In this course, the subject area was presented by representatives from the Högsbo Specialist Hospital and from Sahlgrenska University Hospitals’ digital R&amp;D department. Chalmers Center for Healthcare Improvement (CHI) is also behind the course as well as patients who were involved to give feedback on the students' solutions.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The intention with Tracks courses is that they should be able to quickly adapt to current needs and challenges in work-life and society. The healthcare-course is a good example. In the spring of 2020, when the new corona virus began to spread around the world, the teachers decided to include a case about pandemic management in the course, which was not planned from the beginning. Students could choose from three different cases to work with together in small groups: Pandemic, “Life Event Cancer” and Virtual Hospital.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The case called “Life Event Cancer” shed a light on the fact that there are more things than just the patient's disease that needs to be taken care of in the case of a cancer diagnosis. One question that the students discussed was how and with what digital tools the patient and their families can be supported throughout a treatment period.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Virtual hospital and virtual care in general are current topics in the healthcare sector today. Healthcare can be provided in many ways and doesn’t always have to be linked to a physical hospital building. Åsa Holmgren, project manager at Högsbo Specialist Hospital, believes that more technical solutions are needed, but that they need to be carefully examined – which solutions are the most useful within the healthcare sector? In response to which situations and when can they be applied for the best possible outcomes?</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“By learning more about how different technical solutions can be used, healthcare can be changed and improved. An example could be to develop the patient's ability to self-test at home, which the medical staff can follow up and manage – maybe it can lead to faster regulation of drug dosage. I have to say that the students impressed me with their insights and innovative suggestions in their final presentations!” says Åsa Holmgren.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Among other things, the students had suggestions for continuous feedback from a number of health parameters in patients staying at home. This is something that may create a preventive effect. Patients with better knowledge of their own health would also contribute to a more accurate decision-making by the caregiver. An increased use of Machine learning was also proposed, in order to, for example, identify early risk parameters for potential development of cancer.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>In their final presentations the students came up with ideas regarding different health parameters that may be possible for the patients to control by themselves, at home. Something that could have a preventive effect and provide the patients with better knowledge of their own health status and contribute to an improved decision-making-process for the healthcare provider. Another suggestion from the students was more frequent use of Machine Learning. This could be a tool to identify early risk parameters for potential development of cancer.</div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Aim to increase students’ interest in the healthcare sector</h3> <div>During the first round of the course Here, there and everywhere – healthcare integrated in our everyday life and places, Chalmers students from eight different educational programmes participated and for the next course, planned this autumn, Patrik Alexandersson aims for even more.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“We hope that our course can lead to increased knowledge of, and interest in healthcare among architecture and engineering students. By participating in the course, students gain a very good insight into the sector's challenges and its logic, which is enormously positive, both for themselves, Chalmers and for society in general.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Sebastian Rye was already interested in the subject before the start of the course, and he thinks that the opportunity to choose a course based on his own interest was very rewarding.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“The teachers were incredibly committed and experienced in the area and guided us throughout the course, but at the same time it was a lot of project-oriented teamwork and a lot of self-studies. I really thought that the course complemented my other studies well, because in Tracks courses you get to practically apply the things you have learned to a subject you are interested in. This means that the knowledge you have gained from your programme actually gets enhanced!”</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="/en/news/Pages/" title="course poster"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icpdf.png" alt="" />Read more about the <span style="background-color:initial">course</span>​</a></div> <em> </em><div><a href="" title="chalmers study portal"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" /><span style="background-color:initial">Read more about the c</span><span style="background-color:initial">urrent courses within Tracks</span></a></div> <div><em style="background-color:initial"></em></div> <div></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Text:</strong> Julia Jansson</div> <div><strong>Photo:</strong> Västfastigheter, Sjukhusen i väster och Högsbo specialistsjukhus</div> ​Fri, 09 Apr 2021 02:00:00 +0200 science and biotech explore new territory<p><b>​Researchers in Materials Science and Industrial Biotechnology at Chalmers University of Technology will combine forces to produce sustainable light-weight materials of the future. The project, led by Chalmers, has been awarded the prestigious EU-grant FET Open. ​</b></p><p class="chalmersElement-P">​<span>The aim of the FET Open-project is to develop lightweight materials from wood-based components, involving metabolically engineered microorganisms in the process. </span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span>There is an urgent need to reduce causes of climate change, microplastic pollution and raw material shortages, and this may be achieved by replacing fossil-based resources with renewable ones. At the same time environmentally friendly processing technologies to create safe products with minimum impact on the environment must be developed. </span></p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span>Light-weight materials for transportation and sports</span></h2> <p class="chalmersElement-P">”Our project is a unique opportunity for materials engineering to meet biotechnology for  production of light-weight materials,” says project co-ordinator Tiina Nypelö, Associate Professor at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Chalmers, continuing:  </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“We see transportation and sports as application fields to contribute to.”</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">In her work Tiina Nypelö combines forest products technology, material science and renewable resources for advancing sustainable materials engineering. Her appointment at Chalmers is affiliated with <a href="" style="font-family:inherit">Wallenberg Wood Science Center </a><span style="background-color:initial;font-family:inherit">(WWSC).</span></p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span>Research expertise will be used in complet​ely new ways</span></h2> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">In the project, she is collaborating with Chalmers researchers Cecilia Geijer, Assistant Professor at the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering and Lisbeth Olsson, Professor in Industrial Biotechnology, and Co-Director of WWSC. Their research focus is on the design and use of microorganisms in processes where plant cell wall materials are converted to biofuels, biochemicals and material.  </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">”Even though Lisbeth, Tiina and I are already working with sustainability issues, the approach we have to this challenge is new territory, which I personally think is very cool. We will all be applying our research expertise in completely new ways to create novel light-weight material, and we are aiming for this project to have a great impact on society in the future. The interdisciplinary aspect of the project is exciting and very important as it will build bridges between our research groups, divisions and departments,” says Cecilia Geijer. </p> <p></p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Potential of great societal impact​</h2> <p></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">The EU-grant FET Open supports science and technology research and innovation towards radically new future technologies with the potential of great societal impact. The Chalmers’ co-ordinated project has been granted three million Euros, involves three Chalmers research groups from two departments, together with four partners from Austria and Spain, and will run for four years. </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><strong>Text: </strong>Susanne Nilsson Lindh<br /><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>Photo:</strong> Ma</span><span style="background-color:initial">rtina Butorac</span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><br /></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><a href="/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Materials-science-and-biotech-explore-new-territory.aspx" style="font-weight:300"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" /></a><strong>More about: The Collaboration Partners</strong></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">TU Graz</h3> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <ul><li><strong>Wolfgang Bauer</strong> and <strong>Stefan Spirk</strong>, both professors at the Institute of Bioproducts and Paper Technology at Graz University of Technology in Austria, will support project by developing tailored cellulose starting materials. <br /> “We are very excited to work together with the Chalmers team to create the next generation of cellulose light-weight materials. Our decade long experience to work with cellulosic pulps and in fibre and paper physics will be invaluable for this cooperation,” says Wolfgang Bauer.</li> <li><strong>Hermann Steffan</strong> and <strong>Florian Feist,</strong> TU Graz, Institute for Vehicle Safety, Austria, will provide the expertise in the field of crashworthy materials to make the biogenic materials ready-for-action in mechanical engineering. <br />&quot;In automotive engineering sustainability when developing materials, is playing an increasingly important role. For a novel material to be applied in contemporary automotive development, it must be assessable through computer simulation. This requires comprehensive characterization of the material's physical properties and adequate materials models,” says Hermann Steffan. </li></ul> <p></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">TEC​NALIA</h3> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <ul><li><strong>​Dr. Sonia </strong><strong>García-Arriet</strong><strong>a</strong><strong></strong><strong></strong>, from the Composite Materials Department of the Industry and Transport division of TECNALIA in Spain, will work on the demonstration of cellulose material for a real application. <br />&quot;Tecnalia aims to bring innovative developments in new materials to the industry. Our pilot plant has a wide variety of semi-industrial machines for the automotive, aeronautical or sports sectors where composite materials have their main application. In the project we will scale up the manufacturing process, we will validate the moulding capacity to adapt to complex shapes and we will study the parameters that influence upscaling. The goal objective will be to obtain a large component for sports application and to validate it under similar mechanical conditions to those of its final application,&quot; she says. </li></ul> <p></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">BioNanoNet Forschungsgesellschaft mbH</h3> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <ul><li>T​​he BioNanoNet Forschungsgesellschaft mbH (BNN), an RTO based in Austria, complements the consortium with its safe-and-sustainable-by-design (SSbD) expertise, will thus look into the manufacturing processes to identify potential hotspots to outdesign these already during early stages of the development. Furthermore, BNN will support the project through its unique global network to gain maximum of visibility and thus boosting the impact of the project.