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"Now the Phoenix is rising from Brunnshög’s soil!"

“I am convinced that a Science Village teeming with life and making the absolute most out of ESS and MAX IV is the right way to go to develop both research and teaching. I am especially pleased that we have the students with us in this process”, writes dean Viktor Öwall, in connection with the faculty board’s decision on a direction for LTH’s establishment of activities in the research village which is to develop between the two major facilities.

– Publicerad den 13 november 2020

MAX IV which, together with ESS, will change both Lund and the world. Photo: Leif Jansson

Relatively early on in my term of office as dean, I wrote a blog post entitled “The Phoenix rises from the soil of Brunnshög!”. In the post, I wrote that what is happening right now is perhaps the most important event since Lund University was founded in 1666 – that two of the most advanced research facilities in Europe and perhaps the world are being built in Lund and will be LTH’s new neighbours. 

The transfer of parts of Lund University and the Faculty of Engineering to the research village between MAX IV and ESS is something I have been working towards during my years as dean, and the establishment of activities in Science Village has always been high on my agenda.

That is why I am incredibly happy that now, as my time as dean of LTH is coming to a close, we can tick off not only Lund University’s decision on a vision for the establishment in Science Village, but also the faculty board’s decision in this direction.

I am particularly happy that we, at the Faculty of Engineering, have the students with us in this process. I am convinced that a Science Village teeming with life and making the absolute most of the facilities is completely the right way to go to develop both research and teaching.

Is it problem-free? Of course not.

So why do I think it is so important? Will a move just a few paltry kilometres away mean anything for the future of an ancient higher education institution?

To illustrate this, I would like to use a quotation from John F. Kennedy, when he spoke at Rice University in 1962 about why humans should go to the moon: “We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organise and measure the best of our energies and skills …” 

Getting established in Science Village gives us opportunities to think and innovate because we are not bound, physically or mentally, by the ingrained structures in which we currently find ourselves. So the potential is enormous!

Perhaps moving to Science Village is not as grandiose as going to the moon, but still.

I believe this challenge could be a catalyst for so much else that we can’t imagine today, but that is completely necessary to meet future challenges, both for the University and for society as a whole. Of course we must be part of the interactions and the curious exploration that could provide answers to many of the crucial questions of the future.

Now it’s full steam ahead!

Viktor Öwall

Dean of LTH