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Jan Lundberg
Jan Lundberg

Jan Lundberg

Luleå University of Technology
Operation and Maintenance
Operation, Maintenance and Acoustics
Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering
+46 (0)920 491748
T1065 Luleå

Unique cross-scientific background and double professorship

I was born in 1957 in Umeå, Sweden, and received a Certificate in Mechanical Design in Sweden in 1976. I was awarded an MSc in Mechanical Engineering at Luleå University of Technology (LTU), Sweden, in 1981. A strong leitmotif in my professional interests and ambitions has always been the continuous development of products which mainly consist of mechanical components. Today I have achieved the very rare combination of two separate appointments as a professor in two completely separate research fields, namely Machine Elements and Operation and Maintenance Engineering, specializing in product development for design out maintenance (DOM) and design for maintenance (DFM).  In addition to that, I have spent a period of 6 years conducting research in the field of human interactions with related topics. All in all, this amounts to an unusual wealth of interdisciplinary knowledge and experience with a clear focus on mechanical engineering.

Machine elements and tribology (1983-2000)

After working for a couple of years as an engineering designer at Volvo Truck Corporation in Gothenburg, Sweden, in the field of mechanical design of suspension devices, I was granted a unique period of 6 years of leave from Volvo Truck Corporation, for research in the field of lubrication of machine elements (tribology). These research activities were carried out at the Division of Machine Elements at LTU and resulted in 1985 in the degree of Licentiate in Engineering and in 1987 in a PhD. Both degrees concerned the lubrication of machine elements, focusing on water-based lubricants and fluids. During the period 1987-2000, my research focused on grease lubrication and grease-lubricated machine elements and involved the use of large full-scale industrial experiments and laboratory tests. This research resulted in my appointment as Associate Professor (1995) and Professor of Machine Elements (2000). During this period I also started and managed an industrial collaboration group involving about 30 Swedish companies in the field of lubrication, and secured financial support for Tribolab, which is today a well-known research laboratory at LTU in the field of lubrication of machine elements.

Design and human interactions (2001-2007)

After the year 2000, I gained the insight that human aspects also need to be considered in the design of machines in order to develop products possessing optimum features. Therefore, I accepted an invitation (2001) from the human science-oriented research division of Industrial Design at the Department of Human Work Sciences at LTU, to participate in the development of several research projects, including the procurement of financing and industrial support. Consequently, during the period 2001-2007, I developed, led and performed research, as well as supervising PhD students, in several human science-related projects in collaboration with, for instance, Volvo Car Corporation. These research projects mainly concerned the optimum design of display panels in passenger cars by using simulators equipped with eye-tracking devices, conducting questionnaire surveys, and holding interviews with people of diverse cultures in countries like China, the USA and Sweden. Another international research project for which I performed research and supervised PhD students during this period of time was related to the aesthetic design of doors for private houses in diverse cultures like those in Germany, South Korea and the USA. Moreover, within a research project dealing with the ergonomic design of cleaning tools, taking ergonomic health aspects into account, I conducted research and supervised a PhD student.

 During this period I also established and managed a new research laboratory called LTU Designlab, in which about 30 PhD students are involved, in addition to developing a new multidisciplinary educational programme called Arena MMT, which is especially designed for those university students who are interested in both music/the arts and technology. Besides these activities, I also developed and managed a multidisciplinary research school with 18 PhD students covering the fields of music, teaching, medical engineering, healthcare, construction of buildings, IT and computer science, design, etc. The outcome from this period is thus, apart from LTU Designlab, Arena MMT and the research school, that the number of PhD students at the Division of Industrial Design increased from 1 PhD student at the start of my period there, to 6 PhD students. Another outcome is that I increased my knowledge concerning research in human work sciences and ergonomics and the scientific tools that are needed to collect and analyse relevant data. Then, in 2007, I received an offer to join the Division of Operation and Maintenance Engineering at LTU.

My present research profile

Design Out Maintenance (DOM) and Design For Maintenance (DFM) (2007 and forward)

Since 2007 my research profile has been focusing on DOM and DFM, and my future research profile will also have that focus. The aim of my research in my new capacity as Professor of DOM & DFM (2010) is to support product development in the field of machines so that the need for maintenance will be reduced (DOM), and so that the maintenance that is needed will be simplified, for instance through using self-lubricating machine elements or easier access (DFM). Today my research activities concern mobile and stationary machines in the mining sector, and switches and crossings in the railway sector. However, in principle, my research in the area of DOM & DFM can be applied to all types of machines, and also includes economic issues like calculating whether a higher purchase price for a machine can be offset by the economic advantages of less downtime and lower repair and maintenance costs. The need for research in this area cannot be overestimated, since the best total economic solution often is to install equipment with increased reliability.