</li></ul> <p></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">University ​of Vienna</h3> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <ul><li><strong>Alexa</strong><strong>nder Bismarck</strong>, Head of the Institute of Materials Chemistry and Research, Faculty of Chemistry at the University of Vienna, will lead the work on material processing and performance optimisation. His team contributes with an extensive expertise in material and composites engineering and with access to the recently established Institute’s Core Facility Interface Characterisation with high-end methods for the investigation of material properties. <br />“We develop a strong, renewable material for a c<span style="background-color:initial">ool application. The question is: how can we go from the lab side to application? Based on our interdisciplinary approach, combining basic chemistry, materials science, engineering, and processing, we aim at establishing a viable material process that will guide us towards a highly functional and sustainable light-weight material for future applications,” he says.</span></li></ul> <p></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p>Tue, 06 Apr 2021 07:00:00 +0200 project for future supercomputers<p><b>​Researchers from Chalmers will now take part in launching an international research project to create an interface between superconductors and semiconductors for future supercomputers. - This project will shed some light on a physical effect that we do not fully understand, and, at the same time, provide a clear pathway to utilization, says Simone Gasparinetti, project leader of the research team from Chalmers University of Technology.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">Supercomputers are playing an increasingly important role for our society by performing calculations with a variety of implications ranging from weather forecasting to genetic material sequencing to testing of drugs for new diseases. Enhancing the performance of modern supercomputers, whilst minimizing their energy losses, represent two contrasting but major needs that the information technology industry will have to address in the future.</span><div><br /></div> <div>As a participant of the international research network SuperGate (Gate Tuneable Superconducting Quantum Electronics), researchers from Chalmers are now taking part in a EU-funded project to create a new basis for the super-computers of tomorrow: to develop a bridging technology that combines superconductor technology with semiconductor technology, using an approach that was considered physically impossible until just a few years ago. The two technology systems have up till then been considered incompatible in the sense that semiconductors are controlled by voltage and operate at room temperature, while superconductors, on the other hand, are based on current and operate at temperatures of around minus 270 degree Celsius, near absolute zero. Combining the more powerful and more energy-efficient superconductor technology with existing semiconductor technology is of great interest in high-performance computer development. </div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/20210101-20210631/SimoneGasparinetti_350x305px%20NY.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px 15px;width:180px;height:157px" /><br />– This project will shed some light on a physical effect that we do not fully understand, and, at the same, it provides a clear pathway to utilization, says Simone Gasparinetti, project leader of the research team from the department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience at Chalmers University of Technology. </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">A path-breaking discovery</h2> <div>The SuperGate research project is coordinated by the University of Konstanz and funded with around 3 million euros through an FET Open Grant (FET: Future and Emerging Technologies) of the European Union. The idea behind the project stems from a path-breaking discovery made by physicists at the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR) in Pisa (Italy). They managed to demonstrate that superconductivity in a weak link can be controlled by applying voltages to electrostatic gates, in a similar way as semiconducting transistors are controlled by the field effect. This discovery has the potential to revolutionize the world of supercomputing, leading to a technology that would combine the advantages offered by semiconductors and superconductors. A discovery that didn’t go unnoticed by the researchers at the department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience at Chalmers. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">–</span> Back a few years ago, after seeing the first results of Pisa group, I got curious about them and started to run some experiments in our lab. However, it was a sideline project, run on very limited resources, and progress has been slow. With SuperGate, we finally have a chance to give it a real shot, says Simone. </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Paving the way for supercomputers of tomorrow</h2> <div>However, despite its potential for applications, the underlying physical mechanism behind gated superconductivity is still unclear. In addition, the control has been demonstrated only at low frequencies (dc and audio band), while the prospected applications require switching at much higher frequencies (GHz and above). The main task for the Chalmers research team is to investigate the origin of the effect and test the response at high frequencies. In order to optimize speed and performance the Chalmers team will try out different materials and geometries and finally develop a range of logic circuits and combine them with conventional semiconductor technology. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">–</span> Our task will be to investigate the gated superconducting weak links at high frequencies. Thanks to our background in rf and microwave measurements of superconducting circuits, our team are uniquely suited for this challenge, says Simone. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The SuperGate research network consists of a consortium of four universities, one research institute and a world-leading company in superconducting electronics – representing a diversity in backgrounds, bringing together complementary knowledge. And if successful, the research project might contribute to the development of both future supercomputers as well as quantum computers. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">–</span> If these devices can be operated at high frequencies, I see applications in the context of quantum information processing that go beyond the scope of the project, and my team will be in an ideal position to explore them.  Even if we are looking at a “classical” supercomputer, the materials that we will investigate are compatible with the technology that WACQT is using to build a quantum computer. Many of the things we will learn can be of interest for our quantum technology division and for the full MC2 department, which has a long and successful tradition in material science, concludes Simone.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="color:rgb(33, 33, 33);font-family:inherit;font-size:16px;font-weight:600;background-color:initial">Key</span><span style="color:rgb(33, 33, 33);font-family:inherit;font-size:16px;font-weight:600;background-color:initial"> facts abo</span><span style="color:rgb(33, 33, 33);font-family:inherit;font-size:16px;font-weight:600;background-color:initial">ut SuperGate research project</span><br /></div> <div> <div>The international research network “Gate Tuneable Superconducting Quantum Electronics” (SuperGate) is funded through an FET Open Grant of the European Union.</div> <div><strong>Funding sum:</strong> 3 million euros</div> <div><strong>Funding period</strong>: March 2021 to August 2024</div> <div><strong>Project partners:</strong> University of Konstanz, CNR laboratories at Pisa and Salerno, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Delft University of Technology, Chalmers University of Technology at Gothenburg, SeeQC-EU (Italy)</div></div> <div><br /></div> <div><div><strong>More about: </strong><a href="/en/centres/wacqt/Pages/default.aspx">The Wallenberg Centre for Quantum Technology​</a></div> <div>The Wallenberg Centre for Quantum Technology​, WACQT​, is a 12 year research center that aims to take Sweden to the forefront of quantum technology. The main project is to develop an advanced quantum computer. WACQT is coordinated from Chalmers University of Technology, and has activities also at the Royal Institute of Technology, Lund University, Stockholm University, Linköping University and Göteborg University. </div></div>Wed, 31 Mar 2021 00:00:00 +0200 in the shade, despite opportunities<p><b>​The use of solar energy is growing in Sweden. But the photovoltaics panels mounted on Swedish rooftops and in solar parks are almost exclusively imported. New research from Chalmers University of Technology shows how Sweden could have had a domestic industry for production of photovoltaics. The lack of a clear national strategy is one of the reasons why it did not happen.</b></p><div>​A new article in the scientific journal Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews describes the growth of the solar energy industry in Sweden. The authors of the article are the Chalmers’ researchers Johnn Andersson, Hans Hellsmark and Björn Sandén at the Department of Technology Management and Economics, Division of Environmental Systems Analysis.</div> <div> </div> <div>With the expansion of solar energy, a successful installation industry has emerged in Sweden. The installed photovoltaics (PV) products, however, are developed and manufactured abroad, especially in China.</div> <div> </div> <div>“There is no reason why we could not have created a photovoltaics industry in Europe and Sweden as well. Initially, the idea was rather the opposite: ‘we can build a Swedish photovoltaics industry, but we will really not make use of solar energy here’. At the time, it was not thought that solar panels would be effective up here. Instead it was the industrial development that failed, because of the lack of right efforts”, says Professor Björn Sandén.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">No strategic support</h2></div> <div>There are many explanations why this happened. In the article, the authors discuss, among other things, the absence of strategic political support measures.</div> <div> </div> <div>“Political actors did not have a holistic perspective on development and therefore failed to create a cohesive innovation system, which can create conditions for domestic development in all parts of the photovoltaics value chain: from manufacturing to installation”, explains Johnn Andersson, whose doctoral thesis was the basis for a large part of the research.</div> <div> </div> <div>“If we had invested differently, we might have been able to participate in the industrialization process. It is not certain in any way, and it is not easy for a small country to manage something like this. But of course we can industrialize things here – If there is a will. A recent example is battery manufacturing, which is now gaining ground in Sweden as well. But when it comes to photovoltaics, there are few trying to see the whole picture and how to invest in the area strategically”, says Björn Sandén.</div> <div> </div> <div>The state has several important roles to play. It has access to instruments that no other actors have, can set rules for the market, create infrastructure, shape expectations and develop networks. Based on these conditions, it is up to entrepreneurs and other actors to act.</div> <div> </div> <div><em>Is it a lost race, is it too late for Sweden to catch up now?</em></div> <div> “We are still only at the beginning of a development. There are lots of untapped opportunities. Today, solar energy is only a few permille or percent of what it will be in the end, in terms of size. There is still a huge growth in all possible directions. As an example, we point to the thin films that can have special application areas. When you connect it with building materials or applications in vehicles or whatever it may be, many new opportunities will arise”, says Björn Sandén.</div> <div> </div> <div><em>What would be the point of manufacturing in Sweden, then? Apart from obvious benefits for Swedish economy and Swedish jobs, and perhaps shorter transports.</em> </div> <div>“More and more companies are thinking about the entire life cycle and the entire supply chain: What are the ethical and environmental consequences that occur in this chain. As for photovoltaics produced in China, there is a discussion about the use of coal energy to produce them, and what about the working conditions, and so on. When you start to think about the entire production chain and the consequences of it, it can affect where you want to locate the production. This can be an argument for placing it in Sweden, for example.”