News: Global related to Chalmers University of TechnologyFri, 19 Oct 2018 13:16:44 +0200,-but-no-one-dares-take-the-first-step.aspx,-but-no-one-dares-take-the-first-step.aspxCarbon dioxide capture: technology exists, but no one dares take the first step<p><b>​It is possible to stop at 1.5 degrees warming of the planet, the IPCC claims in a new report, but few believe it will happen. In order to succeed, carbon dioxide capture has to scale up. Chalmers has the technology, but who dares take the first step to commercialize?</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">In the UN climate panel, the IPCC report describes how we not only need to reduce the rate of emissions but, in the long run, also reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. This means that we need to capture carbon dioxide. Chalmers conducts research in the field and has reached far. One of the researchers in the field is Henrik Leion, Associate Professor at Chalmers Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering.</span><div><br /></div> <div>&quot;We must start catching all carbon dioxide, regardless of fuel. Right now we are working with biofuels. The fossil fuels already work well to capture. The technology for this is available. What prevents us is primarily economy and legislations.<img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Koldioxidinfångning/Henrik%20Leionweb.png" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Photo of Henrik Leion" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /></div> <div>The technique Henrik Leion researches and develops is based on oxygen-bearing solids that replace combustion of oxygen as a gas. His research is part of several projects around a technology called CLC, which stands for chemical looping combustion. In most cases, the heat is generated in power plants through combustion in air. This forms carbon dioxide mixed with another type of gas, depending on technology, and gases are difficult to separate from each other. In order to get as clean a stream of carbon dioxide as possible, CLC uses a solid material where oxygen is included as an oxide, for example ordinary rust. Instead, water and carbon dioxide are created, which are easier to distinguish from each other. When the oxygen on the oxygen carrier is consumed, it is exposed to air and the material is then reoxidized and reusable.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Research at Chalmers within CLC is conducted jointly by several research groups across institutional boundaries. Henrik Leion looks at how oxygen carrier and fuel can be optimized.</div> <div>As the situation is now, it is not enough to capture only carbon dioxide from fossil sources. Also carbon dioxide from bio combustion must be collected in order to achieve negative net emissions.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;We will need to capture carbon dioxide to a very large extent. Emissions must begin to sink within just a few years, and if we do not do that now, it means that around 2050, we will have to catch more carbon dioxide than we release to compensate for what we did not do 30 years earlier, he says. <img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Koldioxidinfångning/Järnoxidweb.png" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Iron oxide being poured into a bowl" style="margin:5px" /><br /><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">CLC is primarily a technology that can work at stationary facilities. Capture involves heavy loads. Not only does the oxygen carrier consist of some kind of metal. The carbon dioxide collected weighs about three times more than the fuel, which in itself would mean increased emissions for a vehicle due to the weight.</span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Economy and legislation impede</strong></div> <div>Thus, CLC could be of great use if it was used at commercial level. But yet nobody dares to take the financial risk to invest in the technology. So far, it has been tested in the Chalmers test facility of 12 megawatts with successful results. But a major effort is required for technology to come through, believes Henrik Leion.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Someone must dare to test the technology in a 50 megawatt facility. This will probably mean losing money initially, but the technology needs this to be further developed, he believes.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>In addition, it must be cheaper to use the technology. The price must be able to compete with carbon credits. Today, a carbon credit, ie the right to release a ton of carbon dioxide, costs about 20 euros. CLC is slightly more expensive, but could, with a bigger initiative, become cheaper. If it is cheaper to collect carbon dioxide than to release it into the atmosphere, chances are that the industry will invest in the technology. In addition, CLC requires that large parts of the combustion system is rebuilt. Another problem is the storage.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;There is no logistics and legislation to deposit carbon dioxide. It takes about 10,000 years for the gas to be converted into limestone. Carbon dioxide is not very dangerous, it is not comparable to nuclear waste, but we talk about huge amounts here, says Henrik Leion.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>A legislative problem is the question of liability. Who will be responsible for the storage for 10,000 years? It has also proved difficult to find places where governments and populations accept storage. Another way to store the greenhouse gas is to pump it into drained oil sources at sea. It is expensive and lacks logistics, but it may be necessary.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Must be put into use</strong></div> <div>Any type of capture technique must be taken into use. Without capture techniques, climate targets will not be reached. What is needed, Henrik says, is that a major energy company dares to test the technology at the commercial level. That company must be ready to lose money. Somewhere, money will probably be lost, but it may be something we have to accept to avoid a significantly higher temperature rise. Without capture, we do not have a chance to stop the temperature rise at 2 degrees, Henrik says who soon will be off for parental leave.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;To be honest, it is frankly not morally easy for me to take a break from the research in this situation. My way of handling my climate depression is to work”, he says. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text and photo: Mats Tiborn</div> <div><br /></div>Fri, 19 Oct 2018 00:00:00 +0200 equality a powerful tool for higher quality<p><b>​Thanks to dedicated work on gender equality, his department went from 0 to 40 per cent female faculty in 20 years. Now, Paul Walton, Professor in Chemistry at York University, offers his advice on Chalmers’ big investment in gender equality.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial"> “I’ve visited more than 200 hundred universities and departments all over the world to talk about gender equality. But Chalmers is different,” says Paul Walton. </span><div><span style="background-color:initial">He is referring to Chalmers ten-year investment program, the Gender Initiative for Excellence, or Genie. With a budget of 300 million kronor, the aim of the investment is to increase the proportion of female professors at Chalmers from today’s figure of 17 per cent, to 40 per cent. </span><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">“This is by far the biggest single investment in gender equality that any university has made. Chalmers has a big problem with gender equality, but has now understood that in a very clear way. There’s a real determination to tackle it. It was obvious from the faces in the audience today that there’s real commitment here,” says Paul Walton, referring to the lecture he earlier delivered for Chalmers staff and management in Palmstedtsalen. </span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Equality and quality go hand in hand</strong></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">When Paul Walton started working with gender equality in academia 25 years ago, the primary motivation was to make it equal and fair. But several years on, research has shown that a better gender balance leads to greater scientific success, and increased quality is now one of the main motivations. In fact, he believes that equality measures are one of the most powerful tools a university can use to improve itself.  </span><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">“We know that we, and probably all universities, have internal structures and cultures which favour men’s career development over women’s. Even if it’s only small differences, it ends up affecting a lot of people over a long time, which leads to big effects. We need to make better use of the competence of the entire population, to take the next step in quality,” says Chalmers President Stefan Bengtsson.</span><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">So how do you achieve gender equality? According to Paul Walton, it’s important to share data broadly and openly, for example, data concerning pay and qualifications in promotions, and to incorporate gender aspects into all statistics. Leadership is also key, in particular at the departments. </span><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">“It is mainly at the department where the cultural changes can occur, and where the Head of Department has an important role. Everyone will follow your example as Head of Department,” he says. </span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Hug a social scientist</strong></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">You also need to embrace and learn from research from the social sciences, concerning factors behind inequality between the sexes. For example, everyone – women as well as men – is guilty of unconscious biases. Tests show that people generally rate a CV with a male name higher than an identical CV with a female name, as an example. </span><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">In the UK, it has become common to try and rectify this problem by training people to become aware of their own unconscious biases and correct them themselves.