News: Research Scientist profilehttp://www.chalmers.se/sv/nyheterNews related to Chalmers University of TechnologyMon, 27 Jun 2022 22:11:50 +0200http://www.chalmers.se/sv/nyheterhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/-”School-collaboration-important-part-of-research”-.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/-%E2%80%9DSchool-collaboration-important-part-of-research%E2%80%9D-.aspx ”School collaboration important part of research” <p><b>​“Research should be a part of society and not stay within the walls of the university. School collaboration is important to achieve this”, says Marie Palmnäs, postdoc at the Division of Food and Nutrition Science at Chalmers.She and five colleagues have therefor initiated an interactive event focused on nutrition research and diet intervention studies in the school program at the International Science Festival in Gothenburg. </b></p><p class="chalmersElement-P">​<img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/Bio/Food/Marie-Palmnas-340x400px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Marie Palmnäs" style="margin:10px;width:240px;height:282px" /><span style="background-color:initial">&quot;With </span><a href="https://www.vetenskapsfestivalen.se/for-skolklasser/halsosam-mat-och-koststudier/5736/">this event </a><span style="background-color:initial">we hope to increase the students' interest in biology or other fields in natural science and at the same time show how complex, varied and rewarding research process actually is”, says </span><strong style="background-color:initial">Marie Palmnäs</strong><span style="background-color:initial">.</span></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Informing and interacting with society is part of the researchers', doctoral students’ as well as professors’, mission. It can be difficult, though, to find the right arenas for outreach - especially during the pandemic when the physical meetings have been scarce.</p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial">“There is always a risk that we, especially as young researchers focus too much on our own projects and miss the bigger picture. For successful outreach, our research must be put in context. It can be very helpful and rewarding to meet different target groups, in this case high school students, to adapt the communication to them and listen to their questions and opinions”, says Marie Palmnäs.</span></p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span>Simulation of research project </span></h2> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">During the event at the Science Festival, she and five doctoral students, Elise Nordin, Sebastian Åberg, Thérése Hjorth, Olle Hartvigsson and Viktor Skantze, will let 15-year-old high school students experience a simulation of a research project. They will start with the set-up of a clinical study, do laboratory work, and finally analyse and discuss the data that has been collected. The event is based on an internationally recognised <a href="/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/For-IBS,-specific-diets-are-less-important-than-expected.aspx">IBS project​</a>, but in a concentrated format. </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“We also want to show the wide range within the area of nutrition; that there are many different tasks and people needed within a project, spanning from nutritionists to data analysts, and how we bring these fundamentally different parts of the project together. This event might also broaden the students’ image of Chalmers. It may not be generally known that we conduct research in food and nutrition science at the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering”, says Marie Palmnäs.</p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Contribute to society <span></span><span>​</span><span>− strong driving force for researchers​</span></h2> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">In times of fake news and research being questioned in public discussions, the researchers behind the event hope that students will gain a little more knowledge about the solid and rigorous process behind a research result.</p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“We are involved in countless discussions about the set-up of each project and how to interpret and communicate the results. Our projects go through ethical assessments, are evaluated alongside other projects to (hopefully) get funding and the papers are extensively reviewed prior to submission. We want the students to understand how much goes into each research study <span style="background-color:initial">–</span><span style="background-color:initial"> and that we base our knowledge on results and experiences from years of prior research. Our research may, in turn, be something other researchers can base their studies on and that we can base new innovations, dietary guidelines etc. from.  In this way, we contribute to society, which I believe is a strong driving force for most researchers,” says Marie Palmnäs.</span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">The event can inspire other researchers</h2> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">The Department of Biology and Biological Engineering, where the researchers behind the event work, actively supports school collaboration and outreach to the society.  </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“We have received a lot of support from the department, and we see this event as a pilot project that can both inspire and guide other researchers in all the divisions at the department.”</p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><strong>Text:</strong> Susanne Nilsson Lindh</p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><br /></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Meet researchers from the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering at the Science Festival</h2> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"> </h2> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span><strong>P</strong></span><span><strong>UBLIC PROGRAM</strong></span></p> <p><strong>Wednesday 4 May</strong></p> <a href="https://www.vetenskapsfestivalen.se/for-alla/researchers-driving-force-the-unknown/5537/"><p>Researchers' Driving Force <span style="font-weight:300">–</span> the Unknown</p> </a><p><span style="background-color:initial">Inter</span><span style="background-color:initial">view: Acclaimed researchers about possible future discoveries.</span><br /></p> <p><br /></p> <p><strong>Thursday 5 May </strong><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>–</strong></span><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>Sunday 8 May</strong></span></p> <span></span><p></p> <strong> </strong><a href="https://www.vetenskapsfestivalen.se/for-alla/bla-mat-framtidens-sjomat/5769/"><p>Blå mat <span style="background-color:initial">​</span><span style="background-color:initial">−</span><span style="background-color:initial"> framtidens sjömat</span></p> <p><span style="background-color:initial;color:rgb(0, 0, 0);font-weight:300">Exhibition</span><br /></p></a><p><br /></p> <p><strong>Friday 6 May</strong></p> <strong> </strong><a href="https://www.vetenskapsfestivalen.se/for-alla/scientific-research-pipeline-in-cancer-studies/5633/"><p>Scientific Research Pipeline in Cancer Studies</p> </a><p>Lecture: The new approaches of performing research in different steps of dealing with cancer.</p> <a href="https://www.vetenskapsfestivalen.se/for-alla/evolution-in-yeast-using-crispr-technology/5643/"><p><span style="background-color:initial">Evolution in Yeast using CRISPR Technology</span><br /></p> </a><p>Lecture: Evolution is the main way to get genes with novel properties and CRISPR can act as an evolution tool.</p> <a href="https://www.vetenskapsfestivalen.se/for-alla/havets-hallbara-protein/5763/"><p>Havets hållbara protein</p> </a><p>Lecture </p> <p><br /></p> <p><strong>Lördag 7 maj</strong></p> <strong> </strong><a href="https://www.vetenskapsfestivalen.se/for-alla/how-can-we-eat-seaweed/5616/"><p><span style="background-color:initial">How Can We Eat Seaweed?</span><br /></p> </a><p>Lecture: Join us to know more about seaweed or try delicious seaweed treats!</p> <p><br /></p> <p><strong>Sön 8 maj</strong></p> <strong> </strong><a href="https://www.vetenskapsfestivalen.se/for-alla/a-peek-into-the-microworld-with-foldscope/5641/"><p>A Peek into the Microworld with Foldscope</p> </a><span style="background-color:initial">Workshop: Make your o</span><span style="background-color:initial">wn paper origami microscopes 'foldscopes' and explore the microworld with us.</span><div><br /><span style="background-color:initial"></span><div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>Read more about: </strong><a href="/en/departments/bio/society-industry/utilisation/Pages/default.aspx">collaboration at the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering​</a></span></div> <br /><div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p></div></div>Tue, 19 Apr 2022 13:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/materials/news/Pages/Get-more-out-of-the-forest-with-better-processes.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/areas-of-advance/materials/news/Pages/Get-more-out-of-the-forest-with-better-processes.aspxGet more out of the forest with better processes<p><b>​Man has always lived on and off the forest. Today Sweden is one of the world's most important producers of products from forest raw materials. The Wallenberg Wood Science Center now receives an additional SEK 380 million for wood research with the goal of creating new material and making the processes more sustainable and energy efficient.​</b></p>​<img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/KB/Kemiteknik/Hans%20Theliander.jpg" alt="Hans Theliander" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px" /><span style="background-color:initial">“The grant is a fantastic thing. We have been working with the center for almost 15 years. This means that you get an additional number of years to work with these things and expand the portfolio”, says Hans Theliander, professor of Forest Products and Chemical Engineering at Chalmers, and one of the researchers at Chalmers who has been with the Wallenberg Wood Science Center since the start in 2009.<br /><br /></span><div><strong>In his head</strong> he has a sequence for how the wood material of the forest can be used better. Think about reusing each carbon molecule 40 to 50 times before turning it into carbon dioxide. In the future, the forest industry will be far more than planks and paper.</div> <div>“In a first step, different sawn products can be manufactured and used for different purposes for several years. It can be, for example, in buildings or furniture. Then you can use the wood material in these products to produce pulp fibers, for example you can use it to make paper packaging or writing materials - when you have circulated the fiber material a number of times and the quality of the fibers is no longer as good, you could pick out nanocomponents and make different materials of nanocellulose which in many cases can replace today's plastic materials, circulate these a number of times to then extract cellulose polymers and make various textile materials, for example viscose”.<br /><br /></div> <div><strong>“I'm not done with that,</strong> says Hans Theliander, after this you can pick out the sugar molecules that are in the textile cellulose-based materials, and ferment to ethanol, a raw material for several different chemicals, not least fuel. I can take several other examples. We must start thinking in that way to make the most of the forest in the future. But then it is important to adapt the processes and material types. Future researchers have something to do here”, says Hans Theliander.</div> <div>Already today, the sawmills and pulp mills, has a good start to a sequential order In the sawmills, which are the important thing, it is sawn up to become planks. The residual streams from sawmills in form of sawmill chips together with thinning wood from manage of the forest, can go to the pulp mills. Add to this the extensive paper recycling, and we already have the first steps. But it is of course important to expand this. The Wallenberg Wood Science Center was started in 2009. The focus is on basic research that aims to develop knowledge as a basis for a new generation of innovative materials from trees.<br /><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/Bio/Profilbilder/Lisbeth_Olsson_2017.jpg" alt="Lisbeth Olsson" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" style="margin:5px" /><strong>“Sometime in 2008</strong>, the Wallenberg Foundation held a large workshop with researchers from several subject areas on forest renewal. After that, an announcement was made in the area addressed to the universities. The result was a center between KTH and Chalmers University of Technology. Later, Linköping University would join. It was a ten-year venture. This is how the Wallenberg Wood Science Center was started”, says Lisbeth Olsson, professor of Industrial Biotechnology, who together with Hans Theliander and Paul Gatenholm, professor of Biopolymer Technology, is the initiator of the center at Chalmers.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>“The philosophy </strong>at Wallenberg Wood Science Center is to develop milder process methods so that you can retain more of the structure of lignin and hemicellulose, based on building new materials where the inherent properties of the wood are utilized. The goal is to make the entire manufacturing process more energy efficient. An example of this is drainage. When to get the fiber out - it is a solid material you should have in the end. That process is enormously energy-intensive, this is what Hans Theliander works with”, says Lisbeth Ohlsson.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Hans Theliander's track record as a researcher and innovator in the sulphate factory's recycling processes is long. In recent years, he has worked with filtration and extraction of lignin. The process - LignoBoost - is today commercialized and is in operation at two pulp mills in the world. It has the potential to be a central technology in the pulp mills of the future. Hans has also been active in pulp technology research with significant contributions concerning, among other things, heat, and mass transport during cooking and in biorefinery-related studies where mathematical modeling has been central.</div> <div>Knowledge from different areas is needed to ultimately be able to produce exciting new materials from the forest raw material, here several different specializations in materials and process technology are important. When it comes to the more &quot;chemical&quot; aspects, the whole spectrum is needed from basic chemistry, via applied chemistry to chemical engineering.<br /><br /></div> <div><strong>“My research area</strong> is about the processes needed to produce different types of materials from wood raw material. It may not be quite as “sexy” as the material itself but is of course one of the prerequisites for being able to produce different products from wood material. 20 years ago, the balance was good between chemistry, applied chemistry and chemistry / process technology. At present, there is a great imbalance”, says Hans Theliander.</div> <div>“Today, it is primarily material technology that has increased. While Chemical engineering has decreased, which is a problem”, says Hans Theliander, not only at Chalmers, but also internationally and this is a problem since engineers with that competence are needed.</div> <div>“It has been a big loss in the field of chemical engineering or process engineering as it can also be called. 20 years ago, Chalmers really had competence and good momentum in that business. But since then, several professors have retired without new recruitment”, says Hans Theliander.<br /><br /></div> <div><strong>The challenge </strong>has also been observed in the industry, which has been involved in initiating a new bio innovation program called &quot;Resource-smart industrial processes&quot;. The goal is to strengthen process / chemical engineering in Sweden. The program is the reason why Hans Theliander still works 40 percent.</div> <div>“The idea is now that Merima Hasani, researcher and associate professor in the field of Forest Industrial Chemical Engineering will take over after me. It is a national program at Chalmers with eleven doctoral students and postdocs and funded by Vinnova, the industry and academy”.<br /><br /></div> <div><strong>What does the development of process technology mean for the forest industry?</strong></div> <div>“This is about a lot. Historically, the energy has been quite cheap, which has meant that when these processes was developed the smartest and most energy efficient process solutions was not used. Some improvements have been done during the years but with improved knowledge in chemical engineering and process engineering, it is possible to optimize the processes much further and make them more energy efficient and utilize the forest material better: in the end get a better material yield. If you look at a sulphate pulp factory today - you burn half - and half become pulp fibers. It is a poor material yield. You must increase it. Which has been one of my mantras for the last 15-20 years”, says Hans.</div> <div>“People are starting to open their eyes to this, after all, wood is the most expensive part when producing pulp. You want as much out of it as possible”, he says.</div> <div>Hans Theliander's research group has worked with several proposals on how, for example, you can also use branches and tops in a smarter way. Today, fine pulpwood is used as a starting material to make viscose.</div> <div>“You can do it in another way. When you make viscose you need polymers, not a lot of fine fibers, it is enough that the polymer is okay - you can take it from branches and tops. These are the thoughts you must have in the future to make the biomaterial last”.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong><img src="/en/areas-of-advance/energy/PublishingImages/Making%20science%20useful/HansT_220x180px.jpg" alt="Hans Theliander" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px" />How do you make the processes more sustainable and energy efficient?</strong></div> <div>“ I usually put it like this. We have a unique medium and that is water, which is also a good and environmentally friendly chemical. We should continue to use that. There are two problems with water, I usually jokingly say that one is 4.18 (kJ / kg K) - ie the heat capacity - that is, how much energy you need to use per degree and kilo of water.