The collaboration started 2015 at a conference in Coimbatore, India, where Lars-Erik Lindgren was a keynote speaker and there he met Professor Esther Akinlabi, from the Department of Mechanical Engineering Science at the University of Johannesburg.
– She found out what we were doing and we realized we had complementary research with joint interest in the application area. Right now we are financing this collaboration with our own resources since we both benefit from it, says Lars-Erik Lindgren.
Dr Stephen Akinlabi from University of Johannesburg now visits Luleå for the second time. He has been in Luleå for about two months and is discussing a window for returning next year.
– I have been here working with Professor Lars-Erik Lindgren’s team in the area of welding simulation. At University of Johannesburg we are more into experimental research so it is of immense value to us to learn more about modeling and simulation. I was here with a PhD-student in 2015 and now I am here with Olayinka Olaogun, who is also a PhD-student, says Stephen Akinlabi.
– I like it here in Luleå. It is quiet and it’s safe if you go home from work late in the evening, which is not the case in Johannesburg.
Lars-Erik Lindgren and Stephen Akinlabi are now looking for possibilities to take the collaboration to the next level.
– We are looking for calls where universities and companies in Sweden and South Africa can work together, says Lars-Erik Lindgren.