Newsmakers at KTH

Published Dec 11, 2019

Who has received what when it comes to funding? What findings, results and researchers have attracted attention outside KTH? Under the vignette Newsmakers, we provide a selection of the latest news and events at KTH.

ERC grants for robotics and music

Bob Sturm.

Two researchers at KTH, Dimos Dimarogonas  and Bob Sturm , have been awarded prestigious ERC Consolidator Grants. The grant to Bob Sturm, Associate Professor of Speech, Music and Hearing, is for the project MUSAiC, on how AI and IT can generate music. The research is oriented to how Swedish, English and Irish music can be developed using this new technology. The artificial model they have created is based on a kind of machine learning that repeats and produces new tones based on the music that has previously been processed.

Dimos Dimarogonas.

Dimos Dimarogonas, Professor of Automatic Control, who is also a previous ERC Starting Grant winner, researches into how to teach robots to cooperate. As part of the LEAFHOUND project, he is aiming to develop systems where robots should be able to process information from their surroundings and make flexible decisions based on what is happening. Functionality is being developed within the research that enables robots to move in a dynamic environment and at the same time cooperate with both other robots and humans.

The grants from the European Research Council ERC are part of the research and innovation programme Horizon 2020. When this year's announcement was made, 301 researchers out of over 2,400 applicants were granted funding averaging €2 million over five years. The grants are oriented towards applicants that have the potential to become world-leading within their area.

Heart map provides insights into diseases

Michaela Asp  and Stefania Giacomello , researchers within gene technology, have analysed heart cells during human development, with the aim of increasing understanding during our development stage, which can provide greater insights into the development of heart diseases. Their work has resulted in a model in the form of a high resolution cellular map of the human heart during development. The model is openly available within the Human Developmental Cell Atlas , a Swedish initiative for further research within the area. The atlas of human heart cells is part of the international Human Cell Atlas project that aims to create a comprehensive catalogue of all cells in the human body. The study has been published in the periodical Cell .

Knowledge more important than flight shaming

Nina Wormbs.

Flight shaming has become a concept in the climate debate. However, when people stop flying for climate reasons, shaming is not the main reason. It is better knowledge and concern for future generations that weight more heavily instead, according to a new study by Nina Wormbs , Professor of the History of Technology, and others. The survey “Grounded beyond Flight Shaming” is based on questionnaire answers from around 900 respondents, who have chosen to stop flying to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. The study  is published by the green liberal think tank Fores in consultation with the European Liberal Forum.

Chemicals that reduce plastic waste

The research project Chemicals Recycling that is headed by Semida Silveira , Professor of Energy Systems Planning, was one of the winners of the Lidl food retailing chain Plastic Challenge Competition that aims to reduce plastic waste. The project, that originated in a degree project assignment by Martyna Solis, a former KTH student, and was awarded SEK 1.4 million, is researching into chemicals recycling as a means to improve the efficiency of plastic recycling and to build a greater understanding of how the plastic flow can be managed.

New director of the Wood Science Center

Eva Malmström Jonsson.

Eva Malmström Jonsson , a Professor of Fibre and Polymer Technology, a former Deputy President and Vice President at KTH, is the new Director of the Wallenberg Wood Science Center. The research centre is oriented towards pure research and develops knowledge as a platform for a new generation of innovative materials from wood, with the focus on nanotechnology and bespoke materials from wood, cellulose, lignin and hemicellulose.

With KTH as the principal and the Knut och Alice Wallenbergs Stiftelse (KAW) as principal financing body, the research centre has developed a number of notable innovations since starting in 2008, including cellulose thread based on a fibril structure, a material that is stronger than both steel and aluminium, plus transparent wood. Malmström joins as director on 1 April 2020.

International Talent of the Year

Mehdi Attarpour, a former student at KTH, has won the International Talent of the Year Award. Attarpour, originally from Iran, took the KTH rapid course in programming. The three-month Software Development Academy course is for newly arrived academics. Attarpour is currently employed as a program developer and has won the award for his rapid career progress. The prize is awarded by SDCN, a network linked to international employees at Stockholm universities.

Text: Christer Gummeson

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Last changed: Dec 11, 2019