Management of industrially related research projects and centres

During 1987-2000, I was a research leader for several joint research projects which were conducted in the field of tribology and machine elements together with Volvo Car Corp., Volvo Trucks Corp., SKF, Alvis Hagglunds AB, Abu Garcia, LKAB, and Statoil. Some of the most important projects are:

1) Increased Efficiency with the Use of Environmentally Adapted Lubricants, 1996-1998. The companies involved were Mobil Oil AB, Statoil AB, FMV, ABB Stal, Skogforsk, Elforsk, and ABB Generation.

2) Particles-Wear-Oil, 1996 -1999. The companies involved were Statoil AB, Iggesunds Bruk, Volvo Lastvagnar AB, FMV, Scania, Hägglunds Vehicle, Cantribo AB, Forsheda AB, Collie Company, Parker Hannifin AB, and CSM. This project was especially related to the transport sector and concerned wear in gearboxes in trucks due to particle contamination in lubricating oils.

3) Wet Clutches, 1996-1999. The company involved was Volvo Lastvagnar AB. This project was especially related to the transport sector and concerned the optimization of clutches for vehicles in general.

4) Grease for Wheel Bearings of Train Wagons in Arctic Conditions, 1995-1998. The companies involved were LKAB, MTAB, SKF, and SJ. This project solved the maintenance problem leading to catastrophic failures of ore wagons in railway traffic between Narvik and Luleå. The project was especially related to the transport sector and concerned railway transportation.

5) The Terramechanics of Future Terrain Vehicles, 1995-2000. The company involved was Alvis Hägglunds AB. This project was especially related to the transport sector and concerned combat vehicles and terrain vehicles in general.

During 2001-2006, I was a research leader for several joint research projects in the field of human science. Some examples of such projects are:

1) Research leader (2004-2006) in the CulPro project, which is a joint research project conducted together with Lapland University and 7 companies in Sweden and Finland, concerning public opinion in Germany, South Korea and the USA regarding the design of industrial products. The project involved 3 PhD students, all of whom performed research related to aesthetic design. One part of the project dealt with transport wagons for passenger cars, one concerned doors for houses and one was related to knives.

2) Research leader (2004-2006) and scientific leader of a research project which was conducted with Volvo Car Corporation (OPTIVe), concerned visual perceptions and active safety, and all in all involved 5 PhD students. This project was especially related to the transport sector and concerned the future driver’s cabin of passenger cars.

Since 2007, I have been fulfilling the role of research leader/manager and supervisor in several joint research projects in the field of operation and maintenance engineering. Some examples of such projects are:

1) Vice-Research Manager of the maintenance centre C-MIS, run by the Division of Operation and Maintenance Engineering, Luleå University of Technology, 2007.

2)  Measurement of Internal Flaws in Manganese Railway Crossings, 2009. The co-operating partner involved was Banverket.

3) Future Design of Railway Switches, 2009. The co-operating partner involved was Banverket. This project is especially related to the transport sector and concerns reduced costs and increased punctuality for transportation by rail.

4) Project leader, researcher and supervisor of a PhD student in a project concerning the wear of mill liners and crack propagation in machinery. The companies involved are Boliden Mineral AB, LKAB and Metso Minerals. This project (financed by Vinnova and engaging 2 PhD students) also involves the nuclear plant industry (2009 and forward).

5) Partial project leader, researcher and supervisor of a PhD student in a research project (financed by SSF) concerning product development in the area of trucks for heavy transports. The companies involved are Boliden Mineral, Contector AB, Parker Hannifin, etc. (2009 and forward).

6) Project leader and researcher in a project concerning the detection of internal cracks in manganese railway crossings by using soft aperture focus technology. The co-operating partners involved are Trafikverket and CSM NTC (2010 and forward).

7) Project leader and researcher in a project concerning the optimum specifications for and the selection of railway products. The co-operating partner involved is Trafikverket (2010 and forward).