</div> <div> </div> <div>Björn Sandén believes there is a general benefit to think about climate change and industrial policy in unison:</div> <div> </div> <div>“You can gain a lot from thinking about these two issues at the same time, so you can take advantage of the industrial opportunities that come with the global energy transition. Especially for a country with advanced competencies like Sweden.”</div> <div> </div> <div><img src="/sv/institutioner/tme/nyheter/PublishingImages/solcellsforskarna_750x340.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><em>The researchers behind the study: </em><span><em>Johnn Andersson, Hans Hellsmark and Björn Sandén</em><span></span></span><br /> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">The history of the Swedish photovoltaics industry</h2> <div>The development can be divided in different phases. In the 1980s and 1990s, there was an advance of knowledge in thin film technology. It was discussed how this could be exploited in Sweden and attempts were also made to commercialize the technology. The foremost example is the company Solibro. They were bought by a German company, which in turn was taken over by a Chinese company. There was a lack of interest from the Swedish industry, one reason being the absence of earlier similar products.  There were also other tracks with different types of technology that led to smaller companies, but nothing of considerable size.</div> <div> </div> <div>During the 1990s, and detached from the previously mentioned development, a modular assembly industry started to grow in Sweden. Photovoltaic cells were imported, assembled, and then the finished modules were exported. This became a large industry for a while, before it was completely wiped out when prices fell sharply as international competition intensified and large production plants were built in China.</div> <div> </div> <div>As photovoltaics became cheaper and with the help of national subsidy programs the use of solar energy systems started to grow. Today, there is no production of photovoltaics modules left in the country. There are some smaller initiatives, such as university spin-offs and other small businesses in the area. But more than anything, there is a growing installation industry.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><em>Text: Daniel Karlsson</em> <br /></div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">The scientific article</h3> <div><a href="" target="_blank">&quot;Photovoltaics in Sweden - Success or failure?&quot;</a> by Johnn Andersson, Hans Hellsmark, Björn Sandén</div> <div>Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Volume 143, June 2021, 110894</div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">How the research was carried out    </h3> <div>The research in the article is based on a socio-technical systems perspective on technological innovation. Description and analysis are based on interviews with various types of stakeholders, a comprehensive review of public support initiatives, scientific publications and news articles, as well as reviews of relevant reports and websites. The research has been funded by the Swedish Energy Agency.</div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div>Tue, 30 Mar 2021 10:00:00 +0200 generated proteins will speed up drug development<p><b>​Artificial Intelligence is now capable of generating novel, functionally active proteins, thanks to recently published work by researchers from Chalmers. “What we are now able to demonstrate offers fantastic potential for a number of future applications, such as faster and more cost-efficient development of protein-based drugs,” says Aleksej Zelezniak, Associate Professor at the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering. ​</b></p><p class="chalmersElement-P">​P<span>roteins are large, complex molecules that play a crucial role in all living cells, building, modifying, and breaking down other molecules naturally inside our cells. They are also widely used in industrial processes and products, and in our daily lives. </span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Protein-based drugs are very common – the diabetes drug insulin is one of the most prescribed. Some of the most expensive and effective cancer medicines are also protein-based, as well as the antibody formulas currently being used to treat COVID-19.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">From computer design to wo​rking proteins in just a few weeks</h2> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Current methods used for protein engineering rely on introducing random mutations to protein sequences. However, with each additional random mutation introduced, the protein activity declines. </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“Consequently, one must perform multiple rounds of very expensive and time-consuming experiments, screening millions of variants, to engineer proteins and enzymes that end up being significantly different from those found in nature,” says research leader Aleksej Zelezniak, continuing: </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“This engineering process is very slow, but now we have an AI-based method where we can go from computer design to working protein in just a few weeks.” </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">The new results from the Chalmers researchers were recently published in the journal Nature Machine Intelligence and represent a breakthrough in the field of synthetic proteins. Aleksej Zelezniak’s research group and collaborators have developed an AI-based approach called ProteinGAN, which uses a generative deep learning approach. </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">In essence, the AI is provided with a large amount of data from well-studied proteins; it studies this data and attempts to create new proteins based on it. </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">At the same time, another part of the AI tries to figure out if the synthetic proteins are fake or not. The proteins are sent back and forth in the system until the AI cannot tell apart natural and synthetic proteins anymore. This method is well known for creating photos and videos of people who do not exist, but in this study, it was used for producing highly diverse protein variants with naturalistic-like physical properties that could be tested for their functions.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial;font-family:inherit">The proteins widely used in everyday products are not always entirely natural but are made through synthetic biology and protein engineering techniques. Using these techniques, the original protein sequences are modified in the hope of creating synthetic novel protein variants that are more efficient, stable, and tailored towards particular applications. </span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">The new AI-based approach is of importance for developing efficient industrial enzymes as well as new protein-based therapies, such as antibodies and vaccines.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">A cost-efficient and sustainable model</h2> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Assistant Professor Martin Engqvist, also of the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering, was involved in designing the experiments to test the AI synthesised proteins. </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“Accelerating the rate at which we engineer proteins is very important for driving down development costs for enzyme catalysts. This is the key for realising environmentally sustainable industrial processes and consumer products, and our AI model, as well as future models, will enable that. Our work is a vital contribution in that context” says Martin Engqvist.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“This kind of work is only possible in the type of multidisciplinary environment that exists at our Division – at the interface of computer science and biology. We have perfect conditions to experimentally test the properties of these AI-designed proteins,” says Aleksej Zelezniak. </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">The next step for the researchers is to explore how the technology could be used for specific improvements to protein properties, such as increased stability, something which could have great benefit for proteins used in industrial technology. </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="font-weight:700">Text</span><span>: Susanne Nilsson Lindh, Mia Halleröd Palmgren &amp; Joshua Worth</span><br /></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><br /></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><a href="/sv/institutioner/bio/nyheter/Sidor/Ny-teori-om-snabb-spridning-av-antibiotikaresistens.aspx" style="font-weight:300"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" /></a><strong>More about: The research project </strong></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">The study was conducted within a collaboration between Chalmers University of Technology, Vilnius University Life Sciences Centre in Lithuania, and the company Biomatter Designs. </p> <div> </div> <div><a href="/sv/institutioner/bio/nyheter/Sidor/Ny-teori-om-snabb-spridning-av-antibiotikaresistens.aspx" style="font-weight:300"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" /></a>Read the article <a href="">“Expanding functional protein sequence spaces using generative adversarial networks&quot;​</a> in Nature Machine Intelligence. </div> <div> <span style="background-color:initial"></span></div>Tue, 30 Mar 2021 07:00:00 +0200 of western Sweden sign to cooperate<p><b>​​​On Friday, 26 March, the Presidents of Chalmers University of Technology, University of Gothenburg, University of Borås, University of Skövde, University West and Jönköping University signed an agreement on cooperation. The new collaboration is called Lärosäten Väst, and its aim is to increase the quality and diversity of all the partners’ operations.</b></p><div>“By developing our collaboration in education, research and utilisation, we will strengthen the reputation and attractiveness of both Chalmers and the other universities of western Sweden, increasing our national and international competitiveness,” says Chalmers President Stefan Bengtsson.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The partners already cooperate today in various forms, but with the new agreement as a starting point, the leaders of the institutions want to take the collaboration to the next level. This will mainly concern education at undergraduate and advanced level, postgraduate education, research, utilis​ation, and innovation, as well as the operations support.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Specifically, this increased collaboration will address skills supply and development, efficient administrative support processes and increasing the opportunities for students to study at several of the universities.</div> <div>Representatives from the Västra Götaland and Jönköping county administrative boards, as well as the Västra Götaland region, were also present at the signing. Helena L Nilsson, Regional Development Director at VGR, has followed the development of the collaboration and views research and education as crucial for the region's progress:</div> <div>“We offer our congratulations on the signing of the agreement and we feel involved. It is interesting that our vision The Good Life speaks of the idea of “the university of western Sweden”, based on collaboration between independent universities and colleges. Sometimes visions become reality.”</div> <div><div> </div></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Steering and coordination groups have been appointed</h2> <div>To support the development of Lärosäten Väst, a steering group has been formed consisting of the heads of the universities, a group of administrative heads and a coordination group. An administrative resource is linked to the coordination group and financed jointly by the parties. The chair will rotate annually, being held initially by Eva Wiberg, University of Gothenburg.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Lärosäten Väst consists of:</strong></div> <div><ul><li>Chalmers University of Technology</li> <li>University of Gothenburg</li> <li>University of Borås</li> <li>University of Skövde</li> <li>University West </li> <li> Jönköping University</li></ul></div> <div><br /></div> <strong> </strong><div><strong>Priority areas for cooperation:</strong></div> <div><ul><li>Efficient administrative support processes.</li> <li>Skills supply and development at foundational and advanced level within, for example, healthcare, educational training and engineering.</li> <li>Enabling leading supervision in postgraduate education.</li> <li>Increasing the opportunities for students to study at several of the universities during their education.</li> <li>Synchronising the course offerings at advanced and doctoral level in selected areas, in such a way that it increases students' opportunities to choose courses and modules from all the partners.