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Photo: Katarina Karlsson
John Fabricius, Anna-Lena Ljung, Marcus Björling and Arash Golchin Photo: Katarina Karlsson View original picture , opens in new tab/window

In Search of the future megatrends

Published: 26 February 2016

Five younger scientists at the Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, has for some months had the mission, based on excellence in research, to find the future megatrends in the world, in the field of Smart Machines and Materials.

- It's great with this promotion of younger researchers. I think they can pick up future megatrends in a more unbiased way, says Lars-Erik Stacke, SKF Manager Tool RND Research and Development.

In conjunction with Smart machines and materials, which is one of nine strong research and innovation areas at Luleå University of Technology, having an internal conference, the younger researchers got to present the mega trends they have identified in this research area, when it comes to excellence in research and what they identified as potential future areas of research. At the conference participated, among others, Chaired Professors and representatives from the industry. Hans Hansson, MD of Swerea SICOMP, is the originator of the idea of ​​these young scientists as trend spotters.

- Group management at Swerea SICOMP, we ourselves have done a situation analysis of the megatrends that we understand will be in the future of industry in 2030. What is required of future research and industrial research? How does our approach consistent with applied research? Perhaps it is that younger researchers are not stuck as much in the research that is going on right now and therefore, they are suitable for this trend spotting, he says.

The hope is that the younger researchers' trend spotting will contribute to a strategic document beeing developed for future excellence in research in collaboration with industry in this area.

The next generation of scientists

Before the younger researchers have begun their trend spotting in Experimental Mechanics, Mathematics, Fluid mechanics, Smart machines and Smart materials, the group has worked together with senior researchers in excellence and has had several feedbacks. Assistant professor Nazanin Emami and Professor Staffan Lundström believes that the Megatrend project also has the purpose of these younger researchers who are the next generation of scientists, to become aware of each other and about each other's knowledge in various subject areas for future research collaborations. The younger researchers in the project are positive.

- We know each other from different departments and the various strengths we have as scientists, says Anna-Lena Ljung, Associate Senior Lecturer, at Luleå University of Technology.

- We who are younger in research can perhaps see things in a different way and are open to other ideas, says Marcus Björling, postdoctoral researcher in Machine Elements at Luleå University of Technology.