</span><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"> “Unfortunately, this doesn’t work. The only way we’ve found to correct for bias is that in committees looking at employment, promotion, pay and so on, you need dedicated observers with the single task of monitoring other members for unconscious bias. For example, the observer can time how long they give to discussing each candidate and count the number of negative and positive comments,” says Paul Walton.  </span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>A globally unique investment</strong></div> <div>Paul Walton thinks that Chalmers, with this big investment, has the possibility to try new and interesting methods for combating inequality. This could include positions reserved for women, and new ways of recognising academic success. </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">“The world will be watching on this one! This is the biggest gender-equality investment that I have heard of in academia.” </span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Things could get uncomfortable</strong></div> <div>One challenge will be the backlash, which, according to Paul Walton, is an accompaniment to anything which seems to give an advantage to women. You need to be ready for things to get uncomfortable – that’s something which Thomas Nilsson, Head of the Physics Department took from Walton’s lecture. He likens the road to becoming a professor to an obstacle course. </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"> “The way up is determined by those who are already in the </span><span style="background-color:initial">system, which means that the system repeats itself. We must use all the tools available to improve our gender balance,” he says. </span><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Text: Ingela Roos</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><div><strong>Facts about the Gender Initiative for Excellence (Genie)</strong></div> <div><ul><li><span style="background-color:initial">The investment is financed by the Chalmers Foundation, and has a budget of 300 million kronor over 10 yea</span><span style="background-color:initial">rs, beginning in January 2019.</span><br /></li> <li>O<span style="background-color:initial">ne of the goals is to achieve 40 per cent female professors by 2029.</span><br /></li> <li><span style="background-color:initial">The work consists mainly of two parts:</span><br /></li> <ul><li><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial">To identify and remove structural barriers which hinder women’s careers through systematic and tailored work at the departments, inspired by the Athena Swan programme in the UK. </span></li> <li><span style="background-color:initial">Direct recruitment of top female researchers, together with ensuring that at least half of further recruitments go to women, internal funding to projects which increase equality, and programs for female visiting researchers. </span><br /></li></ul> <li><span style="background-color:initial">The Genie management group will consist of Pernilla Wittung-Stafshede, Professor of Biology and Biotechnology, Mary Sheeran, Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, and Anders Karlström, Head of the Electrical Engineering Department. </span><br /></li> <li><span style="background-color:initial">The advisory board includes Paul Walton, Professor of Chemistry at York University, Agnes Wold, Professor of Clinical Bacteriology at Gothenburg University, Liisa Husu, Professor of Gender Studies at Örebro University, and Anders Linder, head of Surface Radar Solutions at Saab AB. A steering group will also be set up, which will consist of the Chalmers President, and the Student Union President, among others. </span><br /></li> <li><span style="background-color:initial">The contact person for Genie is <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/pernilla-wittung.aspx">Pernilla Wittung-Stafshede​</a>.</span></li></ul></div></span></div> ​Thu, 18 Oct 2018 11:00:00 +0200 fibre can store energy in the body of a vehicle<p><b>A study led by Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, has shown that carbon fibres can work as battery electrodes, storing energy directly. This opens up new opportunities for structural batteries, where the carbon fibre becomes part of the energy system. The use of this type of multifunctional material can contribute to a significant weight-reduction in the aircraft and vehicles of the future – a key challenge for electrification.</b></p><p>Passenger aircraft need to be much lighter than they are today in order to be powered by electricity. A reduction in weight is also very important for vehicles in order to extend the driving distance per battery charge.</p> <p>Leif Asp, Professor of Material and Computational Mechanics at Chalmers University of Technology, conducts research into the ability of carbon fibres to perform more tasks than simply to act as a reinforcing material. They can store energy, for example.</p> <p>“A car body would then be not simply a load-bearing element, but also act as a battery,” he says. “It will also be possible to use the carbon fibre for other purposes such as harvesting kinetic energy, for sensors or for conductors of both energy and data. If all these functions were part of a car or aircraft body, this could reduce the weight by up to 50 percent.” </p> <p>Asp headed up a multidisciplinary group of researchers who recently published a study on how the microstructure of carbon fibres affects their electrochemical properties – that is, their ability to operate as electrodes in a lithium-ion battery. So far this has been an unexplored research field.</p> <p><img alt="Leif Asp carbon fibre" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/IMS/MoB/Leif%20Asp%20kolfiber%20webb.jpg" style="margin:10px 5px" /><br /><em>Leif Asp with a bobbin of carbon fibre yarn. The electrodes in a structural lithium ion battery consist of carbon fibre yarn arranged in a grid in a polymer (see illustration). Every length of yarn consists of 24,000 individual carbon fibres.</em> <br /><br /></p> <p>The researchers studied the microstructure of different types of commercially available carbon fibres. They discovered that carbon fibres with small and poorly oriented crystals have good electrochemical properties but a lower stiffness in relative terms. If you compare this with carbon fibres that have large, highly oriented crystals, they have greater stiffness, but the electrochemical properties are too low for use in structural batteries.</p> <p><br /><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/IMS/MoB/Kolfiberrulle_webb.jpg" width="298" height="447" alt="" style="margin:5px 10px" />We now know how multifunctional carbon fibres should be manufactured to attain a high energy storage capacity, while also ensuring sufficient stiffness,” Asp says. “A slight reduction in stiffness is not a problem for many applications such as cars. The market is currently dominated by expensive carbon fibre composites whose stiffness is tailored to aircraft use. There is therefore some potential here for carbon fibre manufacturers to extend their utilisation.”</p> <p>In the study the types of carbon fibre with good electrochemical properties had a slightly higher stiffness than steel, whereas the types whose electrochemical properties were poor are just over twice as rigid as steel.</p> <p>The researchers are collaborating with both the automotive and aviation industries. Leif Asp explains that for the aviation industry, it may be necessary to increase the thickness of carbon fibre composites, to compensate for the reduced stiffness of structural batteries. This would, in turn, also increase their energy storage capacity.</p> <p><br /> </p> <p><br />“The key is to optimise vehicles at system level – based on the weight, strength, stiffness and electrochemical properties. That is something of a new way of thinking for the automotive sector, which is more used to optimising individual components. Structural batteries may perhaps not become as efficient as traditional batteries, but since they have a structural load-bearing capability, very large gains can be made at system level.”</p> <p></p> <div> </div> <div>He continues, “In addition, the lower energy density of structural batteries would make them safer than standard batteries, especially as they would also not contain any volatile substances.”</div> <div><br /> </div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Read the article </h3> <p></p> <p></p> <div><a href="">Graphitic microstructure and performance of carbon fibre Li-ion structural battery electrodes</a> in the journal Multifunctional Materials.</div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">For more information, contact:</h3> <div>Leif Asp, Professor of Material and Computational Mechanics, Chalmers, +46 31 772 15, <a href=""><br /></a></div> <div><br /> </div> <div><em>Text: Johanna Wilde &amp; Marcus Folino</em></div> <div><em>Photo: Johan Bodell</em><br /></div> <p></p>Thu, 18 Oct 2018 07:00:00 +0200,-IMS.aspx,-IMS.aspxInternational award to Johan Malmqvist, IMS<p><b>Four questions to Johan Malmqvist, professor at the Department of Industrial and Materials Science, who recently received the Leonardo da Vinci Medal, awarded by the European Society for Engineering Education (SEFI).</b></p><strong> </strong><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>Congratulations Johan, this is a very honourable award, you must be proud?