“We are pleased to announce that Stina is a new platform leader in Bio4Energy. She is a young researcher with a great record as an environmental chemist. She is also at a very progressive stage in her career. We are glad that she has accepted to take on the role”, said Boström, professor at UmU, adding that the Bio4Energy Board had passed the decision this month to promote Jansson to the post of platform leader.
Part of the research environment since its launch in 2010, Jansson was a postgraduate student in the group of the former Bio4Energy programme manager, professor emeritus Stellan Marklund. Her area of expertise includes research to check the environmental credentials of thermal processes for the conversion of biomass.
The last few years has seen her and her research group—successfully put together in the nine year’s since Jansson won her PhD—moving into the design of mixed combustion fuels and of bio-based materials. Notably, she has won funds from several of the national Swedish funding agencies for projects aimed at the development of biochar applications. Biochar is a dense but light-weight form of biomass obtained by high-temperature and compaction treatment, for instance of mixed biomass residue, for use as amendment to soils for the purpose of removing toxic substances from polluted irrigation water or rain.
Several of her projects are integrated with research in other Bio4Energy platforms. The prestigious Swedish Research Council funds a collaboration project that Jansson is running together with a branch of the United Nation's Environment Programme in favour of rural communities in Africa.
Same direction, new ways of cooperation
Against this backdrop, her new position as platform leader for the Bio4Energy researchers who work on environmental aspects of bioenergy and biorefinery could be challenging, not least time wise. However, Jansson is upbeat about her new role.
“I am excited about this new assignment. Bio4Energy is an awesome programme and I have been part of it from the start. It has skilled people and interesting research”, Jansson said.
She said she wanted to continue the work that had been started under the direction of the two previous, successive leaders of Bio4Energy Environment and Nutrient Recycling: Marklund and Boström.
“I think the strategic plans for the platform [drawn up ahead of Bio4Energy's second programme period] are good. When it comes to projects, we will continue the work on ash chemistry and on bio char in relation to polluting emissions from thermal processes, for instance. The focus will rather be on finding additional funds to fulfil those plans. They are ambitious, as they should be, and it is up to us to find new ways of cooperating and having our projects financed so that we can fulfil them”, Jansson said.
She praises the previous platform leader, Boström, for his work to find common denominators for the scientists on the platform, who are spread over the three Bio4Energy partner universities and who represent rather different areas of research. Roughly speaking, the platform is host to environmental chemists affiliated with Umeå University; researchers in forest genetics and plant physiology at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and the Umeå Plant Science Centre and; geoscientists and environmental engineers placed at the Luleå University of Technology.
“Bio4Energy does important work to make its members collaborate across the R&D platforms. It is important also to find a common identity within the platform”, Jansson said.