Spotlight on Research
Who has received what when it comes to funding? What findings and results are being published in academic journals? Under the heading Spotlight on Research, we present the latest news about KTH researcher successes.
Homes for low income pensioners
Erik Stenberg , a researcher in architecture, is involved in a housing project that aims to create affordable accommodation via “sharing architecture”. The research focuses on female pensioners, of whom according to calculations, around 30 percent are at risk of falling below the poverty line. The goal is to create communal housing with a maximum rent of SEK 4,000. One possible scenario is a large household for around eight people, each with a private living space of 20–25 square metres. As part of the project, Max 4 Lax, financed by Vinnova and others, a requirements analysis is being performed along with studies of collective housing and the renovation of homes built in the post war period from the late 1940s to the mid 1970s in the rest of Europe.
Sea cleanup with sunlight
A research team headed by Joydeep Dutta , Professor of Materials Physics and Nanophysics, have developed new technology to remove plastic pollutants from water. The method uses solar energy to break down microplastics. In practice, this means that when a specific coating is applied, the microplastics will totally disintegrate purely with the help of sunlight. The researchers’ purification technology can be installed at wastewater treatment plants and estuaries.
Plastic pollutants are a growing threat to marine environments. Microplastics come from synthetic leathers, tyres, cosmetics and other personal care products and plastic objects such as bottles and bags that have fragmented. These microplastics risk being ingested by marine life and then by humans in our diet. The research is financed by the EU and published in the journal Environmental Chemistry Letters.
Environment destruction outside cities
Andrew Karvonen , a researcher into sustainable urban development, is going to research into how areas around and between cities, so-called peri-urban territories, affect the climate and other aspects within sustainable development. His research is focused on the often sprawling and fragmented areas that are created just outside towns, that act as global hubs and local enclaves, and are often characterised by unrestrained growth and a lack of order with growing climate risks and environmental destruction as a consequence.
The aim includes gaining more knowledge of the process around peri-urbanisation: changes in land usage and the social, economic, political and cultural consequences. The research project, “Peri-Urbanization & Climate-Environment Change”, is financed by Forma.
Security risks in our digital society
Smart, interconnected and always connected – is how many people would describe a sustainable society of the future. However, more of us perhaps forget that the more we are connected, the greater the demands on the security and integrity of systems. How secure do systems need to be when power networks, healthcare and transport systems are cloud based? This summer, KTH is hosted an initiative on the theme of cyber security and integrity, to which leading researchers from all round the world have been invited to discuss these issues.
From 10–20 June and 16–20 July, an IEEE European Symposium on Security and Privacy research conference and a Privacy Enhancing Technologies Symposium (PETS 2019) are being arranged, that will include numerous meetings and events where 300 researchers are expected to participate. Parts of these conferences will be open to the public. The contact person for these events is Panagiotis Papadimitratos .
Tool to reduce air travel
Daniel Pargman , a researcher in media technology, is going to investigate how employees can reduce their business-related travel. A research team at KTH, including Elina Eriksson , Jarmo Laaksolahti , Björn Hedin and Markus Robért , will look to develop a tool that can help employers achieve their climate goals. The tool, a structured method in combination with analogue and digital tools, will turn words into deeds at levels in an organisation where specific decisions are taken on the when, where and how of business travel. The project, financed by the Swedish Energy Agency and KTH, aims to offer frequent flyer organisations greater opportunities to reach or exceed climate goals, to contribute to a more energy efficient and sustainable future.
Four researchers granted millions for unrestricted research
Four researchers at KTH have been awarded prizes by Göran Gustafsson foundations. Professor Karim Alexander Adiprasito , a researcher into Engineering Physics, has been awarded a Göran Gustafsson Prize worth SEK 2.75 million to be used for research as he sees fit. His area of interest is the interplay between finite, combinatorial objects and infinite such objects, such as continuous objects. Research into combinatorial structures is motivated by their importance in modern economics and combinatorial problems in mathematics.
Klaus Jöns , a researcher into Engineering Physics, has also been awarded a Göran Gustafsson Prize worth SEK 2.75 million. His research into hybrid quantum photonic units combines quantum optics and materials science at nanoscale. Application areas include being able to realise future internet technologies, for example.
Researchers Patrick Henning and Lilian Matthiesen are sharing a smaller Göran Gustafsson Prize of SEK 750,000 each. This prize is awarded by Göran Gustafsson foundations for scientific and medical research.
Text: Christer Gummeson