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Societal Impact

When research done at the department influence organisations and companies around the world, we call that Societal Impact. The societal impact may be local, national, or international and may occur on very different time frames, from years to decades. It is important to understand how, why, and when, our research leads to societal impact. Projects at the department are encouraged to identify the most relevant sustainable development goal. Below is a list with some examples. 

3 - Good Health and Well-Being

Surgeon's Perspective: Today's surgical reports consist of a written textual presentation which only the surgeon and the corresponding core-team can understand. One goal is to improve tomorrow's surgical reports by replacing it with a film with 3D-images in high resolution. In this way, the report will be more complete and understandable for a larger audience. In addition, they can serve as a learning platform useful for e.g. students in medicine, and practicing surgeons preparing for similar operations. Robotics is needed when collecting the film material and 3D-images, in order to track the precise perspective of the surgeon. Our vision is to provide the hospitals with modern surgical reports, which also facilitates improved learning in surgical operations and healthcare. 

Automatic Anesthesia for Patients: The anesthesia research has resulted in an automatic control system that today is routinely used in several hospitals in Vancouver. Computer controlled, or automatic, drug delivery is the process of administering a therapeutic regime to a patient with computer assistance for calculation of optimal dose and delivery schedules. Computer control can improve drug therapy by reducing drug usage and costs, by permitting health care staff to work more efficiently and to provide better standard of care, by allowing the safe use of drugs that are difficult to administer.  

COVID-19, Dynamical modelling for estimation and prediction: Within this project we have brought a "dynamic modeling of uncertain systems” perspective to an infection epidemiology context.Using methods and tools commonplace within automatic control, we have analyzed influential prediction models with a particular focus on their sensitivity.Our work has been published in Nature, and been recognized on the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences "100-list” of interesting projects.We find it important to inform also non-experts about models that have had a huge impact on civil society during the pandemic. We have therefore written popular scientific articles in NyTeknik, accepted to participate in a national radio program, and contributed to numerous workshops and invited presentations.

On Humans for Humans: By continuous development of new technology for surgical methods our healthcare is improved. One goal is to build a new testbed for groundbreaking robotics surgery, consisting of an operating theater with a nearby preparation and control room. The testbed will be located close to the Tissue Bank (Vävnadsbanken) in Lund, which is the largest tissue bank in Scandinavia. Novel methods in collaborative robotics will be evaluated and could eventually, after careful testing, be scaled up and reach our clinics. Our vision is to provide hospitals around the world with robots that can assist in surgery. 

Hemodynamic Stabilization: We develop methods and technology to restore or replace physiological function to maintain homeostasis (i.e. steady internal, physical and chemical conditions) .Particularly, we collaborate with organ transplantation surgery researchers in developing tomorrows technologies for preservation, reconditioning, and evaluation of donor organs.This is achieved using feedback loops that maintain perfusion, oxygenation, temperature and concentrations of pharmacological substances at levels beneficial to the organs.Our main focus has been on hearts, but we are currently also involved in technologies aimed at improving the quality of donor kidneys.The overarching motivation for the project is to increase the availability of viable organs, thereby reducing the waiting time for potential transplant recipients.

4 - Quality Education

Mind methodology: In a global context, education is seen as a main driving force for social development, and the pen as the best tool for shaping it's future. This also applies to engineering and STEM education (STEM= Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). However, traditional pedagogical approaches in teaching and learning are entered around theory and practice "to know how to do engineering and apply technology". The mindset part, to "become an engineer and belong in the tech community" and "to feel how you can create value for society" is often left out. The proposed new pedagogical methodology, called Mind Methodology, includes game-based and student-centred activities related to mindset and personal development of the students, especially in the areas of innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership. Our vision for this novel methodology is to enhance and broaden traditional engineering and STEM education and, hence, to increase quality in education.  

9 - Industry, innovation and Infrastructure

4S - Strategies and Standards for Smart Swedish Industry: In order to realise the vision of Smart Industry (Smart manufacturing / Industry 4.0) collaboration, in two forms, is needed. First, between the technical applications involved in the value-chain that a product is related to which requires international standards that the technical solutions can be based on. Second, collaboration between people, at national and international level, in order to develop these standards. The 4S-project aim at igniting the Swedish engagement, and enable Swedish industry related research-results to become international standards. The project aim at intertwining, om one hand the Swedish industry research projects related to Smart industry, and on the other hand the Swedish standardization organizations with their channels to the international arena. This collaboration and joint effort is needed in order to generate a Swedish engagement and take an international position as a leading nationality in the area of Smart Industry.

PID control and Decentralized control structures: In these two projects we develop  methods and tools for control in process industry. The research is performed in close collaboration with industrial partners, and  most of the tools and methods that have been developed within these projects have been implemented in industrial control systems and are now used in process control plants all over the world. This has provided  improved product quality, and reduced waste of raw material and emissions from the industrial plants. 

Autonomous real-time systems: In the focus area “Autonomous real-time systems” we are working on the next generation cloud systems. Part of that work includes techniques for making data centers and large scale cloud environments more sustainable. The online services that we have grown used to in the last decade come with an environmental cost in terms of energy usage. To address this, we work closely with Ericsson to explore the usage of machine learning for combined control of the cooling equipment and scheduling of the cloud workload. Initial results are very positive.

11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities

Modellering av distributionsnät: Genom att kunna översätta den allmänna förståelsen och specifika kunskapen om hur distributionsnätet fungerar till matematiska termer, så öppnar sig möjligheter att optimera hur distributionen ska ske på bästa sätt. Detta leder till bättre utnyttjande av de resurser som distribueras i ett infrastrukturnät (tex fjärrvärme, el, vatten), vilket i sin tur leder till ökad hållbarhet i städer och samhällen. Vår vision är att utveckla kunskapen inom matematisk modellering och därigenom ge distributionsleverantörer bättre möjlighet att använda våra naturresurser.  

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12 - Responsible Consumption and Production

LISA - Line Information System Architecture: Future manufacturing system need to be more flexible to embrace tougher and constantly changing market demands.  They also need to make better use of plant-data, ideally using all data from the entire plant. Low-level data should be refined to real-time information for decision-making, to facilitate competitiveness thought informed and timely decisions. The Line Information System Architecture (LISA), is designed to enable flexible factory integration and data utilisation. The result is a new architecture, that enables flexibility and scalability. The architecture is event based, has formalised transformation patterns and uses stram-based aggregation and prototype-oriented information models.