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Mats Wallin is the new Director of AlbaNova

Mats Wallin, the new Director of AlbaNova, monitors the growing Albano campus from his office window. Photographer: Sofia Nyström
Publicerad 2020-12-17

Mats Wallin, professor of theoretical physics, Department of Physics, is from January 2021 the new Director of AlbaNova.

The selection process that was based on nominations, applications and interviews was handled by a committee with members from KTH and Stockholm University.
– I was not expecting this and look forward to the new challenges and opportunities. I am interested in the continued development of a creative and stimulating academic environment and an effective administration. The first steps as new director will be to assist a smooth transition to the new AlbaNova organization and to Akademiska Hus taking over the AlbaNova building. I believe that my experience from other universities in Sweden and in USA can be useful in my new role, says Mats Wallin .

AlbaNova hosts the SU and KTH physics, SU Astronomy, and parts of KTH Biotechnology which will be a total of 1000 workers - a number that is gradually increasing. The current development of the area is very expansive and rapid, the most noticeable is the intense construction work of the new Albano campus. Mats Wallin is able to follow the construction from his office window, it is a jungle of excavators, cranes and workers.
– It will be very interesting to see the final result. I look forward to a lively new campus area where faculty, students and guest researchers meet, says Wallin.

The first building called House 3 has been completed and the move of various groups into the new offices and labs is ongoing. The theoretical physics institute NORDITA moves there soon to urgently needed suitable premises for conferences, meetings and workshops. Wallin thinks this development is highly welcome for the physics environment at AlbaNova and is happy concerning that the interior of the building turned out very nicely with plenty of meeting places which is somewhat of a shortage in the main AlbaNova building.
– The upcoming final construction step will be a skywalk between house 3 and the main building. I believe that this is a significant step that will complete the AlbaNova environment and stimulate increased collaboration, says Wallin. 

One of many challenges for the new director is to optimize the environment within the given physical and administrative boundary conditions.
– A currently ongoing development is to defragment the seating in AlbaNova by moving groups from similar activity fields together. This is a challenge since the building is full. I will approach this and similar tasks by trying to contribute to win-win solutions. Another challenge is that SU and KTH run separate education programmes and closer coordination and collaboration would be an advantage, says Mats Wallin.

Text: Sofia Nyström

Mats Wallin with new House 3 to the left behind the AlbaNova main building on the right.
The new campus area is surrounded by Brunnsviken, Roslagvägen, the AlbaNova main building (on the left) and Roslagsbanan that runs through the area.
The soft shapes of the buildings harmonize with each other (new House 3 on the left and the AlbaNova main building on the right.)
An eventful scene takes place outside the main building window. Photographer: Sofia Nyström

About AlbaNova

AlbaNova is a university center located in Albano, just next to Roslagstull. AlbaNova hosts the SU and KTH physics, SU Astronomy, and parts of KTH Biotechnology. In total about 1000 persons work in AlbaNova. From the SCI school the departments of Physics and Applied physics are located in AlbaNova, except for biophysics groups at the SciLife center. The physics research by the SCI physics departments in AlbaNova is active in many research frontiers including particle physics, nuclear physics, condensed matter and materials physics, quantum technology, and in various application areas related for example to medical technology and nuclear technology. The KTH physics departments are also deeply involved in the Engineering Physics programme, and in many other programmes including the recently started Engineering mathematics programme. The AlbaNova research also involves training of doctoral students and postdocs, and together with Fysikum and NORDITA runs the physics colloquium and many special topic seminar programmes.
At the end of November 2015, construction began on a university and campus area in Albano, ie behind the main building. The current development of the Albano campus area is very expansive and rapid. This area is intended to connect Stockholm University and KTH with each other and with the rest of the city. The first building called House 3 has been completed and the move of various groups into the new offices and labs is ongoing.