</div> <div>The second is 2300 (kJ / kg) - it is so much energy you need to evaporate a kilo of water. It is a high heat of vaporization value. An example is: When we digest the wood, the pulp fibers are suspended in the cooking liquid. We wash the pulp fiber with water and the more water we use, the greater the energy demand are later in the process. Here it is important to make the washing of the pulp fiber more efficient, use as little water as possible, to minimize the heat demand in subsequent evaporation steps”.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Is water in short supply here?</strong></div> <div>“Well, it is probably not the lack of water, but it is costly energy wise to remove the water from wet products. This takes huge amounts of energy. Just to give proportion - a partial step in the pulping process is one evaporates and concentrates the black liquor. Every second in Sweden, more than one cubic meter of water is boiled away. Enormous amounts. It is done in a smart way today, but here there is so much more to do”.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Will the society demand less forest if one succeeds in making all these efficiencies?</strong></div> <div>“You can put it in that way, but you can also say that you need to get more out of the same amount of forest. We are about to replace petroleum-based products and given that we use enormous amounts of petroleum-based products – then our needs of other raw materials, and wood will be one of the most important, is enormous. To make the forest last than we really have to be efficient.</div> <div>“What´s interesting is that not many people today know that 100 years ago it was realized that we needed to plant trees. Various laws were enacted on how forests where to be managed. That is why we have so much forest raw material today (about twice as much compared to hundred years ago). Had they not done so – Halland, south of Sweden, would probably have looked like certain parts of England. Green. With a lot of heathlands”, says Hans Theliander.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>How the forest should be used best is discussed extensively by the various actors in society, what opportunities do you see in the future?</strong></div> <div>“Everything is interconnected and complex. There is a lot of politics in the whole thing. I really hope you get the right side of the discussion about the forest. In general, one can probably say that there are very well-managed forests in Sweden – and somehow, we should be able to use it in a sustainable way, but not over-utilize anything. With smarter process technology, we can help you get a higher efficiency of what you pick out of the forest. You then get more per ton of set-aside forest”.</div> <div>“It is an important message about why you should refine process technology. Personally, I do not think it is effective when you burn the wood directly, but instead we will manufacture different materials and chemicals. That we then, after several re-cycles, use it as an energy source must be OK”.</div> <div>“Another important thing – is that we should be able to reuse and circulate materials in a good way. Here, the forest industry has been at the forefront when it comes to collect different paper/board products and how to use the fibers several times. It is a good start, but we have to become even better and also expand it to other fields”, Hans Theliander concludes.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Ann-Christine Nordin</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Read more:</strong><br /><br /><div><span style="background-color:initial"><a href="https://wwsc.se/"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Wallenberg Wood Science Center</a><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><font color="#1166aa"><span style="font-weight:700"><a href="https://treesearch.se/"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Treesearch</a></span></font></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><font color="#1166aa"><span style="font-weight:700"><a href="https://treesearch.se/"></a></span></font><a href="/sv/Personal/Sidor/lisbeth-olsson.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Lisbeth Olsson</a><br /><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/paul-gatenholm.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Paul Gatenholm</a></span></div></div> <div><br /></div> ​Fri, 18 Feb 2022 00:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/Batteries-of-the-future-in-focus-for-Distinguished-Professor-grant.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/Batteries-of-the-future-in-focus-for-Distinguished-Professor-grant.aspxBatteries of the future in focus for Distinguished Professor grant<p><b>​​What will be significant of the batteries of the future? This is the focus of Patrik Johansson's research project, which has been granted funding within the Swedish Research Council's Distinguished Professor Programme. The grant of 47.5 million SEK extends over a ten-year period.“The long time span opens up for greater risk-taking and provides the opportunity to work long-term. These are highly important factors for conducting research,” says Patrik Johansson.</b></p><div><strong>Patrik Johansson</strong> is professor at the Department of Physics and one of Sweden's most prominent battery researchers. His focus is on exploring new concepts and solutions for batteries – and that is also what he will do within the context of the Swedish Research Council’s Distinguished Professor Programme.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The extensive grant means that he, as research leader, can build on already existing projects within his research group, but also explore new possibilities within the framework of what the project's title signals: the next generation of batteries.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“As a battery researcher it can be easy to just look at the products that exist already today, and thus productize your thinking, especially due to the great interest in society for the ongoing electrification of everything and anything. Your focus turns to short term solutions, in order to help different actors solve whatever problems they are having here and now. That is of course something that has to be done – but as a researcher you also have a responsibility to resist this way of acting and focus on finding concepts that are favourable in a longer time perspective – more of revolution than evolution, says Patrik Johansson.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“The grant gives me the opportunity to try a lot of fundamentally different things, which you may not always be able to say later on that you have &quot;succeeded with&quot;, but which you in turn learned all the more from and which have been really challenging. And that is successful in itself; discovering the concept space is probably just as important. A special driving force for me personally is to try to get the research group to get far with small and simple ideas – quite challenging today when a lot of research is made large and complicated. The grant is also important to me as a research leader to build our operation, to lead it forward strategically, and to plan for what competencies are needed for a broader and at the same time deeper scope. However, my research <em>itself </em>has not in any way improved by me getting a distinguished professor grant, says Patrik Johansson with a laugh.</div> <div><br /></div> <div style="font-size:20px">Batteries that meet the energy needs of the future</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The battery that is in vogue today is without a doubt the lithium-ion battery, which is found in everything from mobile phones to electric cars and electric ferries. But to meet the mobile and also stationary needs of the future for energy storage in the best way – readily available energy with high quality – large electrochemical energy storage solutions, i.e. batteries, will be needed. Here Patrik Johansson sees that we need to think afresh; perhaps create new types of batteries based on more common metals, such as sodium, calcium or aluminium? Or organic batteries?</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Today, electrification is being built up in a lot of different sectors and everything is based on lithium-ion batteries. We already see this year that the price of lithium-ion batteries, which has fallen sharply for a long time, is now levelling out. In the long run, it's probably about sustainability. If you can then launch one or more complementary battery technologies that are cheaper, safer, or simply just different – there may be advantages for a battery to for example work at 80 rather than 25 degrees Celsius – there is much to be gained. Today battery researchers in general are not looking in that direction, which my research group will now do. Concept creation is always based on fundamental material physics, but also requires great methodological knowledge and application understanding, says Patrik Johansson.</div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div style="font-size:20px"><span style="background-color:initial">Conceptually different batteries</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Battery research is a field that is developing rapidly. What was in vogue five years ago has already passed in many ways, in terms of exploration of materials, methods and concepts. Likewise, society's needs are changing at a rapid pace – ten years ago there was hardly any talk of electric cars or electric aircraft, today the issue of electrification is dominant in the development of society. So where are we in 2030, to which is the year the Distinguished Professor Programme extends?</div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">“It is of course very difficult to predict, but what we want for 2030 is something that is conceptually different and not just a refinement of existing technology. Whether that change then may be at the battery, material or functionality level – so be it. What I wish us to have achieved in ten years' time is that we have found two or three new concepts that hold up to a critical examination and at least have the potential to complete the step from research to technology. And that we have maintained our curiosity and long-term perspective.”</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div style="font-size:16px">About the Distinguished Professor grant:</div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><ul><li><span style="background-color:initial">The purpose of the Swedish Research Council's Distinguished Professor Programme is to create conditions for the most prominent researchers to conduct long-term, innovative research with great potential to achieve scientific breakthroughs. The grant must also enable the establishment and construction of a larger research environment of the highest quality around a leading researcher.</span></li> <li>This year, three new distinguished professors within natural and engineering sciences were appointed, who were granted a total of more than SEK 147 million for the years 2021–2030. <a href="https://www.vr.se/english/applying-for-funding/decisions/2021-10-10-distinguished-professor-grant-within-natural-and-engineering-sciences.html">Read more about the grant on the Swedish Research Council's homepage.</a></li></ul> <br /></div> <div style="font-size:16px">Läs mer:</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="/en/centres/gpc/news/Pages/Portrait-Patrik-Johansson.aspx" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Battery researcher who will happily challenge fake news​</a><span style="font-weight:300"> </span><span style="font-weight:300;background-color:initial">–</span><span style="font-weight:300;background-color:initial"> </span><span style="font-weight:300;background-color:initial">read a </span><span style="font-weight:300;background-color:initial">portrait of Patrik Johansson.</span><br /><a href="/en/centres/gpc/news/Pages/Portrait-Patrik-Johansson.aspx"><div style="display:inline !important"><span style="background-color:initial;color:rgb(0, 0, 0);font-weight:300"></span> </div></a></div> <div><span style="font-weight:300;background-color:initial"><a href="/en/departments/tme/news/Pages/Chalmers-startup-for-better-batteries-wins-stage-two.aspx" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Compular - a startup-company based on the research of Patrik Johansson</a></span></div> <div><span style="font-weight:300;background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div style="font-size:20px"><span style="font-weight:300;background-color:initial">For more information, please contact:</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Patrik-Johansson0603-6580.aspx">Patrik Johansson</a>, professor, division of Materials Physics, Department of Physics<span style="background-color:initial"> <br /></span><a href="mailto:patrik.johansson@chalmers.se">patrik.johansson@chalmers.se</a><span style="background-color:initial">, +46 (0)31 772 31 78 </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div>Text: Lisa Gahnertz</div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial">Photo: Anna-Lena Lundqvist​</span><span style="background-color:initial">​</span></div> <div><br /></div> ​Thu, 02 Dec 2021 15:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/ims/news/Pages/Renaud-Gutkin-Adjunct-Professor-IMS.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/ims/news/Pages/Renaud-Gutkin-Adjunct-Professor-IMS.aspxRenaud Gutkin Adjunct Professor IMS<p><b>​Renaud Gutkin ​will give his promotion lecture for Adjunct Professor in Computational mechanics of polymer materials on 16 December.</b></p><div>​<img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/IMS/Övriga/div%20nyheter%20o%20kalender/Renaud%20Gutkin/renaud.gutkin@volvocars.com%20600x800.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:330px;height:440px" /><br />Renaud Gutkin works with Research &amp; Development at Volvo Cars Safety Centre and is associate professor at the division of Material and Computational Mechanics at Chalmers University of Technology. His research focuses on the structural response of polymer and composite materials. Renaud received his Ph.D. in Composite materials from Imperial College London, Department of Aeronautics, in 2010. He then worked with nonlinear finite element analysis as a post-doctoral researcher at Airbus UK. In 2011, Renaud joined Swerea|SICOMP (the Swedish institute for polymer composites) where he worked as a Senior scientist in the area of material modelling and later on as Head of the structural analysis team. <span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>Title promotion lecture: ​</strong></span><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>Computational mechanics of polymers: from structure to materials, from materials to structure</strong></span><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><strong><br /></strong></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><strong><br /></strong></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><strong><br /></strong></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><strong><br /></strong></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><div><strong>Abstract</strong></div> <div>New technologies together with environmental demands are pushing the automotive industry to constantly increase their efficiency in developing new, sustainable and innovative solutions. Polymer and Composites are therefore increasingly used in demanding and tougher applications. Simulation tools and Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) are key elements in developing safer and more durable products in an efficient way. However, CAE of polymeric materials is a challenging area since polymers and composites show a wide variety of properties, mechanical responses as well as complex microstructures.</div> <div>In a first part, this lecture will look at the challenges faced to correctly analyse polymer and composites in an industrial environment and large structural models: from structure to materials. In particular, we will discuss material models and numerical methods developed to analyse structures subjected to crash or strength events but also subjected to temperature loads. Emphasis will also be made on the role experimental material characterization plays in establishing reliable models. Some challenges related to coupling analyses from process simulation, by external loads simulation and to structural simulation will presented by looking at an holistic CAE chain for temperature loads. </div> <div>In a second part, from materials to structure, we will look at how structural analysis can in its turn be used to analyse the micro or meso structure of composite materials, enabling their behaviour to be predicted and opening the way for virtual material testing.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="/en/departments/ims/calendar/Pages/Renaud-Gutkin---Promotion-lecture-for-adjunct-professor-IMS.aspx" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Link to presentation details</a></div> <div><a href="/en/departments/ims/calendar/Pages/Renaud-Gutkin---Promotion-lecture-for-adjunct-professor-IMS.aspx" target="_blank"></a></div> <div>Contact: renaud.gutkin@volvocars.com​</div> <div><br /></div></span></div> <div><br /></div> ​​Wed, 24 Nov 2021 10:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Chalmers-Professor-on-Highly-Cited-Researchers-List.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Chalmers-Professor-on-Highly-Cited-Researchers-List.aspxChalmers Professor on Highly Cited Researchers list<p><b>​Jens Nielsen, Professor of Systems Biology, is on the Highly Cited Researchers list −​ a list of the most cited, and thereby most influential, researchers in the world. </b></p><p class="chalmersElement-P">​<span>The <a href="https://recognition.webofscience.com/awards/highly-cited/2021/">Highly Cited Researchers</a> list identifies scientists who have demonstrated significant influence through publication of multiple highly cited papers during the last decade. The list is compiled by Clarivate and covers 21 different research categories.​​ </span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span>Jens Nielsen is one of 47 Swedish rese​archers on the list. He</span><span style="background-color:initial"> has been active in the field of metabolic engineering for almost 30 years, with the aim to produce valuable compounds in an environmentally friendly and sustainable way. He is also using his unique approach and methods to study metabolism in humans, with specific interest in metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and various cancers.  </span></p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span>&quot;Always strive to do research that can impact society&quot;</span></h2> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span>“My motivation is to assist in developing technologies that can be of value to and that can impact the society. I think our work is highly cited because of this. But I was also one of the pioneers in the field of systems biology, which has now has grown to become a large research field. This of course causes a lot of citation even of some of my older papers,</span><span>” says Jens Nielsen.