</li> <li>Identifying areas for sustainable international cooperation.</li> <li>Identifying multidisciplinary research areas where collaboration can be encouraged </li></ul></div> <div><br /></div> Mon, 29 Mar 2021 15:00:00 +0200 the EU can reduce tropical deforestation<p><b>​​EU imports of products including palm oil, soybeans, and beef contribute significantly to deforestation in other parts of the world. In a new study, researchers from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, and the University of Louvain, Belgium, evaluated over a thousand policy proposals for how the EU could reduce this impact, to assess which would have the largest potential to reduce deforestation – while also being politically feasible.</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial">“Unsurprisingly, there is weaker support for tougher regulations, such as import restrictions on certain goods. But our study shows that there is broad support in general, including for certain policies that have real potential to reduce imported deforestation,” says Martin Persson, Associate Professor of Physical Resource Theory at Chalmers University of Technology.​</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"></span><a href="/en/departments/see/news/Pages/EU-consumption-plays-major-role-in-tropical-deforestation.aspx">Previous research from Chalmers University of Technology has already shown the EU's great impact in this area​</a>. More than half of tropical deforestation is linked to production of food and animal feed, such as palm oil, soybeans, wood products, cocoa and coffee – goods which the EU imports in vast quantities. The question is, what can the EU do to reduce its contribution to deforestation?</div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>“This issue is particularly interesting now, as this year the EU is planning to present legislative proposals for reducing deforestation caused by European consumption. The question has been discussed by the EU since 2008, but now something political is actually happening,” says Simon Bager, a doctoral student at the Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium, and lead author of the study.</div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>The authors of the article mapped 1141 different proposals, originating from open consultations and workshops, where the EU has collected ideas from companies, interest groups and think tanks. The researchers also compiled proposals from a large number of research reports, policy briefs and other publications, where different stakeholders have put forward various policy proposals. After grouping together similar proposals, they arrived at 86 unique suggestions.</div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Two sugg​estions stand out</h2> <div> </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Finding proposals for measures that would have the desired effect but are also possible to implement in practice, and enjoy the necessary political support, is no easy task. But after their extensive survey, the researchers identify two policy options in particular which show promise. The first is to make importers of produce responsible for any deforestation in their supply chains, by requiring them to carry out the requisite due diligence.</span><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div> </div> <div>“If the importing companies’ suppliers have products that contribute to deforestation, the company may be held responsible for this. We consider such a system to be credible and possible to implement both politically and practically – there are already examples from France and England where similar systems have been implemented or are in the process thereof,” says Simon Bager.</div> <div> </div> <div>“Due diligence is also the measure which is most common in our survey, put forward by many different types of actors, and there is broad support for this proposal. However, it is important to emphasise that for such a system to have an impact on deforestation, it must be carefully designed, including which companies are affected by the requirements, and which sanctions and liability options exist.”</div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>The other possibility is to support multi-stakeholder forums, where companies, civil society organisations, and politicians come together to agree on possible measures for ridding a supply-chain, commodity, or area, of deforestation. There are positive examples here too, the most notable being the Amazon Soy Moratorium from 2006, when actors including Greenpeace and the World Wide Fund for Nature gathered with soy producers and exporters and agreed to end soy exports from deforested areas in the Amazon rainforest.</div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Nyheter/EU-Mercosur-martin-Persson.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />“Examples suc<span style="background-color:initial">h as these demonstrate the effect that multi-stakeholder forums can have. And in our opinion, it is a measure that is easier to get acceptance for, because it is an opportunity for the affected parties to be directly involved in helping design the measures themselves,” says Martin Persson.</span></div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>Such discussions can also be adapted to the relevant areas or regions, increasing the likelihood of local support for the initiatives.</div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">A delicate ​​balance</h2> <div> </div> <div>The researchers also investigated how to deal with the trade-off between policy impacts and feasibility. An important part of this is combining different complementary measures. Trade regulations on their own, for example, risk hitting poorer producing countries harder, and should therefore be combined with targeted aid to help introduce more sustainable production methods, increasing yields without having to resort to deforestation. This would also reduce the risk of goods that are produced on deforested land simply being sold in markets other than the EU.</div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>“If the EU now focuses on its contribution to deforestation, the effect may be that what is produced on newly deforested land is sold to other countries, while the EU gets the ‘good’ products. Therefore, our assessment is that the EU should ensure that the measures introduced are combined with those which contribute to an overall transition to sustainable land use in producing countries,” says Simon Bager.</div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>In conclusion, the researchers summarise three essential principles needed for new measures, if the EU is serious about reducing its impact on tropical deforestation.</div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>“First, enact measures that actually are able to bring about change. Second, use a range of measures, combining different tools and instruments to contribute to reduced deforestation. Finally, ensure the direct involvement of supply chain actors within particularly important regions, expanding and broadening the measures over time,” concludes Simon Bager.</div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>The authors hope that the research and identified policy options can serve as inspiration for policy makers, NGOs, industries, and other stakeholders working to address the EU's deforestation footprint. With at least 86 different unique alternatives, there is a wide range of opportunities to focus on the problem – very few of these are political 'non-starters' or proposals which would have no effect on the issue.</div> <div> </div> <div>The full study, Eighty-six EU policy options for reducing imported deforestation is available open-access in the journal One Earth:</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">For more information, contact:​</h3> <div> </div> <div>Martin Persson, Associate Professor, Physical Resource Theory at Chalmers University of Technology,, +46 31 772 2148</div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>Simon Bager, Ph.D. candidate UCLouvain and MSCA fellow COUPLED,, +45 2721 7414</div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><h3 class="chalmersElement-H3"><span>More detailed information regarding how the study was conducted:</span></h3></div> <div> </div> <div>To investigate the potential impact and political feasibility of the 1141 proposals, the researchers first categorised them based on who submitted the proposal, who the policy would affect, and what type of policy is proposed. Since many of the proposals were essentially the same or similar, they were then summarised, resulting in 86 unique suggestions. The majority are based on weaker measures, such as making more information and types of support available to producers, rather than statutory restrictions and regulations on imports and exports. The researchers interpret this as meaning that there is greater support for softer proposals. However, the researchers themselves consider these proposals to be less effective.</div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>“One example is eco-labelling, where the purpose is to influence consumers to stop buying products that contribute to deforestation. The intent is good, but previous research does not support the argument that this changes consumer behaviour to such a level that production itself is affected. But if import restrictions are instead introduced on goods that are linked to deforestation, it is already known that this has direct effects,” says Martin Persson.</div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>After evaluating the likely effects, the next step was to see which proposals could actually receive political support, and how complex and costly the formulation and implementation was likely to be. For this evaluation, methodological innovations were required.</div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>“After categorising the 1141 proposals, we could see how many stakeholders, and of which kind, proposed a certain type of measure. If the same option was proposed by many actors, of different kinds – environmental organisations, companies, and authorities – we interpreted that as strong, broad support for the proposal,” explains Martin Persson.</div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>The last two steps in the assessment of the measures were then about how complicated and expensive it would be to realise the proposals.</div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>“For example, commissioning a research institute to investigate, at a detailed level, what drives deforestation – that would be quite easy. But a new tax or punitive duty at EU-wide level would be very difficult and costly to successfully implement. There are some measures, which the EU can take alone, while others require cooperation with the individual member states or third countries. And there we simply rated the institutional difficulty for implementation of each proposal,” says Simon Bager.</div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>The last aspect for assessing the political feasibility was looking at the economic impact of the proposal.</div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">“If you influence a large impo</span><span style="background-color:initial">rt flow, that will result in major economic consequences. Directing the EU aid </span><span style="background-color:initial">budget to support less forest-intensive production, meanwhile, would have a significantly smaller financial impact. </span><span style="background-color:initial">The consequences for the economy also depend on how much of a market is affected. It is important that a will to change taxation or regulation in the area exists,&quot;</span><span style="background-color:initial"> says Martin Persson.</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div><em>Text: Christian Löwhagen and Joshua Worth. </em></div> <div><em>Images: Jungle: CC 0.0. Portrait: </em><em>Anna Lena Lundqvist / Chalmers</em></div>Mon, 29 Mar 2021 10:00:00 +0200 First Vice President decided<p><b>​Charlotte Wiberg will be Chalmers&#39; new First Vice President. She will take up the position on 1 April and will also be Deputy CEO of the University company. The latter appointment is submitted to the University Board for confirmation at its meeting on 15 April.</b></p>​&quot;<span style="background-color:initial">We had ten very strong candidates, our final choice fell on Charlotte Wiberg based on the requirements profile we set&quot;, says President Stefan Bengtsson. </span><div>“Charlotte has wide management experience and a competence profile that fits well for a First Vice President in the development phase that Chalmers is in”.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>As First Vice President, Charlotte Wiberg will work together with the President and Vice Presidents on many different issues. She will have a special responsibility for postgraduate education, digitalisation issues and the coordination of gender equality.