“For me research is a big playground”
Mari Lundström does not believe in simple answers and get inspired by people who get excited of unsolved problems. She is new Visiting Professor of the WISE Wallenberg Initiative Material Science for Sustainability at KTH.
Mari Lundström, professor of hydrometallurgy, with affiliation at Aalto University, Finland, what is your research about?
“My research is focused on sustainable metals production, circularity and criticality of materials. I study processes and phenomena that enables true circular economy of metals – more specifically it means development of hydrometallurgical processes and methods that are needed in the production and/or recycling of almost every technology metal.”
Why is your research important?
“It is one important piece in finding realistic and scalable technological solutions into challenges such as fossil free energy production and storage.”
“Take, for instance, batteries – we have strongly focused on electrifying the society, however, battery recycling has only recently got focus and need a lot of new technological methods and solutions to be developed. The same is valid with materials used in wind energy, solar cells etc. Many minerals are or will become critical, and we need to tackle that issue now in the whole value chain of materials use.”
What will you contribute with at KTH?
“Both Sweden and Finland has unique and strong histories in metals production. This knowhow need to be employed to enable true circular economy for metals that are needed in e.g. energy transition.”
“In my role as Visiting Professor I will help to build a research agenda for the sustainable development and recycling of industrial materials at KTH. Together, we aim to identify areas where the development of new technologies and processes is most needed to answer the global challenges related to mineral and metal intensity in energy transition. “
“I also want to strengthen the network between KTH and Aalto University in order to find synergies in sustainable minerals valorization and metals refining as well as recycling.“
What are you looking forward to in this new workplace?
“I studied at KTH as an exchange student during my master, around 20 years ago and I have a lot of good memories and friends from those times. I am really excited to see how the campus and teaching has changed and developed since then. I am also excited to get to know new colleagues at KTH and build new openings in research together with them and other stakeholders in Sweden.”
What characterizes you when at work?
“At work I am a ‘typical Finn’ – result oriented and efficient, however, not very formal.”
“For me, research is a big playground, with a lot of interesting unsolved topics and questions. I get inspired of working with people who get excited of non-solved problems and unclear results. I do not believe on simple answers, usually even ‘bad results’ tell you something interesting. Perfection is boring, the road is much more interesting.”
Reported by: Ulrika Georgsson
*WISE stands for Wallenberg Initiative Materials Science for Sustainability