</span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span>His research covers quite a broad area but is all related to metabolism. His work on engineering yeast can lead to production of new healthy foods or food ingredients, new biofuels, and new therapeutics. His research on the gut microbiome can lead to the identification of new bacteria that can be used as probiotics for improving human health. And his studies on cancer metabolism can be used for identification of novel biomarkers and potentially new treatment strategies. </span></p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span>Research turns into companies and products</span></h2> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span>“I am always thinking of the problem to solve first and then I go back and see how we can use our scientific toolbox to address this problem. In some cases, we end up doing detours as we need to dig deeper and need to get fundamental understanding of e.g., yeast cell metabolism, but I always ensure that we return and make sure that we have focus on addressing the original question,” says Jens Nielsen continuing: </span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“It motivates me tremendously that much of the research we have carried out in my research group has translated to start-up companies or to large companies, and some has resulted in new products on the market. And hopefully we will see more of this kind of products in the future.”</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><strong style="background-color:initial">What does a researcher need to succeed in their field according to you?</strong><br /></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“Stay focused, but still open minded! You can learn a lot from other disciplines and other researchers that you can integrate in your own work. I am also a very great fan of collaboration. I find it stimulating to discuss research problems with colleagues and research collaborators. This is also why I have found it interesting to work closely with industry throughout my career. Through these collaborations I have learned about some of the challenges the industry is having in improving their production.”</p> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><em>Text:</em> Susanne Nilsson Lindh<br /><em>Photo:</em> Johan Bodell</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><br /></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><strong>Read more about:</strong> <a href="https://recognition.webofscience.com/awards/highly-cited/2021/">Highly CIted Researchers</a></p> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span><strong>Read more about</strong><a href="/en/Staff/Pages/Jens-B-Nielsen.aspx"><strong> Jens Nielsen</strong></a><strong> and his research:</strong></span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <ul><li><p class="chalmersElement-P"><span><a href="/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Designing-healthy-diets-–-with-computer-analysis.aspx">Designing healthy diets – with computer analysis</a></span></p></li> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <li><p class="chalmersElement-P"><span><a href="/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Designing-healthy-diets-–-with-computer-analysis.aspx"></a><span></span><a href="/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/The-next-generation-of-human-metabolic-modelling.aspx">The next generation of human metabolic modelling​</a><br /></span></p></li> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <li><p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <div><p><a href="/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Yeast-can-be-engineered-to-create-protein-pharmaceuticals.aspx">Yeast can be engineered to create protein pharmaceuticals</a></p></div> <p></p></li> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <li><p></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><a href="/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Improved-cellfactories.aspx">Exhale – improved cellfactories in sight​​</a></p> <p></p></li></ul> <p></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><br /></p>Thu, 18 Nov 2021 13:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/see/news/Pages/Anders-Lyngfelt-Pioneer-in-Energy.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/see/news/Pages/Anders-Lyngfelt-Pioneer-in-Energy.aspxEnergy pioneer honoured by scientific journal<p><b>​The prestigious scientific journal Energy &amp; Fuels is dedicating a special issue to Anders Lyngfelt, professor of energy technology at Chalmers, in their series Pioneers in Energy Research. Anders has been chosen for his leading research on chemical looping combustion, a technology that is both very energy efficient and makes carbon capture simple and cheap.– I am glad to see an increasing interest in capturing carbon and a growing insight that it is one of the tools we must start using on a large scale. We need to do EVERYTHING, turn every stone, both to quickly reduce emissions and to capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere with negative emissions, says Anders Lyngfelt.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">Energy &amp; Fuels has been published since 1978 and as the name suggests, the content spans broad research areas related to energy and fuels. Anders is one of Chalmers and Sweden's most cited researchers and has been published in Energy &amp; Fuels about 40 times. He is the fourth researcher in the magazine's series on Pioneers in Energy Research, the previous three work in solar energy, crude oil and bioenergy and fuels. </span><div><br /></div> <div>– It feels great! In addition to me getting this acknowledgement, I enjoy the fact that our research area gets attention. Energy &amp; Fuels is definitely a significant and serious magazine, with a good impact factor.</div> <div>That Anders - and his research colleagues - are getting this honor is because they have led the development of the technology chemical looping combustion for a long time. It is an efficient combustion technology that makes it possible to easily and cheaply collect the carbon dioxide created during combustion, for further storage. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Capturing and storing carbon dioxide is becoming an increasingly interesting method of reducing global warming. But the flue gases from conventional combustion - to produce district heating and electricity, for example - contain only about 15 percent carbon dioxide and separating it is expensive and also costs a lot of the energy that would go to producing district heating and electricity.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>– That is why carbon dioxide capture is only available at two power plants in the world today. But with chemical looping combustion, there is no need for the complicated gas separation. Ideally, in addition to water vapor, it is pure carbon dioxide that comes out of the chimney, ready for storage.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Although Anders and chemical looping combustion are now being featured in Energy &amp; Fuels, the technology is not used anywhere in the industry today. This is largely due to the fact that today there is already existing technology for combustion and that there is not strong enough pressure on the industry to collect carbon dioxide. But now that interest in carbon capture and storage is increasing, so is interest in chemical looping combustion. And the technology can make a big contribution, Anders believes.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>– The so called carbon dioxide budget, the amount of carbon dioxide that can be released into the atmosphere without us exceeding the target of 1.5 degrees temperature increase, I likely to be finished in 2028 at the rate we are keeping today.</div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">–</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span>No matter how optimistic your calculations are, no one believes that we will stop emitting carbon dioxide in seven years - so all emissions after 2028 must be removed from the atmosphere with so-called negative emissions. Here, chemical looping combustion can be very useful.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>One area of use that may be relevant is BECCS, Bio-Energy with Carbon Capture and Storage. Carbon dioxide is then collected at, for example, bio-fired power plants to achieve a net reduction of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Anders is one of the organizers behind next year's conference on negative emissions, the second in a series of conferences that will increase knowledge about the various possibilities that exist for achieving negative emissions.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Anders now hopes that Sweden - from which the development of the technology has been led for many years - will be the first country where the technology is used on an industrial scale.</div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">–</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span>My main focus right now is to get someone to dare take the step and use this technology. It is nonsense that it would not matter what we do in &quot;small&quot; Sweden. If we go first and show others how to do, then they will follow. I'm convinced of that.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><em>Text: Christian Löwhagen. </em></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Note that the Pioneers in Energy issue featuring Anders Lyngfelt will be published in late 2022, and already 37 other researchers has volunteered to participate in the issue .</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="https://negativeco2emissions2020.com/">Read more about the 2nd International Conference on Negative CO2 Emissions, at Chalmers 14-17 June 2022</a>.</div> <div><br /></div> Thu, 18 Nov 2021 00:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Biophysical-Society-Award-to-Chalmers-Professor.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Biophysical-Society-Award-to-Chalmers-Professor.aspxBiophysical Society Award to Chalmers Professor<p><b>​Pernilla Wittung-Stafshede, professor at the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering at Chalmers, receives the Fellow of the Biophysical Society Award 2022.</b></p>​​<span style="background-color:initial">​</span><span style="background-color:initial">A small number of distinguished scientists receive the Fellow of the Biophysical Society Award annually for forefront research in biophysics. Pernilla Wittung-Stafshede, professor at the Division of Chemical Biology, is one of the seven newest awardees. </span><div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">&quot;Pioneeering research about protein biophysics&quot;</h2> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span></span></h2> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span></span></h2> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"> </h2> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">She receives the award for ”her pioneering research accomplishments that have enhanced our understanding of protein biophysics, with an emphasis on metalloprotein folding, macromolecular crowding effects, and metal transport mechanisms.”</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“I am deeply moved by this recognition. The other Fellows (this year and earlier) are extremely distinguished researchers which I see as role models. It is an honour to be included in this group,” says Pernilla Wittung-Stafshede. </p> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">&quot;The award gives me new energy&quot;</h2> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Pernilla Wittung-Stafshede started her own research group in 1999 and has been active at several universities, at first in the United States, and now in Sweden. Her research today focuses on metalloprotein mechanisms (e.g., in cancer) and protein misfolding (e.g., in Parkinson's disease).  </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“This award boosts my confidence, because it means that others find my research to be excellent and of great importance. It gives me new energy, to keep going with my research in this important field”. </p> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><strong>Text: </strong>Susanne Nilsson Lindh<br /><strong>Photo: </strong>Oscar Mattsson</p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><br /></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><strong>Read more about</strong> <a href="https://www.biophysics.org/bps-bulletin/society-names-2022-fellows">the 2022 Class of Fellows </a></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><br /></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><strong>More about the </strong><a href="https://www.biophysics.org/">Biophysical Society</a> </p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <ul><li>The society was founded in 1958 to lead the development and dissemination of knowledge in biophysics. </li> <li>It does so through meetings, publications, and committee outreach activities. </li> <li>The society's members, now over 7,500, work in academia, industry, and in government agencies throughout the world.</li> <li>Fellow of the Biophysical Society Award has been announced annually since 2000. To date only one Swedish researcher has received the award (Astrid Gräslund, 2018).</li> <li>The newest awardees will be recognized during the Biophysical Society’s 66th Annual Meeting in San Francisco in February 2022. </li></ul> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><br /></p></div>Thu, 04 Nov 2021 10:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Yeast-will-make-plant-based-products-taste-like-meat.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Yeast-will-make-plant-based-products-taste-like-meat.aspxYeast will make plant-based products taste like meat<p><b>​Sustainable plant-based meat products that taste like real meat. Is it possible to produce such products, and will the consumers buy it? Absolutely, says Florian David, Assistant Professor at Chalmers. The key is animal fats – produced by yeast.</b></p><p class="chalmersElement-P">​<span>Many people who eat meat are looking for sustainable plant-based alternatives. But, according to Florian David, researcher in biotechnology and co-founder of Melt &amp; Marble, the taste gap between plant-based and animal-based meat needs to be closed before plant-based products will be consumed on a large scale. </span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial">“The demand is currently mainly driven by flexitarians and sustainability-conscious consumers. However, many plant-based food producers target meat lovers in general. They believe that if they can offer consumers plant-based products with an identical − or better − taste experience at the same price, more and more consumers will choose the plant-based options,” says Florian David.  </span></p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span>Animal fats produced by yeast, not animals</span></h2> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial">By using yeast cell factories, the researchers</span><span style="background-color:initial"> are trying to produce a key component in meat-like products: animal fats. Fats affect taste, textu</span><span style="background-color:initial">re, and the overall experience of eating meat, but the plant-based fats currently used cannot mimic this experience very well. The yeast metabolism can be engineered to program the yeast to replicate any existing fat structure and to even create new and better fats. This will be the key in making plant-based meats taste like the real thing. </span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“We have only recently started working on producing animal fat in cell factories but the research to develop the underlying technologies goes back over a decade,” says Florian David.</p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Several sustainablitly advantages </h2> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Producing the fats in yeast cell factories has more than one advantage from the sustainability perspective. The fat in current plant-based meats is mostly coconut fat. A coconut tree takes up to ten years to produce its first crop and twenty years to reach best harvests, and this kind of farming takes space from precious tropical biodiversity. </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“The demand for plant-based meat is rapidly growing and better and more sustainable fat sources are needed. Our yeast fermentation technology can facilitate this with minimal land use in a scalable and geographically independent manner,” says Anastasia Krivoruchko, CEO of Melt&amp;Marble and former Chalmers researcher.</p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Recieved Impact Maker award</h2> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">In October 2021 Melt&amp;Marble was awarded the new start-up award “<a href="https://www.livsmedelifokus.se/medlemskapet/livsmedelsdagarna/program/impact-maker-2021-2/">Årets Impact Make​</a>r” ( Impact Maker of the Year). The award is a collaboration between Vinnova and the Swedish network “Livsmedel I fokus” with the purpose to inspire and highlight good and innovative examples from the food industry.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><br /></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><strong>Text: </strong>Susanne Nilsson Lindh<br /><strong>Photo:</strong> Martina Butorac</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><br /></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><strong>About Melt &amp; Marble </strong></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <ul><li>Melt&amp;Marble (formerly Biopetrolia), is a start-up company from the Division of Systems and Synthetic Biology at the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering at Chalmers. The company works on fermentation-based production of animal fats, has closed a seed round of €750K led by Nordic FoodTech VC. Other investors include Chalmers Ventures, Paulig’s venture arm PINC and Purple Orange Ventures.</li> <li>The founders of Melt&amp;Marble, Dr. Anastasia Krivoruchko (CEO), Dr. Florian David (CSO) and Professor Jens Nielsen (chair of the board) are top-tier researchers in microbial engineering and precision fermentation. </li> <li>Read <a href="https://meltandmarble.com/">more about Melt&amp;Marble</a></li></ul> <p></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p>Thu, 28 Oct 2021 19:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Hasselblad-Foundation-awards-nanomedicine-research-.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Hasselblad-Foundation-awards-nanomedicine-research-.aspxHasselblad Foundation awards nanomedicine research <p><b>​Alexandra Stubelius, Assistant Professor in chemical biology at Chalmers, is awarded the Hasselblad Foundation grant to female researchers for her research on immunomodulating nano-therapeutics.