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Diego Elustondo från Argentina är professor och ämnesföreträdare i träfysik vid LTU i Skellefteå. Foto: Kersti Bergkvist, LTU.

Diego vill öka användningen av trä

Publicerad: 10 juni 2013

När Diego Elustondo besökte Skellefteå för en trätorkskonferens 2010 blev han förälskad i staden, naturen och människorna. Det var därför inget svårt beslut för honom att nyligen tacka ja till tjänsten som ämnesföreträdare i träfysik vid LTU i Skellefteå. Det är med stor tillförsikt och ödmjukhet som Diego tar sig an sitt nya uppdrag.

– I wish to continue the great work that Tom Moren and his team have been doing in the past, as well as to open new lines of research. I believe that our chances of success will increase if we can work together as a team, not only within our group, but also with everybody else that believe in a sustainable bio-economy, says Diego Elustondo.

Vad fick dig att komma till Sverige och Skellefteå?

– It would take too long to enumerate all the good reasons that I had for coming to Sweden. To make a long story short, just imagine a person looking at a country that, with less than ten million people, has become a symbol quality in manufacturing, excellence in research and development, and, over all, a society proud of being equalitarian and fair. Who would not like to have the honor of being part of Sweden, specially knowing how much Sweden is admired around the world. Regarding Skellefteå, I guess that it is also part of Sweden!

– I must add however, that living in a small city it is also very appealing for me because every person counts. Everybody is part of the same big family that we call community.

Vad gör träfysik till ett intressant ämne?

– This is a tricky question. Some people may say that by cutting trees, the lumber manufacturing industry is damaging the beauty of the natural forest and reducing living spaces for native animals and plants. I respectfully disagree; I believe that society has moved too far from nature in the last few decades and the time has come to reverse that trend.

– The challenge for the future is how to use more renewable materials like wood, in a sustainable and responsible way of course, and less fossil fuels and minerals that are irreversibly extracted from the earth.

Är det något särskilt inom ditt forskningsområde du fokuserar på?

– My field of research is Wood Physics. This, in my opinion, involves two main research challenges: to create more products out of wood and to make wood a more durable material. This may sound like a very mundane objective for a researcher, but it actually requires a very deep understanding of wood as a material.

– One should remember that wood is a product of nature, thus it is nature who designs this material rather than us. We can only hope to improve the properties of this noble material by applying our science.

Vilket mål har du för Masterprogrammet i träteknologi?

– My ambition is clear. I want to see that students coming from the Master Programme in Wood Technology are quickly hired by the Swedish industry with competitive salaries, and the research performed by our scientists and students become the innovation that increases the competitiveness of Swedish products. In other words, my ambition is to see the Master Programme in Wood Technology as a key player in the economic and social development of Northern Sweden.

Vad tycker din fru Ines om att flytta till Skellefteå?

– She loves Skellefteå as much as I do, and she is very impressed with the talent of Swedish people. For the moment, however, our priority is to learn Swedish as soon as possible.

Vad gör du på fritiden?

– Once I can learn some Swedish and become more familiar with my new job, I think I will try to write another book. I have already written a popular science book called “The Wrong Assumption: Revolutionary Scientific Theories that Shape the Elusive Supernatural World”, but next time I want to write something that attract a larger audience. Please wish me luck!

Tack för intervjun, något du vill avsluta med?

– I just want to thank the people at Luleå University of Technology and the city of Skellefteå for being so accommodating with us and making us feel welcomed in Sweden.