Graduate School

The Bio4Energy Graduate School provides PhD students within the Bio4Energy framework with knowledge, skills and tools to contribute to the transition and development of the biorefinery industry.

The Bio4Energy Graduate School started in 2013. In this program, PhD students and early career researchers with diverse backgrounds in, for example, chemistry, biology, physics, economics, energy engineering, or systems analysis, get to meet each other, senior researchers and representatives of industry and society. The students come from Bio4Energy’s three universities: Umeå University (UmU), Luleå University of Technology (LTU) and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU). 

The program currently contains three courses, which reflect the strength of the Bio4Energy cluster, with its unique layout of research and education on the biorefinery value chain. The courses are suited for people interested in the future of biorefineries, especially students at doctoral and postdoctoral levels, as well as people from industry who want to increase their knowledge and insight into biorefineries and their innovation chain. The courses are open also for participants external to Bio4Energy.  

RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, which are partners in Bio4Energy, contribute time and access to their facilities in Örnsköldsvik and Piteå. 

Contact: Dimitris Athanassiadis, Dimitris.Athanassiadis@slu.se  

Extent and credits: 5 ECTS                            
Course coordinator: Francesco Gentili

New for December 2023! Preview Edition of 2024

Objectives

On completion of the course, students will:

  • Be able to describe the biorefinery technologies represented in pilot scale facilities within the Bio4Energy infrastructure and know how to get access to them;
  • Be able to explain and discuss models for the roles of academia and functions of technical innovation systems and to critically evaluate real research facility cases based on these models;
  • Beware of essentials regarding sampling, building of large-scale experimental equipment, fund raising, and intellectual property rights and;
  • Have gained access to interdisciplinary exchange of knowledge and ideas through networking activities.

Contents

The course consists of:

  • On-site demonstration of equipment and technology, lectures and laboratory work;
  • Lectures on essential subjects for large-scale biorefinery or bioenergy research and;
  • A project assignment, typically a case study of a technical innovation system at one of the pilot plants in the cluster.

Application and prerequisites

The application for enrolment in the next edition of Biorefinery Pilot Research will open in 2024. We will be posting a link to the registration form, here.

This course is recommended for students with an interest in biorefinery at the PhD or postdoctoral level, as well as industry representatives who wish to learn about research and innovation as carried out at the biorefinery-related pilot and demonstration units lining the east coast of Northern Sweden.

For enquiries regarding the course content, contact Francesco Gentili.

Course Brochure

Biorefinery Pilot Research 2022

Biorefinery Pilot Research 2018

  • Bio4Energy
  • Umeå University
  • Luleå University of Technology
  • Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
  • biorefinery education and training
  • RISE Energy Technology Center
  • RISE Processum
  • research and innovation
Extent and credits: 7.5 ECTS
Course coordinators: Joakim Lundgren, Elisabeth Wetterlund and Andrea Toffolo

Objectives

On completion of the course, students will:

  • Be able to understand how to apply a systems’ perspective on their own research;
  • Have gained insights into the current global energy and environmental challenges;
  • Have gained insights into the rational of sustainability;
  • Have awareness of tools and methods used for environmental, technical and economic systems analysis.

Contents

The course consists of:

  • Lectures (on sustainability issues, systems analysis approaches and tools) and workshops;
  • Lectures on essential subjects for large-scale biorefinery or bioenergy research and;
  • A project assignment, where the students identify suitable systems analysis tools or methods to be applied to their own research. The outcome will be a draft research proposal, a journal or conference manuscript or a chapter of a thesis.

Application and prerequisites

For enquiries regarding the course content, contact Robert Lundmark.

Students and coordinator of the 2019 edition of Systems’ Perspectives on Biomass Resources. Photographed at Luleå University of Technology (LTU), Sweden. Photo by courtesy of LTU.

Course Brochure

Systems’ Perspectives on Biomass Resources 2019

  • Bio4Energy
  • biomass energy
  • biofuels
  • “green” chemicals
  • bio-based materials
  • Luleå University of Technology
  • biorefinery education and training
  • techno-economic analysis
  • systems analysis

Historical, technological and societal background to forestry and forest-based biorefining in Nordic countries

New for September 2023! Information Sheet with Schedule

Extent and credits: 4.5 ECTS                            
Course coordinator: Carmen Cristescu

This is a general introduction to the development of biorefineries based on woody biomass. It gives the historical, technological and societal background to forest-based biorefining in the Nordic countries, in a sustainable development perspective.

  • Assessment of forest biomass supply chains for biorefining;
  • Historical aspects of forestry, forest-industrial processes and biorefineries based on woody biomass;
  • Development of conversion processes for forest biomass (mechanical, chemical, thermal and biochemical) and;
  • Environmental impacts and sustainability aspects.

Objectives

After the course, the student will be able to:

  • Critically reflect on past and current challenges of using forest biomass;
  • Understand the scientific background and environment of the forest industrial and biorefinery sectors;
  • Reflect on the ecological, economic, societal and ethical issues associated with biorefining based on woody biomass;
  • Discuss sustainability issues connected with the use of forest biomass in biorefineries and with technology development in the forest-industrial sector and;
  • Elaborate on the concept of bioeconomy and effects of national and European environmental laws and regulations on the forest industrial and biorefinery sectors.

Application and prerequisites

The application for enrolment is closed for the edition of autumn 2023. For details, please go to the course page at the host organisation Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

This course is recommended for students with an interest in biorefinery at the PhD or postdoctoral level, as well as institute or industry representatives who wish to learn about the history of biorefinery based on woody biomass in the Nordic countries.

For enquiries regarding the course content, contact Carmen Cristescu.

Back in days timber logs were often transported by waterways. A built up illustration of the beginnings of timber transport in northern Sweden. Photo by Anna Strom ©2023.

Back in the days timber logs were often transported by waterways. A built up illustration of the beginnings of timber transport in northern Sweden. Photo by Anna Strom ©2023.

  • Bio4Energy
  • Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
  • biorefinery education and training
  • research and innovation
  • historical perspectives
  • Nordic countries
  • Nordics