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Joel Lööw
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"This programme will attract students with a strong desire to bring about change"

Published: 19 November 2021

Joel Lööw is Programme Director for the master's program in sustainable production. Together with his colleagues, he wants to design an education that meets the environment's ever-changing demands for sustainability and that takes advantage of the fact that Luleå University of Technology is in one of Sweden's most dynamic regions on the way to the transition to a green industry.

The new master's program in sustainable production is one of the few master's programs in Sweden with a focus on the industry's transition to sustainable production. Each module takes a holistic approach to sustainability; ecological as well as economic and social sustainability are analyzed on the basis of the module's starting points.

In addition to standing out with the sustainability perspective, we are unusual in offering a pure production training. Those who study civil engineering in sustainable production will have a broad competence and act as the spider in the web in the industry, says Joel Lööw

Nothern Sweden – a pioneer region

He believes that the conditions for Luleå University of Technology for making a successful programme in sustainable production are unusually good. The university does not glance towards old traditions but is characterized by doing things in its own way. In many cases, a product's entire value chain is located in Norrbotten or Västerbotten, for example from ore extraction to steel production to the production of steel products. Norrbotten and Västerbotten  is at the forefront of the green transition. The ties between the university and the regional industry are close and as old as the university itself.

In the development of this programme, we have had many contacts with the industry, both regionally and in other parts of Sweden. They have shown great interest and commitment and we have received valuable input from the business community who have contributed to the design of the programme.

Students will notice the close contacts with the business community in the education, which includes several study visits and project work in collaboration with industry. But the education is also carried out in close connection with research in the field. The students will participate in various research projects and contribute to producing research results in a way that is unusual in a basic education. The programme has emerged in dialogue with the interdisciplinary future area Creaternity. Several of the teachers in the programme are affiliated with these centers.

Exploring the work environment in the mining industry

As a researcher, Joel Lööw has primarily studied how new technology in the mining industry affects the work environment.

The new programme is about developing production systems that combine social, economic and ecological sustainability. Part of our journey towards sustainable production is that we must develop new technology. A prerequisite for the new technology to do any good is that people can and want to use it and that the technology does not risk harming people, that the technology shift is socially sustainable. Based on my research background, I hope in my teaching role to be able to contribute to the students opening their eyes to these perspectives on sustainability.

As a teacher, Joel Lööw prefers to guide, give support and discuss with the students rather than holding lectures. He likes to try new teaching methods. Sometimes they work, sometimes not. But you only know that after you have tested.

The best thing about being a teacher is probably the opportunity to influence. As a researcher, the road between research results and the impact on society is often long. As a teacher, I can carry out my research directly to the students. I'm teaching tomorrow's civil engineers. Hopefully, they will be able to apply the research-based knowledge I convey in the transition to a sustainable society. I believe that this programme will attract students with a strong will to bring about change. It feels great and important to be able to give them tools that help them achieve their goals.