“I am honoured to be awarded this grant. It is of great importance to find new solutions to medical issues that affect so many people, and this award helps me to continue with my research,&quot; says Alexandra Stubelius.</b></p><p class="chalmersElement-P">​<span>The Hasselblad Foundation annually awards two female researchers at Chalmers and the University of Gothenburg, GU, a grant of 1 million SEK each. This year’s grant is awarded Alexandra Stubelius at the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering at Chalmers and Carolina Guibentif, GU, whose research focus is on mammalian developmental hematopoiesis and leukemia, using single-cell profiling.</span></p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span>Develops nanomedicines​</span></h2> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial">Alexandra Stubelius</span><span style="background-color:initial">' research is about developing so-called nanomedicines to better treat diseases such as arthritis, atherosclerosis, and fatty liver, which all get worse from inflammation and which affect millions of people around the world. </span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial">“The immune system is complex and ​controls many important functions in the body. New nanomaterials allow us to affect many functions simultaneously in a smarter way than today's more blunt systems. The immune system is really smart but sometimes needs some extra help,” says Alexandra Stubelius.</span></p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span>Intelligent therapies ​</span></h2> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial">An overactive immune system can attack the body’s own tissues, causing both allergies and chronic diseases. The most common anti-inflammatory drugs used today inhibit all immune functions – even the good defence mechanism and need to be used at high doses. These high doses result in side effects on other organs.</span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial">“In order to use the immune system optimally, more intelligent therapies, that can direct the drugs to the right area, at the right concentration, and at the right time, are needed,” says Alexandra Stubelius. </span></p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span>Three different strategies​</span></h2> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial">Alexandra Stubelius explains that her team uses three different strategies to develop smarter nanomedicines.</span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial">First, they develop new materials, nanovesicles, that can carry existing anti-inflammatory drugs. The materials are designed to target the inflammation and deliver the drugs without damaging the surrounding tissue. </span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial">The second strategy is to create nanomaterials that can modulate the immune system. The nanomaterial acts as active substance that affects the immune response.  </span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial">“With this method, we can fight inflammation in a new way. We aim to interfere with the communication signals of immune cells already in the blood stream. This inhibits more immune cells to be recruited to the affected tissue and prevents the inflammation from getting worse.”</span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial"></span><span style="background-color:initial">The third strategy is based on the discovery that the immune system not only defends out bodies, but also heals damaged tissue. The researchers examine which components that affects the immune cells in the healing process. The identified components can then be used to continue develop smarter materials for more specific immune-regulating therapies.</span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial">“The grant I have been awarded by the Hasselblad Foundation will mainly go towards hiring a postdoc that can help me achieve my goal of smarter immunotherapies,&quot; says Alexandra Stubelius.</span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>Text: </strong>Susanne Nilsson Lindh<br /></span><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>Photo:</strong> Hasselblad Foundation </span><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>More about: </strong></span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <ul><li><span style="background-color:initial"><a href="/en/departments/bio/research/chemical_biology/Stubelius-lab/Pages/default.aspx">Alexandra Stubelius research</a><br /></span></li> <li><span style="background-color:initial"><a href="https://www.hasselbladfoundation.org/wp/naturvetenskaplig-projekt/female-scientists/?lang=en"><span>The Hasselblad Foundation grant for female scientis</span>ts</a><br /></span></li></ul> <p></p> <div> </div> <div>​<br /></div> <div> </div>Thu, 30 Sep 2021 08:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Enzyme-researcher-joins-the-Young-Academy-of-Sweden.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Enzyme-researcher-joins-the-Young-Academy-of-Sweden.aspxEnzyme researcher joins the Young Academy of Sweden<p><b>​Johan Larsbrink, Associate Professor in molecular enzymology at Chalmers, is elected one of eight new members of the Young Academy of Sweden.  </b></p><p class="chalmersElement-P">​<span>&quot;It feels great and I am honored to have been elected. I see it as a possibility to influence the conditions for young researchers in Sweden. It is also a good opportunity to get to know other researchers around the country from completely different research areas,&quot; says Johan Larsbrink. </span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial">The <a href="https://www.sverigesungaakademi.se/en-GB/1.html">Young Academy of Sweden​</a> (YAS) is an independent academy which bring young researchers together and provides a </span><span style="background-color:initial">platform </span><span style="background-color:initial">to influence current and future research policy and create new, and unexpected, interdisciplinary collaborations. YAS also aims to spread knowledge and influence society at large. Among other things, the academy’s work is focused on inspiring and educating children and young people.</span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial">&quot;Like all members of YAS, I will contribute with my own experiences and perspectives. The academy is very dynamic, so there are good opportunities to spark new</span><span style="background-color:initial"> ideas,&quot; says Johan Larsbrink.</span></p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span>Enzymes that degrade biomass and dietary fiber</span></h2> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial">His research at the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering is about enzymes that various microorganisms use to break down biomass and use it as nutrition. Biomass degradation is an important step in the production of biofuels. Increased understanding of these enzymes can provide more efficient processes and more sustainable fuel production.  </span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial">Johan Larsbrink's research group also study gut bacteria that break down dietary fiber, in order to give a better understanding in how different diets benefit different species in the gut. Some of the enzymes studied could also be used as antimicrobials, by breaking down the protective barriers surrounding harmful microorganisms.</span></p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span>Look forward to </span>interdisciplinary collaborations</h2> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial">The members of YAS are elected for five years and there are currently 38 members in the academy.</span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">”We take huge pleasure in welcoming new members, the number of applicants this year was record high. We look forward to unleashing our energy on new activities together,” says chair Sebastian Westenhoff in a press release from YAS.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial">&quot;With the number of applicants, it of course feels very special to have been elected. I applied because I have heard of many positive things about YAS. I now look forward to working with committed people at a similar stage in their careers – but from different research fields,&quot; says Johan Larsbrink.</span></p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2"><span>Focus on researchers' conditions and transparent supervision</span></h2> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">On his agenda is, among other things, the different conditions for researcher at different universities. For example, the proportion of research grants that can fund the research project and what amount that must cover other costs at the university . </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">&quot;I also think it is important that we strive for a better and more transparent follow-up of supervision, which is typically a very important part of the doctoral education,&quot; says Johan Larsbrink, who was named <a href="/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Larsbrink-research-supervisor-of-the-year-2019.aspx">Researcher Supervisor of the Year</a> at Chalmers 2019.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><br /></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>Read more about Johan Larsbrink's research:</strong></span><br /></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <ul><li><a href="/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Biodiversity-in-Vietnam-leads-the-industry-forward.aspx">Biodiversity in Vietnam leads the industry forward​</a><br /></li> <li><a href="/en/departments/bio/news/Pages/Unique-enzymes-help-gut-bacteria-compete-for-food.aspx">Unique enzymes help gut bacteria compete for food</a></li></ul> <p></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><strong style="background-color:initial">Also read: </strong><br /></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"></p> <ul><li><a href="/en/research/our-scientists/Pages/The-Young-Academy-of-Sweden.aspx">Chalmers Scientists in The Young Academy of Sweden​</a></li></ul> <p></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>Text:</strong> Susanne Nilsson Lindh<br /></span><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>Photo</strong>: Martina Butorac</span></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><br /></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p>Fri, 24 Sep 2021 07:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/centres/gpc/news/Pages/With-a-mind-set-on-nano.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/centres/gpc/news/Pages/With-a-mind-set-on-nano.aspxWith a mind set on nano<p><b>​She’s a professor of applied quantum physics, a mother of three and speaks five languages. As the leader of the interdisciplinary Nano Excellence Initiative, Janine Splettstoesser now wants to create one of Europe's top nano-centers with the goal of addressing the biggest challenges facing the society. But when it comes to the proudest career moments, she’d rather speak about her students. &quot;When a PhD student gives a really good defense on their dissertation and can continue to work on what they really like and subsequently grow as a researcher. That makes me really proud.”​</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">We meet in the department’s family room. It's Easter break and Janine’s 6-year-old son Paolo has come along. He immediately starts pulling out building kits and tricky games from the shelves while Janine takes a seat at a destinated workplace across the room. An empty desk and an ordinary laptop. A mind-blowing thought to an outsider that this is all that is needed for a professor of applied quantum physics when trying to juggle lectures, seminars, conferences and supervision of PhD students. Not to mention her own research.<br /><br /></span><div>Right now, it's all about the relationships between thermodynamics and quantum mechanics, what is normally referred to as quantum thermodynamics. Because, as Janine puts it, &quot;if you want to make new nanotechnology, it’s really good to know the underlying dynamics. And if you want a quantum computer that works well, you need to know what the energy consumption looks like and how best keep it cold during operation.&quot;  </div> <div><br /><strong>Janine’s many engagements at the department</strong> of Microtechnology and Nanoscience become clear within minutes. We’ve already touched on her teaching, PhD supervision and research. But as of 2021 she’s also the new Director of the Nano Excellence Initiative, a government-funded and interdisciplinary initiative, that includes three other departments besides her own - chemistry, physics, biology - with the joint ambition to promote research and development of nanotechnology at the university.<br /><br /></div> <div>&quot;My goal is to create a meeting place for nano-researchers at all levels, junior as well as senior. A kind of incubator for building collaborations, sharing ideas and networking,&quot; Janine explains. </div> <div><br />But that’s not all. Janine is also one of the initiators behind the family room we’re currently in. Why so? To enable researchers to combine a successful research career with family life. An important topic to Janine. <br /><br /></div> <div>&quot;If you have small kids and you need to go to a conference or perhaps to a meeting with collaborators, and you haven’t managed to solve childcare, you might face logistical problems. Which tends to lead to researchers having to limit their work, especially female researchers. A room like this can solve that sort of problem,&quot; Janine explains.<br /><br /></div> <div>And when asked if they’ve used the family room frequently, Paolo anticipates his mum: &quot;Hundreds of times!&quot;, he proclaims contentedly and continues to build on his maze.</div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">The (un)obvious researcher </h3> <div>Janine somehow feels natural in her research role and in her field. She talks enthusiastically and joyfully about her research and her students. And as the oldest in a sibling group of five and with two researching parents, a mother in physics and a father in mathematics, it may seem strange that it was never self-evident to Janine to choose a research career. However, there were never any ruling expectations in terms of career paths. It was more a matter of a family culture that said you can become what you want to be. Nevertheless, the subject of physics did come up every once in a while at the dinner table, albeit in a discouraging way. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“During high school, I had many different ideas about what I should study - architecture, design or medicine perhaps. And right after high school, I got involved in social work for a few years before I continued my studies. But I have always been into math and physics and solving problems. At the same time, I’ve also been interested in languages. As a matter of fact, my mum actually used to warn me: behave or else I’ll make you study physics &quot;, says Janine and laughs.<br /><br /></div> <div><strong>Perhaps a classic example of reverse</strong> psychology. Either way, it seems to have worked.<br /></div> <div>And in addition to her academic merits in physics, Janine also speaks five languages. No wonder if you take a look at her academic journey. A tour that has gone all over the European continent. <br /><br /></div> <div>She grew up near Düsseldorf and moved as a 20-year-old to Karlsruhe in southern Germany to study physics. During her master's studies, she did an exchange year in Grenoble, France, after which she returns to Germany to complete her master's studies. After that, straight to Italy to do her PhD at the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, on &quot;Adiabatic pumping in interacting quantum dots&quot;. It’s during her PhD studies in Pisa that Janine's fascination for quantum physics really takes off. This is also where she meets her future husband, who at the time did his PhD in astrophysics. After that: post-doc at the University of Geneva while her boyfriend heads off to Hamburg. Then back to Germany to take on the position as professor of physics at the University of Aachen. In Aachen, Janine also receives a large research grant. A turn of events that in retrospect is looked upon as a significant milestone. <br /><br /></div> <div>“This is when I got to lead my own research group for the first time. I was able to recruit PhD students and post-docs and shape my own lectures. Freedom to do it my way, as it were. That’s when the idea that I could become an independent researcher was really brought to life.”<br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/20210101-20210631/Janine%202.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px 10px;width:300px;height:226px" /><br /><span style="color:rgb(33, 33, 33);font-family:inherit;font-size:16px;font-weight:600;background-color:initial">Gothenburg calling</span><br /></div> <div>It’s easy to see life as a research couple travelling all over Europe through rose-tinted glasses.</div> <div>If she misses life as a round-the-clock researcher on the continent? Well, not really. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;You get fed up in the end. My husband and I had a long-distance relationship for ten years, it’s not something I recommend. Of course, it’s really fun and interesting to move around and constantly getting to know new cultures and learn new languages, but eventually it gets really hard to keep having to split up from friends and work just when you start to feel at home. Now, I’ve been in Sweden for a while, but I still feel like the dumbest parent at kindergarten. It still takes me forever to fill in even the simplest forms &quot;, she says and laughs.<br /><br /></div> <div><strong>So just over seven years ago</strong>, she finally settled down in Gothenburg and at Chalmers, at the time pregnant with the family's first child. Her significant other, who had a research position at Göttingen in Germany, was able to join up as a position opened up at the Department of Physics at Chalmers, just a stone's throw away.</div> <div>It wasn’t just coincidence that the choice fell on Chalmers. The five-year research project at RWTH Aachen had been completed and Janine and her husband had decided to stay in Europe. After some brief exploration of alternatives, she realized that Chalmers seemed to be a good place to conduct the kind of research she was particularly interested in. At the same time, she was approached by one of the professors of applied quantum physics at Chalmers at a conference, who suggested that Janine should come work with them. Said and done, Janine applied for a position as an Assistant Professor in Nanoscience at Chalmers. But she also applied for a research grant through Wallenberg Academy Fellows - Sweden's largest private career program for young researchers. It all ends up with Janine getting the position as well as the grant. And subsequently research funding for a five-year period, which since then has been extended through the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.