Uppsala University has five new Wallenberg Scholars

An illustration showing stars and ones and zeros.

Together with the five new appointees, a total of 20 researchers at Uppsala University are now part of the programme. Photo: Getty Images

Five researchers who have set their sights on major and challenging research questions have been selected for the Wallenberg Scholars programme funded by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation. The researchers are planning projects that include harvesting water from air and building computer models of the atmospheres and winds of giant stars.

Uppsala University’s new Wallenberg Scholars are: Annica Black-Schaffer, Susanne Höfner and Peter Oppeneer from the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Maria Strömme from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and Johan Åqvist from the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology.

The Wallenberg Scholars programme was launched in 2009 with the aim of providing some of the country’s best researchers with a larger, unrestricted research grant. The idea was to give leading researchers freedom and resources to encourage them to stay in Sweden. As Scholars, researchers receive funding for five years (with the possibility of a further five-year extension). Together with the five new appointees, a total of 20 researchers at Uppsala University are now part of the programme.

As a Wallenberg Scholar, Susanne Höfner will construct computer models of the atmospheres and winds of cool giant stars and supergiants to explore processes that contribute to dust formation and wind acceleration. This will contribute to the understanding of how stars disperse material that can give rise to planets and life.

Annica Black-Schaffer’s research will build a theoretical framework for creating, improving and understanding electronic order, especially superconductivity, in open systems through non-Hermitian (NH) effects.

Peter Oppeneer’s goal is to build a theoretical framework for fast non-equilibrium quantum dynamics based on material-specific calculations and then apply that framework to important, unsolved problems in non-equilibrium dynamics of solid materials.

As a Wallenberg Scholar, Maria Strömme wants to develop customised organometallic frameworks for 3D-printed devices that can harvest clean water and hydrogen from air over several cycles per day, in different climates, and without an external electricity supply.

Johan Åqvist will study how evolution has managed to create enzymes that work under extreme conditions. By understanding the thermodynamic and structural principles used by evolution, he and his research team want to use this knowledge to design the physical properties of enzymes.

Subscribe to the Uppsala University newsletter