</strong></span><div> </div> <div>&quot;Yes, the Leonardo da Vinci medal is the highest award of SEFI. It is awarded once a year to a now living person who has contributed significantly to the development of engineering education at university level and made a difference internationally. So, of course, I am very proud!&quot;</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Did you get the medal for your efforts for the development of engineering education in general and your work in CDIO?</strong></div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;My background is in design research,  specifically methodology and IT support for product development. Thus, I am passionate about highlighting product development in engineering education. As part of this, I took part in starting the CDIO initiative, Conceive, Design, Implement, Operate (CDIO). CDIO is an international initiative aimed at developing a framework for the improvement and development of engineering education worldwide.&quot;</div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;Together with Ed Crawley (2000-2012) and Ron Hugo (2012-2017), I was one of two co-directors from the establishment of the CDIO Initiative from 2000 to 2017. During this period, the CDIO initiative grew from a project with universities as four founding partners to a global organization with over 140 cooperating institutions (see, for example, Malmqvist, Hugo &amp; Kjellberg, 2015). The annual international CDIO conference, which has run annually since 2005, usually attracts about 300 participants.&quot;</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Tell us more about CDIO</strong></div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;CDIO stands for &quot;Conceive, Design, Implement, Operate&quot; and it is actually a description of the product lifecycle. From identifying the needs of a product, planning what is going to be developed, creating the design, testing, manufacturing, using, maintaining and eventually recycling or retiring the product. Most engineers have a specialised role in one part of that process. You work as a designer, a production planner, a programmer, etc. But to be a good engineer you must be able to work with people throughout the product lifecycle. Having the understanding that the decisions I take can have consequences for others and how to best help others is essential. A CDIO education takes place in close collaboration with companies and society with the aim of preparing the students for their future engineering role, where they will in future be able to act as a driving force for a sustainable development.&quot;</div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;We started the CDIO initiative together with three other universities: Chalmers University of Technology, KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Linköping University, and MIT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States. The starting point was that engineering education had become increasingly distant from practical engineering work. The vision for the CDIO initiative was to train students who combine a deep understanding of the technical fundamentals with the ability to be able to take a leading role in the design, implementation, operation and maintenance of new products and processes.&quot;</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>What is your focus in the future?</strong></div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;I have recently stepped down as a dean of education for Chalmers MATS (Mechanical Engineering, Mechatronics and Automation, Industrial Design, and Maritime Engineering) education area. Now I have taken over as Head of the Product Development master programme and, of course, continue to work within the CDIO Initiative.&quot;</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Kate Larsson/Johan Malmqvist</div> <div><br /></div> <div>More about:</div> <div><br /></div> <div><div><div><a href="/en/staff/Pages/johan-malmqvist.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Johan Malmqvist​</a></div> <div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Leonardo Da Vinci medal to Johan Malmqvist </a></div> <div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />SEFI, European Society for Engineering Education </a></div> <div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" /></a></div> <div><a href="/en/education/programmes/masters-info/Pages/Product-Development.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Product Development, Master program</a></div></div> <div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Chalmers Master program​</a> </div></div> <div><br /></div> ​Thu, 18 Oct 2018 00:00:00 +0200 Commissioner curious about graphene<p><b>​EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström visited Chalmers to find out more about the research on graphene, the flagship project and industrial opportunities for Europe.</b></p>​During a visit to Gothenburg, Cecilia Malmström attended the MC2 Department at Chalmers, and heard more about the proceedings in one of the world's largest research projects, the Graphene Flagship.<br /><br />She was received by President Stefan Bengtsson, and Professor Jari Kinaret told her about the setup. He is responsible for coordinating around 1000 graphene researchers from 150 different partners in 20 countries.<br /><br />&quot;Brexit is one of the most important issues for us. Between 16 and 18 percent of the budget in the flagship project is allocated to research groups in Britain,&quot; said Jari Kinaret.<br /><br />Five years after the start of the project, more and more consumer products are released on the market with alleged graphene content – that is, carbon in single atomic layers with a characteristic hexagon shape that gives the material superior properties. Often sports products are said to be stronger or cooler through the use of graphene. But it's difficult to know how much graphene they actually contain, and what quality of graphene.<br /><br />&quot;I understand, standardisation and validation of what graphene really is, it's central now,&quot; said EU Commerce Commissioner Cecilia Malmström.<br /><br />The discussion was about which countries are ahead when it comes to different types of applications. Reinforced airplane wings, reinforced concrete, high speed electronics and graphene-coated boat hulls, which could make poisonous antifouling superfluous, were some examples around which the conversation circulated. Cecilia Malmström wanted to hear how graphene could help the climate.<br /><br />The visit was rounded up by an exciting visit to the clean room.<br /><br />Text: Christian Borg<br />Image: Johan Bodell<br />Fri, 12 Oct 2018 15:00:00 +0200 gather for a sustainable future<p><b>​On 23rd October, employees and students at Chalmers will gather to discuss sustainability challenges. The agenda includes research on climate change denial, the role of food for health and environment, overall discussions about Chalmers role in sustainable development, and much more.</b></p><div>​The program is based on the UN Global Sustainability Goals, Agenda 2030, and the theme of this year's event is Goal 3, Good Health and Wellbeing. Through the health theme we then link to several of the 17 global goals.</div> <div> </div> <div>Health and well-being are overall issues that are important to us as individuals, for Chalmers as an organisation, for Gothenburg, Sweden, other countries and the international community. The program presents some of Chalmers’ contributions to global health challenges, but we also bring up challenges related to our work and study environment.</div> <div> </div> <div>“Constant problematising and reflecting on sustainability is important and will be increasingly so. To see your own activities in relation to others, and as part of a larger picture, gives increased knowledge, new contacts and reflection about your own work. By stimulating different types of cooperation between researchers – ideas and priorities develop over time,” says Chalmers First Vice President Anna Dubois.</div> <div> </div> <div>In total, the program offers over 30 seminars, workshops and exhibitors and is divided into five parallel tracks: Sustainable Campus, Health and Healthcare, Sustainable Work/Student Life, Climate and Energy, and the University's role in society.</div> <div> </div> <div>In an introductory panel, we discuss health, well-being and sustainability and how global and Swedish trends can affect Chalmers’ role, responsibility and strategic development. Guests include key people from Chalmers management as well as experts in antibiotic resistance, health and organisational development.</div> <div>The day is rounded up with a presentation by the winners of Gothenburg international environment award (WinWin) 2018: Kalundborg Symbiosis from Denmark.</div> <div> </div> <div>Maria Grahn, Director of Chalmers Energy Area of Advance and host of this year’s Sustainability Day, gives her tips from the broad content.</div> <div> </div> <div>“Try the card game Klimatkoll, which helps you understand how our everyday life affects the climate, take part of seminars about the university's role in society, for example in a workshop on fake news, or learn about future sustainable biorefining concepts of seaweed, wood or by-products from industry that can provide products with significant health effects, such as pharmaceuticals, food ingredients and fine chemicals”, says Maria Grahn.</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>The Sustainability Day Program: <a href="/en/about-chalmers/Chalmers-for-a-sustainable-future/sustainability-day2018/Pages/default.aspx"></a> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">Highlights from the extensive program</h4> <div> </div> <div><strong>Track A: Sustainable campus</strong></div> <div>• Digital twin of Chalmers campus</div> <div>• The good life on campus</div> <div>• Come evaluate our campus areas</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Track B: Health and medical care</strong></div> <div>• Personalized healthy diets using algorithms – Fact, future or fiction?