<br /><br /></div> <div>“The Wallenberg's research grant has been really good for me in several ways. Besides funding my research, it has helped me build a good network as well as introducing me to the Swedish research environment.”<br /><br /></div> <div>But it turns out that life as a researcher at a Swedish university comes with even more perks. </div> <div><br />“Something I really liked from the beginning was that the culture here is much more equal and relaxed if you compare with, for example, some of the German universities. There, the hierarchies are very strong and the elbows sharper &quot;, says Janine.</div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">The importance of good role models</h3> <div>And speaking of equality, it's almost hard not to mention the fact that Janine, as a female professor of quantum physics, stands out in the group. As a master's student, she was the only woman at the institute and at seminars. And when Janine first made her entrance into the Department of Applied Quantum Physics at Chalmers, she was once again the only woman. Today, six years later, she’s pleased to find that a third of the workforce is made up of women.<br /><br /></div> <div>There’s no doubt that academia needs good role models. Janine mentions times when female PhD students have approached her after speaks or lectures to express how much it means to see a woman – quite often with a baby under her arm - be an expert on the subject.</div> <div><br /><strong>Janine too has her own role models</strong>. She especially remembers her post-doc supervisor at the Institute of Theoretical Physics in Geneva, Professor M. Büttiker. A familiar name to many physicists. Through his humble and unpretentious style and his way of taking everyone's work seriously, regardless of position or academic rank, he has become a strong influence.<br /><br /></div> <div>&quot;To him, it didn’t matter if he was talking to a master's student or a Nobel Prize winner. He would invite his friends, people with names that we knew from our physics books. And he would introduce us as experts even though we were just post-docs. He simply took us all equally seriously. I was really inspired by him.”</div> <div><br />In that sense, it’s not very surprising that when Janine is asked to highlight her proudest moments in her career, she refers from listing academic advancements, professorships or publications. <br /><br /></div> <div>“I can’t deny that I was really proud when I finished my dissertation. But the proudest moments are probably when someone in my research group does a really good job. When a PhD student gives a really good defense on their dissertation and can continue to work on what they really like and grow as a researcher. That makes me really proud.”<br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/20210101-20210631/Janine%20och%20Paolo.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px 10px;width:300px;height:225px" /><br /><span style="color:rgb(33, 33, 33);font-family:inherit;font-size:16px;font-weight:600;background-color:initial">From self-do</span><span style="color:rgb(33, 33, 33);font-family:inherit;font-size:16px;font-weight:600;background-color:initial">ubt to pure grit</span><br /></div> <div>We decide to relocate to Janine’s office, a few stairs up. Paolo shows the way by skipping through the corridors. Janine’s years in Pisa seems to have made an impression. Under the office shelves filled with binders, books and paper is a well-used, coffee stained Italian espresso pot. Across the room hangs a large blackboard covered with never-ending calculations in white chalk. Just as one would expect from a professor of quantum physics.<br /><br /></div> <div>But has it always been easy? Have there never been any doubts?</div> <div><br />“When I did my PhD, I really had my doubts. Will I be able to do this? Am I smart enough? I was actually very close to giving up.”<br /><br /></div> <div>But Janine's plans to throw in the towel would soon be stopped. An old friend from school came to visit and changed her outlook on things completely.</div> <div><br />“She didn’t understand why I had doubts when I always had such good grades in school.  She told me that if I had doubts about being smart enough, just keep pretending to be clever for another two years and then, once that’s done, decide what I want to do,” Janine explains and laughs.<br /><br /></div> <strong> </strong><div><strong>Whether the argument worked</strong> is unclear, but Janine rode through the storm and came out on the other side. With honors. Since then, Janine has become quite used to dealing with tricky problems. </div> <div>So, what’s her driving force? <br /><br /></div> <div>“Definitely my curiosity. I face problems that I don’t understand almost every day. But then, you talk about the problem with colleagues and do some more reading and calculating until you get it. I’ve always liked to figure things out.”</div> <div><br />It’s obvious that Janine really likes her job. That she's in the right place. To her it’s all about making choices that feel right at the moment and trusting that you somehow end up in the right place. Like many physicists at the beginning of their career, Janine too thought she would focus solely on theoretical particle physics. But over time, the plan was revised.</div> <div><br />“I really like that I can do both fundamental research with heavy theoretical method development and at the same time think about exciting technical applications. It’s really cool to be able to sit and work theoretically and have the option to just go to the lab next door and talk to people to see if my calculations are correct.”<br /><br /></div> <div><strong>From the office window you </strong>can just barely see parts of the kindergarten yard. Janine lifts Paolo to make sure he gets the same view. Is it his baby brothers they can see from a distance, jumping around on the playground? They both agree; it’s Fabian and Mattia they spot. Perhaps it's the window view that makes Janine resume the topic of proud career moments. </div> <div><br />&quot;I just have to say that I’m incredibly proud that me and my husband actually managed to make this work in the end. That we can do what we are passionate about at work and, at the same time, have a fantastic family.”<br /><br />Text by: Lovisa Håkansson</div> Thu, 24 Jun 2021 00:00:00 +0200https://www.chalmers.se/en/centres/gpc/news/Pages/Research-is-not-everything-for-Peter-Andrekson.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/centres/gpc/news/Pages/Research-is-not-everything-for-Peter-Andrekson.aspxResearch is not everything for Peter Andrekson<p><b>​He has lived with fibre optics for 35 years. There have been many research breakthroughs and prestigious grants. But world citizen and Chalmers professor Peter Andrekson also values many other things in life. “In recent years I’ve learnt that you need to be able to do two things: delegate to people you can rely on, and be able to say ‘no’ to things you don’t think are that important,” he says.</b></p><div>It is a Thursday afternoon at Wijkanders’ restaurant in the Vasa area – a stone’s throw from the statue of the first female Chalmers’ graduate, Vera Sandberg. In an adjacent room a small group are lingering. Otherwise the place is basically deserted. It is an hour to closing time and staff are trundling past with their rattling washing-up trolleys. A piano starts playing in the room next door.</div> <div> </div> <div>Andrekson sends off his last email and straightens himself in the sofa he is sitting in. He has chosen the meeting place for our interview for purely practical reasons.</div> <div>“I don’t have any special relationship with Wijkanders but didn’t want to meet in the office. It feels a little too work-specific,” he says.</div> <div> </div> <div>Andrekson was born and grew up in Gothenburg. He reached the age of 60 in May 2020, but for completely understandable reasons, the party was postponed indefinitely.</div> <div>“Yes, it was cancelled just like the Olympic Games in Tokyo,” he says with a crooked smile. </div> <div>His sights are now set on celebrating in summer 2021 instead.</div> <div> </div> <div>His roots are in Estonia, something that Andrekson cherishes. His background includes a very dramatic family history. His father came to Sweden escaping from Estonia by boat in 1944. He was only 13 years old at the time and fled together with his sister who was a few years older than him. Their father died before the war and their mother, Andrekson’s grandmother, was deported to Siberia, where she was imprisoned for almost 30 years. She was only released in 1970 and was then reunited with her family in Sweden.</div> <div>“Of course, it affected me a great deal. It has given me great respect for the ability to build up something new, which Dad had to do. But he didn’t talk much about his escape,” says Andrekson.</div> <div> </div> <div>His father was very single-minded and managed to create a new life in Sweden, against all the odds. He studied and eventually managed to obtain an MSc in engineering at Chalmers.</div> <div>“He arrived empty-handed; he had no money, no parents, nothing. But he still managed to work at night and study at Chalmers during the day. I’ve a great deal of respect for that,” Andrekson says.</div> <div> </div> <div>He is a Chalmers graduate himself and graduated in Electrical Engineering in 1984.</div> <div><strong>Did your dad inspire you to apply to Chalmers?</strong></div> <div>“Not particularly. I was given a free hand as a child and considered several different courses, but it wasn’t so important that Dad had gone to Chalmers. I’d long been interested in technology. In my teens I tinkered about a lot with electronics – for electric guitars, for example.”</div> <div>Instead, Andrekson mentions his teachers as being more crucial to his choice of education:</div> <div>“Yes, I had a really good physics teacher at secondary school and at Burgårdens Gymnasium, where I went. They were more of an inspiration than Dad when it came to what to choose. That and the fact that I just thought physics was interesting. It’s quite common for teachers to turn out to be important for your choice of career,” he says.</div> <div> </div> <div>He describes his childhood as good, calm and safe. Andrekson and his younger brother grew up in Kallebäck, but moved to a house in Örgryte later on.  He spent his primary and secondary school years at the Estonian School in Johanneberg.</div> <div>“I felt more independent than the children of today, and even as a seven-year-old travelled alone by tram.” </div> <div>Peter is married to Marianne, and has a 23-year-old son and a 26-year old daughter, who are studying cognitive science and psychology respectively at the University of Gothenburg. Marianne comes from Estonia, where the couple also have an apartment that they travel to regularly. ‘Headquarters’ is, however, the apartment on the main boulevard, ‘Avenyn’, in Gothenburg.</div> <div> </div> <div>It was mainly by coincidence that he ended up specialising in electrical engineering:</div> <div>“First, I enrolled in Physics, but I thought those on the course were a bit too nerdy for me, so I switched to Electrical Engineering after a month. Their student social committee – the Donald Duck Committee – seemed to be much more fun, with much more enjoyable parties! But I still chose to take a number of Physics modules. My electrical engineering course was a hybrid between Physics and Electronics, just like MC2 is,” Andrekson says.</div> <div> </div> <div>After he obtained his MSc in July 1984, the future was as yet unwritten and Andrekson did not really know what to do then. He had done his thesis in the then Department of Electrical Measurement Technology, where they were working on laser physics. Professor Sverre Eng, who started optoelectronics activities at Chalmers in the 1970s, was also there. One day when the rain was pouring down, they met by chance outside the ‘Kopparbunken’, a building that is a well-known landmark at Chalmers and was previously used as a Faraday cage. Andrekson talks vividly about the occasion that set the direction of the rest of his career.</div> <div>“He stood under his umbrella and I stood beside him – without an umbrella! The rain was pelting down, but Sverre didn’t think about that. ‘You should start doing your PhD with me,’ he said. ‘I know exactly what you should do.’ I was desperate to get away and thought it was raining far too heavily, so I said ‘OK’. That’s what happened at the time; Sverre took me by the scruff of the neck and said, ‘you’ll fit in well as a doctoral student with me, this is what I think you should do’. And it worked out pretty well!”</div> <div> </div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/pandrekson_300x450_artikelbild.jpg" alt="Picture of Peter Andrekson." class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px" />Since then Andrekson has ‘lived with fibre’ as he expresses it. Fibre optics have pervaded his working life for 35 years, and in 1992 it was he who started fibre optic activities at Chalmers.</div> <div>Consequently, it is an optical fibre he is holding in the photo taken in Henrik Sandsjö’s studio at Röda Sten.</div> <div> </div> <div>Andrekson publicly defended his doctoral thesis in less than four years, much faster than normal. After that he wanted to travel abroad on a postdoc, but Professor Eng wanted him to be involved in arranging the European Conference on Optical Communication (ECOC), a major international conference, in 1989. With 800 participants, it was regarded as a highly successful conference. It was the first time that the ECOC had been arranged in Gothenburg, but it has since been held here on a further two occasions. The last time was in 2017, when he was joint Chair of the Technical Programme Committee. ECOC had by then really come of age and become Europe’s largest conference in optical communications, and one of the world’s largest and most prestigious conferences in the field.</div> <div>“It was a great job that was really enjoyable for a period of 3–4 years. It was a great success with 5,000 delegates from all around the world,” Andrekson says.</div> <div> </div> <div>His first conference abroad is an enjoyable memory. In 1985, one year into his PhD studies, Andrekson had the chance to take part in the ECOC Conference, which had been arranged in Venice that year. He travelled there by car through Europe together with two older colleagues. </div> <div>“At that time, you had time to drive to conferences, and that meant that you got to know colleagues in a different way. Nowadays, it’s just rush, rush, rush... We drove all the way to Italy and had a fantastic conference in an old monastery that dated from the 1600s. On the way there, we stopped off in Salzburg, Austria and did some skiing at Kaprun, an old glacier. You could ski there in the middle of September! Afterwards I took the train to a PhD competition in Madrid, which I won! Then I travelled home to Gothenburg by train via Paris. It was a fantastic trip which will always stay in my memory,” says Andrekson. </div> <div> </div> <div>He explains that he always tries to combine work with pleasure when going to a conference. </div> <div>“Sometimes I take along a member of the family and take the opportunity to visit friends and colleagues.” </div> <div> </div> <div>He spent the period from 1989 to 1992 at the American research company Bell Labs, which was world-renowned for its research into telecommunications. </div> <div>“It’s the most important and perhaps the best period in my career, and it sowed the seeds of what we are doing at Chalmers today. They have a world-class research lab and there are several Nobel laureates among the researchers. Thousands of top-notch researchers worked there. If you had a query in the world of physics, you could be quite sure that the answer could be found in the building. It was a fantastic period in all ways, it was incredibly instructive and inspiring to work there,” he says. </div> <div> </div> <div>After his return to Chalmers in 1992, his academic journey really took off. Andrekson started as an Assistant Professor, became an Associate Professor in 1994, a Professor in 1995 and a Full Professor of Photonics at the age of 40 in 2001.</div> <div> </div> <div>Andrekson has been the Director of the Fibre Optic Communications Research Centre (FORCE) since its creation in 2010. In 2019, he also became Head of the Photonics Laboratory at MC2. He conducts research and supervises doctoral students. He is currently an examiner and principal supervisor for ten doctoral students.</div> <div> </div> <div>Despite his many tasks and commitments, Andrekson makes a point of emphasising how important it is to have a good work-life balance with time for time for relaxation, and that as a manager you have to have the courage to delegate and ask for help.</div> <div>“In recent years I’ve learnt that you need to be able to do two things: delegate to people you can rely on, and be able to say ‘no’ to things you don’t think are that important. If you can’t do that you won’t survive. You need to be able to prioritise and must be able to say ‘no’. We are not all Superman, we can’t do everything all the time,” Andrekson says.</div> <div>He talks about a colleague who had a deadline for a grant application when operational planning work was at its height at Chalmers, and was faced with a choice: should they finish writing their application or take part in the operational planning work?</div> <div>“My colleague decided to prioritise their application. That’s what you have to do sometimes. There are plenty of administrative processes that have a life of their own at Chalmers, but unfortunately the result is often just a sheaf of papers.” </div> <div> </div> <div>Over the years a number of prestigious prizes and appointments have been bestowed upon Andrekson: these include becoming a Wallenberg Scholar (2012–2024), being awarded a Distinguished Professor grant by the Swedish Research Council and becoming a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA). One research grant he values highly is the ERC Advanced Grant from the European Research Council (ERC) for 2012–2017.</div> <div>“It’s some of the best research funding you can get throughout Europe and it’s hard to top,” he says.</div> <div> </div> <div>But he thinks that a Distinguished Professor grant counts for even more.