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KTH-Sustainability Newsletter

May 2012

This is the first internal newsletter from KTH-Sustainability (KTH-S). Want to learn more about KTH-Sustainability or see the latest news about KTH and environment and sustainability? Visit Miljö och hållbar utveckling (only available in Swedish so far). For future newsletters we gratefully receive tips of interesting news from you within this area. If you want to subscribe/unsubscribe to news from us, please send an e-mail to sustainability@kth.se


  • Save-the-date: 11 October 2012 - a day for sustainability with focus on the research at KTH
  • Become part of KTH-S as a PhD student representative
  • New Professors and PhD’s
  • New function in course and programme directory
  • Specifications of overall learning outcomes for environment and sustainable development
  • Sustainability in education
  • LCA network at KTH
  • Algae-based biofuels hold great promise to replace fossil fuels
  • Upcoming conferences
  • Disputations and licentiate seminars  - some examples
  • Notification

Save-the-date: 11 October 2012 - a day for sustainability with focus on the research at KTH
A day where we gather the researchers at KTH that focus or deal with sustainability. What knowledge and competence of sustainability is there among the researchers at KTH? As KTH is striving to become one of Europe’s leading technical universities in environment and sustainability, we need to understand our strength. What kind of challenges can KTH address? And what questions are the most important among our researches?

The day is a result from the ideas that came out from last year’s workshop: A day to shape KTH Sustainability.

Contact: Christine Ambell, project administrator KTH-Sustainability, ambell@kth.se

Become part of KTH-S as a PhD student representative
KTH-Sustainability is an advisory board for sustainability related issues concerning research, education and societal co-operation at KTH. Since the PhD student representative Josefin Wangel soon will have finalized her doctoral studies THS are looking for a PhD student that could replace her. Since quite much of the policy documents etc. that are being discussed and produced are in Swedish a good proficiency in Swedish is requested.

- To me, being part of KTH-S have given a wider and deeper understanding of the organization of KTH and how sustainability issues can be promoted throughout the organization, says Josefin. I have also been able to promote activities for PhD students, such as the project on creating a KTH-S PhD student platform that is being started right now. I really encourage other PhD students to take this opportunity.

If you are interested in the position, send a short email to the election committee ( oaf@kth.se ) with a cc to Josefin ( wangel@kth.se ) in which you introduce yourself briefly and write a few lines about why you would like to sit in KTH-S as a PhD student representative. You are also most welcome to contact Josefin if you have any questions regarding the position.

New professors and PhD’s
Congratulations to the recently appointed associate professor Anna Björklund and professor Mattias Höjer, both in Strategic Environmental Analysis. Anna’s research focuses on development and use of life cycle assessment, strategic environmental assessment, and other environmental systems analysis tools for decision-making, planning and policy-making. Mattias’ research focuses on future studies of sustainable cities, especially on how various urban forms can be compatible with sustainable development and how energy use in buildings can be reduced. Mattias was also in Dagens Nyheter recently "Det finns hopp om miljön"

Also, congratulations to Josefin Wangel, who today successfully defended her doctoral thesis “Making Futures: On Targets, Measures and Governance in Backcasting and Planning for Sustainability”.

New function in course and programme directory
To measure the impact of environment and sustainability in the education at KTH, a new search alternative has been developed. Courses that deal with environment, environmental technology or sustainable development have been marked and are now specifically searchable.  KTH has a total of 3674 in the first and second cycle, of which 190 courses have been marked. Sorting have been performed by studying learning outcomes on the course page. The function will be tested for year 2012 and further developed and updated in one year. 

Specifications of overall learning outcomes for environment and sustainable development
In the Higher Education Ordinance overall learning outcomes for professional qualifications are stated, and some of these relates to environment and sustainable development. This means that it shall be included in all programmes. To facilitate course and programme development, KTH-Sustainability has initiated a process where specifications of these overall learning outcomes have been developed. KTH’s Faculty Council has on its meeting in March decided that current document is advisory for the present, but also expressed a willingness to develop directing specifications in a process together with the schools. Current specifications, see

Sustainability in education
Numerous evaluations have shown that there is a need to further strengthen the integration of sustainability issues in KTH educations. As one step in this venture KTH-S is financing a project that seeks to develop a ‘toolbox’ with good examples of how to set up learning outcomes, teaching activities and ways of examination in relation to sustainable development. This toolbox is aimed at functioning as a source of inspiration and guidance for teachers who would like to work more actively with these issues. The project also seeks to create and provide teachers with opportunities to meet and discuss possibilities and obstacles regarding integrating sustainability issues in education and to share experiences. The third part of the project comprises a follow-up of the self-evaluation that has been circulated to all program responsible teachers (PA) for the professional programs during the spring. The project is staffed by Emma Strömberg (project leader, CHE), Josefin Wangel (ABE), and Per Jacobsson (ITM), and is run in close cooperation with Anna-Karin Högfeldt at ECE Learning.

