Alexander Flaig

Shaping sustainable markets

With our race to stop climate change, environmental pollution and resource depletion, many countries and much of research is focusing on developing and providing sustainable solutions.

However, despite promising and proven solutions, many solutions remain unused. And often you might hear or read that the problem is the market. More specifically, the lack or unattractiveness of a market.

But what is actually a market? If we look at research, we get some clues that help us describe a market. It is you, it is me, it is everyone that in some form is involved in selling, buying, using, producing, etc. a specific product or service.

But how do we get us all to actually start to buy, sell, produce, etc. a specific product/service? For this we need to understand how a market develops and how it can be shaped. Because once we know how to shape a market, we can ensure that sustainable solutions receive their sustainable market.

And this is what my research project focuses on. Understanding and providing actionable strategies on how to shape markets for sustainable solutions.

Contact

Institutionen för ekonomisk och industriell utveckling (IEI)

[email protected]


Yingwei Ouyang

Couples therapy for plastics (for the sake of our planet!)

With the climate crisis, we need more sustainable ways of meeting our energy demands. We hear a lot about solar cells and wind turbines… but these are not of much use if the energy they harness is lost before even reaching us! We need power cables that efficiently transport electricity, enabled by the insulating layer surrounding the cable wire. The insulation material should not only minimise the loss of electricity during transportation, but must also withstand the high temperatures in the cable!

Polyethylene (the plastic in plastic bags) is an almost perfect material, except it is too weak at the high cable temperatures. The material can be strengthened by adding another plastic that is harder to melt, like polypropylene (eg. in takeaway boxes). However, this only works if the two plastics mix well, which they don’t because they dislike each other. My research focuses on understanding and developing different ways of improving the relationship between the two plastics – with the goal of achieving the ideal insulation material for cables that transport electricity (to us) efficiently!

Contact:

Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

[email protected]


Robert Lagerström

Foto: Erik Thor.

Stoppar cyberskurkar

I media hör vi om hackare som lyckas stjäla miljontalskronor från banker, släcka elnät för hela städer, låsa datorer på sjukhus mitt under pågående pandemi eller påverka resultatet i presidentval. Jag arbetar i en forskargrupp som kartlägger hur cyberattacker går till genom att bland annat själv hacka olika system.

Baserat på detta arbete har min grupp utvecklat en app som kan bygga stora kartor över IT-system och sedan visa var en attackerare kan ta sig in, röra sig i systemet och nå viktiga funktioner. Företag som använder appen kan alltså bättre förstå den IT de har och hur sårbara de är mot cyberattacker och fatta de beslut som ger bäst säkerhet. Målet är att IT-system ska bli så säkra det bara går.

Kontakt:

Docent och lektor i industriell informationssystemarkitektur vid KTH

[email protected]


Sophia Hernandez

Plasmodium’s Kryptonite: Developing Tools to Study Essential Genes in Plasmodium

Malaria is a disease caused by the Plasmodium parasite that disproportionately affects developing regions of the world. It is the biggest killer among all parasites, killing thousands of people per year. There is still a lot we don’t know about the parasite’s biology, and this is one of the reasons why it has been difficult to eradicate the disease. Conventional methods to study the function of genes involves removing the gene and looking at the effect on the parasite. However, it has been difficult to uncover and study essential genes with this approach as upon removal of an essential gene the parasite dies.

I am trying to address this problem by developing tools to study these essential genes, to try to get a better understanding of the parasite’s biology and provide information useful to the development of ways to target the parasite such as therapeutics and vaccine design.

Contact:

Bushell Lab, MIMS/Umeå University

[email protected]