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Sparbanksstiftelsen Färs och Frosta prize for particularly outstanding degree project

Hiba Alyaseen and Rebecka Kvist are praised for lessons learned from the collapse of Tarfalahallen.

– Published 5 July 2022

Rebecka Kvist and Hiba Alyaseen were awarded Sparbanken Skåne's prize for particularly outstanding degree project at LTH's graduation ceremony.Posing together with Sparbanken Skåne's CEO Andreas P. Nilsson. Photo: Johan Persson

The Sparbanken Foundation Färs och Frosta annually awards Sparbanken Skånes two prizes of SEK 25,000 each for particularly outstanding degree projects at LTH. The prizes are awarded to students who have presented their degree project/master's thesis and demonstrated particularly outstanding work in the field of sustainable development, in particular. One of the prizes was awarded in 2022 to Hiba Alyaseen and Rebecka Kvist for their thesis in Civil Engineering:

"Lessons from the collapse of the Tarfala Hall - An experimental study of the effect of nail ties on out-of-plane stability"

Article in Lund University Papers (LUP) Student Papers

Your thesis is about nail connections in large wooden structures. How did you become interested in this particular topic?

The starting point for our thesis came from the Division of Structural Engineering at LTH as a result of the collapse of Tarfalahallen. We became interested in this particular topic for several reasons: firstly, we wanted to help investigate whether collapses like the one in Tarfalahallen could be avoided in the future. Secondly, we wanted a practical and laboratory-based thesis, and we were also both interested in working with wooden structures, given the advantages the material has in terms of sustainability.  

What challenges have you encountered during your time at LTH?

As LTH students, we faced several challenges such as struggling with difficult courses, planning our time and finding a quiet place to study within LTH. But the biggest challenge we faced during our last year at LTH was that Hiba got pregnant and three months after her son Elias was born, the thesis was due. Of course, it was demanding for her to have a baby and study at the same time, but it was definitely not impossible. Before we started our thesis, we had planned how our thesis would go and when we would finish the different parts. Our supervisor Oskar Ranefjärd also understood this challenge and has constantly supported us. The most important thing to always keep in mind when facing any challenge is to be persistent and believe in yourself no matter how difficult it is. 

What are your plans now that you have finished your thesis and have left LTH?

Hiba took parental leave after we finished our thesis. But now that her parental leave is over and her son has started preschool, she started looking for a job. In August, she will start working as a designer at a company in Malmö, where she will design and dimension prefabricated structures in steel and concrete. I, Rebecka, started working as a designer in Malmö after graduating in the summer of 2021 and have now been working for about a year. I work mostly with steel structures.