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Published: 2024-02-01 Updated: 2024-02-06, 08:48

Inauguration of research infrastructure equipment

NEWS The Environmental Archaeology Laboratory (MAL) and Humlab organised a joint inauguration of infrastructure equipment that was joined by about 50 people. The equipment, Near Infrared Spectroscopy (MAL) and Motion Capture (Humlab), has been funded by Kempestiftelserna.

"Kempestiftelserna's funding aims to promote research and education in the counties of Västerbotten, Västernorrland and Norrbotten, where equipment funding is a highly motivated area. Granting funds for equipment at Humlab and the Environmental Archaeology Laboratory, both at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Umeå University, creates opportunities for researchers within and across research boundaries to collaborate to collect and visualise data in new ways", says Alice Kempe who participated in the inauguration.

Christer Nordlund, dean at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities opened the inauguration.

“Access to research infrastructures creates the conditions for conducting high-quality research, so I would like to extend my thanks to Kempestiftelserna for their generous contribution which made the purchase of the equipment possible. Research in the humanities study’s issues related to humans, our society and culture, which are fundamental to solving the societal challenges we face" says Christer Nordlund.

Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIR) is used for various chemical characterisation of different materials, both organic and inorganic. In archaeology and environmental research, the technique is used to analyse sediment samples, artifacts, stone materials, paintings and pigments, etc. The latest instrumentation addition is a NIR camera that generates images containing chemical information and is adapted for lab and field conditions. During the inauguration, the equipment was demonstrated by Johan Linderholm, Associate Professor at the Department of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies.

"We already have a collaboration with the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, and the Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. Now, we got the occasion to show our facilities and equipment to a broader audience, which opens opportunities for new collaborations with a wider variety of disciplines”, says Ivanka Hristova, director of MAL.

Motion Capture is an equipment used to capture all or part of a person's physical movements, shifts, and in some cases facial expressions. The movements are then translated into the behavior of a 3D digital character. The equipment will be used to explore new opportunities for digital humanities within four national research infrastructures where Humlab is included. There are also opportunities to eventually use the equipment in other contexts, such as projects in AI and in game development.

At the inauguration, Jim Robertsson at Humlab, demonstrated the equipment and the actual Motion Capture suit was worn by Love Ersare from Skuggteatern.

"The inauguration was attended by researchers, teachers and external stakeholders so in addition to the opportunity to showcase our environment and equipment, several interesting ideas for research projects and other collaborative projects where our equipment can be used were highlighted. We will follow up on these", says Karin Danielsson, director of Humlab.