Researcher of the week – Mikael Östling
Once a week, researchers present themselves and how they contribute to the important industrial transformation for climate and competitiveness. This week’s researcher is Mikael Östling, Professor, Deputy President, and Fellow IEEE, School of EECS, Department of Electrical Engineering at KTH.
Why is the industry's transformation to meet climate change in a competitive manner important to you?
"The industry’s transformation is absolutely key to achieve the global development goals to ensure a sustainable planet. It is interesting to notice that industry is taking the lead, much ahead of the public sector and national agendas. The electrification of the industry (and society) is the big game changer. This requires a fundamentally new approach and attitude to long-term capital intensive investments and work strategies. It also requires a massive life-long learning investment from industry," Mikael Östling says.
How are you contributing to the transformation?
"My own research is focusing on the energy efficiency of semiconductor devices. We are in for a revolution in new efficient and very competent semiconductors in different applications. Specifically, the power semiconductor devices will have an enormous impact on the way we produce, distribute, and consume electric power. The electrical energy consumption will double in the next 15-20 years and by implementing the new efficient power devices hundreds of power plans (mostly based on fossil fuel) will not have to be built."
What do you hope to have achieved with your research in ten years?
"I hope the research me and my colleagues are doing will have resulted in new start-ups in the sector, provide the industry with competence to further drive the efficient electrification and to teach the public and public organizations how to handle sustainable development."
What do you wish KTH to contribute within regard to competitive industry transformation?
"KTH is in an excellent position to make the difference we need. Our professors and researchers are at the forefront to demonstrate new solutions for the industry transformation by applying a new level of understanding how artificial intelligence should be implemented in industry processes. Not only in industry but also in societal challenges (healthcare, traffic solutions, and built society).
KTH will be a key actor when it comes to life-long learning in all these aspects. Our energy focused leading-edge faculty will be successful inventors of multiple new technology paths on energy storage, energy distribution and energy generation. The industry is of course in great need of new logistic thinking (much based on AI) for sustainable production and we are well positioned to deliver just that in our campus in Södertälje."