Three new Wallenberg Scholars at LiU

Three professors at LiU, Anders Ynnerman, Erik G. Larsson and Igor Abrikosov, have been selected as Wallenberg Scholars in 2019, which means that they each receive SEK 18 million for free research in the coming five years.

Anders Ynnerman, Erik G Larsson and Igor Abrikosov.

Twenty-two prominent scientists have been selected as Wallenberg Scholars, three of them at Linköping University. Scientific visualisation, metastable materials and new technology and systems for communication beyond 5G are the research fields that have been awarded free research grants from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.

“Free research is what it sounds like. The researchers’ own curiosity, expertise and knowledge determines the nature of their research. The Foundation sets no conditions as to results. Failure is allowed, if that’s how it turns out. But history has shown that most knowledge has been gained as a result of free research,” says Peter Wallenberg, Jr, Chairman of the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation., in a press release.

Free research

“It’s just fantastic to receive this money: the Wallenberg Foundation is taking on a major responsibility for free basic research in Sweden through this”, says Anders Ynnerman, Anders Ynnerman Foto Thor Balkhedprofessor in scientific visualisation.

Visualisation is used in many fields of science, such as medicine, autonomous vehicles and space exploration. These are fields that will receive a major impetus, now that Anders Ynnerman and his colleagues have the opportunity to really get to grips with theories within visualisation.

“We also hope to raise the lid of the black box that is artificial intelligence, to reveal not only the training data but also the structure of the algorithms for machine learning. Only then will we be able to influence and control the learning”, he says.

Erik G. Larsson, professor of communication systems, and his colleagues are to develop new technology for wireless communication and remote sensing, beyond 5G.

Erik G Larsson Photo credit Thor Balkhed“It’s a great advantage that we can focus on aspects that are most relevant and challenging from a scientific point of view. Wireless technology has been with us for many years now, and it’s interesting and stimulating to have the opportunity to change perspective and take a slightly more long-term view than the thinking currently used in the industry”, says Erik G. Larsson.

This is research that can concern new algorithms for wireless sensing, remote sensing using new types of antenna, improvements in machine learning algorithms, and new approaches to security.

Fundamental research inspired by real needs

Igor Abrikosov, professor in theoretical physics, works with what are known as metastable materials. These are materials with high energy that exist in other phases than the familiar ones, and exhibit completely new and useful properties.
Igor Abrikosov, professor i teoretisk fysikIgor Abrikosov Photo credit Charlotte Perhammar
“We work with theoretical models and extremely fundamental research, but we are inspired by real needs”, he says.

The goal is to develop materials with special properties for applications that include hard cutting tools, and efficient and eco-friendly solar cells.

“Free research is necessary if we are to make true progress, and it’s truly wonderful that the Wallenberg Foundation is supporting free research in this way”, says Igor Abrikosov.

The 2019 selection by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation bring the number of active Wallenberg Scholars to 63. The next selection process will take place in 2023.
More information about the 22 scientists who have been selected as Wallenberg Scholars in 2019

Translated by George Farrants

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