</div> <div>In connection with her appointment, the tasks in the President’s group will change somewhat. Charlotte Wiberg takes over the responsibility for Chalmers' doctoral education from Anders Palmqvist, who recently was reappointed, and in addition to the research issues also will be responsible for the Areas of Advance and the Excellence Initiative.</div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">&quot;I am of course both happy and honoured to receive this trust&quot;, says Charlotte Wiberg. &quot;Chalmers has a strong brand, international prominence, and fantastic employees. We have strong research and attractive education. I will assist the President and hope to contribute with new perspectives for continued strong development. </span><span style="background-color:initial">Chalmers has the motto Avancez – so I say as I often do: forward together!&quot;</span></div> <div><br /></div>Fri, 26 Mar 2021 14:00:00 +0100 advice depends on your gut<p><b>​In the future, a blood sample may show how you should eat to stay healthy. But the road to personalized recommendations is long and winding. It passes through the gut, where bacteria make us react differently to the food we eat.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">Researchers are working hard, attempting to come up with personalized or group-based dietary advice. It’s not easy. Much depends on the gut microbiota that is unique to us all.<br /><br /></span><div>One example is dietary fiber, which is an established component of a healthy diet. In a research study that attracted attention last year, Chalmers’ researchers show that whole grains from rye lowered cholesterol levels more than whole grain wheat, but that this effect was dependent of individual’s gut microbiota composition. The study clearly showed that the dietary advice is not equally effective for everyone – but that there is a great potential to increase the health benefits by matching the foods with gut microbiota of the individual.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Hot research area</h2> <div>According to Rikard Landberg, Professor of Food and Nutrition science at Chalmers and one of the speakers at the two-day event Engineering Health in April, research relating the importance of the gut bacteria to diet, dietary advice and health is hot right now.<img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Areas%20of%20Advance/Health/Udda%20format/Rikard_Landberg_300.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /></div> <div>“How and when should we take the gut microbiome into account? How do we design a diet that is optimal for the individual? We are yet quite far from individual dietary advice. There is a lot more we need to know first”, he says.<br /><br /></div> <div>At the same time, there are already commercial apps where you can try to identify your ideal diet. But these tests are often not to be trusted, says Rikard Landberg. They are based on nothing more than existing knowledge about general effects of lifestyle and diet, and the connections between these and the gut microbiota. But already in five to ten years, the situation may be completely different:<br /><br /></div> <div>“By then, I believe we will have the opportunity to identify groups of individuals who, for example, benefit from a certain diet”, says Rikard Landberg and explains:</div> <div>“We should be able to identify the profile of a certain group, using gut microbiome and metabolites – molecules formed by bacteria. Then, we can also measure the body’s response to a certain diet through a blood sample. Based on such data, we can determine whether you belong to a particular profile that would benefit from, for example, eating vegetarian food or a certain type of dietary fiber. And knowing which diet is ideal for your group will of course be helpful if you have reason to review your diet, for example if you’re at increased risk of cardiovascular disease.”</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Food and gut experts working together</h2> <div>Rikard Landberg collaborates with Fredrik Bäckhed, Professor at the Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine at the University of Gothenburg. Fredrik Bäckhed is an expert on gut microbiome and its role in health and disease. Among other things, he is trying to optimize probiotic bacterial strains that can improve the health of our gut, and reduce risk of developing diseases. A permanent change in the intestinal microbiome is difficult to achieve, but vary between different parts of the bacterial flora.</div> <div>“This autumn, we will start a study start where we take a closer look at diets that are composed to promote a healthy intestinal bacterial flora. The diet is designed based on a systematic literature review, where we have reviewed 8,000 scientific articles. We want to investigate whether it is possible, with an optimal diet based on “ordinary food”, to influence intestinal bacteria linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Strangely enough, this has not been done in any previous scientific study”, says Rikard Landberg.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">New and climate friendly guidelines</h2> <div>A revision of Nordic Nutrition Recommendations and the Swedish dietary guidelines is currently underway. Around 100 experts review, and evaluate, research results. Among other things, they look at health impact of different nutrients and foods. The dietary advice is also put in a Nordic context, to take into account which nutrients we, in the Nordic countries, may need to boost – such as vitamin D, which we could lack in our sun-depraved countries – based on the type of food we normally eat. In addition, the dietary advice is climate-adapted; the guidelines should not only focus on what’s healthy, but also what is sustainable from a climate perspective.<br /><br /></div> <div>But while waiting for updated dietary advice, and research on gut microbiota: What can we really say about what to eat in order to stay healthy? One problem is that many researchers – as well as the media – try to give advice based on individual studies, says Rikard Landberg, as there is a desire to go directly from research results to recommendations.</div> <div>“Unfortunately, this might give people the perception that advices change all the time. Results from different studies often show different results, for varied reasons.”</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Vegetarian diet possibly healthier</h2> <div>Still, if he would dare to give any advice, in addition to the official dietary guidelines, Rikard Landberg gives one that is aligned with a recent study performed together with Örebro University and Fredrik Bäckhed:<br /><br /></div> <div>“I am quite convinced that a diet with more vegetarian food, and less meat, is better for most of us. But this will vary between individuals, and moreover, we must not forget the risks associated with such a diet for certain groups. Many women, for example, have an iron deficiency. For them, a vegetarian diet might lead to they getting too low intake of available iron – and that will not be healthy”, he says.<br /></div> <div>“Then, of course, the usual advice applies; for example, not eating too much, and avoiding sugar-sweetened beverages. People also tend to think that physical activity plays a large part in keeping a healthy weight, but diet is the most important thing for those who need to watch the kilos. But with that said, we need to be active in order to feel good and prevent illness. Furthermore, we should not forget that diet is much more than health! For example, we do not eat chocolate to be healthy, but because it tastes good. That’s also allowed!”<br /><br /></div> <div><strong>FACTS: Want to know more about diet and intestinal flora?</strong></div> <div>Watch Rikard Landberg’s and Fredrik Bäckhed’s lecture “Diet meets the gut microbiome - implications for cardiometabolic disease” at Engineering Health on April 14 at 11.00. The event will be broadcast live via YouTube. <a href="">More information can be found here</a>.<br /><br /></div> <div>Text: Mia Malmstedt</div> <div>Photo: Pixabay and Annika Söderpalm</div> <div>​<br /></div> Fri, 26 Mar 2021 09:00:00 +0100 receive entrepreneurship award<p><b>​Chalmers students and elite athletes Johan Rogestedt and Johan Högstrand receive an entrepreneurship award for their master’s thesis project that may revolutionize sports technology. Two special prizes have also been handed out for important efforts in combating the spread of covid-19.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">Lactate measurement is an increasingly popular method in sports that involves measuring the levels of lactic acid in the blood to optimize your training. Today, this method is both cumbersome and expensive as it requires continuous blood sampling with machine reading. But what if it was possible to obtain the same values with technology that continuously measures the lactate value so that you can adapt your training accordingly?</span><div>That was the starting point for Johan Rogestedt's and Johan Högstrand's thesis project that now receives Bert-Inge Hogsved's award for best entrepreneurship. Every year, Hogia's Entrepreneurship Award goes to a technologist or a group of technologists at Chalmers for best entrepreneurship.</div> <div>&quot;Historically, many exciting ideas have received this award. It feels great to be acknowledged in the same way. Above all, it gives us the motivation to continue with what we have already started&quot;, says Johan Rogestedt, who is an elite runner that <a href="/en/news/Pages/Gold-medal-to-Chalmers-student.aspx" target="_blank">recently won the Swedish Championship.</a></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Had sports in common</h2> <div>Johan Rogestedt and elite orienteer Johan Högstrand are National Sports University students at Chalmers. That means that they get increased support from the university to combine their studies with a professional athlete career. </div> <div>The duo who have an athlete background in common became friends and later thesis partners during their master's studies in Systems, control, and mechatronics at Chalmers. They both have personal experience of lactate measurements and think there is great commercial potential with their invention. A measurement method based on sensors instead of blood samples could be used in the healthcare industry and by all kinds of people who engage in heart rate training.</div> <div>&quot;Today, the default is heart rate measurement in, for example, sports watches, but if lactate measurement had been the standard, it would have been possible to obtain better measures of both intensity and fatigue&quot;, says Johan Högstrand.</div> <div>&quot;With the current method, you cannot stop in the middle of a competition to take a blood sample. If you could have obtained the value in other ways, you would be able to optimize your starting speed and perform better when you compete&quot;, says Johan Rogestedt.</div> <div>They will continue working on their prototype with Chalmers Innovation Office this summer. The next step is to figure out how to optimize their innovation.</div> <div>&quot;We will pick up where the thesis ends and continue to work part-time with the project. The goal is to achieve quality in our measurements with the conclusions we drew during the thesis. We only need to fine-tune some electronics until then&quot;, says Johan Högstrand.</div> <div>&quot;We want to get to the bottom of the issue with lactate measurement and see how far we can go to produce a commercial product in the end&quot;, he adds.<span style="background-color:initial"> </span></div> <div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Working with sports tech</h2></div> <div>In addition to their success of the degree project, Högstrand and Rogestedt will graduate from Chalmers this summer with a bright future in the sports technology industry alongside their sports careers. Johan Rogestedt already works as a software engineer for a sports tech company in Silicon Valley, but is working remotely from Gothenburg. </div> <div>Johan Högstrand runs his own company after winning the entrepreneurship competition Chalmers ventures startup camp <a href="/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/Ski-star-sharpens-her-skiing-with-technology-from-Chalmers.aspx" target="_blank">with his bachelor's thesis on power meters in cross-country skiing. ​</a></div> <div>&quot;There will be a time after our sports careers end as well. It was a given for us to study alongside being athletes. But many pieces of the puzzle need to fit when you try to combine these two things.”, says Högstrand.</div> <div>“Being part of a Swedish Sports University has made a big difference because our professors at Chalmers understand the challenges we face as athletes and students. It has been easier to adapt our studies and take exams online when we have to travel to compete and attend training camps. That flexibility at Chalmers has made it possible for us to reach our goals and be where we are today.