PhD from Lulea develops industry in Bolivia

Published: 7 July 2014

With a PhD degree from Luleå four students returns to Bolivia with the aim to contribute to the development of large-scale industry in poor areas.

Bolivia has large raw material assets, among others natural gas and clay used for manufacturing building materials in low-producing small businesses. Development of large-scale domestic production, such as of building materials or zeolites used in catalysts, detergents, etc., provide stable revenue and growth, an important goal for President Evo Morales.

Luleå researchers Jonas Hedlund and Johanne Mouzon, chemical engineering, Pär Weihed, ore geology and Marta-Lena Antti, materials engineering and adjunct professor Ragnar Tegman, helps graduate students from Bolivia through their PhD studies in Luleå.

The  PhD studies at Luleå University of Technology  is a result  of the SIDA-funded research program "Non-metallic minerals and materials development", a commitment to research and training of PhDs in order to strengthen mineral research and that leads to development in poor regions.

Fights poverty with knowledge

PhD students Gustavo Garcia, Wilson Aquilar, Ariana Zeballos and Edwin Escalera Meija will - with their newly acquired skills on clay materials - be able to contribute to poverty reduction in their home country by developing the domestic industry.

– In Bolivia, there are no  opportunity to undertake postgraduate studies in the mining area, says Edwin Escalera Meija. In Luleå, we learn to plan experiments and to write applications. We also have access to equipment that is missing at home and my university has also received equipment from SIDA.

To build up research and to secure access expertise that will drive technology development and social development, is an important task when the students  is back Bolivia.

– The knowledge will be used to explore the potential of building factories for large-scale manufacturing in small poor cities, says doctoral student Gustavo Garcia.