Researcher of the week – Malin Andersson
Once a week, researchers present themselves and how they contribute to the important industrial transformation for climate and competitiveness. This week’s researcher is Malin Andersson, Industrial Ph.D. student, PhD in Battery Control.
Why is the industry's transformation to meet climate change in a competitive manner important to you?
I work in the automotive industry, which is in the midst of a shift towards electrified powertrains. Electrifying the transport sector might be one important puzzle piece in combating climate change, but this technology change is not happening only due to ideological reasons. It also happens because the technology is getting good enough to compete with conventional vehicles in many aspects. I believe this is true for most sectors; sustainable solutions need to be competitive in order to change an industry in a meaningful way.
How are you contributing to the transformation?
In the commercial vehicle industry it is important to be able to meet specific needs from customers, as they all use the vehicles in their own specific way. Transitioning to electrified vehicles means learning to meet customer needs in a new way that can compete with the conventional technologies. My research is about battery state estimation and control. I investigate ways to assess the aging status of batteries on-board electric vehicles and how to use that information in the control system in order to operate the batteries in an optimal way, depending on the requirements of the application.
What do you hope to have achieved with your research in 10 years?
In 10 years, I definitely hope that the automotive industry has transitioned towards mostly producing electric vehicles. I hope that by improving aging status estimation and optimizing battery usage, my research has contributed in some way to heavy-duty electric vehicles being cheaper to buy and to use. I also hope that we have gained more understanding on how to tailor the battery usage to the need of specific vehicle applications. This would mean that most kinds of conventional vehicles can be successfully replaced by electric solutions.
What do you wish KTH to contribute with in regard to competitive industry transformation?
I think there is a lot of good research, and a lot of smart solutions, that never spread outside of academia. This is of course a waste! Joint projects between academia and industry, for example through industrial PhD’s, is a good way of making sure that research findings are tested or implemented in real life. Collaboration with industry is also a way of making sure that research questions, method choices, data or assumptions are relevant.
On the flip side of things, there is also some really good research being conducted in the industries, where there is access to data, equipment, experimental settings etc that someone at the university can only dream of. I think KTH can contribute to the exchange between researchers at the university and in the industry by organizing workshops and conferences centred around specific topics/ industries.
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