</div> <div>“Yes, especially since it’s a 10-year project. I don’t know any other projects that extend over such a long period, it’s absolutely amazing. It allows you to work undisturbed over the longer term so that you can aim higher.” </div> <div> </div> <div>Andrekson is also proud of having served on Chalmers board for seven years, from 2009 to 2016. It gave him the opportunity to influence the direction taken by the university at a senior level.</div> <div>“It was a useful experience. I was involved in ensuring that we now have a new faculty model in place. I was a strong advocate of this and pushed to bring it about.”</div> <div> </div> <div>He has twice been an Expert Evaluator for the Nobel Prize in Physics. Andrekson has to be secretive and terse when talking about it because of the 50-year long confidentiality requirement. He cannot even mention the years in which he was involved. But he ‘worked on various evaluations’, as he says.</div> <div> </div> <div>Andrekson explains early on in the interview and in this text that fibre optics have pervaded his entire research career. But how would he describe his subject area?</div> <div>“Fibre optic systems are what keep the internet going. We can’t use our mobile phones and all their services if we don’t have a backbone network which is supported by fibre optic systems. For example, Facebook’s data centre is full of fibre-optic links – thousands of connections using fibre and technology that we worked on in a project with the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation which ended last year and was aimed at enhancing the energy efficiency of such systems,” he says.</div> <div>Andrekson is currently involved in a workshop on the subject in collaboration with IVA.</div> <div>“We are talking about data centres through metropolitan networks and on to transoceanic fibre systems. I was involved and took part in the work on developing the first transoceanic fibre link with optical amplifiers. Prior to that you could not transmit data on several wavelengths, it was really expensive – it was necessary to detect and retransmit every 30 km for each wavelength,” he explains.</div> <div> </div> <div>Instead, optical amplifiers could amplify all wavelengths simultaneously. Using this technology, you could increase the capacity significantly in a cost-effective way. </div> <div>“It was a real breakthrough that we were working on back at Bell Labs in the early 1990s. We were ordered to keep it secret until it came out in a press release. When our competitors at British Telecom and France Telecom got to see what we had done, they completely abandoned their activities and realised that what we were working on was the right way to go. Our work has made a significant difference to transoceanic systems.”</div> <div> </div> <div>His current work involves free space communication among other things. A press release announcing that Andrekson’s research team had built the most sensitive receiver ever in all categories received a lot of media attention.</div> <div>“It’s a hot topic now. We would maintain that it is the best solution for transmitting information from and to Mars or even further. We’ve analysed other conceivable solutions but have still come to the conclusion that our method is the best. It should be interesting to see how the world accepts this eventually. Of course, there are a plenty of challenges left – I wouldn’t say that sensitivity is the only thing that counts, but many other things are needed too. We’re currently working on miniaturising this solution, making it really compact, and have a project that aims to make the receivers really small,” he says.</div> <div> </div> <div>Andrekson has also found the time to run a company. A scientific publication at Bell Labs in 1991 led, 13 years later, to him founding the company Picosolve together with a colleague in the USA and a doctoral student who had just successfully defended their doctoral thesis at Chalmers. </div> <div>“We built special systems with highly advanced software and hardware in, something that nobody else could build but that people needed. It was a ‘Rolls Royce’ system that you could sell to various research labs around the world – we had customers in South Africa, Russia, Japan, the USA and throughout Europe, so that box can be found in many labs today.”</div> <div>Demand started to fall around 2010. In 2009, Picosolve was sold to the Canadian company EXFO, which set up an office with four employees in the Imego building in the Chalmers area. </div> <div>“It was closed in 2014 and our technology is now available in Canada. It was a high point that a scientific paper could result in a company that existed from 2004 to 2014,” Andrekson thinks.</div> <div> </div> <div>In the last decade the focus has mainly been on noiseless amplifiers. In 2010, his research team had a breakthrough when it succeeded in demonstrating that amplifiers could actually work with a low noise factor.</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>What do you enjoy most out of all the activities you divide your time between?</strong></div> <div>“Being able to work with smart young people! I also think it’s great writing applications and scientific articles. I think I’m quite unique in that respect, but perhaps it’s because I write applications so rarely. Many people complain that it takes a lot of time, but I see it as an opportunity to clear my mind. Regardless of whether you get the money or not, you have in any case visualised and described for yourself how you view the future. That’s useful and I think that has a value in itself,” Andrekson says.</div> <div> </div> <div>He regards himself as something of a citizen of the world, and is a great advocate of the need for researchers to look around and have a change of environment now and then.</div> <div>“It’s partly due to my having lived abroad a great deal, especially in the USA, but also in Estonia and Japan. I also made a sabbatical visit to South Africa, and have a third home in Portugal where we try to spend as much time as possible. Mobility is included in Chalmers’ new faculty model. I would prefer new PhDs not to stay here but to go off and try out their wings somewhere else. A change of environment is incredibly important for your career. We have too much of a tunnel vision mentality in Sweden on the whole – you could call it slow and steady,” says Andrekson with a laugh.</div> <div> </div> <div>That Andrekson practices what he preaches is shown emphatically by the fact that he has spent periods abroad, and been a visiting researcher in the USA and Japan successively. He has also been a visiting professor at Tallinn University of Technology, with which he has formed strong ties. </div> <div>“We have good relations. Recently I met the new University President, who expressed in an interest in visiting Chalmers,” Andrekson notes.</div> <div> </div> <div>For the past five years Andrekson has been chair of the Alfred Ots Scholarship Fund, which gives a number of young Estonians the opportunity to take a Master’s Degree at Chalmers every year.</div> <div>“The fund was founded in 1995 and since then has awarded more than SEK 10 million to more than a hundred young people. New students are arriving all the time. We promote the fund during the autumn and receive applications and carry out interviews with applicants during the spring. Then, in May or June there is an award ceremony in Estonia. The grants are equivalent to the Swedish student loan.”</div> <div> </div> <div>He is generally keen to maintain relations with Estonia, and has acted as host for several ambassadorial visits. Andrekson was also involved when the President of Estonia, Kersti Kaljulaid, visited Gothenburg and Chalmers in 2018.</div> <div> </div> <div>Text: Michael Nystås</div> <div>Photo: Henrik Sandsjö</div> <div>Photo of Peter at Wijkanders: Michael Nystås</div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">MORE ABOUT PETER ANDREKSON</h3> <div><strong>Born:</strong> In 1960 in Gothenburg.</div> <div><strong>Lives:</strong> Has homes in Estonia and Portugal, but his main home is his apartment on the main boulevard, ‘Avenyn’, in Gothenburg. “It’s the best investment I ever made.”</div> <div><strong>Family: </strong>Married to Marianne, with a 23-year-old son and a 26-year old daughter.</div> <div><strong>Job:</strong> Professor of Photonics at Chalmers.</div> <div><strong>Career in brief: </strong>MSc in 1984, PhD in 1988, Assistant Professor in 1992, Associate Professor in 1994, Professor in 1995, Full Professor of Photonics in 2001.</div> <div><strong>Leisure interests:</strong> “The sea, the natural world and art are important to me; golf, boating, travel. I have been an active golfer since 2004. My son started early and is now an excellent golfer. It’s great to see how he’s grown. I’m toiling away with a handicap of 20 plus, but I think it’s really great and relaxing. You can clear your mind, a bit like when you play guitar. We’ve also got a boat – we have a lot of boat trips in the archipelago. Walks, travel. I love looking at art and have a lot of favourite artists. For instance, we went to the Czartoryski Museum in Krakow and saw Da Vinci’s ‘Lady with an Ermine’. It was fantastic. The picture is displayed in a dimly lit room where it’s the only picture. It’s impressive to be alone with a picture like that, actually much more impressive than the ‘Mona Lisa’. I also love photographic museums, there’s one in both Stockholm and Tallinn. I used to play guitar but I don’t play so much these days. Musical omnivore. I mostly read non-fiction, most recently a really good book about the history of Bell Labs, ‘The Idea Factory’ by Jon Gertner. I’ve always got six or seven different books on the go at the same time.”</div> <div><strong>Favourite place for inspiration:</strong> “The sea, being out in the boat when it’s absolutely calm, the sea with the wide-open spaces. My wife and my family of course. The staffroom at work used to be really central, but it completely disappeared when the coffee machines arrived about twenty years ago. Before that there was someone who set the coffee maker off and everyone gathered together. It was sometimes really inspiring to sit there and discuss various subjects.” </div> <div><strong>Most proud about:</strong> “My family of course, but also that I’ve been able to help a great many people at Chalmers with their careers. I’ve supervised just over 25 doctoral students and a number of postdocs over the years, and it gives me both pride and inspiration.”</div> <div><strong>Main motivation: </strong> “Curiosity. It’s like being a child – you want to try out ideas and see whether they work; sometimes they can be a bit crazy, sometimes they turn out to be brilliant, but that doesn’t happen that often... In my group we always try to be explorative. We don’t always know the answer but try out different ideas and see whether they lead to anything. In some cases it turns out to be really interesting, in others it comes to nothing. Other researchers can be really targeted and know what they’re after and what they want to achieve. In my case it’s not really like that.”</div> <div><strong>First memory of physics:</strong> “What I think was important were my teachers in secondary school and at high school. We conducted some really great experiments there, which made me want to continue doing this work.” </div> <div><strong>Best thing about being a researcher:</strong> “With hindsight, I have found that I really appreciate the immense freedom. Many of us would certainly have had much higher salaries in industry, but with age you realise that it’s not the most essential thing in life and that you should work on things you enjoy. At a university you get that freedom and have a lot of control over your own time. The freedom and being able to work with creative young people are the best things about being a researcher.”</div> <div><strong>Challenges of the job:</strong> “The price of freedom is that you set your own ambitions. The challenge is to focus on something that can really make a difference in the long term, and to find the right balance in everything you do, not let administrative burdens weigh you down, and instead focus on research and teaching. Being able to prioritise and delegate. If you have the freedom, you must also be able to say ‘no’. I’ve been trying to influence some of Chalmers’ processes without great success. Perhaps we shouldn’t have a dialogue on the Operational Plan every year, for example. It may be enough to focus on it in one year and then on something else the next. A lot of the central operations could be streamlined. I think that the core activities, research and teaching, should dominate.”</div> <div><strong>Dream for the future:</strong> “That what you do in your research should be of use to society, to industry and commerce and to the members of society. It should ideally lead to new companies – Picosolve was really great, it created jobs and more besides. It’s particularly great to see how your own research can lead to new products and new companies. That’s a motivation, the fact that I hope the research will lead to something useful in society.”</div>Thu, 03 Dec 2020 09:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/Prestigious-funding-for-photonic-research-from-The-Swedish-Research-Council.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/Prestigious-funding-for-photonic-research-from-The-Swedish-Research-Council.aspxPrestigious funding for photonic research from The Swedish Research Council<p><b>​Victor Torres Company, Associate Professor at the Photonics Laboratory at MC2, has been awarded a consolidator grant from The Swedish Research Council (VR). He is funded with 12 million SEK for the years 2020-2026. &quot;It feels awesome&quot;, he says.</b></p>The grant is funding his project &quot;Multidimensional coherent communications with microcombs&quot; and will strengthen Victor Torres Company's group and help them establish a creative research environment. <br /><br />&quot;The great thing about this grant is that it covers a 6-year period. The grant will be used to ensure a smooth transition to the next generation of researchers of the knowledge that my team and I have created and take a bit of risks with a longer perspective in mind&quot;, he says.<br /><br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/victgor_torres_IMG_0316_300px.jpg" alt="Picture of V Torres." class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px" />Victor Torres Company is one of the most talented and successful young researchers at MC2. He was recruited to Chalmers in late 2012 after a couple of postdoc stints in the US and Canada. Victor’s expertise is on laser frequency comb science and technology, nonlinear integrated optics and fiber-optic communications.<br /><br />In 2017 he was awarded a prestigious Consolidator Grant by the European Research Council, as one of only 14 Swedish researchers and the only one at Chalmers to receive the grant. <br /><br />The purpose of the consolidator grant is to give the most prominent junior researchers the opportunity to consolidate their research and broaden their activities as independent researchers. Two researchers at Chalmers received funding in this round. Beside Victor Torres Company, also Kasper Moth-Poulsen at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering was awarded. <br /><br />The total grant amount for 2020-2026 is almost 217 million SEK. Chalmers gets 24 million SEK. 288 researchers from all over Sweden applied for a grant. Only 20 were successful; seven women and 13 men.<br /><br /><div>Text and photo: Michael Nystås</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Read more about the consolidator grant for Kasper Moth-Poulsen &gt;&gt;&gt;<br /><a href="/en/departments/chem/news/Pages/Chemistry_researcher_receive_consolidation_grant.aspx" target="_blank">He wants to capture and store energy in new material</a><br /></div> <a href="https://www.vr.se/english/applying-for-funding/decisions/2020-09-08-consolidator-grant.html"><br />Read more about the consolidator grants</a> &gt;&gt;&gt;Wed, 02 Dec 2020 09:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/centres/gpc/news/Pages/Per-Delsing-It-is-easier-to-rule-an-electron-than-raise-four-daughters.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/centres/gpc/news/Pages/Per-Delsing-It-is-easier-to-rule-an-electron-than-raise-four-daughters.aspxPer Delsing: It is easier to rule an electron than raise four daughters<p><b>​A doctorate in 1990, Assistant Professor in 1991, Senior Lecturer in 1994, Professor in 1997, all by the age of 37. Per Delsing’s academic journey has moved swiftly. Now he’s heading up the billion SEK project the Wallenberg Centre for Quantum Technology (WACQT), the aim of which is to build a functioning quantum computer within twelve years. “I have worked on fundamental research for a great many years, but it’s actually only now with WACQT that applications are starting to come from it, and that industry is interested”, he says. </b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial">Like many others, Delsing works mainly from home in these times. He receives me at his home in Landvetter. We sit down in front of the stove, which is not currently lit – it is the height of summer after all.</span><br /></div> <div>“I usually sit here in front of the fire in my favourite armchair when I’m reading and writing, when I’m working at home or have some free time and am taking it easy,” he says about the place he has chosen for our meeting. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Per lives here with his wife Désirée, a language teacher. His four daughters have moved out and in the past few years Per and Désirée have had the pleasure of becoming grandparents to three grandchildren.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>There is a quotation hanging in his office at Chalmers from the former US president Lyndon B Johnson: “It is easier to rule a nation than raise two daughters”.</div> <div>“I can certainly sign up to that! But I’ve changed the quotation from two to four daughters and replaced “nation” by “electron”. So on my wall it states “It is easier to rule an electron than raise four daughters”. Over time I’ve added “photon” and “phonon” too, he laughs.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/pdelsing_300x450__artikelbild.jpg" alt="Picture of Per Delsing." class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" style="margin:5px" />He is Professor of Experimental Physics and Head of the Quantum Technology Laboratory (QT) at the Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience, MC2, at Chalmers. His research area is quantum physics with nanocomponents. <span style="background-color:initial">It started with single-electron tunnelling.</span></div> <div>“This research area has developed but still has many ‘golden threads’. As a doctoral student I worked on individual electrons. Early on things didn’t go well. I persevered for four years without getting anything to work and was almost ready to give up. But when we changed the material from tin and lead to aluminium, everything worked properly. The measuring equipment and everything else had already been prepared so a great many results came all at once. It was a ‘ketchup effect’!”