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Honorary Doctors
Lilian Ryd, Lars Martinson and Gertrud Åström have been appointed Honorary Doctors at Luleå University of Technology 2018 Photo: Arvid Högberg, Patrick Degerman och Tobias Björkgren View original picture , opens in new tab/window

Honory Doctors 2018 at Luleå University of Technology

Published: 27 June 2018

Luleå University of Technology’s Honorary Doctors of 2018 are Lars Martinson, CEO of Martinsons, a world-leading company in wood products industry, Lilian Ryd a cultural historian and author of, among other works, the award-winning book Kvinnor i väglöst land, and Gertrud Åström, one of Sweden’s foremost gender equality experts, who for centuries has pursued gender equality issues in Sweden.

– I feel honoured to be appointed Honorary Doctor at Luleå University of Technology. Collaboration with the university has been an important part of Martinsons´ development, both by educating engineering students and because we are situated so close to the creative environment of the university and its surroundings. It has created good conditions for Martinsons´ development but also for the wood industry in the area, Lars Martinson says, who has been appointed Honorary Doctor by the Faculty of Science and Technology.

Lars Martinson was brought up in Bygdsiljum, Skellefteå and is today CEO of the Martinsons´ business group, which under his leadership has developed into a leading company in the wood products industry. Martinsons is Sweden's largest producer of glued laminated timber and construction timber systems for multi-family houses, buildings and bridges in wood. The group has approximately 460 employees and a turnover of just above SEK 1.6 billion. Martinsons has participated in many projects that have developed and expanded the industrial wood products industry.

Martinsons has been awarded serveral prizes, among them Nationella träbyggdnadsstrategins pris för Utmärkt Modernt Träbyggande in the competition "Bygg stort och spännande i trä" 2008, when Studio Acusticum was builtMartinsons has also delivered construction elements, pillars and KL-woodboards to Årets träbyggnad i Norge 2014.  This year Beijer Byggmaterial appointed Martinsons the supplier of the year.

Lars Martinsson has been an active member of the foundation Stiftelsen Träenighet since it was formed, an important lobby organisation that initiated the major SkeWood framework programme, which has financed research studies in Wood Science and Engineering and Timber Construction Management at Luleå University of Technology. Lars Martinsson was also one of the initiators of the formation of Träcentrum Norr at Luleå University of Technology, and is still a member of the board, contributing with his and Martinsons´ involvement in R & D issues concerning new process engineering for sawmills and industrial wood constructions.

Gertrud Åström is a business and organisation developer and one of Sweden's leading gender equality experts. She is originally from Kalix, has studied Social Sciences at Stockholm University and Uppsala University, and has for decades been involved in issues related to creating a society with equal opportunities for women and men.

– Luleå University of Technology strives for excellence in research and education. If I have been assessed by the same criteria in my work, it is an honour for me. I am happy and feel honoured, Gertrud Åström says, who has been appointed Honorary Doctor by the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and by the Faculty of Science and Technology.

In her book Kontakt i kris: om kvinnors plats i välfärdsstaten, Gertrud Åström problematises how norms shape a business, and how gender affects the design, power structure and resource allocation of an organisation. The book was published together with Professor Yvonne Hirdman in 1992.

In 2004, Gertrud Åström was appointed to lead the government’s work on gender equality policies and contributed to the report Makt att forma samhället och sitt eget liv. For several years, Gertrud Åström was the General Secretary of Ordfront and CEO of  Ordfront (publisher). Today, Gertrud Åström runs the company Hela HUT AB with a focus on the importance of gender equality for sustainable development, and is regularly engaged as a lecturer and expert in gender issues.

Lilian Ryd is a culture historian and author. She grew up in Vuollerim and was awarded a Bachelor in language at Uppsala University followed by a degree in journalism. Since the 1980s, she has published books and articles about the cultural history of people in Northern  Sweden, focusing on the life of settlers, women's history and traditional Sami knowledge.

– I am very pleased with this recognition from the academic world, and especially that it comes from Norrbotten. It is also honourable for my readers, who, long before the academics, have appreciated and understood my aspiration to be both scientific and to write about Northern Sweden's multifaceted cultural history in an easily understood way, Lilian Ryd says, who has been appointed Honorary Doctor by the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Lilian Ryds first major work, Kvinnor i väglöst land: nybyggarkvinnors liv och arbete (1995), was the fruit of eight years of collecting data. Some twenty women and men, born around the turn of the 20th century, were interviewed for several years. The book received great attention, and has been awarded several prizes, among the them, Anders Diös pris för hembygdsforskning 1997 by Kungl. Gustav Adolfs Akademien för svensk folkkultur. In the book Vi åt aldrig lunch (2004), the perspective is shifted to a later generation, focusing on the author climbing the social ladder. Tusen år i Lappmarken: juridik, skatter, handel och storpolitik (2012), written together with the lawyer Tomas Cramér, was the result of an attempt to clarify the term "Lappmarken". This widened her authorship to include Sami history and culture. Lilian Ryd's latest book, Doahkke – fågelflock (2017), is based on her brother Yngve Ryd's research on Sami birds.

Lilian Ryd's authorship is an example of the valuable research conducted outside the traditional academic framework, making important contributions to the knowledge of North Swedish culture from historical and ethnological perspectives.

In November, Lars Martinson, Gertrud Åström and Lilian Ryd will be conferred as honorary doctors at the Academic Ceremony at Luleå University of Technology.

In the media

Nomination Texts

Honorary Doctors

Maria Prellwitz

Maria Prellwitz, Associate Professor, International Coordinator

Phone: +46 (0)920 493861
Organisation: Occupational therapy, Health, Medicine and Rehabilitation, Department of Health, Education and Technology
Roland Larsson

Roland Larsson, Professor and Head of Subject, Chaired Professor

Phone: +46 (0)920 491325
Organisation: Machine Elements, Machine Elements, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics