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Dive into Innovation: Exploring the Research Labs at KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Hey everyone! I hope you’re in the mood for some research today! KTH’s diverse research labs consistently push the boundaries of knowledge.

One of the highlights of Nobel Week each year is when KTH opens the doors for tours of its laboratories. Let’s look into some of these ground-breaking facilities in this blog post.

1. PDC Center for High Performance Computing

PDC offers high-performance computing (HPC) solutions (basically, it’s a powerful supercomputer.. yay!) tailored to both academic and business/industrial research needs. An interesting fact about this supercomputer is that it consumes as much electricity as 300 big houses!

A photo of a supercomputer which looks like a cupboard with beautiful art on its front
Did you expect such beautiful art on a supercomputer?

Established in 1990, PDC has become a leading supercomputing center in Sweden. While it primarily supports the Stockholm region, nearly half its resources cater to researchers throughout Sweden and Europe. Funded by the Swedish Research Council and KTH, PDC is integral to numerous European HPC research initiatives.

A researcher points to the inner structure of the supercomputer, showcasing several blue and red pipes.
The liquid cooling of the system at display

As you can likely imagine, such a powerful system produces significant heat, necessitating robust cooling mechanisms. In the image above, the blue pipes transport cold water, while the red pipes carry away the warmed water.

Find more about it here: What is PDC?

2. Fusion Experiment EXTRAP T2R

A complicated looking machine with a ring like base and a huge transformer that runs through the hole of the ring, has several electrical connections and a couple of people are examining it.
EXTRAP T2R device

The primary purpose of the EXTRAP T2R plasma device is to study magnetic confinement fusion. The goal of fusion reactor research is to create an eco-friendly and commercially viable energy source with virtually limitless fuel. However, the challenge lies in achieving conditions for the reactor, where the fuel’s temperature must be tenfold that of the sun’s core.

More about it here: Fusion Plasma Device EXTRAP T2R

3. Anechoic Chamber

a chamber whose walls and floor are completely covered with blue pointy pyramid foam structures.
Inside the anechoic chamber

This unique chamber is lined with foam triangles infused with carbon powder. These formations absorb electromagnetic radiation, transforming it into heat energy and thereby minimizing electromagnetic echoes. The anechoic chamber specializes in accurately characterizing antennas within the 2GHz-70GHz range. Given its design, the chamber eliminates electromagnetic reflections, allowing precise measurement of antennas’ radiation patterns and gains.

A collage of two photos, the left photo shows a researcher showcasing an antenna which looks like a hemisphere mounted on top of a metallic base, the right photo shows interested tour participants examining different types of antennas
Various antennas that are being tested at the lab

4. Smart mobility Lab

Here, the next generation of mobile systems for smart transportation and autonomous driving is crafted, seamlessly merging automatic control, computer science, and mechatronics. The goal is to harness artificial intelligence in designing and testing self-driving transport systems.

A collage of two photos, the left photo shows a researcher explaining something about a small model car which has electronics mounted on top of it, the right photo shows a laptop with some kind of simulation software mapping the area presumably by the car.
A demonstration in the smart mobility lab

5. Integrated Transport

The integrated transport research lab is a highly renowned research centre cofounded by KTH, Scania and Ericsson, focused on interdisciplinary research on sustainable transport systems.

In one of their projects, they developed a testbed to simulate interactions between an operator in a traffic control tower and connected vehicles.

A collage of two photos showing test vehicles and remote controlled setup to control a vehicle.
Various equipment inside the integrated transport lab

6. Sustainable power lab

The Sustainable Power Laboratory (SPL) at KTH champions research for a decarbonized energy system, ranging from material characterization to power dynamics. With nine specialized facilities, SPL delves into areas like electromagnetics, power electronics, and embedded control, contributing to applications such as renewable energy grid interfaces and electric vehicles.

A collage of two photos, the left photo showing a glass jar behind a metallic grill, there are electric arcs inside the jar. The right photo shows control equipment with several knobs and buttons.
Testing equipment at sustainable power lab

Esteemed corporations, including ABB, Scania, and General Electric, collaborate on projects within the lab. SPL envisions fostering local to international collaborations, emphasizing facility sharing, safety, and equipment upkeep. Key facilities include the Electric Machines and Drives Lab, High Voltage Laboratory, and the Real-Time Simulation Lab.

KTH’s research labs epitomize the fusion of passion and innovation, driving us towards a brighter, sustainable future. These facilities stand as a testament to human potential and the magic of collaborative research. At KTH, every door opened leads to a realm of discovery, inviting all to experience the future today.

If you’re looking into choosing a master’s programme at KTH, Samantha’s post on “3 Key Considerations to Choose the Right Master’s Programme” would be a great start!

2 thoughts on “Dive into Innovation: Exploring the Research Labs at KTH Royal Institute of Technology”

  1. KTH Innovation is probably the best place in KTH!
    Very insightful post.

    1. I agree! KTH Innovation – where your ideas get the best possible conditions to grow! 🙂

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