Kungl. Skytteanska Samfundet has chosen to give researcher Nils Skoglund the organisation’s prize of SEK 40,000, designated for “a young well-deserving researcher at Umeå University’s Faculty of Science and Technology”. The prize will be awarded at Umeå University’s annual ceremony in October.
Text: Ingrid Söderbergh
Nils Skoglund, Institutionen för tillämpad fysik och elektronik
From the jury’s motivation:
“... His research is an excellent example of how applied research that investigates highly complex industrial problems can make use of the very latest top-quality, international infrastructure. Moreover, the results of his studies are highly sought after as part of the development of technology-based methods that promote a sustainable fossil-free society.”
“I am very happy to receive this prize! It means a lot that my research has been noticed and rewarded, especially since the jury’s motivation emphasises that the work my colleagues and I do is part of striving to make society sustainable. I feel as if I have succeeded in contributing and perhaps bringing attention to the research tradition in inorganic chemistry that specialises in thermodynamic fundamental principles and high-temperature chemistry, a field that goes back a long time at Umeå University,” says Nils Skoglund, researcher at the Department of Applied Physics and Electronics at Umeå University.
Nils Skoglund’s research is about integrating sustainable recycling of phosphor with renewable energy from the thermochemical conversion of bi-products from forest, agriculture and society. His work includes basic research on reaction routes during combustion and carburation which are scaled up in laboratory experiments and then finally tested on an industrial scale. One important component is X-ray-based analysis methods where synchrotron-based measuring methods are a natural complement to the techniques that are available to the research team Thermochemical Energy Conversion laboratory, TEC-lab.
What are you working on at the moment?
“I heard the good news about the prize when I was in the USA working with the Advanced Light Source synchrotron which is part of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. There, I work with a fantastic beamline which allows me to make chemical maps of different materials with accurate resolution. I am able to see which elements there are in a sample and also gain information about how they are bound to each other. Another very special feature of that particular beamline is that you can use X-ray radiation in the field of energy called Tender X-rays. This is relatively unusual for the synchrotrons around the world but it is essential if you want to measure the element phosphor which is absolutely the most important thing for me. In addition to making my own measurements, I am helping to develop the capacity of beamline 10.3.2 by introducing a new test chamber for studies at high temperatures and in fact we have tried it out using equipment from the TEC-lab.”
Nils Skoglund was born in 1979. He grew up in Holmsjö which is located close to the mountainous area of southern Lapland. He defended his doctoral thesis in 2014 and then had a two-year post-doc appointment working with energy technology at Luleå University of Technology before he returned to Umeå University. He is currently employed as a researcher at the research team TEC-lab at the Department of Applied Physics and Electronics. The research Nils is currently doing will involve him working in both the USA and Austria as a guest researcher for several periods of time up until the end of 2021 through a project funded by the Swedish Research Council and FORMAS.