"We hope to gain a broader understanding of the armed forces and their needs"
20 april 2023
This spring, the Swedish Armed Forces will visit the Faculty of Science and Technology at Uppsala University on a number of occasions. What’s the purpose of these visits, Marcus Lindahl, Professor in Industrial Engineering and Dean of collaboration at the Faculty?
“Our faculty receives many visits, but so far we have not actively sought out organisations that we want to work with on a more long-term basis. Right now, we’re living in uncertain times where we ask ourselves how we as a university can contribute to the outside world, how we can make our knowledge available. Our working group has therefore invited representatives from the army, air force and navy, the Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI) and the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB). The purpose is to present our research and education while listening to the organisations' needs and possible areas for collaboration.”
Does the faculty already have any collaborations with the Swedish Armed Forces?
“Yes, there are researchers and research groups that already work in their own projects directly with certain branches of the armed forces. But with this initiative, we want to showcase a wider range of subjects at the faculty, such as computer science, cyber security, energy systems, new types of sensors. We have received a great response from many departments and have put together a mixed program of presentations depending on the visitor.”
On 20 April, the army will visit and on 4 May the air force, with the other dates still open. What will the faculty showcase at the different visits?
“One thing you can say is that batteries are of interest to all branches of arms, as are wireless sensors. The entire Department of Electrical Engineering possesses knowledge that can be applied in many areas. Within information technology we have AI, image processing, and various surveillance systems. Within materials science you have for example microsystems technology for medical use. All of these advanced technologies are useful in any field of application. However, the eelgrass beds and mapping of the bottom of the Baltic Sea are probably more interesting for the navy than for the army.”
What would you like to highlight about the education at the faculty?
“We educate everybody from master's students, Master as well as Bachelor of Science students in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering to technical staff, and we work hard on lifelong learning to serve the whole of Sweden with updated and enhanced skills. This can be of great benefit to the Swedish Armed Forces.”
What results do you hope for from the visits?
“The important thing is that they get to meet us and we get to meet them. The intention is to open up an initial dialog where we get to know each other at a more institutional level and not just through individual research groups. Then we will see how we take it further.”