- Written by Anna Strom
The announcement came this month after a “Task Force Bio4Energy” met to lay down the fundaments of that which is to become a vehicle for networking and tertiary education in bioenergy and biorefinery research for PhD and post-doctorate researchers enrolled in studies at one of the B4E partner universities.
Addressed to those interested in the theory and practice of bioenergy and biorefinery R&D based on forest-sourced raw materials or organic waste, the first course starting in May next year will describe the research being carried out across the seven B4E Platforms. This Biorefinery Pilot Research Course would be taught at the three B4E R&D hubs at Örnsköldsvik, Umeå and Piteå, said Jansson, who is part of the Task Force.
There, researchers and members of the B4E industrial network would be guiding
students through the different steps of the bioenergy or biorefinery value chain, giving them the opportunity to experience firsthand the work at northern Sweden’s demonstration units or at organisations hosting pilot equipments geared at bioenergy or biorefinery production, she said.
“We intend for this course to make the doctorate students aware of the status and development of forest-sourced biorefinery techniques”, as well as “challenges and possibilities” that these techniques entail, a background document says.
In spring 2014, a course called System Perspective on Bio-resources will launch to give participants to the B4E graduate school an overview of the global energy system and key techniques for sustainable energy production, with a focus on those sourcing their raw materials from forests or the organic content of different types of waste.
Annual conference to build networks
But before that, the first annual conference—free of charge to PhD students and “PostDocs” who choose to be part of the graduate school—would be the first purpose-made opportunity provided for the students to network and draw inspiration from each other, as well as a couple of high-profile keynote speakers, the assistant professor Jansson said;
“There the students can create a sense of togetherness and network with other doctorate students in Bio4Energy. We hope it will be very inspiring and give them new perspectives”.
“We have created a whole... where we think, not only about the research training, but also about the networking and the tutors”, Jansson said. She added that while high “quality may mean different things in different disciplines”, the Task Force had set goals and an overall framework that would guide the work of the students and tutors.
“Of course there are requirements and expectations: The students should pass the two courses and attend two of the (annual) conferences”, Jansson said.
Greater quality, more collaboration enabled
In 2009, in their application to the Swedish government for creating the research environment B4E, the scientists behind it set out plans for providing further education for post-secondary graduate students.