DanilKorelskiy Beckers webDanil Korelskiy, a former Bio4Energy student specilising in membrane technology, has moved on to work with the multinational Beckers Group, at Beckers Industrial Coatings in Stockholm. Photo by courtesy of Danil Korelskiy.A number of Bio4Energy graduates—former students at the PhD or postdoctoral level—have moved on to work in industry at the end of their training. Some have gone to small- and medium-sized companies, such as SEKAB, or to larger companies or groups, like BillerudKorsnäs. Conversely, there are examples of PIs who have moved from employment at a commercial company to join the ranks of Bio4Energy researchers, or from the academy to join a research institute.

A shining example of the first is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., until recently with the research and development (R&D) platform Bio4Energy Chemical Catalysis and Separation Technologies at the Luleå University of Technology (LTU) in northern Sweden. This month, he took up employment with Beckers Industrial Coatings, as a Technical R&D Manager for Coil Coatings for North Europe. He is based at Stockholm, the Swedish capital.

With a background in Chemical Engineering, Russian-born Korelskiy has been specialising in membrane technology. The Beckers Group, for its part, say they lead the world when it comes to industrially-designed and pre-painted coatings applied to metal sheets and composite panels for roofs or domestic appliances, together with a handful of North American and Asian companies, according to the group's website and Korelskiy.

“This concept of applying the coating directly on the metal is becoming very popular”, Korelskiy said from company quarters at Märtsa, close to Arlanda Airport and Stockholm.

“Let’s say you want to build a sports arena. The [developer] comes to us and says we need this material with this specification. We, together with the coil manufacturer, ship it to them in coil – in a big roll of material – fully painted in the colour they wanted, with a warranty of the material of 30-40 years. Previously you would construct anything, paint it and hope [the coat of paint] will last for one-to-three years”.

Korelskiy’s job in all this would be to manage the group of development engineers attached to the coil coatings’ part of the Beckers venture in northern Europe, he said. Late May this year, he was headhunted to the role from his position as an assistant professor at the LTU. There he had moved quickly up the ranks, clinching his PhD degree in 2012 and finishing his postdoctoral studies about a year later. His PhD thesis, Quality and Performance of Zeolite Membranes, is available for download on the LTU website.

Korelskiy’s advice to students at the secondary level who want to go on to work in industry is to start "early", a few years into their studies, and to put time into identifying a company that corresponds with the student’s interests. Then he or she should seek an internship there and later, perhaps a summer job or a Master thesis project.

So how does he feel about moving from an academic environment in northern Sweden to a large international company?

“I feel very excited [but] overwhelmed. Because it’s nice to change, but also very challenging. The biggest challenge is getting to know all the technical details. You need to have a very good understanding of the technical side; learn all the tricks”, Korelskiy said.

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