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Teacher and new programme director who is passionate about climate policy issues

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Man outdoors with checkered shirt.
Associate professor Stefan Grönkvist. Photo: Jon Lindhe, KTH
Published Feb 15, 2023

Stefan Grönkvist is associate professor and head of department for Energy Processes at the CBH School. He is passionate about climate policy issues, something he also tries to convey to students and doctoral students. With nine years in business, he always tries to bring real-life examples into his teaching. Since January this year, he is also the new programme director for the master's programme Chemical Engineering for Energy and Environment.

Stefan Grönkvist grew up in the mill town of Söderhamn in Hälsingland, and the basic education at KTH alone was a big step from the working class environment he grew up in. Then, he had time to work for a few years before coming back to KTH to get a doctorate in chemical engineering. After that, he took another turn in the business world before he once again landed within the walls of KTH.

In his own research, he wants to focus on the multidisciplinary, something that has resulted in, among other things, several collaborative projects with social scientists at Linköping University. The research concerns, among other things, how to store biogenic carbon and keep it out of the atmosphere.

Lectures on climate policy

In addition to research, he teaches thermodynamics and chemical engineering processes, as well as lectures on climate policy and energy systems in several courses. When it comes to teaching, he always tries to relate to reality, something that the students may come to appreciate when they enter working life, if not sooner.

"I have received feedback from students who have worked for a while that it is valuable. Then they realize how important it is to take this with you from your studies," says Stefan Grönkvist.

He finds his commitment in the desire to convey his own great interest in climate policy issues. Stefan Grönkvist feels a concern about where we are going and a frustration at the complexity of finding solutions to what many are aware of, combined with the lack of understanding.

"There is always something happening in my fields: energy and climate. There is always social relevance in what I teach and the fun part is introducing pieces of society and reality into the teaching. I am very concerned about climate change, which makes me very involved. It is great when I manage to get it to rub off on the students."

Perhaps he is still a little extra passionate about the supervision of doctoral students, which is also part of being a teacher after all.

"You get so much further in reasoning with the doctoral students. Of course, ordinary students can arouse interest in the issues I am passionate about – the energy and climate area – but to really develop the commitment requires time. When the doctoral supervision works as it should, it is a dialogue that moves things forward and that also gives me a lot. It is an exchange, where you really get the opportunity to turn things around."

Text: Åsa Karsberg

Translation: Leena Höijer