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Per took a framed photograph of his father along with him to the photo shoot in Henrik Sandsjö’s studio at Röda Sten. Tore Delsing passed away in 2001 and was the person who opened Per’s eyes to technology and the natural sciences.</div> <div>“Dad was a timber logger until one of his fingers was sawn off in an accident and he received an insurance payout as a result. Thanks to that, he was able to study and become an engineer at Stockholm Technical Institute in Stockholm. It was in the 1940s and 1950s and studying wasn’t all that common at the time,” he says.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>We backtrack a few decades. Västerbotten. Way up in the countryside. A different Sweden. The firstborn son became a big brother when Per Delsing and his twin brother were born at the hospital in Umeå on 14 August 1959. </div> <div>“But I’ve actually never lived in Umeå. When Dad came and picked us up from the maternity ward, he took us to a new apartment in Lycksele. And after two and half years we moved to Malmö where I grew up,” he explains.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>As a qualified engineer Tore got a job at the hydroelectric power station on the banks of the Norrland rivers. After a couple of years he gained employment at the construction company Armerad Betong (later NCC) in Malmö and took his family there. They lived in the Kronprinsen district which had long housed Malmö’s highest building.</div> <div>“Yes, we had quite a long journey, but we maintained contact with our home district and spent four weeks there every summer in our holiday home, 1,500 km north. You couldn’t just nip back over a weekend,” he smiles.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>When he was five the furniture van was on the go again. The family then settled down in a residential district near Bulltofta airport. Mum Ann-Marie stayed at home when the children were small, but she was a trained tailor and gradually started working as a needlework teacher. She passed away a few years ago.</div> <div><strong>How would you describe your childhood?</strong></div> <div>“I was a bit of a street fighter when I was small. And I was interested in sport, and was involved in football and swimming. Competitive swimming too for a while,” explains Per.</div> <div>It was Dad Tore who inspired Per and his two brothers to understand that knowledge was both important and fun.  </div> <div>“Before we went to bed in the evening when we were small, he would come in to us and we’d have a quiz. All three of us thought this was great fun. It was important to take that with you into school. I remember us watching the moon landing together. I was nine years’ old. It was one of those moments, when I knew that ‘wow, I want to work on that’!” </div> <div><br /></div> <div>At secondary school Per created a chemistry box which he supplemented with ‘more advanced things’, as he expresses it with a smile. He used these to carry out various chemical experiments.</div> <div>“It was like having your own chemistry lab out in the garage. I produced gunpowder, did distillations and things like that.”</div> <div><strong>Did the garage survive?</strong></div> <div>“Yes,” laughs Per.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Per and his brother, who was two years’ older, followed one another. Both studied engineering physics at the Lund University Faculty of Engineering, and his brother even became a student guidance counsellor.</div> <div>“Two years into the course he came to me and told me about an exchange with ETH in Zürich. He said: ‘Nobody has applied, wouldn’t this be something for you?’” Per explains. </div> <div>He spontaneously answered no, he was enjoying it so much in Lund, but after a while he changed his mind and submitted an application after all. This was how Per Delsing ended up moving to Zürich after almost three years in Lund, and spent the rest of his engineering studies there.</div> <div>“I have never regretted it. ETH is a really good university.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Per’s realisation that he wanted to pursue research came early on, and after the years in Zürich he wanted to continue and take a PhD. So in 1984 he sat down and wrote three letters, one to Helsingfors, one to Copenhagen and one to Tord Claeson at Chalmers. They were the three universities where research was being undertaken into superconductivity at the time.</div> <div>“Tord called me as soon as he got the letter and thought I should come and meet him. I didn’t get much of a response from the others. I was offered a PhD student position at Chalmers.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>During his period of study in Lund, Per had met his future life partner Désirée. In 1984 Per moved to Gothenburg. Désirée followed one year later, and in 1987 the arrival of twins expanded the family.</div> <div>“Désirée actually grew up in the Kronprinsen district in Malmö where I also lived from the age of two and a half until I was five. Without knowing it, we had lived on the same estate!”</div> <div>Delsing publicly defended his doctoral thesis in 1990 with a thesis on ‘Single electron tunnelling in ultrasmall tunnel junctions’. Shortly afterwards he obtained a position as an assistant professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Gothenburg. Per stayed there for seven years before he applied to go back to Chalmers.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>In 2017 it was twenty years since he had become a professor of experimental physics at Chalmers, ‘specialising in tunnelling and single electronics’ as it was described at the time.</div> <div>Over the years many prizes, appointments and research grants have been bestowed upon Delsing: Wallenberg Scholar, the Swedish Research Council’s Distinguished Professor grant, the Göran Gustafsson Prize and the Gustaf Dalén Medal to name but a few. </div> <div>He is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA), as well as the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (KVA) and the Royal Society of Arts and Sciences in Gothenburg (KVVS). Between 2007 and 2015 he was a member of the Nobel Committee for Physics. In 2014 he was also chair of the committee with all that it entails.</div> <div>“I am of course highly delighted with all these honours. But being elected to the Nobel Committee still stands out. It was a really great job, one that I’m really proud of and pleased with.</div> <div>A lot of the work on the committee is confidential, but Per explains that he was involved in and presented three Nobel prizes for Physics: Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov “for groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene” (2010), David Wineland and Serge Haroche “for groundbreaking experimental methods that enable measuring and manipulation of individual quantum systems” (2012) and Isamu Akasaki, Haroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura “for the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes which has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources” (2014).</div> <div>“The committee normally consists of eight people who are experts in different areas so that the committee covers the entire field of physics. It is a considerable amount of work that has to be divided up between the members. As chair you also present the prize at the award ceremony,” Per explains.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>As a Distinguished Professor at the VR Per Delsing has been awarded ten years’ research funding up until 2025.</div> <div>“It is extremely important that you have the courage to pursue difficult subjects that may not work at all, and that wouldn’t be possible with three years’ funding.”</div> <div>Being awarded an ERC Advanced Grant from the European Research Council against fierce competition also meant a lot:</div> <div>“It was a major grant which was also international recognition.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The Wallenberg-funded quantum computer investment WACQT is, of course, one of those things that Delsing is most proud about. Chalmers had the honour of hosting the centre. WACQT has two missions: to raise the level of expertise in quantum technology and to build a quantum computer. The team are working in parallel on both assignments. Since its inception in 2018, a lot has happened:</div> <div>“I would like to emphasise that there are a lot of us working in the centre in different roles. We have put a great deal of effort into building up the operation. We have now employed 58 people and have entered a different phase. We have established a structure for our way of working and have got industry on board in various collaborations. It feels really good, I definitely think that progress is being made,” explains Per.</div> <div>“I have worked on fundamental research for a great many years, but it’s actually only now with WACQT that applications are starting to come from it, and that industry is interested. After having worked on research which is of more academic interest, it’s really great that it’s actually turning into something that is of interest to industry and the general public.”</div> <div>He also thinks that the construction of a quantum computer is going well:</div> <div>“We can run certain algorithms on small processors now. It’s looking good, and we have been able to proceed with building larger processors.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Per seems to divide his time between many different activities. Apart from being a head of division and head of the WACQT unit, he supervises eight doctoral students.</div> <div><strong>How do you manage everything?</strong></div> <div>“The simple truth is that I don’t. Nor can you run as fast when you are 60 as you did when you were 40. I’m trying to get rid of some assignments. For instance, I’m not taking on any more doctoral students.”</div> <div><strong>What do you enjoy most?</strong></div> <div>“There’s a lot that is enjoyable. I think it’s extremely enjoyable to work with really intelligent people who you can have high-level discussions with. But those eureka moments when you realise that ‘that’s how it must be’ or that we’ve found what we had sought for two years is also a wonderful feeling.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>At some points in his career Per has been involved in groundbreaking scientific breakthroughs. The first one came during his time as a doctoral student.</div> <div>“I discovered single electron tunnelling oscillations. There were many others who tried to observe it, but I succeeding in being the first to do so in 1989,” he explains.</div> <div>In collaboration with Yale, an experiment was carried out in which they successfully developed an ultra-fast single electron transistor. </div> <div>“We built the circuit at Chalmers and then one of my doctoral students went to Yale and carried out the experiment. It was a very important step. A great deal of my research over the next ten years was based on this transistor. We performed many interesting experiments on it, which were also published in Science and Nature.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>A research breakthrough that attracted a great deal of attention was what is popularly called creating light out of a vacuum: the Dynamical Casimir Effect.</div> <div>“It was an important discovery that we were the first to achieve at Chalmers,” says Per.</div> <div>The results, which were published in Nature, were called a ‘milestone for which researchers have waited 40 years’, and it was ranked as the fifth greatest scientific breakthrough in the world in 2011 by the journal Physics World.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Three years later Delsing’s experimental research team succeeded, in collaboration with his colleague Göran Johansson’s theoretical group, in capturing sound from an atom, and showing that this sound can communicate with an artificial atom. This made it possible to demonstrate a quantum phenomenon with sound instead of light. A door that was previously closed to the world of quantum physics now opened.</div> <div>“We could place quantum dots (artificial atoms) on a piezoelectric substrate so that it was possible to connect the atom to sound instead of light. The results were published in Science, they have been well cited and have gained many followers. There are a lot of research groups working in that direction now,” he says.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>How does it feel to make such a discovery? Delsing describes it as having the hairs stand up on your arms once the realisation sinks in. Like managing to do a high jump or scoring a goal from a penalty kick in football.</div> <div>“Sometimes you’re looking for something special that you either find or don’t find, but if you see it, it’s quite obvious. I remember how, as a doctoral student, late one July evening I was standing looking at a curve that was being generated on an xy printer, as it was at the time. I knew that the curve should have a little peak, and suddenly saw the printer’s stylus start to go up and then down again. ”Wow, a peak”, I thought. Within a few seconds I realised that I’d got something there.&quot;</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Other times researchers stumble over something quite different from what they were looking for.</div> <div>“It can take quite a while for you to understand what it was that happened and how it took place. Sometimes you find something that you didn’t expect and that’s almost more exciting.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Michael Nystås</div> <div>Photo: Henrik Sandsjö</div> <div>Photo of Per in his armchair: Michael Nystås</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/Chalmers-scientists-create-light-from-vacuum.aspx">Read more about creating light from a vacuum</a> &gt;&gt;&gt;<span style="background-color:initial"> </span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="/en/news/Pages/The-sound-of-an-atom-has-been-captured.aspx">Read more about capturing sound from an atom​</a> &gt;&gt;&gt;<span style="background-color:initial"> </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><div><strong>Read a recent interview with Per Delsing by writer Ingela Roos &gt;&gt;&gt;</strong></div> <div><a href="https://kaw.wallenberg.org/en/research/ear-quantum-world">https://kaw.wallenberg.org/en/research/ear-quantum-world</a></div></span></div> <div><br /></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">MORE ABOUT PER</h3> <div><strong>Born:</strong> In Umeå on 14 August 1959.</div> <div><strong>Lives:</strong> In a house in Landvetter.</div> <div><strong>Family:</strong> Married to Désirée, a language teacher. Four grown-up daughters and three grandchildren, who are three months, six months and two years’ old (in June 2020). “It all goes so fast”.</div> <div><strong>Job: </strong>Professor of Experimental Physics at Chalmers.</div> <div><strong>Leisure interests: </strong>Tennis, skiing and swimming. Very interested in humanity and evolution. “A scientific sideline.”</div> <div><strong>Listening and reading:</strong> “Mostly non-fiction, but I’ve read most of the books written by Henning Mankell and Jan Guillou. I don’t listen to as much music as I used to, I appreciate silence more. In Zürich I could play loud music and study at the same time. I can’t do that any more. I need silence around me when I have to try and understand something. My old favourites are Genesis, Supertramp and Elton John. My taste in music has stagnated over the years.” </div> <div><strong>Favourite place for inspiration:</strong> “My mother-in-law was born on Käringön island and we have a small holiday home there. We spend most summers on the island. I find inspiration from going out into the hills.”</div> <div><strong>Most proud about:</strong> “Apart from my children? In the scientific field, I’m most proud of having been elected to the Nobel committee. You are appointed to it because you are considered to really understand physics. It was recognition. It’s not just an appointment but it’s also highly stimulating work.”</div> <div><strong>Motivation:</strong> “An inquisitive desire to understand the natural world. On the one hand to understand why something happens in the natural world and on the other to be able to turn it round and use it in some way.”</div> <div><strong>First memory of engineering:</strong> “The moon landing.”</div> <div><strong>First memory of physics:</strong> “When I learnt what superconductivity was. For once my Dad couldn’t answer the question, but I had to find it out for myself. It was then I realised that I thought it was a really interesting and exciting subject.”</div> <div><strong>Best thing about being a researcher:</strong> “Being able to work on something that is so interesting and that you are passionate about, together with incredibly talented doctoral students and colleagues. To be entrusted with the task of developing knowledge during working hours.”</div> <div><strong>Challenges of the job: </strong>“Managing to do everything you would like to do.”</div> <div><strong>Dream for the future:</strong> “A great many of my dreams have been fulfilled. Of course, I had a dream of becoming a professor. I have also been able to achieve many of the discoveries I dreamt about. I dreamt of having grandchildren.”</div> <div><strong>Hidden talent:</strong> “I think I’m quite handy. I do quite a lot of practical work at home: carpentry, laying floors, electrical work.”</div>Wed, 25 Nov 2020 09:00:00 +0100https://www.chalmers.se/en/centres/gpc/news/Pages/Goran-wants-to-build-Swedens-first-quantum-computer.aspxhttps://www.chalmers.se/en/centres/gpc/news/Pages/Goran-wants-to-build-Swedens-first-quantum-computer.aspxGöran wants to build Sweden's first quantum computer<p><b>​Physicist, researcher and TedX speaker. It is important to Göran Johansson to talk to others about his research. He is also one of the driving forces behind the construction of Sweden's first quantum computer. “The dream is to be able to solve a real problem with a quantum computer,” he says.​​</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial">Quantum physics has followed Göran Johansson like a golden thread throughout his academic career. He is Professor of Applied Quantum Physics and Head of the Applied Quantum Physics Laboratory (AQP) at the Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience, MC2, at Chalmers. </span><br /></div> <div>“Traditional mechanics felt comprehensible, but I didn’t feel the same about quantum physics. I thought it was strange. Which is why I have spent much of my life thinking about quantum physics in various contexts,” he says. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/gjohansson_300x450_listbild_artikelbild.