</div> <div>• What is a biorefining? Processes and products for better health</div> <div>• Loin, larvae or lentils – on eating for health and climate</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Track C: Sustainable work and student life</strong></div> <div>• A sustainable worklife – new approach on Chalmers based on latest research</div> <div>• Mental Health among students, how can Chalmers improve the work environment?</div> <div>• Gender Aspects of Sick Leave – How to Break the Patterns</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Track D: Climate and Energy</strong></div> <div>• Tools to Act on Climate</div> <div>• The circular economy, health and wellbeing</div> <div>• Climate change denial: challenges for sustainable development </div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Track E: University's role in society</strong></div> <div>• Fake news - gimmicks and pseudo science</div> <div>• What does sustainability mean at Chalmers?</div> <div>• What does Chalmers Sustainable education look like in the future?</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div>In addition, representatives from Gothenburg Center for Sustainable Development, Chalmersfastigheter, Akademiska Hus, Akademihälsan, Fysiken, Benify, Miljöbron, Globalpsykologerna and spinoff initiatives CarbonCloud and Svalna participate.</div>Fri, 12 Oct 2018 10:00:00 +0200 a safer driverless future<p><b>​The future of transport lies in autonomous vehicles and connected infrastructure, but how do we ensure the safety for all road users? At AstaZero, the full-scale test environment for future road safety just outside Borås in western Sweden, a multi-disciplinary innovation team has joined forces to find the answers to this.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">At the <a href="" target="_blank">AstaZero</a> test track, a mock-up of a city junction has been used to simulate a real-world traffic environment with both autonomous and manually-driven vehicles negotiating with each other and adjusting their speeds in a cross intersection.</span><div><br /></div> <div>The team – made up of innovators and researchers from Ericsson, Chalmers University of Technology, the University of Naples “Federico II” and AstaZero – have used 5G cellular network technology and distributed cloud to exchange safety-critical data between both autonomous and manually-driven vehicles and the road infrastructure.</div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/E2/Nyheter/På%20väg%20mot%20en%20säkrare%20förarlös%20framtid/Paolo_Falcone_350px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:200px;height:289px" /><br />“Collisions are avoided by arranging the vehicles within a virtual platoon and enforcing inter-vehicle distances such that both side and rear-end collisions are avoided”, says Paolo Falcone, Associate Professor in the Mechatronics research group at Chalmers.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Our task has been to develop algorithms for controlling the vehicles”, continues Paolo Falcone, who during the project has supervised a doctoral student and a master´s student from the University of Naples “Federico II”. “These algorithms have then been implemented on the vehicles by help of ReVeRe, Ericsson and AstaZero.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Most modern vehicles already have the cellular network technology required to transmit information like position and speed data, but restrictions of traditional radio networks prevent this data from being used in safety-critical applications like avoiding collision.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>By bringing the network much closer to the point of use and leveraging the low-latency power of edge computing, vehicles can communicate this data with each other rapidly and reliably, positioning themselves to avoid collision on the approach to a common intersection. This is opening the possibilities of a much smoother driverless transport network, as well as it is an excellent proof point for using the network in new ways. Not just to communicate, but to help us make better decisions and improve safety.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><div><strong>More about the research</strong></div> <div>The project was conducted from March to June 2018. The researchers had <a href=";" target="_blank">experience from a similar project</a>, but did everything from scratch since different control algorithms, communication technology and vehicle platforms were used.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read more about ”Building a safer driverless future at AstaZero” on</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>For information, contact</strong></div> <div><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/paolo-falcone.aspx">Paolo Falcone</a>, Associate Professor in the Mechatronics research group at the department of Electrical engineering at Chalmers </div> <div><br /></div></div>Thu, 11 Oct 2018 09:00:00 +0200 the causes of neurodegenerative diseases<p><b>We are living longer and longer and therefore more and more people are affected by neurodegenerative diseases. This year&#39;s William Chalmers lecture is given by Professor Pernilla Wittung-Stafshede who has dedicated her career to finding the answers to how brains become ill – and she has already come a long way towards better understanding. ​</b></p><div><div>Pernilla Wittung-Stafshede first started to be interested in how key molecules in the body work when she herself was a doctoral student at Chalmers. While doing her postdoc in the USA, she began to investigate how proteins in the body fold to globular shapes in order to function. During the last decade she has become interested in ‘bad’ proteins, probing the reasons they fold incorrectly, start to ‘clump’ together, and thereby cause diseases. </div> <div> “I want to understand, at the molecular level, why proteins become prone to fold incorrectly, which clumps of misfolded proteins are dangerous, and how this kills cells. If we know this, we could be able to prevent and cure illnesses like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and ALS,” she says. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="font-weight:700">The answer could lie in the gut</span></div> <div>Some of her discoveries connect to gut bacteria and what food we eat. For example, there is a protein common in fish that was found able to absorb and remove the wrongly-folded protein causing Parkinson, but so far only in the test tube.</div> <div> “We have also observed that in a mice model of Parkinson’s, mice with normal bacteria in the gut get Parkinson’s, but mice without gut germs are protected. This is a clear sign that Parkinson’s, and maybe even other neurodegenerative diseases, might actually start in the stomach and be influenced by what we eat. There is a lot to investigate here – not least when you consider that there are more bacteria in the gut than there are cells in our entire body!” she explains. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="font-weight:700">Metals play a role</span></div> <div>Early in her career, Pernilla Wittung-Stafshede laid the foundation for a new research direction – by looking at how metal-binding proteins fold and what specific role the metal played in the folding process. Nobody had looked at this before although almost half of our proteins bind a metal ion, and she made several ground-breaking discoveries. Furthermore, she was one of the first to start to mimic the crowded cellular environment in her test tube experiments, and it was found that this crowding effect was an important factor for protein properties. Pernilla’s combined interests in metals and misfolding of proteins may provide synergy in her future research, because metal levels in the brain are often disturbed in neurodegenerative disorders. For example, the level of copper is low in the brains of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s sufferers.</div> <div> “Those who suffer from neurodegenerative diseases often have too little copper in their brains, and they could potentially benefit from copper supplementation,” she says. &quot;However, this is controversial as copper may also be toxic.&quot;</div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="font-weight:700">Current medicines don’t address the problem directly</span></div> <div>Both a genuine curiosity and a desire to find cures for neurodegenerative diseases are what drive Pernilla Wittung-Stafshede to look further into protein misfolding mechanisms. For only with basic knowledge, will be able to develop a cure, or, even better, prevent the illnesses in the future. Today’s medicines do not attack the root of the problem, rather they simply improve neurological pathways short term.</div> <div>“My dream is to find something which offers a general solution to all protein-misfolding diseases” she says. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>At this year’s popular-science William Chalmers Lecture</strong>, Pernilla Wittung-Stafshede will speak more about her research, at the same time as we at Chalmers celebrate our birthday, on the 5th of November. We invite the public for cake and bubbles.  </div></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />​Please register before 30 October</a><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Helena Österling af Wåhlberg​</div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><div><strong>Pernilla Wittung-Stafshede…</strong></div> <div>…has been professor at the Department for Biology and Biotechnology and Head of the Division for Chemical Biology, since 2015. She leads a research group which focuses on metal-binding proteins and protein misfolding. Previously, she worked as professor at the universities of Rice and Tulane in the USA, as well as at Umeå university. She has published over 220 research articles.