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KTH to confer honorary doctorates Nov. 21

Published Oct 29, 2014

Scientists from the US, UK and China join two distinguished Swedes in receiving honorary degrees this year during KTH Royal Institute of Technology’s annual conferment of doctoral degrees ceremony, to be held November 21 at the Stockholm Concert Hall.

The traditions of KTH’s annual Conferment of Doctoral Degrees, known in Swedish as "promotion", date back to the 12th century, involving ceremonial hats, laurels, rings and performances of Swedish choral music. With this backdrop of ancient pomp and pageantry, the awarding of honorary doctoral degrees celebrates key contributions to scientific advancement across a number of disciplines. This year’s honorary doctoral degree recipients are being recognised for outstanding accomplishments in the fields of systems analysis and control engineering, health, forestry products, material science and computer science. 

Sverker Martin-Löf, Chairman of the board, Industrivärden

Sverker Martin-Löf

Sverker Martin-Löf is one of Sweden’s most renowned industrialists. As President and CEO of SCA from 1990-2002, he implemented important changes which resulted in SCA becoming Sweden’s only global forest products company.

Through his knowledge and personal qualities – and his company’s success – Sverker Martin-Löf stands out as the leading representative of the Swedish forest industry. Through his commitment and vision, he works towards further developing forest industrial research and catalysing this towards a stronger and more competitive Swedish forest industry. 

Lei Guo, Professor at the Institute of Systems Science, Chinese Academy of Science, China

Lei Guo

Lei Guo is the most influential person within systems analysis and control engineering in China. In his role as Vice-Secretary General of the Committee of the National People’s Congress, he plays a unique role in shaping China’s future research strategies. He has provided fundamental contributions to theory formation within control engineering and the description of stochastic systems.

Professor Guo is a prolific and influential researcher who has received many awards. He is a member of the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS) and the International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC). Professor Guo has strong ties with Sweden, as a visiting research fellow at the Institute of Technology at Linköping University, by sharing projects with KTH researchers and making frequent visits to the university, and by receiving Swedish researchers and doctoral students in Beijing.

Marta Kwiatkowska, Professor at the University of Oxford, UK

Marta Kwiatkowska

Marta Kwiatkowska is Professor of Computing Systems and a Fellow of Trinity College, University of Oxford. She is a world-leading computer science researcher and a driving force for the development of probabilistic and quantitative methods within computer science. Her research has been applied to a range of different areas, such as communication networks and data protection, nanotechnology, game theory and systems biology.

Professor Kwiatkowska holds an ERC Advanced Grant and is a member of Academia Europea, a Fellow of BCS, and participates in editorial boards for a number of computer science publications. She has collaborated with researchers at KTH in various ways, not least through her long-standing involvement as a scientific advisor of ACCESS Linnaeus Centre.

Gregory B. Olson, Professor at Northwestern University, USA

Gregory B Olson

Gregory B. Olson is an internationally leading researcher within science-based material design. By combining state-of-the-art knowledge from many different scientific disciplines with engineering tools, he has been able to design a number of new materials. He has played a large role in development of the Integrated Computational Materials Engineering area.

Professor Olson has received a great number of awards, including the Jacob Wallenberg Foundation Award and ASM Gold Medal. He holds roughly 20 patents. Professor Olson is a member of the American National Academy of Engineering and a foreign associate of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA).

Marie Vahter, Professor at Karolinska Institutet

Marie Vahter

As a part of her research, Marie Vahter has worked widely within the problem area of metals and human health. A majority of metals are generally regarded as essential for human health in trace amounts. But it remains unclear whether other metals are necessary for human metabolism. While researchers at KTH have studied the geochemistry of metals, including metalloids such as arsenic, in different environments, Professor Vahter’s work involves the connection between exposure and the impact of metals on human health. The combination of these is extremely beneficial for understanding how metals behave in nature and how people are exposed to them.

Professor Vahter is a highly productive and internationally established researcher who has made vast efforts concerning the connection between exposure and the impact of metals on human health on a global level. Among other things, this has contributed to a reduction of limit values for arsenic in drinking water for the majority of countries in the world.