“We see Sylvia as Torbjörn's natural successor and are confident that she has both the necessary qualifications and will make a substantial contribution” as a platform leader, Boström added.
Since clinching her Bachelor of Science degree in Energy Engineering at Umeå University in 1999, Larsson has been working her way up the academic ladder as an affiliate of the SLU and winning her current title of associate professor in 2014. She manages a research group of two students and works closely with associate professor Torbjörn Lestander and researchers Mikael Thyrel, Mikko Mäkelä, Alejandro Grimm, Magnus Rudolfsson and David Agar; all members of Bio4Energy.
Larsson said that she considered her main responsibility as a platform leader to be a “monetary” one and as a guardian of plans for research and development already drawn up for Bio4Energy’s second programme period, with the help of her predecessor. Her task on an internal level would be to redefine the platform’s activity profile and to draw its members closer together, including the groups focussed on pre-processing and torrefaction of biomass-based materials, she said.
“The position [of Bio4Energy Wood Pre-processing] is at the interface between the raw material and the technology processes used to convert the feedstock to fuels and chemicals.
“While it is true that people on the process side usually apply and have knowledge about pre-treatment, the step from raw material to pre-treatment generally is not a small one. There is a need for a platform that hosts in-depth knowledge about how to transform the raw material to feedstock, all the while having strong collaborations with the process people. That is the role of our platform”, Larsson said;
“I feel that there are great possibilities. I am happy to take on the role as platform leader”.