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Securing Competence on Sustainability

UiA’s newest research group is called Sustainable buildings and infrastructure. By gathering experts on sustainable solutions in one group, UiA and its partners will provide the community access to competences on an international level. 

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The research group gathered outside the hotel.

The research group Sustainable buildings and infrastructure gathered at a strategy seminar. From the left: Ephrem Taddesse, Paul Arntzen, Jonas Major, Reyn O`Born, Harald T. Marrable, Paul Svennevik, Souman Rudra, Helge Liltved, Arild Olsbu, Rein Terje Thorstensen, and Tom Nilsen.

The research group was formally established on the 12th of March, 2015, during a strategy seminar in Grimstad. The participants were gathered for 24 hours to plan the group’s future work.

“Sustainable solutions within buildings and infrastructure are essential to defy the environmental challenges we face today. We are now gathering highly competent people on the subject, so that we can secure access to this very important knowledge,” said the group leader, lector Arild Olsbu.

Making plans

At the strategy seminar, each member of the research group presented which field they wish to do more research on. The suggestions included everything from facilities for recycling drinking water and solar shading, to how we could better use natural landscapes and traditional building methods to create better residential areas.

“Each participant will actively participate in the shaping of the group’s research plan throughout the spring. We will have four meetings during this time, and the plan is to be ready within the 15th of June, 2015,” said Olsbu.

The fields of study that are defined today are:

  • Buildings (renovation and new constructions)
  • Efficient use of energy
  • Water
  • Roads

It could also be relevant to combine the disciplines towards important, broad research topics, such as climate challenges and Smart Cities or Smart Villages.

All the participants around the table, listening to Rein Terje Thorstensen.

The research group during the strategy seminar. Rein Terje Thorstensen is talking to the group.

Looking for collaborations

One of the research group’s most important goals is to make connections with good collaborators. This could both be within the university and external partners.

“The ICT group at UiA has been mentioned as an important collaborator, and maybe also the social sciences in the long term,” said the group leader.

At the strategy seminar, several experts were present to provide input on what the group should focus on.

“These guests are going to be important contributors and collaborators in the times to come.”

The research group and guests gathered outside the hotel.

At the strategy seminar at Fevik Strand Hotell in Grimstad, the group had several guests. Here are the participants and the guests. From the left: Ephrem Taddesse, Paul Arntzen, Berit Time (Sintef), Jonas Major, Reyn O`Born, Bengt Michalsen (BGM Arkitekter), Harald T. Marrable, Michael Fuller Gee (Arendal kommune), Paul Svennevik, Souman Rudra, Tor Mjøs (Forskningsrådet), Helge Liltved, Erik Sandsmark (Kristiansand kommune), Arild Olsbu, Rein Terje Thorstensen and Tom Nilsen.

Aims to strengthen the students

The engineering students will also benefit from the group’s competence through the research activity.

“We will assist with the education and qualifying of engineers on both bachelor’s, master’s and PhD levels. Through the research within this group, the students will access the latest information on this field of study,” said Olsbu.

Read more about the group’s work on their web pages.

Text and photos: Øivind Eskedal