SCCER-f Interviews

Kasia Arturi

Kasia Arturi is a postdoctoral researcher in the Catalytic Process Engineering group at PSI and member of SCCER BIOSWEET. She studied chemistry and biotechnology at Aalborg University, where she also conducted her PhD research on the topic of hydrothermal valorization of waste products. At PSI, her work aims at increasing the overall sustainability of biomass biorefinery schemes by valorization of the lignin fraction into aromatic building blocks from which new types of green chemicals and biodegradable materials can be produced. More specifically, her research topic deals with mild oxidative solvothermolysis of lignins in biphasic systems. Concerning the energy transition, Kasia Arturi believes that we face a serious challenge, which is fascinating as it also presents unique opportunities to “force paradigm shifts from mindless consumption towards multilateral sustainable development.” Her research in the field of bioenergy may support the energy transition as it has the potential to change the way we produce chemicals and make biomass valorization economically attractive.

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Shelly Arreguin

Shelly Arreguin is a researcher in the Composite Materials and Processing group within CMASLab at ETH Zurich and member of Capacity Area A3. Prior to this, she worked at Empa Dübendorf managing a cross-functional project with academic and industrial partners. She completed her PhD at the University of Washington, Seattle working simultaneously at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory designing high temperature, radiation tolerant ceramics to increase the fuel efficiency and proliferation resistance of next generation nuclear reactors. Her current research is at the intersection of materials and chemistry, focused on the processing and property relationships of complex material systems for energy, environmental and mobility applications. When asked how mobility will change in the future, Dr. Arreguin thinks that mobility “will address many of its current issues by migrating towards ride sharing, increasing overall energy efficiency of vehicles as well as substantial modifications to our current behavior patterns.” Additionally, she expects “that walking and biking will play a larger role in mobility, for both reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and enhanced personal fitness.”

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Véronique Michaud

Prof. Dr. Véronique Michaud heads the Laboratory for Processing of Advanced Composites and is Associate Dean of the School of Engineering, in charge of Education, at EPFL. Her research addresses fundamental questions related to the manufacturing of polymer based composite materials, as well as on integration of functions (adaptive composites with shape memory alloys or piezoelectric particles, integration of optical fibers, shear thickening suspensions and/or self-healing mechanisms). Within SCCER Mobility, she is active in Capacity Area A3 that investigates technologies and strategies to minimize non-propulsive energy demand of vehicles for improved efficiency. This includes new processing routes for high volume production of lightweight thermoplastic materials. These could help reduce the energy consumption of vehicles by decreasing their weight. Dr. Michaud stresses that other non-propulsive aspects need to be considered as well, for example “a large fraction of the energy consumption in a bus or tram is related to passenger comfort (heating/cooling), and that this point is not really well tackled yet from a vehicle conception perspective”.

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Judith Krautwald

Dr. Judith Krautwald is a Research Associate at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW), School of Life Sciences and Facility Management, Department of Environmental Biotechnology. She works on developing microbiological and thermal processes to obtain renewable energy from biomass with a current focus on biomass pretreatment prior to anaerobic digestion and biological methanation of CO2. She finds bioenergy research both challenging and fascinating because “compared to, for example, wind and solar energy, there is not one optimal technology, but rather a whole pool of technologies that are more or less suitable depending on the location, the type of biomass and the needs of consumers.” As there is no single bioenergy solution and since it appears to be less attractive to the public than other renewable energy sources, Dr. Krautwald calls for a need to “do much more educational work in this area in order to develop a good understanding of the technologies amongst the population.”

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Francesca Cellina

Francesca Cellina leads the Sustainability and Society research group at the Institute for Applied Sustainability to the Built Environment at the University of Applied Sciences of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI). Within SCCER Mobility, her research investigates the potential and effectiveness of ICT-based tools for increasing environmental consciousness. In particular, how these tools can influence individual mobility choices and patterns and ultimately aid in reducing the overall mobility demand. Research efforts are highly participatory and “in our projects, we always interact with citizens and stakeholders, and recently even started co-designing possible solutions with them”, she says.

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Elisabeth Anne Cazier

Dr. Elisabeth Anne Cazier is a post-doctoral researcher at Bern University of Applied Sciences. She works on the use of fermentation or anaerobic digestion of bio-waste to produce methane, chemical molecules or energy. Her particular research field is the use of pretreatments to improve the production of methane from agricultural waste. Elisabeth values the exchange with other researchers within the SCCER BIOSWEET, ‘I am keen on participating to the SCCER BIOSWEET events since it is interesting to know what is happening outside of my field’, she says.

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Adelaide Calbry-Muzyka

Dr. Adelaide Calbry-Muzyka is a post-doctoral researcher in the Thermal Process Engineering group at the Paul Scherrer Institute. She is contributing to several projects within the SCCER BIOSWEET. Her work focuses on the use of biomass for the generation of grid-quality biomethane and electricity. In particular, she looks at developing and validating specialized gas cleaning processes for new process chains developed in the SCCER BIOSWEET. She has also worked on assessments of the total potentials and costs for electricity generation from domestic biomass resources in Switzerland.

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Astrid Björnsen Gurung

Dr. Astrid Björnsen Gurung is Coordinator of the Research Program ‘Energy Change Impact’ (ECI), a joint activity of the Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL and the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology Eawag. She is member of the Advisory Board of the SCCER BIOSWEET and initiated a Working Group on Knowledge and Technology Transfer with representatives from all SCCERs, NRPs 70 and 71 and other relevant initiatives. Astrid is a relentless analyst, synthesizer and addicted networker. Her current research interests cover various sources of renewable energy and the anticipated impacts of resource use on the environment, landscape, economy and society.

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Bettina Furrer

Bettina Furrer is Professor for Sustainability and Technology at Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) and since 2012 Head of its Institute for Sustainable Development (INE). She also holds the position of Deputy Head of the SCCER Energy Society and Transition (CREST). Bettina’s research focuses on the interface between sustainability and technology with particular emphasis on the sociotechnical transition of energy systems. Other research interests are technological innovation systems and business models related to and financing of renewable energy and energy efficiency.

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SCCER Interviews is a series of interviews of SCCER’s members aiming at increasing the visibility of the female scientist active within the energy field and encouraging young scientist to pursue an academic carrier. It is a joint activity of all 8 SCCERs.