“You will have contacts with potential employers already during your studies”
Ida-Linn Näzelius is an alumnus of Luleå University of Technology and VP of Environment and Society at H2 Green Steel in Boden. The company has a great need for manpower with sustainability skills and collaborates with the university in the education of the engineers of the future.
The green transition is going at a furious pace in Norrbotten and Västerbotten. One of several new investments in the region is H2 Green Steel, where fossil-free production of steel with the help of hydrogen is planned. Steel production is due planned to start in 2024 and is expected to create 1,500 jobs in the region.
Ida-Linn Näzelius works with environmental and social development at the company. The steel production at H2 Green Steel must have as little impact on the environment as possible. But in order to be able to recruit the right kind of competence, the company is dependent on the region having a well-functioning welfare and being able to offer a stimulating leisure time.
Great need for recruitment
“I have close contacts with decision-makers in Boden municipality, from principals in high school and Higher Vocational Education (YH-utbildnignar) to municipal politicians. We will recruit a lot of people with high school or YH skills, but also a large number of staff with university education and therefore we also work closely with both research and education at Luleå University of Technology, says Ida-Linn Näzelius who herself has a master's degree in engineering. energy technology and a doctoral degree in the same subject from the university.”
She remembers her years at Luleå University of Technology with joy.
“The longer we read, the more courses we could choose ourselves. It was great that you could tailor your own education. I established many contacts with the teachers and researchers at the university, which I still enjoy today.”
After exchange studies in Montreal, Canada, she returned to Luleå, where she completed a doctoral project on the slag formation process in connection with biomass incineration. The project resulted in, among other things, a model for how to predict what kind of slag you get depending on the choice of combustion method.
In parallel with her doctoral studies, she was involved in starting two companies – a private preschool and a service company that nowadays mainly works with electrical installations. She worked as a development engineer and research leader at SSAB when the offer of the position at H2 Green Steel appeared. It felt just right at the time, both on a personal level and in a societal perspective.
“It felt great to be part of an investment that takes place at home. It also felt inspiring to be a part of an investment that in a short time will make a positive impact on the environment and labour market.”
Sustainability competence a question of the future
Ida-Linn Näzelius believes that the engineers of the future will need expertise on sustainability issues.
“I believe that perspective on sustainability has changed. My view is that engineering education has changed and that today's students choose their education with greater awareness than we did in my time. The technical development is extremely fast. Working at a new steel plant will be something completely different from before. The digital solutions that have been developed during the pandemic are an excellent example of what we can achieve in a short time if we only work together.”
The engineers of the future will also need a broader cultural competence.
“We recruit expertise from all over the world. Therefore, it is important that our employees have an understanding of different cultures.”
Anyone who chooses to study for a master's degree at Luleå University of Technology has exceptionally good conditions for getting an exciting job in the green industry according to Ida-Linn Näzelius.
“You will have contacts with potential employers already during your studies. We at H2 Green Steel plan to work in close collaboration with the university in various project work. It will be about real problem solving of issues that are important to our company, and the solutions will be applied.”