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Tomas Vikström: "Come and change the world with us!"

Tomas Vikström, Adjunct Professor at the Department of Fiber Processes, shows an instrument that
From lab to factory. Tomas Vikström, new Adjunct Professor at the Department of Fiber Processes, is an expert in scaling up chemical processes. Photo: Jon Lindhe
Published Jun 21, 2023

Tomas Vikström is a new Adjunct Professor at the Department of Fiber Processes at KTH. He is also head of research and development at the Fiberline Technology Unit at Valmet in Sundsvall.
"We have probably been involved in one way or another every time someone uses a cardboard box or toilet paper," says Tomas.

Since last spring, Tomas Vikström has been commuting by train from Sundsvall to Stockholm. He is enthusiastic about the opportunity to combine the job as head of development and research at the global technology company Valmet with the part-time assignment as an adjunct professor at KTH.

One day a week, Tomas is in Kemihuset at Teknikringen.

"It's great fun to come here to KTH and make our company better known among the students!"

Tomas is a docent in chemical apparatus engineering and an expert in scaling up chemical processes from test tubes to giant facilities.

His area of ​​expertise is fiber flows, for example mixing and separation are important parts in the process industry.

"Among other things, we have used techniques from mayonnaise production to create the world's largest mixer."

Labs worldwide

Valmet develops everything from entire factory facilities to devices and machines for the pulp and paper industry.

The company has labs and pilot facilities around the world, including for bio research.

"Myself and our experts from Valmet will be able to participate in meetings and workshops at KTH at the same time that researchers and ex-jobbers can carry out investigations and tests in our pilot labs," says Tomas.

The dream project is to create a sustainable and environmentally friendly energy supply.

"Having energy available is the basis for most things, then it is the imagination that allows us to get it better."

More research is needed

As head of research and development, Tomas is the gateway to new ideas.

"There are great possibilities that raw materials from the forest can replace many fossil plastic products. More research is needed here," says Tomas.

Tomas hopes to arouse interest in the classic engineering courses, for example chemistry and mechanical engineering.

"It is a challenge to solve and understand basic physics and chemistry. That's what drives me!" says Thomas.

If he were to advertise the courses, it would sound like this:

"Come and change the world with us! We need to use the forest's raw materials efficiently and sustainably!"

Text: Leena Höijer

About Tomas Vikström

Family: Wife, three children and three grandchildren
Lives: Sundsvall
Time at KTH: Adjunct professor since 1 March, has taken doctoral courses at KTH. (Also an occasional beer in the 1990s.)
Education: Studied applied mechanics and fluid mechanics in Luleå and then did a doctorate at Chalmers in apparatus engineering.
Do in my spare time: Try to do a lot of sports, like winter sports. I'm also a sports leader in floorball.

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Last changed: Jun 21, 2023