</div></div> <div><br /></div> Thu, 11 Oct 2018 00:00:00 +0200 catalysts with the help of fine-tuning at the atomic level<p><b>​​By studying materials down to the atomic level, researchers at Chalmers University of Technology have found a way to make catalysts more efficient and environmentally friendly. The results have been published in Nature Communications. The methods can be used to improve many different types of catalysts.​</b></p><div>Catalysts are materials which cause or accelerate chemical reactions. For most of us, our first thought is probably of catalytic converters in cars, but catalysts are used in a number of areas of society – it has been estimated that catalysts are used in the manufacture of more than 90 percent of all chemicals and fuels. No matter how they are used, catalysts operate through complex atomic processes. In the new study from Chalmers, physics researchers combined two approaches to add a new piece to the catalyst puzzle. They used advanced, high-resolution electron microscopy and new types of computer simulations.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;It is fantastic that we have managed to stretch the limits and achieve such precision with electron microscopy. We can see exactly where and how the atoms are arranged in the structure. By having picometre precision – that is, a level of precision down to one hundredths of an atom’s diameter – we can eventually improve the material properties and thus the catalytic performance,&quot; says Torben Nilsson Pingel, researcher at the Department of Physics at Chalmers and one of the authors of the scientific article.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Through this work, he and his colleagues have managed to show that picometre-level changes in atomic spacing in metallic nanoparticles affect catalytic activity. The researchers looked at nanoparticles of platinum using sophisticated electron microscopes in the Chalmers Material Analysis Laboratory. With method development by ​Andrew Yankovich, the researchers have been able to improve the accuracy and can now even reach sub-picometre precision. Their results now have broad implications.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;Our methods are not limited to specific materials but instead based on general principles that can be applied to different catalytic systems. As we can design the materials better, we can get both more energy-efficient catalysts and a cleaner environment,&quot; says Eva Olsson, Professor at the Department of Physics at Chalmers.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The work was carried out within the framework of the Competence Centre for Catalysis at Chalmers. In order to study how small changes in atomic spacing really affect the catalytic process, Mikkel Jørgensen and Henrik Grönbeck, PhD student and Professor at the Department of Physics respectively, performed advanced computer simulations at the national computing centre, located at Chalmers. Using the information from the microscope, they were able to simulate exactly how the catalytic process is affected by small changes in atomic distances.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“We developed a new method for making simulations for catalytic processes on nanoparticles. Since we have been able to use real values in our calculation model, we can see how the reaction can be optimised. Catalysis is an important technology area, so every improvement is a worthwhile advance – both economically and environmentally,” says Henrik Grönbeck.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: <span style="background-color:initial">M</span><span style="background-color:initial">ia </span><span style="background-color:initial">Hall</span><span style="background-color:initial">eröd</span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"> Palmgren, </span><span style="background-color:initial"><a href="">​</a></span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">and Joshua Worth,</span><a href=""> </a></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Image: Johan Bodell, <a href="">​</a></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/750x340/CMAL_181008_Eva_Henrik_mfl_PM_05_750x340.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br />Fine-tuning at the atomic level can result in better catalysts and a cleaner environment. Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology <span style="background-color:initial">have found a way to make catalysts more efficient and environmentally friendly.</span><span style="background-color:initial">  </span><span style="background-color:initial">Professor Henrik Grönbeck, </span><span style="background-color:initial">PhD Student Mikkel </span><span style="background-color:initial">Jørgensen, </span><span style="background-color:initial">Professor Eva Olsson, Doctor Torben Nilsson Pingel and </span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span><span style="background-color:initial">Doctor Andrew Yankovich </span><span style="background-color:initial">have managed to show that picometre-level changes in atomic spacing in metallic nanoparticles affect catalytic activity.</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span></div> <div></div> <span></span><div><span style="background-color:initial"></span></div> <div></div> <div><br /></div> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">About the scientific article</h5> <div>The article <a href="">&quot;Influence of atomic site-specific strain on catalytic activity of supported nanoparticles&quot; </a>has been published in Nature Communications, and is written by Torben Nilsson Pingel, Mikkel Jørgensen, Andrew B. Yankovich, Henrik Grönbeck and Eva Olsson at the Department of Physics and the Competence Centre for Catalysis, at Chalmers University of Technology.</div> <div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />A more accessible scientific article has also been published by the researchers in the journal Nanowerk. </a></div> <div><br /></div> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">More about the research infrastructure at Chalmers</h5> <div>The Chalmers Material Analysis Laboratory (CMAL) has advanced instruments for material research. The laboratory formally belongs to the Department of Physics, but is open to all researchers from universities, institutes and industry. The experiments in this study have been carried out using advanced and high-resolution electron microscopes - in this case, transmission electron microscopes (TEM). Major investments have recently been made, to further push the laboratory to the forefront of material research. In total, the investments are about 66 million Swedish kronor, of which the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation has contributed half.</div> <a href=""><div><br /></div> <div><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read a previous news article: <span style="background-color:initial">How to design smart materials for a sustainable future </span>​</div> <div><br /></div></a><a href=""><div><span><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" /></span>Read more about Chalmers Material Analysis Laboratory.​</div></a><div><br />​<a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read more about the Competence Centre for Catalysis at Chalmers. </a></div> <div><br /></div> <div>The computer simulations were performed at the Chalmers Centre for Computational Science and Engineering (C3SE), which is a centre for scientific and technical calculations at Chalmers. C3SE is one of six centres in the national metacentre, the Swedish National Infrastructure for Computing (SNIC).</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read more about Chalmers Centre for Computational Science and Engineering - C3SE​​</a><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">More about electron microscopy</h5> <div>Electron microscopy is a collective name for different types of microscopy, using electrons instead of electromagnetic radiation to produce images of very small objects. Using this technique makes it possible to study individual atoms. There are different types of electron microscopes, such as transmission electron microscopes (TEM), scanning transmission electron microscopes (STEM), scanning electron microscopes (SEM) and combined Focused Ion Beam and SEM (FIB-SEM). </div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/F/750x340/CMAL_181008_Eva_Henrik_titan06_750x340.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br />The experiments in this study have been carried out using advanced and high-resolution electron microscopes - in this case, transmission electron microscopes (TEM) at <span style="background-color:initial">Chalmers Material Analysis Laboratory</span><span style="background-color:initial">  in Gothenburg, Sweden. Image: Johan Bodell</span></div> <div><div> </div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4"><span>For more information, contact: </span></h4></div> <div><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Eva-Olsson.aspx">Eva Olsson</a><span style="background-color:initial">, Professor, Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, +46 31 772 32 47, </span><a href=""> </a><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Henrik-Gronbeck.aspx">Henrik Grönbeck</a>, Professor, Department of Physics, Competence Centre for Catalysis, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, +46 31 772 29 63,<a href="">​​​</a><span style="background-color:initial">​</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Read the press release and download high-resolution images. ​</a></div></span></div>Wed, 10 Oct 2018 01:00:00 +0200 interest when the Nobel Laureate visited Chalmers<p><b>​The Nobel Laureate Konstantin Novoselov attracted a large audience when visiting the initiative seminar &quot;2D materials beyond graphene&quot; at Chalmers on 2 October. Many came to Palmstedtsalen in the student union building to see and hear him talk about his work with graphene, often mentioned as a super-material.