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Published: 03 Aug, 2022

Collaboration award to research trio in energy engineering

NEWS The Faculty of Science and Technology's collaboration award 2022 is awarded to researchers Rainer Backman, Markus Broström and Matias Eriksson at the Department of Applied Physics and Electronics. The prize motivation emphasizes their work in creating a competence center for the sustainable production of cement and quicklime.

Text: Ingrid Söderbergh

Cooperating closely with industries helps us to identify the most pressing knowledge bottlenecks where the university's methods, competences and resources will be most useful.

“It feels fantastic and important that the faculty, through this award, recognizes the work that Rainer, Markus and I have done! A big thank you to all active researchers from industry and academia who have contributed to our competence center's development,” says Matias Eriksson, Senior research engineer  at the Department of Applied Physics and Electronics at Umeå University and director of the Centre for Sustainable Cement and Quicklime Production.

Rainer Backman, senior professor at the Department of Applied Physics and Electronics at Umeå University, adds:

“It also feels great that we were able to utilize, manage and further develop the great expertise in high-temperature chemistry that has been built up within the faculty over decades.”

Research aimed at improving thermal cement and quicklime processes began as early as 2006 when the research director of the construction material company Cementa contacted professor Rainer Backman and a collaboration was initiated.

The researchers are happy that their work can now serve as a good example of how cooperation with the surrounding society can work.

“For me, the award is a valuable confirmation that we are on the right path and it contributes with further inspiration to continue forward,” says Markus Broström, professor at the Department of Applied Physics and Electronics at Umeå University. He is the research leader for the Centre for Sustainable Cement and Quicklime Production.

“It is also recognition for the type of "applied basic research" that I believe is necessary in technical research. Such research is possible by finding business partners who think long-term and appreciate the knowledge-based research the university stands for,” says Rainer Backman.

In 2018, the idea of ​​forming a center for sustainable production of cement and quicklime was raised at Umeå University. The industrial partners proved positive and in January 2019 a competence center was formed with the aim of developing new knowledge related to the production of cement clinker, quicklime and dolomite with a focus on production capacity, energy efficiency, product quality, emissions and sustainability and to support the industry with the application of knowledge.

In a short time, the center has become an important platform where research and industry work together to contribute to the sustainable development of the mineral industry. The research environment has several active doctoral students within the framework of the Industrial Research School at Umeå University. Partners are Umeå University, LTU, RISE, Cementa AB, Föreningen Mineralteknisk Forskning, Nordkalk AB, SMA Mineral AB and Nordkalk AB.

Research into the sustainable production of cement and quicklime is an important part of a large-scale green transition that industries and society are facing in the near future, and all the projects within the center are problem-orientated.

“In this situation, cooperating closely with industries helps us to identify the most pressing knowledge bottlenecks where the university's methods, competences and resources will be most useful. In close collaboration, there is also extensive exchange of knowledge in both directions, which provides great added value for the research in the form of relevance, height, impact and efficiency,” says Markus Broström.

“Most of our work is based on data and material from full-scale processes and as a center we would lose a lot from a reduced collaboration,” says Matias Eriksson.

The prize sum is SEK 30,000.

The prize motivation reads:

Professor Rainer Backman, Professor Markus Broström and Dr. Matias Eriksson has contributed to initiating, establishing and developing a competence center for sustainable production of cement and quicklime at Umeå University. With their work, they have in various ways contributed to building a very successful knowledge center the field of energy technology, in close cooperation with industry and research institutes. In this way, long-term and fruitful collaborative projects have been established and the collaboration has been strengthened with the faculty's civil engineering programmes and postgraduate training.

For more information, please contact:

Matias Eriksson
Senior research engineer
E-mail
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