&quot;, says Rogestedt.<span style="background-color:initial"> </span></div> <div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Two special awards</h2></div> <div><div>This year, Bert-Inge Hogsved's award for best entrepreneurship also includes two special awards. They are awarded to four Chalmers students who have made important contributions in the work of combating the spread of covid-19 in the spring of 2020, when the shortage of medical devices in healthcare and elderly care was acute.</div> <div>Carl Strandby and Joel Martinsson Budillon managed to gather a group of students and other volunteers to make <a href="/en/news/Pages/Volunteers-produce-aprons-for-the-healthcare-system.aspx" target="_blank" title="Volunteers produce aprons for the healthcare system">12,000 protective aprons for the healthcare system in only two months.</a></div> <div>&quot;There was a huge shortage of protective aprons in Gothenburg when the pandemic struck. So we started to manifacure them ourselves. It was a way for us to turn our worry into something productive. Receiving this award means that others see the value in what we have accomplished. We share the profit with all the volunteers who have been involved in this project&quot;, says Carl Strandby.</div> <div>Edward Hadziavdic and Marcus Örtenberg Toftås also engaged a large number of students and volunteers. <a href="/en/news/Pages/Students-supply-staff-in-the-west-with-visors.aspx" target="_blank" title="Students supply staff in the west with visors">They manufactured visors, among other things, by using the university's 3D-printer.</a> 15 000 visors were delivered directly to the health service during the initial phase of the pandemic.​</div></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Vedrana Sivac<br />Photo: Hogiagruppen<br /></div> ​Fri, 26 Mar 2021 00:00:00 +0100 model predicts metabolic response to metals<p><b>​Metal ions, for example iron, are vital to many cellular functions in all organisms. Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology have now developed a mathematical model to identify the role of metal ions in baker’s yeast. This model can be used to optimise industrial yeast strains producing a variety of bioproducts, or to design new diet supplements. ​</b></p><p class="chalmersElement-P">​<span>Baker’s yeast, <em>Saccharomyces cerevisiae</em>, is used as a model organism for human cells and different cellular systems, such as metabolism. But the microorganisms can also be used as so-called cell factories, for sustainable industrial production where renewable sources are turned into different bioproducts, such as bioethanol, drugs, and chemicals. </span><span style="background-color:initial">K</span><span style="background-color:initial">nowledge abo</span><span style="background-color:initial">ut the metabolism is used to optimise the production rate and viability of the yeast cell factories, through genetic editing and by providing the best growth conditions.</span></p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span>Predict metabolic respons to reduced availability of metals</span></h2> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial">Metal ions play an important role in metabolism by serving as cofactors, helper molecules, to numerous metabolic enzymes, such as respiration but also many enzymes playing a role in detoxification. Although many enzymes have been reported to interact with metal ions, the quantitative relationships between metal ions, and metabolism, are lacking. </span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/Bio/SysBio/Yu-Chen_2019-09-02_350.jpg" alt="Photo of Yu Chen" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px;width:250px;height:218px" />&quot;We generated a model by applying the framework to <em>Saccharomyces cerevisiae</em>. The model showed good performance in terms of predicting intracellular metal ion abundances and predicting metabolic responses upon reduced availability of metal ions&quot;, says <strong>Yu Chen</strong>, postdoc at the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering and first author of the <a href="">scientific publication​</a> recently published in PNAS. </p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Iron deficiency leads to resource allocation </h2> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">The research group also investigated the role of iron in metabolism and found that the model captured resource re-allocation upon iron deficiency. This suggests that yeast allocates iron based on optimisation principles. This means that yeast aims to always ensure allocation of iron to enzymes engaged in biosynthesis of amino acids that essential for cell growth. </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">In addition, the researchers validated one of the model predictions experimentally in the field of metabolic engineering. </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">These experiments showed that insufficient supply of iron could limit biosynthesis of <em>p</em>-coumaric acid, a chemical of great commercial interest used for production of dyes and polymers that are used in many materials, which relies on an iron-containing enzyme.</p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">&quot;Improve cell factories and diets&quot;</h2> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">&quot;We believe that our model can be used to guide improvement of yeast cell factories and optimisation of growth conditions. More importantly, the framework can be easily applied to study metal ions within human metabolism, which can hopefully aid in explaining mineral deficiency and designing diets,&quot; says Yu Chen.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><strong>Text:</strong> Susanne Nilsson Lindh </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><strong>Read the scientific article in PNAS:</strong> <a href="">Yeast optimizes metal utilization based on metabolic network and enzyme kinetics </a></p> <div><br /></div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p>Thu, 25 Mar 2021 00:00:00 +0100 hole&#39;s magnetic fields revealed by the Event Horizon Telescope<p><b>​​A new view of the supermassive black hole shows the centre of galaxy M 87 in polarised light. The observations with the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) reveal how energetic jets form close to the black hole, 55 million light years distant. Astronomers from Chalmers are part of the international EHT collaboration.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) collaboration, who produced the first ever image of a black hole, has revealed a new view of the massive object at the centre of the galaxy Messier 87 (M87): how it looks in polarised light. This is the first time astronomers have been able to measure polarisation, a signature of magnetic fields, this close to the edge of a black hole. The observations are key to explaining how the galaxy, located 55 million light-years away, is able to launch energetic jets from its core.</span><div><br /></div> <div>“We are now seeing the next crucial piece of evidence to understand how magnetic fields behave around black holes, and how activity in this very compact region of space can drive powerful jets that extend far beyond the galaxy,” says Monika Mościbrodzka, Coordinator of the EHT Polarimetry Working Group and Assistant Professor at Radboud University in the Netherlands.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>On 10 April 2019, scientists released the first ever image of a black hole, revealing a bright ring-like structure with a dark central region — the black hole’s shadow. Since then, the EHT collaboration has delved deeper into the data on the supermassive object at the heart of the M87 galaxy collected in 2017. They have discovered that a significant fraction of the light around the M87 black hole is polarised.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“This work is a major milestone: the polarisation of light carries information that allows us to better understand the physics behind the image we saw in April 2019, which was not possible before,” explains Iván Martí-Vidal, also Coordinator of the EHT Polarimetry Working Group and GenT Distinguished Researcher at the University of Valencia, Spain. He adds that “unveiling this new polarised-light image required years of work due to the complex techniques involved in obtaining and analysing the data.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Light becomes polarised when it goes through certain filters, like the lenses of polarised sunglasses, or when it is emitted in hot regions of space where magnetic fields are present. In the same way that polarised sunglasses help us see better by reducing reflections and glare from bright surfaces, astronomers can sharpen their view of the region around the black hole by looking at how the light originating from it is polarised. Specifically, polarisation allows astronomers to map the magnetic field lines present at the inner edge of the black hole. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“The newly published polarised images are key to understanding how the magnetic field allows the black hole to 'eat' matter and launch powerful jets,” says EHT collaboration member Andrew Chael, a NASA Hubble Fellow at the Princeton Center for Theoretical Science and the Princeton Gravity Initiative in the US.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Centrum/Onsala%20rymdobservatorium/340x/eso2105b_72dpi_340x227.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" /></div> <div>The bright jets of energy and matter that emerge from M87’s core and extend at least 5000 light-years from its centre are one of the galaxy’s most mysterious and energetic features. Most matter lying close to the edge of a black hole falls in. However, some of the surrounding particles escape moments before capture and are blown far out into space in the form of jets. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Astronomers have relied on different models of how matter behaves near the black hole to better understand this process. But they still don’t know exactly how jets larger than the galaxy are launched from its central region, which is comparable in size to the Solar System, nor how exactly matter falls into the black hole. With the new EHT image of the black hole and its shadow in polarised light, astronomers managed for the first time to look into the region just outside the black hole where this interplay between matter flowing in and being ejected out is happening. </span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>The observations provide new information about the structure of the magnetic fields just outside the black hole. The team found that only theoretical models featuring strongly magnetised gas can explain what they are seeing at the event horizon. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“The observations suggest that the magnetic fields at the black hole’s edge are strong enough to push back on the hot gas and help it resist gravity’s pull. Only the gas that slips through the field can spiral inwards to the event horizon,” explains Jason Dexter, Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado Boulder, US, and Coordinator of the EHT Theory Working Group. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>To observe the heart of the M87 galaxy, the collaboration linked eight telescopes around the world – including the ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array) and APEX (Atacama Pathfinder EXperiment) in northern Chile – to create a virtual Earth-sized telescope, the EHT. The impressive resolution obtained with the EHT is equivalent to that needed to measure the length of a credit card on the surface of the Moon.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“With ALMA and APEX, which through their southern location enhance the image quality by adding geographical spread to the EHT network, European scientists were able to play a central role in the research,” says Ciska Kemper, European ALMA Programme Scientist at ESO. “With its 66 antennas, ALMA dominates the overall signal collection in polarised light, while APEX has been essential for the calibration of the image.”</div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Centrum/Onsala%20rymdobservatorium/340x/eso2105d_72dpi_340x340.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;ALMA data were also crucial to calibrate, image and interpret the EHT observations, providing tight constraints on the theoretical models that explain how matter behaves near the black hole event horizon,&quot; adds Ciriaco Goddi, a scientist at Radboud University and Leiden Observatory, the Netherlands, who led an accompanying study that relied only on ALMA observations.