</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial">Ermin Malic, associate professor at the Department of Physics and director of the organizing Graphene Centre at Chalmers (GCC), introduced Novoselov shortly:</span><br /></div> <div>&quot;It is a great pleasure to welcome such a prominent guest. I am sure you all know Konstantin and are very familiar with his work,&quot; he said.</div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/KonstantinNovoselov_181002_03_665x330.jpg" alt="Picture of Konstantin Novoselov." style="margin:5px" /><br /><span style="background-color:initial">Konstantin Novoselov, professor at the University of Manchester, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics 2010 for his achievements with the novel material graphene. He has visited Chalmers before, not least in conjunction with the large inaugauration of the major Graphene Flagship a few years ago. On 2 October, he opened the intitative seminar &quot;2D materials beyond graphene&quot; with a lecture entitled &quot;van der Waals heterostructures&quot;.</span><br /></div> <div>&quot;A lot of work has already been done with Chalmers, but what I am going to talk about today is more the story beyond graphene, where we are heading now towards other 2D materials and even towards the heterostructures. The reason for why we pay so much attention to graphene is because it has a number of characteristics which each of them makes this material very interesting. That's why we have the Graphene Flagship&quot;, said Konstantin Novoselov.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/KonstantinNovoselov_181002_02_350x305.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Picture of Konstantin Novoselov." style="margin:5px" />In his lecture, Konstantin Novoselov provided a history of the graphene subject and an update of the current situation and future of the material.</div> <div>&quot;The most active direction during the last years has been the research in so-called 2d ferromagnetic materials. This is important because we need to distinguish the difference between space dimensionality and spin dimensionality&quot;, said Konstantin Novoselov.</div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">The Nobel Laureate saw a bright future where the development pushes for new experiments that are not feasible today, something he called as science fiction. Among other things he talked about new crystallines and naturally occurring heterostructures:</span><br /></div> <div>&quot;It sounds like science fiction that we can do it and that's why it's really surprising to see what kind of quality it will be of the stacks and what infrastructures we can achieve. But it just don't come for free, you just don't stack those crystals and they give you nice interfaces. Behind this is a quite specific process&quot;, said Konstantin Novoselov.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/vpalermo_IMG_20181002_095503_300x180.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="Picture of Vincenzo Palermo." style="margin:5px" />Vincenzo Palermo (to the left), Professor of graphene composite materials at the Department of Industrial and Materials Science, and Vice Director of the Graphene Flagship, was very distinct with the future possibilities for graphene and spoke warmly about commercial products containing the material and already are available on the market. In his lecture, &quot;Applications of 2D materials in a 3-dimensional world&quot;, he mentioned everything from tennis rackets and lightweight clothing, to headphones with amazing jaw-dropping sound and – lasagna! However, it was somewhat unclear how close to realization in time the latter is.</div> <div>&quot;It has gone unusually fast. Research began as early as 2004, and by 2010, the first commercial products were developed,&quot; said Vincenzo Palermo.</div> <div>At the same time, he raised a warning finger for fake products riding the graphene wave, claiming to be graphene-based without sufficient coverage for it:</div> <div>&quot;It does not mean the products are bad, but they need to be carefully analyzed to know if they are serious,&quot; said Vincenzo Palermo.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/yury_gogotski_IMG_20181002_103633_300x180.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Picture of Yury Gogotsi." style="margin:5px" />Among the speakers were also the Nobel Prize tipped Russian material researcher Yury Gogotsi (to the right), Professor at Drexel University in Philadelphia, USA. He participated with a lecture on his groundbreaking battery research, entitled &quot;Metallically Conducting Carbides and Nitrides (MXenes) Enable New Technologies&quot;.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Over 100 participants were registered for the seminar; an obvious sign that the subject still has the potential to attract interest. A broad audience sat down in Palmstedtsalen; from students to researchers, public and entrepreneurs.</div> <div>We met a visitor in the crowd and asked for a review. In particular, hen had come to listen to the lecture of Konstantin Novoselov:</div> <div>&quot;Novoselov was a great speaker with an unusual ability to popularize his research and make it interesting. Grapehene is clearly a vivid research topic under constant development&quot;, hen said.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The seminar provided an intense program with a total of 18 invited speakers from Europe and USA; among them Frank Koppens, Instituto de Ciencias Fotónicas (ICFO), Spain, Paulina Plochocka and Bernhard Urbaszek, Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), France, Thomas Müller, Vienna University, Austria, Kristian Thygesen, Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU), Danmark, and Miriam Vitiello, National Research Council, Italy. Chalmers was represented by Timur Shegai, Department of Physics, Saroj Dash, Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience – MC2 – and Vincenzo Palermo, Department of  Industrial and Materials Science.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>There was also a poster session, which many participants took the opportunity to watch.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Every year, the Excellence Initiative Nano has a topical event under the title Initiative Seminar. This year, the seminar was organized by the Graphene Center, which is an umbrella for all research at Chalmers on atomically thin 2D materials. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The centre director Ermin Malic were very satisfied with the seminar:</div> <div>&quot;It provided a fantastic overview of the outstanding characteristics and the promising technological potential of 2D materials. I hope that this could give a push at Chalmers to investigate 2D materials beyond graphene&quot;, he says.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The seminar was organized by an ambitious quartet consisting of Ermin Malic, Cristina Andersson, Susannah Carlsson and Debora Perlheden.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Michael Nystås</div> <div>Photo: Johan Bodell</div> <div>Photo of Yury Gogotsi and Vincenzo Palermo: Michael Nystås</div>Mon, 08 Oct 2018 09:00:00 +0200 thesis led to conductive thread<p><b>​The two master students, Sozan Darabi and Sandra Hultmark, doing their Master thesis in Professor Christian Müller’s research group at Chalmers, developed an electrically conductive thread that they then wove into a keyboard with help from a handicraft association in Gothenburg. Now they publish their results in the magazine Advanced Materials Technologies.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">The wire is completely free from metal. It consists of silk dyed with an electrically conductive plastic. The researchers have developed a &quot;dye&quot; for textiles that both dyes fabrics and threads beautifully blue, while at the same time making them electrically conductive. The electrically conductive component is a kind of polymer or plastic which, when dissolved in water, has a low pH which makes it firmly stick on silk. This makes the threads withstand both abrasion and washing after staining.</span><p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">The textile takes a step closer to smart clothes with built-in features, without metals or other materials that affect the feeling of fabric. The thread could also be used for embroidered circuit boards in fabric.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">“With an electrically conductive silk wire comes new possibilities for designing textile electronics, which can be used for, for example,  pulse and movement sensors, fully integrated in clothing. One can also imagine sewing a keyboard that can easily be rolled up and put in the pocket”, says Dr. Anja Lund, who is part of the Christian Müller research group.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">In order to successfully weave the thread into a fabric, Chalmers went to the handicraft association Göteborgs Hemslöjdsförening, because of their good looms and great weaving experience.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">“The handicraft association has been crucial for this project, since we have had to combine new materials with traditional crafts. We also have machine-embroidered electrically conductive patterns out of the wire, with help from the company ACG Nyström in Borås. It is a very nice thing to be able to use local knowledge in our work, &quot;says Anja Lund.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB">The researchers now want to move on and combine the conductivity in the thread with their previous research findings, where they developed textiles that generate electricity from heat. Together, this could lead to smart clothes that use the body heat to support the features with electricity.