TL MT SL 11116Sylvia Larsson is a new leader for the research and development platform Bio4Energy Wood Pre-processing. She is pictured together with her platform colleagues Torbjörn Lestander (left) and Mikael Thyrel. Photo by Bio4Energy.Bio4Energy Wood Pre-processing has a new leader. As of 2018, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) at Umeå takes over the reins of Bio4Energy’s smallest research and development platform. Already an established research leader in Bio4Energy and head of the pilot facilities at the SLU Biomass Technology Centre (BTC), she is the management’s and the previous platform leader This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.preferred choice of successor.

“She has shown that she is a successful research leader with encompassing knowledge on the pre-treatment of biomass. [Since the launch of Bio4Energy] she has taken on the role as head of lab at BTC Röbäcksdalen and become an appreciated thought leader in the [Bio4Energy] Graduate School”, according to Bio4Energy’s programme manager This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

“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.

Her academic journey includes a year spent as a postdoctoral student at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.

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”.

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