29 November 2023

Researchers Olaf Hartig and Alexander Gillett have been appointed Wallenberg Academy Fellows at Linköping University. Five-year research grants from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation are intended to make it possible for young researchers to make important scientific breakthroughs.

This year, Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation has appointed 31 young researchers Wallenberg Academy Fellows, meaning that they will receive five years of funding and the opportunity to benefit from a mentoring program. Two of the researchers can be found at Linköping University.

Drawing conclusions from dispersed information.

Olaf Hartig.Olaf Hartig, senior associate professor at the Department of Computer and Information Science, is a new Wallenberg Academy Fellow. Photo credit WFAB Olaf Hartig, senior associate professor at the Department of Computer and Information Science, will develop methods for integrating knowledge graphs, allowing conclusions to be drawn from information stored in different places, like different companies.

The knowledge graphs used by streaming services to provide you with film recommendations are based on information such as the genres, actors, or directors you tend to like. The knowledge graph finds correlations in the data set, analyzes the correlations, and then searches for a recommendation for you. Similarly, knowledge graphs are used by truck manufacturers who need suggestions for maintenance plans for different vehicle models, for example.

To make knowledge graphs even more useful Olaf Hartig is developing methods for integrating separate knowledge graphs from organizations such as companies, healthcare units or authorities. The integration component will be able to ask each knowledge graph questions and then summarize the results, as if all the separate knowledge graphs were combined into one.

Improving organic semiconductors

Alexander Gillett.Alexander Gillett, will be a Wallenberg Academy Fellow at Linköping University and the Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Photo credit WFAB Alexander Gillett, currently at the University of Cambridge in the UK, will as a Wallenberg Academy Fellow at Linköping University and the Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology optimise more environmentally friendly organic semiconductors, to make them more energy efficient.

The reason organic semiconductors are currently not more widely used is that they have some disadvantages, including how much of the Sun's energy is lost when light is converted into electricity in a solar cell. When electricity is converted into light, a lot of energy is also lost in the form of heat, which means OLED displays are less efficient and therefore require more electricity to work.

Alexander Gillett, will now develop a new generation of more energy-efficient organic semiconductors. He will modify the wave function of organic semiconductors, which provides a quantum mechanical description of how they work. The hope is to develop semiconductors for things such as environmentally friendly solar cells and more energy-efficient OLED displays and lighting.

“High quality”

The fellowships were first announced in 2012, after the program was established in partnership with the royal academies and 16 Swedish universities.

"It is gratifying to see the breadth of the research and the high quality of the applications, as well as the diverse backgrounds of the applicants. This includes both young researchers already present at Swedish universities and foreign researchers recruited to Sweden," says Peter Wallenberg Jr, Chair of Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.

Members of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences assist the Foundation by reviewing the applications and helping with selection. The Academy also runs a mentoring program in which the selected researchers can participate.

“This is a great way for to learn about the fascinating projects that are being planned and to contribute by identifying the ones with the most potential. For the Academy to then be part of it by using the mentoring program to guide these young researchers in their careers is really motivating,” says Hans Ellegren, Secretary General of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

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