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Hedersdoktorer 2016
Honorary doctorates at Luleå University of Technology in 2016. From left: Svante Lindqvist, Elisabeth Nilsson and Gerda Helena Lindskog. View original picture , opens in new tab/window

Honorary doctorates 2016

Published: 21 June 2016

A national musician, writer and playwrighter and a writer with a considerable amount of publications on children's conditions, as well as a governor and former CEO in the steel industry, are this year's honorary doctorates at Luleå University.

The philosophical and technical faculty at the Luleå University annually appoints honorary doctorates. This year the Faculty of Arts choose to appoint the author Gerda Helena Lindskog and Svante Lindqvist, musicians, writer and playwrighter to the 2016 honorary doctorates.

Cathrine Norberg, Dean of the Faculty of Arts at Luleå University comment this year's appointment of honorary doctorates:

- Gerda Helena Lindskog and Svante Lindqvist both, in different ways, for a long time with great commitment and artistic sharpness, has contributed and spread knowledge of our northern culture that is worthy of all attention.

The reasons for appointing Gerda Helena Lindskog and Svante Lindqvist honorary doctorates reads as follows:

Gerda Helena Lindskog is a Swedish writer who over the years produced a number of publications of great importance to the northern culture with a special focus on children's living conditions. She now lives in Luleå, where she arrived for the first time as a librarian. Lindskog debuted in 1987 as the author of the book Benjamin dansar inte. After some time in Northern Norway her interest in the Northern children's literature awakened. The first work in the field of tourism with the North Norwegian literature for children came out in 1991. It was the starting point of the project Norrbarn, a bibliography of 470 children's books that deal with people, animals and nature in the north.

Lindskog's books are about both real children in northern Sweden, and the image of them. She has written both fiction as non-fiction. Significant work to pay attention to is Snölandets ungdom till hjälp with the subtitle Om kvinnor och män kring Norrbottens arbetsstugor för barn 1903-1933, and Vid svenskhetens nordliga utposter where she writes about the image of Sami in Swedish children's literature. In 2014 she came out with the book Först och främst misshagade namnet. It treats the working cabins for children in Tornedalen and Lapland between the years 1930-1954.

Lindskog has for many years been the president of Norrländska Writers Society, and was a project manager for a major Barents Project in the field of literature, and has contributed to the release of a comprehensive Barents Anthology. She has been the County Council's literature consultant in Norrbotten and Chairman of the Writers' Union North.

Gerda Helena Lindskog has through her writing contributed indispensable knowledge of our northern heritage, and given voice to people whose stories are seldom heard.


Svante Lindqvist is a musician, playwrighter and author with roots in Malmfälten. He has during a long time provided important contributions to Swedish cultural life and spread awareness of the Norrbotten heritage. Svante Lindqvist has written hundreds of folk songs, published in the book Folk music in Norrbotten. In 1977 he co-founded the folk music group J P Nystrom, where he still works, and through which the recorded music was conveyed to the world. The group has released numerous CDs, appeared in radio and TV programs in Sweden and abroad and toured in many European countries and in North America and Japan. Lindqvist was appointed to riksspelman in 1977.

Svante Lindqvist has published a number of literary works, among which are the acclaimed short story collection  Än kan man köpa en Portello på Sporthallsfiket. He has written plays for Norrbottensteatern, the National Theatre, Sveriges Radio and Sveriges Television. Significant is his plays about social development in the ore fields where the play "Man From Malmberget" is possible Swedens most played monologue. It was first played in 1993. Though the successor of "The Man from Malmberget return" attracted much attention. Lindqvist has for years been a columnist at Swedish Radio. He has worked with elite ensembles Norrbotten NEO and also with the Norrbotten Chamber Orchestra. He has participated in several musical projects at Luleå University.

Lindqvist as a musician is the recipient of numerous awards, among them the Zornmärket in gold, which he was awarded in 2011 for "masterful, stylishly and personally play of songs from Norrbotten". He has worked as an orchestral musician, studio musician, theater musician and in the jazz context.

Svante Lindqvist unites cultural breadth with artistic quality. Through its diverse activities, he is an excellent ambassador for our region both nationally and internationally.

Elisabeth Nilsson, County Governor of Östergötland and former CEO eg for SSAB Merox and Jernkontoret is appointed to 2016 years honorary doctor in the Faculty of engineering, Luleå University of Technology.  She got her education at the university and is one of the first female rock engineers in Sweden

–  It is very nice to be able to honor an alumnus from Norrbotten who made a brilliant career in an industry that has strong ties to the university and Luleå, says Roland Larsson, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at Luleå University of Technology.

The motivation for the appointment of Elisabeth Nilsson to honorary doctorate reads:

Elisabeth Nilsson was born in Norrbotten, in Soren in Kalix Municipality. She studied at the  geoteknology program at Luleå University of Technology. When she graduated in the mid-70s, she was one of the first female rock engineers in Sweden. After graduation, she has made a brilliant career in the male-dominated steel industry. She started her career at the Norrbottens Järnverk that later became SSAB, in 1976. She has been CEO of SSAB Merox, and production manager in charge of the Metallurgy Division of SSAB Oxelösund, where she was part of the company management.

Elisabeth Nilsson was appointed CEO of Jernkontoret in 2005, and in 2010 she was appointed governor of Östergötland.

Elisabeth Nilsson was elected as a member of the Academy of Engineering Sciences in 2007, and she has several directorships, including Boliden, the Swedish Maritime Administration, Euromaint, 4th AP Fund and Sveaskog.

After graduation, Elisabeth Nilsson worked a few years as a lecturer at Luleå University of Technology. At the university she later, among other things, served on the board of the Centre for High Performance Steel. As CEO of Jernkontoret, she had an active cooperation with Luleå University of Technology in several areas, and in 2011 she was appointed commemorative alumnus.

Elisabeth Nilsson is one of the first rock engineers trained in Lulea and is a very good representative of Luleå University of Technology, Norrbotten and steel industry.

Contact: Cathrine Norberg, president of the Philosophical Faculty, 0920-49 21 89, Roland Larsson, Chairman of the Technical Faculty, Gerda Helena Lindskog, 070-647 50 04, Svante Lindqvist, 070-231 18:56, Elisabeth Nilsson 070-588 89 93