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The EHT setup allowed the team to directly observe the black hole shadow and the ring of light around it, with the new polarised-light image clearly showing that the ring is magnetised. The results are published today in two separate papers <span style="background-color:initial">by the EHT collaboration </span><span style="background-color:initial">in </span><span style="background-color:initial">Astrophysical Journal Letters</span><span style="background-color:initial">. </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">The research involved over 300 researchers from multiple organisations and universities worldwide. </span></div> <div></div> <div><br /></div> <div><div>Chalmers scientists Michael Lindqvist and John Conway, <span style="background-color:initial">both at</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span><span style="background-color:initial">Onsala Space Observatory and the Department of Space, Earth and Environment, </span><span style="background-color:initial">represent Sweden in the EHT collaboration. </span><span style="background-color:initial"></span></div> <div></div> <div><br /></div> <div> &quot;In Onsala we have participated <span style="background-color:initial">since the 1960s </span><span style="background-color:initial">in the development of very long baseline interferometry (VLBI),</span><span style="background-color:initial"> the technique used in the EHT. </span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial">Onsala Space Observatory</span><span style="background-color:initial"> is one of three partners in APEX, one of the telescopes in the EHT network, and we have worked for many years with our partners building up capacity for VLBI at APEX&quot;, says Michael Lindqvist.</span></div> <span></span><div></div> <div><br /></div> <div>“The Swedish contribution to this research has been significant&quot;, says Iván Martí-Vidal, who worked at Onsala Space Observatory until 2018. “The observatory in Onsala has also been responisble for calibrating ALMA data, and its role as a partner in the APEX telescope has been critical for being able to calculate and correct for the instrumental polarisation in ALMA.&quot; </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Detailed knowledge of these aspects is of great importance for the conclusions about the supermassive black hole that have now been presented.</div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>More information</strong></div> <div><br /></div> <div>This research is presented in two papers by the EHT collaboration published on 24 March 2021 in Astrophysical Journal Letters: &quot;First M87 Event Horizon Telescope Results VII: Polarization of the Ring&quot; (doi: 10.3847/2041-8213/abe71d) and &quot;First M87 Event Horizon Telescope Results VIII: Magnetic Field Structure Near The Event Horizon&quot; (doi: 10.3847/2041-8213/abe4de). Accompanying research is presented in the paper &quot;Polarimetric properties of Event Horizon Telescope targets from ALMA&quot; (doi: 10.3847/2041-8213/abee6a) by Goddi, Martí-Vidal, Messias, and the EHT collaboration, which has been accepted for publication in ​​Astrophysical Journal Letters.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="">See ESO's press release for links to the science papers and more background information</a><span style="background-color:initial">.</span><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><div><span style="font-weight:700">Contacts</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Robert Cumming, communications officer, Onsala Space Observatory, Chalmers, +46 70-493 31 14,</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Michael Lindqvist, astronomer, Onsala Space Observatory, Chalmers,</div> <div><br /></div> <div><em><strong>Images</strong></em></div> <div><em><br /></em></div> <div><span></span><a href=""><em>See ESO's press release for high-resolution images</em></a><span style="background-color:initial"><em>.</em></span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><div><i>A (överst) - <span style="background-color:initial"></span></i><span style="background-color:initial"><i>A view of the M87 supermassive black hole in polarised light. </i></span><span style="background-color:initial"><i>The lines mark the orientation of polarisation, which is related to the magnetic field around the shadow of the black hole.</i></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><i>Bild: EHT-samarbetet</i></span></div> <div><i><br /></i></div> <div><i>B - Composite image showing </i><span style="background-color:initial"><i>M 87's supermassive black hole and jet, as seen in polarized light. Images from different radio telescopes show the jet's polarisation at different scales. Top: ALMA observations taken at the same time as the EHT observations. In the middle are measurements with the VLBA in the USA. The EHT observations are shown at the bottom of the image.</i></span></div> <div><i>Bild: <span style="background-color:initial">EHT Collaboration; ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), Goddi et al.; VLBA (NRAO), Kravchenko et al.; J. C. Algaba, I. Martí-Vidal</span></i></div> <div><i><br /></i></div> <div><i>C: Jetstrålen i M 87 i polariserat ljus uppmätt av ALMA. </i></div> <div><i>Bild: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), Goddi et al.</i><br /></div></div> <div><i><br /></i></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <span style="background-color:initial"></span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div>Wed, 24 Mar 2021 15:00:00 +0100 and harmony in focus for new mathematics research<p><b>Modular forms, degenerate elliptic operators and broken symmetries. Three research projects at Mathematical Sciences receive funding when the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation&#39;s mathematics program distributes SEK 25 million to fifteen mathematicians. That should be enough to recruit three researchers from abroad for postdoctoral positions in Sweden. In addition, two recently defended scholarships receive a postdoctoral position abroad.</b></p><div>The mathematics program has been instrumental in mathematics research in Sweden. Strong environments that have achieved international renown have evolved and attract leading researchers from around the globe. <div>“Advanced mathematics skills are an important foundation for many other sciences, as well as for the development of new technology. This is particularly visible in the rapid development of areas such as data-driven life science, AI and quantum engineering. If Sweden is to keep up with these developments, we must have mathematicians who are at the forefront,” says Peter Wallenberg Jr, chair of Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.</div> <div><a href="">Read the full press release from Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation here</a>.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The researchers from Mathematical Sciences who received funding present their projects below. <br /></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">New theory when physics meets mathematics </h2> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Associate professor Martin Raum</h3> <div><a href="/en/staff/Pages/raum.aspx">Contact</a><br /></div> <div><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Portrait Martin Raum" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MV/Nyheter/KAW%202021/KWA_Raum.gif" style="margin:5px" />Physics has provided inspiration for development in mathematics ever since the seventeenth-century origins of mathematical analysis. This continues to the present day, with physics theories of everything, for example string theories, that will describe all known matter and all the forces of nature in one coherent theory. Modular forms play a vital role in the mathematics of string theories, and are also the basis of my planned project.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Modular forms are mathematical functions that fulfill particular symmetry conditions. Since their discovery, two hundred years ago, they have been vitally important to the development of number theory and other branches of mathematics. There are now many different modular forms and their generalizations. Finding a new class of modular forms is part of the planned project.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Modular forms also aid the understanding of many phenomena that involve geometric objects, including the small strings that are the foundation of string theory. When these strings collide, they can merge and form new strings. The probability of this is described by string amplitudes, which have shown to fit surprisingly well into an arithmetical framework that is closely related to motivic periods. One objective in this project is to use contributions from string theory in building a broader theory, one that will describe the connection between different motivic periods in families of geometric objects.</div> <div><br /></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Degenerate elliptic operators with broad applications </h2> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Professor Andreas Rosén <br /></h3> <div><a href="/en/staff/Pages/andreas-rosen.aspx">Contact</a><br /></div> <div><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Portrait Andreas Rosén" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MV/Nyheter/KAW%202021/ARosen_180.gif" style="margin:5px" />Harmonic analysis is a branch of mathematics developed in the early nineteenth century, by French mathematician Joseph Fourier as part of his study of heat conduction. To arrive at a solution, he expressed general functions as infinite series of harmonic oscillations, the Fourier series. The planned project focuses on the development of harmonic analysis techniques, which will be used to study materials where the ability to conduct heat varies much in different directions.<br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Alongside the Fourier series, there are now many other ways of developing functions as infinite series of a set of basic functions. Wavelets, for example, revolutionized harmonic analysis when they were introduced in the 1980s. The impetus behind their development largely came from their applications – wavelets are now widely used to compress, store and recreate data in electronic engineering, image processing and signal processing.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>There was a new breakthrough in the early twenty-first century, when harmonic analysis was further developed in close relation to, but beyond, wavelets. Andreas Rosén is an expert in these new methods and has applied them to elliptic partial differential equations. The planned study examines equations in which thermal conductivity is permitted to be infinite or zero at some points, and where knowledge is still incomplete. How much can the equation coefficients vary before the theory falls apart? And what happens in cases where thermal conductivity is both infinite and zero at the same point, but in different directions there?</div> <div><br /></div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Hunting for broken symmetries</h2> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Professor Genkai Zhang</h3> <div><a href="/en/staff/Pages/genkai.aspx">Contact</a><br /></div> <div><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Portrait Genkai Zhang" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MV/Nyheter/KAW%202021/GZhang_180.gif" style="margin:5px" />The planned project focuses on representation theory, which is a study of abstract algebraic and geometric structures by representing them by simpler, more familiar linear structures in analytic setup. The ideas and methods are not only used in mathematics, but also in other areas such as theoretical physics. Among other things, representation theory is very instrumental in the Standard Model of particle physics.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Here, the key concept is symmetry. In our everyday lives, we usually think about symmetry as a mirror image, but there are many other symmetries that are less obvious and yet very vital to the advancement of mathematics. One can think of the situation when two children are playing at seesaw: The two kinds of diagonal and up-down symmetries can be better unified in a bigger symmetry group, whereas the symmetry is broken if we consider only one of them. The subject of this project comprises the rules for symmetry breaking (called branching rules by mathematicians) in representation theory.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Symmetries can be hard to discover. One way of finding them is to study their effects, i.e. their representations on spaces of states that are manifestations of symmetries. Such a study can be more manageable if the representation is restricted to a smaller group of symmetries; the rules for these restrictions are the branching rules. Within the project, researchers will look for and study branching rules for certain restricted representations using methods from analysis and geometry.