  • Nominated  for the Best Teacher of the Year award at Luleå University of Technology (2001)
  • Nominated for the Best Teacher of the Year award at Luleå University of Technology (2008)
  • Nominated for first prize in a Swedish competition (held by Vinnova)  regarding industrial benefits from a research project, for a project concerning maintenance (2010)

Others achievements and interests

I have also established, managed and performed research in a unique project regarding development of the acoustical properties of saxophones (2002-2005). The participating company was the saxophone manufacturing company Julius Keilwerth AG. Another unusual research project that I developed and managed, and for which I performed the research concerned innovative mechanical solutions for and lubrication of bait casting fishing reels (1995-2000). The participating company was ABU.

I am also a musician in the field of jazz music. I play the clarinet, soprano sax, alto sax, melody sax, tenor sax, baritone sax and bass sax and have performed with many international top-rated professional jazz artists, for instance Arne Domnerus, Hacke Björksten, Ronnie Gardiner, Tord Larsson, Jan Lundgren, Lars Erstrand and Ulf Johansson. Moreover, I have been a member of an orchestra conducted and managed by Tord Larsson which has produced several international jazz CDs: Solo Flight, Phont NCD 8829 (1993); Everything is Fine, Phont NCD 8835 (1994); Wobbling Woodwinds Strikes Again, Phont NCD 8858 (1997).


My research and publications are an unusual mixture of technology and human work sciences. I have until today published 46 scientific papers and reports in the fields of engineering design, machine elements, maintenance, human-machine interaction, industrial design, creativity, and ergonomics. Note that I am the first author of many of these research contributions (33 papers with my name highlighted with bold letters) and that they often cover very time-consuming and comprehensive laboratory and field testing.


Article in journal

Limitations of eddy current inspection for the characterization of near-surface cracks in railheads (2022)

Anandika. R, Lundberg. J
Proceedings of the Institution of mechanical engineers. Part F, journal of rail and rapid transit, Vol. 236, nr. 5, s. 532-544
Article in journal

The effect of third bodies on wear and friction at the wheel-rail interface (2022)

Khan. S, Lundberg. J, Stenström. C
Proceedings of the Institution of mechanical engineers. Part F, journal of rail and rapid transit, Vol. 236, nr. 6, s. 662-671
Article in journal

Deep-Learning and Vibration-Based System for Wear Size Estimation of Railway Switches and Crossings (2021)

Najeh. T, Lundberg. J, Kerrouche. A
Sensors, Vol. 21, nr. 15
Article in journal

Degradation state prediction of rolling bearings using ARX-Laguerre model and genetic algorithms (2021)

Najeh. T, Lundberg. J
The International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, Vol. 112, nr. 3-4, s. 1077-1088
Article in journal

Life cycle cost analysis for the top-of-rail friction-modifier application (2021)

A case study from the Swedish iron ore line
Khan. S, Lundberg. J, Stenström. C
Proceedings of the Institution of mechanical engineers. Part F, journal of rail and rapid transit, Vol. 235, nr. 1, s. 83-93
Article in journal

Phased array ultrasonic inspection of near-surface cracks in a railhead and its verification with rail slicing (2020)

Anandika. R, Lundberg. J, Stenström. C
Insight (Northampton), Vol. 62, nr. 7, s. 387-395
Article in journal

Risk-based life cycle cost analysis using a two-level multi-objective genetic algorithm (2020)

Al-Douri. Y, Al-Chalabi. H, Lundberg. J
International journal of computer integrated manufacturing (Print), Vol. 33, nr. 10-11, s. 1076-1088
Article in journal

Detection and identification of windmill bearing faults using a one-class support vector machine (SVM) (2019)

Saari. J, Strömbergsson. D, Lundberg. J, Thomson. A
Measurement, Vol. 137, s. 287-301
Article in journal

Non-destructive measurement of artificial near-surface cracks for railhead inspection (2019)

Anandika. R, Stenström. C, Lundberg. J
Insight (Northampton), Vol. 61, nr. 7, s. 373-379
Conference paper

Ultrasonic phased array measurement of near-surface cracks in the railhead. (2019)

Anandika. R, Lundberg. J, Stenström. C
Part of: World Congress on Railway Research (WCRR) 2019, Tokyo, Japan, Railway Technical Research Institute (RTRI, Japan), 2019, PB027753