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-GB"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Text and image: Mats Tiborn​</p> Mon, 08 Oct 2018 00:00:00 +0200 champion teaches you how to remember<p><b>​What do a cake, a ghost and a helmet have in common? Well, they represent the first nine decimals of pi. At least, that’s according to Jonas von Essen, student at Chalmers University of Technology and two-time world champion in memory. On October 6-7, the Swedish championship in memory 2018 is held and here Jonas explains how you can learn to remember.</b></p><p>Six years ago, Jonas von Essen had no idea that he would become a two-time world champion in memory. He even says that he had quite a bad memory. Thanks to a book on memory techniques he found at the library, Jonas started to get interested in the subject and only three months later, he won the Swedish championship in memory. One year after that he became world champion. How did this happen?<br /><br />“Once I had found this book I started practicing different memory techniques. I looked up the different Swedish records in memory and became very motivated to try to beat them. I managed to succeed and then wanted to aim higher. On the way, I’ve met many interesting people, it was a new and fascinating world that opened up to me.” <br /> </p> <div><br /></div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">Wants to share the knowledge</h4> <p>Jonas von Essen is currently studying his third year in the program information technology at Chalmers University of Technology. After his bachelor’s degree he plans to do his master’s degree in learning and leadership and he wants to use his education and his ability to remember to teach the techniques to others.<br /><br />“These memory techniques have changed my life and my view on learning. I’m much more motivated to learn things now because I know I’ll remember it. Previously, I could learn something and a week later, it would be gone. If I use the memory techniques, I know that the information will stick. That way, it feels like I’m building a whole mountain of knowledge. I want to share this with as many people as possible.” </p> <p><br /></p> <p></p> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">Memory palaces are the key</h4> <div>Jonas explains that the secret to remembering is a so called memory palace. During the spring of 2018, Jonas participated in the program “Sweden’s got Talent” where he memorised 50,000 decimals of pi. He managed to do this by converting all three-digit numbers into images using a digit alphabet based on the different numbers’ sounds. The first three pi-decimals together create the Swedish word for “cake”, the next three create the word “ghost” and after that the word “helmet”.  Jonas then place these images on a long walk in his head on a location he knows well, like his hometown of Skövde or the buildings on Chalmers campus.<br /><br />“You don’t necessarily have to be a creative person to succeed with these techniques. It’s more about getting into that specific way of thinking. Once you’ve learned to do that, you can practice in becoming faster and faster at remembering the different images. Of course, not everyone can become world champion in memory, but I’m convinced that everyone can get an extremely good memory with the help of memory techniques.” <br /><br /> </div> <h4 class="chalmersElement-H4">Aiming at a new world record</h4> <div>The first weekend in October, the Swedish championship in memory is being held at Chalmers. Jonas will be at the championship, helping out with the competitions, but he will not himself participate in this year’s championship. He is instead focusing on trying to beat the world record in remembering pi-decimals. The person with the current record can recite more than 70,000 decimals in a row and Jonas has the goal of reaching 100,000 decimals. However, it is not only the extensive memory training that is part of the challenge. It is also very demanding physically.<br /><br />“You must recite all decimals in a row in one sitting, and for this many decimals it might take up to 20 hours. You just have to continue to recite the numbers and manage not to fall asleep during that time. That means there is also a lot of physical exercise required to manage to do this. We’ll see if it works!&quot; </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The Swedish championship 2018 will take place 6–7 October at Chalmers campus Johanneberg.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Text:</strong> Sophia Kristensson<br /></div> <p></p>Fri, 05 Oct 2018 09:00:00 +0200 knowledge paves way to sustainable production<p><b>Atomic characterization of bacterial enzymes that cleave important bonds in plant biomass have been made for the very first time. This knowledge provides improved tools for a sustainable production of fuels and chemicals.</b></p>​Biomass from forests and agriculture can be used in fossil-free production of biofuels, environmentally friendly chemicals and different kind of materials. However, the raw material is hard to deconstruct into the simple sugars needed for production. The plant cell walls are built to be recalcitrant, a necessary property for survival in nature.<br /><br />One way to deconstruct wood or other types of plant biomass, is to use enzymes, which in nature work as molecular scissors. Researchers from the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology, together with the University of Copenhagen, have taken a closer look at the features of one specific group of enzymes with big potential.<br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/Bio/Profilbilder/johan%20170.jpg" alt="Johan Larsbrink" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px" /><br />–    A factor that strongly complicates the deconstruction of the carbohydrate chains in plant cell wall to simple sugars, is a polymer called lignin, says Johan Larsbrink, Assistant Professor at the Division of Industrial Biotechnology.<br /><br />The long carbohydrate chains stick together because of the lignin, which works as an adhesive.<br /><br />–   In some places of the cell wall, the lignin and carbohydrates not just stick together – they are directly connected by so-called covalent chemical bonds. If we cleave these bonds, the overall deconstruction would be simplified, since the entire plant cell wall network would be weakened, one could say.<br /><br />This is where enzymes come into play. By using nature’s own scissors, the production chain can be made more sustainable, effective and, most likely, cheaper.<br /><br />The enzymes that are able to cleave bonds between carbohydrates and lignin are called Glucuronoyl Esterases, or GEs. The vast majority of previous studies have focused on enzymes from fungi, but the knowledge about this type of enzyme is still very limited. Johan Larsbrink’s group have studied ten GEs from three different bacterial species, instead of fungi.<br /><br />–    We chose to focus on bacterial enzymes since they have a much larger diversity than the fungal counterparts, and basically no studies of these had been made. We characterized the enzymes biochemically on model substrates, and managed to solve their 3D structures on the atomic level. This means that we get an extremely detailed picture of how they work. They are designed for their purpose in nature, so there’s a lot to be learned by this, he says.<br />–    We can also gain new knowledge about the plant cell wall itself by studying the enzymes. It’s like learning about the features of a hand by looking at the design of a glove.<br /><br />Results from the study suggest that the GEs interact with lignin, which was somewhat surprising.<br /><br />–    Most of enzymes acting on carbohydrates are specific for those well-defined structures, while lignin has a more or less random structure that enzymes find hard to handle, Johan Larsbrink explains.<br />–    To see how the enzymes may interact simultaneously with both carbohydrates and lignin makes sense, but it is a unique finding.<br /><br />The research group also tested their enzymes on corn cob biomass, which is a common waste product in agriculture. They used an enzyme cocktail without GEs, and observed what happened after addition of their GE enzymes. The results were dramatic:<br /><br />–    With GEs in the mix, the amount of free sugars was greatly increased. With these results, we are able to conclude that GE enzymes really make a huge contribution in cleaving bonds that are of high importance in the plant cell wall.<br /><div class="ms-rtestate-read ms-rte-wpbox"><div class="ms-rtestate-notify ms-rtestate-read bd550792-e447-40f0-9185-872e9ac10fa9" id="div_bd550792-e447-40f0-9185-872e9ac10fa9"></div> <div id="vid_bd550792-e447-40f0-9185-872e9ac10fa9" unselectable="on" style="display:none"></div></div> <br /><br />Text: Mia Malmstedt<br />Photo: Johan Larsbrink (enzyme model), Silvia Hüttner<br />Thu, 04 Oct 2018 16:00:00 +0200–-guiding-the-building-sector-on-the-UN-2030-agenda.aspx 2020 – guiding the building sector on the UN 2030 agenda<p><b>​ Gothenburg, Sweden, will be hosting BEYOND 2020, the World Sustainable Built Environment Conference, in June 2020. The mission of this large event is to engage the global building sector and set up a roadmap of actions as a guide on how to best contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The dialogue has already started on the web.</b></p><div>​The World Sustainable Built Environment Conference is held every three years and is considered to be one of the world’s most important conferences and forums in the field of sustainable built environment. The next conference will be held in Gothenburg, Sweden, in June 2020, hosted by Chalmers University of Technology and <a href="">RISE Research Institutes of Sweden</a> in collaboration with <a href="">Johanneberg Science Park</a> and City of Gothenburg. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The mission of the conference is to link the global building sector to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and to define its role towards the achievement of 2030 objectives, by setting up a roadmap of actions that will guide the whole sector during the years between 2020 and 2030, and thus ‘beyond’ 2020. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>- The conference is a unique opportunity for us to present Chalmers, Gothenburg and all of Sweden, and specifically our way of addressing issues related to sustainable built environment through projects taking shape here and now&quot;, says Holger Wallbaum, Professor in Sustainable building and conference owner.  </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Kristina Mjörnell, VP Sustainable Cities and Communities at RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, who will chair the conference organization committee for the conference together with Holger Wallbaum, adds:  </div> <div>- This world conference will give us the opportunity to show how RISE contributes to a sustainable built environment, with a multi-disciplinary perspective as research and innovation partner for industry, academia, SME and the public sector.&quot; </div> <div><br /></div> <h5 class="chalmersElement-H5">The BEYOND 2020 conference website is now launched</h5> <div>