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Funding for international postdoctoral position</h2> <div>In addition, Antonio Trusiani and Milo Viviani, who both graduated with PhDs from Mathematical Sciences in 2020, have been awarded grants for postdoctoral positions at the Institut de Mathématiques de Toulouse, France, and the Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa, Italy, respectively.</div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Read more about their projects at Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation</h3></div> <div><a href="">Antonio Trusiani</a></div> <div><a href="">Milo Viviani</a><br /></div>Wed, 24 Mar 2021 10:00:00 +0100 thermometer can accelerate quantum computer development<p><b>Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden, have developed a novel type of thermometer that can simply and quickly measure temperatures during quantum calculations with extremely high accuracy. The breakthrough provides a benchmarking tool for quantum computing of great value – and opens up for experiments in the exciting field of quantum thermodynamics.​​​</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial">A key component in quantum computers are coaxial cables and waveguides – structures which guide waveforms, and act as the vital connection between the quantum processor, and the classical electronics which control it. Microwave pulses travel along the waveguides to the quantum processor, and are cooled down to extremely low temperatures along the way. The waveguide also attenuates and filters the pulses, enabling the extremely sensitive quantum computer to work with stable quantum states.  </span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>In order to have maximum control over this mechanism, the researchers need to be sure that these waveguides are not carrying noise due to thermal motion of electrons on top of the pulses that they send. In other words, they have to measure the temperature of the electromagnetic fields at the cold end of the microwave waveguides, the point where the controlling pulses are delivered to the computer’s qubits. Working at the lowest possible temperature minimises the risk of introducing errors in the qubits.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Until now, researchers have only been able to measure this temperature indirectly, with relatively large delay. Now, with the Chalmers researchers' novel thermometer, very low temperatures can be measured directly at the receiving end of the waveguide – very accurately and with extremely high time resolution.</div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/20210101-20210631/Simone%20Gasparinetti%20(1).jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px 10px;width:180px;height:157px" /><br />&quot;Our thermometer is a superconducting circuit, directly connected to the end of the waveguide being measured. It is relatively simple – and probably the world's fastest and most sensitive thermometer for this particular purpose at the millikelvin scale,&quot; says Simone Gasparinetti, Assistant Professor at the Quantum Technology Laboratory, Chalmers University of Technology.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span style="font-family:inherit;background-color:initial"><br />Im</span><span style="font-family:inherit;background-color:initial">portant for measuring quantum computer performance</span><br /></h2> <div>The researchers at the Wallenberg Centre for Quantum Technology, WACQT, have the goal to build a quantum computer – based on superconducting circuits – with at least 100 well-functioning qubits, performing correct calculations by 2030. It requires a processor working temperature close to absolute zero, ideally down to 10 millikelvin. The new thermometer gives the researchers an important tool for measuring how good their systems are and what shortcomings exist – a necessary step to be able to refine the technology and achieve their goal.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/20210101-20210631/PerDelsing_171101_02%20(1).jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px 10px;width:180px;height:157px" />&quot;A certain temperature corresponds to a given number of thermal photons, and that number decreases exponentially with temperature. If we succeed in lowering the temperature at the end where the waveguide meets the qubit to 10 millikelvin, the risk of errors in our qubits is reduced drastically,&quot; says Per Delsing, Professor at the Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience, Chalmers University of Technology, and leader of WACQT.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Accurate temperature measurement is also necessary for suppliers who need to be able to guarantee the quality of their components, for example cables that are used to handle signals down to quantum states.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">New opportunities in the field of quantum thermodynamics</h2> <div>Quantum mechanical phenomena such as superposition, entanglement and decoherence mean a revolution not only for future computing but potentially also in thermodynamics. It may well be that the thermodynamic laws somehow change when working down at the nanoscale, in a way that could one day be exploited to produce more powerful engines, faster-charging batteries, and more.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;For 15-20 years, people have studied how the laws of thermodynamics might be modified by quantum phenomena, but the search for a genuine quantum advantage in thermodynamics is still open,&quot; says Simone Gasparinetti, who recently started his own research group and plans to contribute to this search with a novel range of experiments.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The new thermometer can, for example, measure the scattering of thermal microwaves from a circuit acting as a quantum heat engine or refrigerator.</div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/20210101-20210631/Marco%20Scigliuzzo%20(2).jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px 10px;width:180px;height:157px" /><br />&quot;Standard thermometers were fundamental for developing classical thermodynamics. We hope that maybe, in the future, our thermometer will be regarded as pivotal for developing quantum thermodynamics,&quot; says Marco Scigliuzzo, doctoral student at the Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience, Chalmers University of Technology.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Read more in the scientific article in Physical Review X:</strong></div> <div><a href="">Primary Thermometry of Propagating Microwaves in the Quantum Regime</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>More about: How the primary thermometer works</strong></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">The </span><span style="background-color:initial">novel thermometer concept relies on the interplay between coherent and incoherent scattering from a quantum emitter driven at resonance. The emitter is strongly coupled to the end of the waveguide being tested. Thermal photons in the waveguide lead to a measurable drop in the coherently scattered signal, which is recorded continuously. In this way, the number of photons in the propagating mode of the microwave waveguides can be read – this corresponds to a temperature. The Chalmers researchers’ implementation, which uses a superconducting circuit operated at gigahertz frequencies, offers simplicity, large bandwidth, high sensitivity, and negligible power dissipation.<br /></span><span style="background-color:initial"><br /><b>More about: The Wallenberg Centre for Quantum Technology</b></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><div><a href="/en/centres/wacqt/Pages/default.aspx">The Wallenberg Centre for Quantum Technology​</a>, WACQT​, is a 12 year research center that aims to take Sweden to the forefront of quantum technology. The main project is to develop an advanced quantum computer. WACQT is coordinated from Chalmers University of Technology, and has activities also at the Royal Institute of Technology, Lund University, Stockholm University, Linköping University and Göteborg University. </div></span></div> Tue, 23 Mar 2021 07:00:00 +0100 our water<p><b>​The theme for World Water Day March 22 2021 is Vauling Water, focusing on how we value water from environmental, social, cultural and financial perspectives. But can we out a prize on water or is it invaluable? With an ongoing research project, researchers at Chalmers are trying to learn more.</b></p><div>​Through the <a href="/en/projects/Pages/Risk-based-prioritization-of-water-protection-in-sustainable.aspx">WaterPlan project</a>, researchers from the DRICKS center at the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering are investigating what the need to protect our water resources looks like and how Swedes value this protection. Part of the project means that the researchers will use surveys to investigate and map how people prioritize and what they are actually willing to pay to protect our drinking water sources.         </div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;Today knowledge about how Swedes relate to our common water and how to value it is scarce. We know from studies in other Scandinavian countries that people prefer that the water they drink is naturally clean, that it doesn’t need to be purified afterwards. And that is of course important for how the protection of water resources is designed,&quot; says<a href="/en/staff/Pages/andreas-lindhe.aspx"> Andreas Lindhe,</a> associate professor and researcher at the DRICKS centre, Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering.    </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">The great value of water in society    </h2> <div>Our surface and groundwater resources, ie water in lakes and streams as well as the water under the ground, not only provide us with drinking water but offer people so much more. Our water resources are, among other things, sources for energy production, irrigation and recreation – when we go swimming or boating in the summer.        </div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;By protecting our water resources from a drinking water perspective, we can also protect these other values, so-called services, that they provide, but it can also mean restrictions on how we can use these services.&quot;    </div> <div> </div> <div>Therefore, the WaterPlan project also maps and analyzes the various services that water resources provide and the natural conditions on which they depend. The purpose is for researchers to be able to create an overall picture of how we use our water resources and how we thereby value them, as a basis for being able to better prioritize protection measures.      </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Pricing that does not reflect fair value     </h2> <div><span style="background-color:initial">DRICKS works closely with Swedish drinking water producers. The industry sees a need to increase water and sewage tariffs in order to be able to maintain and develop drinking water and wastewater management. The Swedish tariff is based on the prime cost principle, which results in a cost that in itself cannot be said to correspond to the actual value of the water and sewage services that we use in society. But what can be the disadvantages of water being underestimated and therefore priced too low?       </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">&quot;The fact that water in Sweden is inexpensive is not a bad thing since we want water to be available to everyone. But the low price of water means that we become worse at economizing it and tend to take it for granted. For a sane management of water, it is therefore bad that water is inexpensive&quot;</span><span style="background-color:initial">, says Andreas Lindhe.  </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div> </div> <div>Water is a prerequisite for life and crucial for our society in many ways. Andreas Lindhe believes that expressing risks and evaluating measures of action based on socio-economic consequences does not aim to reduce the importance of water – but on the contrary provides an opportunity to emphasize the importance of water, for instance when balancing competing interests.    </div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;But we must of course be aware that there are other aspects than the purely socio-economic ones that may need to be considered when important decisions about water are to be made&quot;, Andreas Lindhe concludes.    <br /><br /><em>The </em><a href="" target="_blank"><em>World Water Day</em></a><em> is an initiative from the UN that started in 1993 and which draws attention to the importance of water in society. The purpose is to highlight the challenges we face and what is required for us to, among other things, achieve the sixth global sustainability goal of clean water and sanitation for all.  </em></div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>Text: Andreas Lindhe &amp; Catharina Björk<br /></div>Mon, 22 Mar 2021 09:00:00 +0100