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="Picture of G Johansson" style="margin:5px" />Göran divides his time between a number of activities. As well as being Head of AQP, he is Deputy Head of the Excellence Initiative Nano (EI Nano), and one of the principal researchers in the billion SEK project the Wallenberg Centre for Quantum Technology (WACQT), the aim of which is to build a functioning quantum computer within twelve years. </div> <div>“We want to find the real problems that are best suited to a quantum computer. It would be fascinating to be able to use quantum physics to solve difficult problems like flying more efficiently, perhaps with fewer planes and fewer flights. We want to see whether a quantum computer can do the job better and we’ve carried out an initial theoretical calculation that shows that it works,” says Göran.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>WACQT has initiated partnerships with a number of companies such as Jeppesen and Volvo. Göran Wendin is the driving force behind a partnership with Astra Zeneca which may eventually lead to new medicines. Another project is in progress with researchers at Sahlgrenska University Hospital and concerns calculations for DNA sequencing.</div> <div>“These are all extremely difficult calculation problems with which a quantum computer could help,” explains Göran Johansson.</div> <div>At WACQT he also manages a graduate school with around thirty doctoral students.</div> <div><strong>How do you manage everything?</strong></div> <div>“Well, I don’t really. WACQT is a huge project in which I coordinate the theoretical work. And the core of operations is now up and running with a number of excellent corporate partnerships,” says Göran. </div> <div>What do you enjoy most?</div> <div>“Thinking about problems, discussing physics and supervising doctoral students. But just sitting on my own doing calculations can be a bit boring.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>We meet at the cosy Kafé Zenith in the Majorna district of Gothenburg. This is Göran’s home turf. He has spent a lot of time here. He knows the district like the back of his hand.</div> <div>“I thought it would be fun to meet in Majorna. My parents grew up in Majorna and we used to visit my grandparents here when I was small. When I left home, I moved to Klarebergsgatan street and lived there until we moved to Kommendörsgatan street, which is just 100 metres from here.”</div> <div>Part of what he loves about the area is its rich and varied cultural life.</div> <div>“Yes, there is much to enjoy here. I used to listen to new music and buy LPs at Bengans a stone’s throw from here.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Göran Johansson grew up in Påvelund, where his parents moved from the Frölunda Torg area. His mother was a domestic science teacher and his father a mechanical engineer who studied at Chalmers. Göran also has a sister who is four years older. He now lives with his wife Annika and their two children Adam, who is studying engineering physics at Chalmers, and Ellen, who is in the first year of upper secondary school, in a terraced house in Hagen, very close to Påvelund.</div> <div>“As you can see, I haven’t moved very far,” he says with a smile. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Göran developed an interest in technology at a young age. There is still something of the technical dreamer from his childhood in Påvelund in the 70s and 80s about Göran Johansson. He lights up when he talks about exploring science as a child, often with his father.</div> <div>“He has always been interested in technology. I used to get up early and go with him to his shed. He would bring home old electronic gadgets, and he let me cut off all the resistors and sort them. We watched popular science TV shows. I really liked Carl Sagan’s TV series ‘Cosmos’ and learned a lot from it. Above all, I was extremely interested in physics and wanted to understand how the world works. I have always wanted to find new things,” says Göran.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>He was also a member of the ‘Teknoteket’ technology club started by Staffan Ling and Bengt Andersson, the duo behind the children’s TV programme ‘Sant &amp; Sånt’.</div> <div>“You got a box of puzzles and books with a technology theme through the post every month. There were boxes on nuclear power, on genetic engineering and much more besides,” says Göran.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>He decided to take one of the first classic home computers along to the photo session at Henrik Sandsjö’s studio in Röda Sten, a Sinclair ZX81. It turns out to be the very machine that Göran bought aged eleven in London in 1981 on a trip with his family.</div> <div>“It was my first computer, and I’ve kept it all these years. It was on sale for half price in London! The next day I wanted to buy a game. At that time, you bought games on cassette tapes and I remember getting to the shop at closing time, putting my foot in the door and saying in my broken English “I want to buy a computer game”. They let me in to buy one,” he says. </div> <div>Göran gets enthusiastic:</div> <div>“Back then, you could buy magazines with program code for games that you could program yourself. When I connected the computer up at home, I suddenly realised that you could write on TV! It was a great feeling.”</div> <div>As a childhood memory, there is still a big sticker from ‘Teknoteket’ on the computer, a collage of stars, planets and Albert Einstein.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>After taking the natural sciences course at school at Sigrid Rudebecks Gymnasium, Göran began studying engineering physics at Chalmers.</div> <div>“I knew that I wanted to do that at a very early stage. I think it’s because my dad studied mechanical engineering at Chalmers. He was the first in his family to go to university. I remember him saying that “the engineering physics students really seem to know what they are talking about...”.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>His studies at Chalmers were interrupted after six months by 15 months’ military service in Sollefteå, but in February 1995 Göran graduated as an engineer. He was 23 years old and he wanted more.</div> <div>“I did some extra work on theoretical physics with Professor Bengt Lundqvist while I was studying and spent some time with the doctoral students. I didn’t really think that I learned all that much as an undergraduate and wanted to learn more. So it was quite natural to continue,” says Göran. </div> <div>This involved postgraduate studies with professors Göran Wendin and Vitaly Shumeiko as supervisors. They are now colleagues at MC2. Göran Johansson wrote his doctoral thesis in 1998: ‘Multiple Andreev Reflection – a Microscopic Theory of ac Josephson Effect in Mesoscopic Junctions’.</div> <div>“In the thesis, we gave a theoretical description of how current flows in a small superconductor. I thought we had discovered something new and was slightly disappointed when our theory was subsequently not used in experiments by other researchers. We had worked hard but no one really cared.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>His doctoral studies went fast and Göran then spent a few years in the late 90s as a research project manager at Ericsson Mobile Data Design.</div> <div>“I managed a research project on computer communication. It was about digital radio, and we were looking at how you could download data extremely fast on your mobile using the digital radio network,” he explains.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>However, his longing to do proper research again grew, and when Göran Wendin offered him the opportunity to be part of an EU project, he returned to Chalmers. </div> <div>“At Ericsson, I realised that I like solving mathematical problems. I now had the chance to be involved in a project with the aim of building a superconducting quantum computer that was actually based on the technology in my thesis. Now it was OK to do calculations with our small superconductors.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Göran then became a postdoc at the illustrious Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany, where his family lived in 2002–2004. This was because the Institute was involved in the EU project. Göran thinks with hindsight that the working climate in Germany was quite tough.</div> <div>“It was also extremely exciting to carry on working with superconducting quantum computers, and my wife really liked it there. But when I was offered a position as Assistant Professor at Chalmers in 2004, we returned to Gothenburg.” </div> <div><br /></div> <div>One aim of Göran Johansson’s research is to understand more about how quantum physics works and how its effects can be used in technological applications. He sees great value in presenting research to the general public, and appears as often as he can in various popular science contexts. He has given two TedX talks, in Gothenburg in 2017 and in Lund in 2018.</div> <div>“It is a challenge to explain something so difficult as easily as possible, and it was extremely useful to try and say something interesting in eight minutes... Great fun and slightly nerve-wracking,” he says.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>At Senioruniversitetet i Stockholm, which offers courses for pensioners aged 55 and over, he lectured about quantum computers to 300 people in a full cinema. And this year, he talked about the future on an expert panel at a science fiction festival. </div> <div>He knows that his research field is one of the most difficult and most challenging to explain. This is one of the things he has noticed in social situations:</div> <div>“People understand what I am talking about when it’s about computer communication and mobile surfing. As soon as I mention quantum physics, which I think is fun and in which I have a PhD, people stop listening,” he laughs. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>2020 saw the publication of the book ‘Kvantfysiken och livet’ (Quantum Physics and Life) (Volante Förlag), which Göran wrote with Göran Wendin, Joar Svanvik, Ingemar Ernberg and the science journalist Tomas Lindblad. This interdisciplinary book shows how a combination of quantum physics and medical research may form the basis of the next scientific revolution. It took several years to write.</div> <div>“First, we read papers and discussed among ourselves for a number of years. Then we each wrote a few chapters, which we then read and commented on. When Tomas entered the picture, he looked through all the chapters and made the style a little more consistent. It was a lot of work, but so great when it was finished. We are also talking about an English version,” says Göran.</div> <div>Most of the marketing activities have been postponed on account of the coronavirus pandemic. However, there is a piece on UR Play in which co-author Ingemar Ernberg is interviewed about the book by Tomas Lindblad. There are also plans to take part in the Aha festival at Chalmers in May 2021. Göran is on the festival organising committee.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>In 2012, Göran Johansson was involved in a major innovation. Researchers at Chalmers had succeeded in creating light from a vacuum, a milestone in quantum mechanics that physicists had been anticipating for over 40 years. With the experimentalists Per Delsing and Christopher Wilson, Göran was able to demonstrate the dynamic Casimir effect.</div> <div>“It is an example of an interesting fundamental effect of quantum mechanics which describes how photons are generated from a vacuum when a mirror accelerates and moves at speeds close to the speed of light,” he explains.</div> <div>The researchers’ article was published in the journal Nature and attracted huge attention from Swedish and international media. The experiment was based on Göran’s theories, and they were able to capture photons that constantly emerge and disappear in a vacuum. The media described the discovery as ‘creating light from a vacuum’.</div> <div>“It was the most enjoyable project I have worked on and I got a real kick out of it. It was the first time I was involved in such a high-profile project. If you are published in Nature, doors open and you have the chance to be interviewed on Vetenskapsradion (a science programme on Swedish radio) and in other media. It means a lot and is a career boost,” says Göran.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Not long afterwards, he was awarded two prestigious prizes: the Albert Wallin Science Prize by the Royal Society of Arts and Sciences in Gothenburg, and the Edlund Prize by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.</div> <div>“I was really happy. The Albert Wallin prize was my first prize, so of course it means a little more.”</div> <div><strong>I assume that you sometimes have some free time. What do you like doing?</strong></div> <div>“I am trying to be better at taking time off and switching off properly. I like family dinners and being out in nature,” he says.</div> <div>Running is another interest, and Göran has run the Göteborgsvarvet half marathon many times.</div> <div>“The first time I was still at school and I was unable to finish. That taught me that you have to have good shoes.”</div> <div>The Lidingöloppet cross country race, the Kiel Marathon and the Skogsmaran run between Skatås and Hindås along the Vildmarksleden trail are other competitions he has taken part in.</div> <div>“I like running a long way but not very fast,” he says with a smile.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Science fiction is one of Göran’s major interests, both literature and films. </div> <div>“This is one of my favourite film and literary genres. When I was small, I read every single science fiction book I could find in the library.”</div> <div>His favourites include Jules Verne and Isaac Asimov, in particular the latter’s Foundation trilogy and ‘I, Robot’. </div> <div>“Jules Verne was extremely prescient. And I’ve read all of Haruki Murakami! ‘The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle’ was the first of his I read. There is another that is a mixture of a hard-boiled detective novel and fantasy – ‘Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World’.” </div> <div><br /></div> <div>He also recommends films such as ‘The Fifth Element’, ‘The Matrix’, ‘Interstellar’, ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Star Trek’. </div> <div>“The first Matrix film is still good. I watched it in the cinema with my daughter on its 20th anniversary. She liked it as well.”</div> <div>Göran has also been a guest reviewer of the TV series ‘Devs’ on the website of publisher Volante. A quantum computer plays an important role in the series.</div> <div>“It’s a nice thriller with good music that deals with quantum physics in a relevant, well-informed and appealing manner,” he says.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Given that he used to hang out at Bengans record shop, it is hardly surprising that Göran also loves music. When he was younger, he listened to a lot of synth. Depeche Mode, Lustans Lakejer and Ultravox were some of his idols. Later, his taste broadened to include Talking Heads, Kent and Olle Ljungström.</div> <div>“I saw an early recording with Broder Daniel of the Swedish TV show Valvet as a friend’s brother was in the band. ‘Shoreline’ is one of my favourite songs, by both Broder Daniel and Anna Ternheim.”</div> <div>Håkan Hellström is a big favourite with the entire family.</div> <div>“We listen to him all the time and had tickets to concerts in both June and August, but unfortunately they were postponed due to the pandemic.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Text: Michael Nystås</div> <div>Photo: Henrik Sandsjö</div> <div>Photo of Göran drinking coffee: Michael Nystås</div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><a href="https://youtu.be/zPRi6kFHx3g">See Göran Johansson at TedX Lund on 14 November 2018</a> &gt;&gt;&gt;</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="https://urplay.se/program/217766-ur-samtiden-en-ny-verklighet-och-livet-vi-vill-leva-kvantfysiken-och-livet-nya-svar-pa-gamla-fragor">See the piece on the book ‘Kvantfysiken och livet’ on UR Play</a> &gt;&gt;&gt;</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Read more about the high-profile Nature article &gt;&gt;&gt;</div> <div><a href="http://www.chalmers.se/sv/nyheter/sidor/chalmersforskare-skapar-ljus-ur-vakuum.aspx">Chalmers researchers create light from a vacuum</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="https://volante.se/texter/kvantdatorbyggande-forfattare-tipsar-om-kvantfyisk-hbo-serie">Read Göran’s review of the TV series ‘Devs’</a> &gt;&gt;&gt;<span style="background-color:initial"> </span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="https://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZX81">Read more about the Sinclair ZX81 home computer</a> &gt;&gt;&gt;</div> <div><span style="color:rgb(33, 33, 33);font-family:inherit;font-size:16px;font-weight:600;background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="color:rgb(33, 33, 33);font-family:inherit;font-size:16px;font-weight:600;background-color:initial">ABOUT GÖRAN</span><br /></div> <div><strong>Born:</strong> Yes, 7 December 1971 in Påvelund.</div> <div><strong>Lives:</strong> Terraced house in Hagen, Gothenburg.</div> <div><strong>Family:</strong> Wife and two children.</div> <div><strong>Job:</strong> Professor of Applied Quantum Physics at Chalmers.</div> <div><strong>Career in brief:</strong> Has been trying to build a quantum computer since 2000.</div> <div><strong>Leisure interests:</strong> Running and forest walks. Family, music, film and books.</div> <div><strong>Favourite place for inspiration:</strong> Out in the forest. I switch off and am happy.</div> <div><strong>Most proud of:</strong> My children. I am pleased that they seem to enjoy life. In terms of research, the experiment on the dynamic Casimir effect.</div> <div><strong>Motivation:</strong> Curiosity.</div> <div><strong>Best thing about being a researcher:</strong> Being curious, exploring new things, thinking about how the world works and finding new solutions. I think that is really exciting.</div> <div><strong>Challenges of the job:</strong> Being innovative and asking the right questions that can be answered. I now have a role in which I also have to inspire others and get them to work well with each other. This is always a challenge. Everyone is motivated by different things. As with all jobs, it is easier if you like what you do. I try to help people feel that way.</div> <div><strong>Dream for the future:</strong> One dream is to find a problem that a quantum computer can solve. That would be fantastic. I look forward to spending a year at MIT. Otherwise I am very happy with my lot and think that I have found the right balance between administration and research. No radical changes are needed in my life. Maybe just to find a new dream in the future.</div> Tue, 24 Nov 2020 09:00:00 +0100