In order to develop the toolbox and to create as fruitful meetings as possible we would be happy to get in touch with you who are a teacher at KTH and who, in one way or another, have been working with or reflected upon the integration of sustainability issues in education. Maybe you have a number of good examples to contribute with? Maybe you are just about to develop or reorganize a course or program and want to discuss ideas about how sustainability can be fitted into these? We look forward to hearing from you!

Emma ( emmast@kth.se ), Josefin ( wangel@kth.se ), Per and Anna-Karin

LCA network at KTH
Life cycle assessment (LCA) is an important method for environmental systems analysis used for assessing the environmental impacts of products and services in a life cycle perspective.  At KTH there are several people in different units that use and/or develop LCA in their research. For this reason, a network has been initiated aiming to increase the opportunities for collaboration in the field of LCA at KTH and also to strengthen the position of KTH in the LCA society. The upstart of the LCA network is financed by KTH-Sustainability and coordinated by the division of Environmental Strategies Research - fms. The network gives the opportunity to people from different units at KTH to meet and discuss LCA-related issues and to increase their individual LCA networks. Hopefully, this will lead to future collaboration in new or old projects, joint PhD-studies, collaboration in education, etc.

At the moment the LCA network has started a seminar series and has a mailing list. A webpage is under development. Future activities may include discussion forums between the members as well as joint PhD courses on LCA and more strategic activities related to research and education. A first network meeting and a first seminar in the seminar series already took place. The next activity will take place in September when the LCA network will host an event for those who are using, or are interested in using, SimaPro, one of the most commonly used software for LCA. More information will be announced soon.

For more information and participation in the network activities please contact Åsa Moberg or Sofia Poulikidou at lcacontact@kth.se   

Algae-based biofuels hold great promise to replace fossil fuels
Sustainable energy production represents one of the great challenges for the 21st century, and plant- based biofuels offer a significant possibility. Microalgae cultured in bioreactors or ponds as feedstock for biofuel production and other commodities such as food, feed, chemicals and materials have potential advantages over terrestrial biofuel crop production. They require significantly less land area than agricultural crop-based biofuel systems and can offer additional ecological benefits by reducing anthropogenic pollutant releases to the environment. 

The 19 to 20 of September 2012 one of the world’s leading researches on biorefinery of microalgae will visit KTH. Professor  Rene H. Wijffels from Wageningen University and Research Centre, The Netherlands will meet colleagues at KTH interested in algae research for biofuel production and he will also give an open talk about the research field and the great possibilities that large scale algae production may have in the future.  The open talk will be on the 20 of September at 10.15, the lecture hall will be announced later. Please reserve the time in your agenda and if you have a particular interest in algae research and would like to network and discuss future collaboration around the research area please contact Fredrik Gröndahl at Industrial Ecology fgro@kth.se and we will arrange a workshop with colleagues from KTH and with Professor Wijffels.

Upcoming conferences and seminars
BESCC in Climate Change Mitigation, 11 June 2012 at 13.15-17.00, E1, Lindstedtsvägen 3, KTH
What role does Bio-Energy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) have in climate change mitigation? What is the status of current deployment? How large is the global potential? What are the obstacles? The seminar is arranged by KTH Energy platform in cooperation with Biorecro.

International Sustainable Campus Network Symposium 2012 “The power of partnerships”, 19-21 June 2012, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon (USA)
The mission of the International Sustainable Campus Network (ISCN) is to provide a global forum to support leading colleges, universities, and corporate campuses in the exchange of information, ideas, and best practices for achieving sustainable campus operations and integrating sustainability in research and teaching. KTH is member of this network since 2010 and will participate in this conference. International Sustainable Campus Network

Conference on Sustainability in Energy and Buildings, 3-5 September 2012, Stockholm
KTH welcomes to the Fourth International Conference on Sustainability in Energy and Buildings 3-5 September 2012 in Stockholm. SEB’12 is a partnership between the KTH Royal Institute of Technology (with representatives from the Centre for Sustainable Communications and the School of Information and Communication Technology as co-organisers) and KES International. SEB'12

Disputations and licentiate seminars – some examples
Licenciate seminar 7 June 2012 at 10.00 K1, Teknikringen 56, KTH
Design of New Bioresource Packaging from Wood Hydrolysates
Subject area: Polymer technology
Doctoral student: Soheil Saadatmand
Supervisor: Associate professor Ulrica Edlund

Licentiate seminar 23 August 2012 at 15.00 E2, Lindstedtsvägen 3, KTH
Contribution of Information and Communication Technologies to the Climate Strategies of Cities
Subject area: Planning and decision analysis with spec Environmental strategic analysis
Doctoral student: Anna Kramers
Supervisor: Professor Mattias Höjer

KTH-Sustainability will soon send out this year’s call to apply to funding for projects aiming at increasing the cross-disciplinary linkages in environment and sustainability at KTH, called “Miljö och hållbar utveckling på tvärs”. More information will be sent out and posted on the website shortly.

Tillhör: KTH Intranät
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