Chalmers University of Technology and RISE Research Institutes of Sweden are proud to announce the launch of the <a href="">BEYOND 2020 conference website</a>. Let the discussion on the web and in social media begin!<br />The website gives an overview of the conference, from many different perspectives and with a strong focus on its core theme, Sustainable Development Goals – most importantly SDG #11: Sustainable Cities and Communities. This website is the starting point of a journey towards quality discussions and knowledge sharing during an extremely rich range of session formats that will be offered at the actual the conference.</div> <div><br />Together with the related social media channels, this website also aims at being an exchange platform and a communication channel for those interested. BEYOND 2020 can be found and followed on:</div> <div><br /><span>LinkedIn:<span> </span></span><a href="" target="_blank"><span></span></a><br /><span>Twitter:</span><a href="" target="_blank"><span><span> </span></span></a><br /><span>Facebook:<span> </span></span><a href="" target="_blank"><span></span></a><br /><span>Youtube:<span> </span></span><a href="" target="_blank"><span></span></a><br /><span>Newsletter:<span> </span></span><a href="" target="_blank"><span></span></a><br /><br /><strong>For more information, please contact:
</strong><br />Silvia Caggiati, Communication Manager BEYOND 2020, Chalmers University of Technology, 
 <a href=""><span>
</span></a></div> <div>Susanne Gerdin, Head of Communication, Built environment and Certification, RISE Research Institutes of Sweden,
 <a href=""><span></span></a></div> <div>Karin Weijdegård, Communication Manager, Johanneberg Science Park,  <a href=""><span>
</span></a></div> <div>
Annika Hallman, Gothenburg Convention Bureau, Göteborg &amp; Co, <a href=""><span></span></a><br /><br /></div> Wed, 03 Oct 2018 09:00:00 +0200 energy system saves heat from the summer sun for winter<p><b>​A research group from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, has made great, rapid strides towards the development of a specially designed molecule which can store solar energy for later use. These advances have been presented in four scientific articles this year, with the most recent being published in the highly ranked journal Energy &amp; Environmental Science.</b></p>​<span>A research group from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, has made great, rapid strides towards the development of a specially designed molecule which can store solar energy for later use. These advances have been presented in four scientific articles this year, with the most recent being published in the highly ranked journal Energy &amp; Environmental Science. <br /></span><br />Around a year ago, the research team presented a molecule that was capable of storing solar energy. The molecule, made from carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen, has the unique property that when it is hit by sunlight, it is transformed into an energy-rich isomer – a molecule which consists of the same atoms, but bound together in a different way.<br /><br />This isomer can then be stored for use when that energy is later needed – for example, at night or in winter. It is in a liquid form and is adapted for use in a solar energy system, which the researchers have named MOST (Molecular Solar Thermal Energy Storage). In just the last year, the research team have made great advances in the development of MOST. <br /><br />“The energy in this isomer can now be stored for up to 18 years. And when we come to extract the energy and use it, we get a warmth increase which is greater than we dared hope for,” says the leader of the research team, Kasper Moth-Poulsen, in Nano Materials Chemistry at Chalmers.<img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Generell/Nyheter/Utsläppsfritt%20energisystem/KasperMoth-Poulsen_180913_07_3000px.jpg" alt="Professor Kasper Moth-Poulsen holding a tube containing the catalyst, in front of the ultra-high vacuum setup that was used to m" width="4114" height="2742" style="height:181px;width:272px;margin:5px" /><br /><br />The research group have developed a catalyst for controlling the release of the stored energy. The catalyst acts as a filter, through which the liquid flows, creating a reaction which warms the liquid by 63 centigrades.  If the liquid has a temperature of 20°Celsius when it pumps through the filter, it comes out the other side at 83°Celsius. At the same time, it returns the molecule to its original form, so that it can be then reused in the warming system.<br /><br />During the same period, the researchers also learned to improve the design of the molecule to increase its storage abilities so that the isomer can store energy for up to 18 years. This was a crucial improvement, as the focus of the project is primarily chemical energy storage. <div><div><br />Furthermore, the system was previously reliant on the liquid being partly composed of the flammable chemical toluene. But now the researchers have found a way to remove the potentially dangerous toluene and instead use just the energy storing molecule. <br /><br />Taken together, the advances mean that the energy system MOST now works in a circular manner. First, the liquid captures energy from sunlight, in a solar thermal collector on the roof of a building. Then it is stored at room temperature, leading to minimal energy losses. When the energy is needed, it can be drawn through the catalyst so that the liquid heats up. It is envisioned that this warmth can then be utilised in, for example, domestic heating systems, after which the liquid can be sent back up to the roof to collect more energy – all completely free of emissions, and without damaging the molecule. <br /><br />“We have made many crucial advances recently, and today we have an emissions-free energy system which works all year around,” says Kasper Moth-Poulsen. <br /><br />The solar thermal collector is a concave reflector with a pipe in the centre. It tracks the sun’s path across the sky and works in the same way as a satellite dish, focusing the sun’s rays to a point where the liquid leads through the pipe. It is even possible to add on an additional pipe with normal water to combine the system with conventional water heating. <br /><br />The next steps for the researchers are to combine everything together into a coherent system. </div> <div>“There is a lot left to do. We have just got the system to work. Now we need to ensure everything is optimally designed,” says Kasper Moth-Poulsen.<br /><br />The group is satisfied with the storage capabilities, but more energy could be extracted, Kasper believes. He hopes that the research group will shortly achieve a temperature increase of at least 110<span style="background-color:initial">°</span><span style="background-color:initial">Celsius and thinks the technology could be in commercial use within 10 years. </span></div> <span></span><div></div> <div><span><strong><br />More on: the advances behind the four scientific publications </strong></span></div> <div style="font-size:10px"><span><strong>The research group has published four scientific articles on their breakthroughs around the energy system during 2018.</strong></span></div> <div style="font-size:10px"><span><strong>1.</strong></span><span style="white-space:pre"><span><strong> </strong></span></span><span><strong>Removing the need for toluene to be mixed with the molecule. Liquid Norbornadiene Photoswitches for Solar Energy Storage in the journal Advanced Energy Materials.</strong></span></div> <div style="font-size:10px"><span><strong>2.</strong></span><span style="white-space:pre"><span><strong> </strong></span></span><span><strong>Increasing energy density and storage times. Molecular Solar Thermal Energy Storage in photoswitch oligomers increases energy densities and storage times in the journal Nature Communications.</strong></span></div> <div style="font-size:10px"><span><strong>3.</strong></span><span style="white-space:pre"><span><strong> </strong></span></span><span><strong>Achieving energy storage of up to 18 years. Norbornadiene-based photoswitches with exceptional combination of solar spectrum match and long-term energy storage in Chemistry: A European Journal.</strong></span></div> <div style="font-size:10px"><span><strong>4.</strong></span><span style="white-space:pre"><span><strong> </strong></span></span><span><strong>New record in how efficiently heating can be done. The liquid can increase 63C in temperature. Macroscopic Heat Release in a Molecular Solar Thermal Energy Storage System in the journal Energy and Environmental Science.</strong></span></div> <div><span style="font-size:10px"></span><br /></div></div>Wed, 03 Oct 2018 07:00:00 +0200