Lotta Jakobsson, technical specialist at Volvo Cars Safety Centre, has been installed as adjunct professor in automotive safety at the Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg.
"This position gives Volvo Cars and me access to important academic networks," she says.
Lotta Jakobsson was installed at Chalmers on Friday January 15 at a formal ceremony together with 50 or so other professors and adjunct professors. It is a three-year appointment with the possibility of extension.
"The main operations of an adjunct professor, unlike a professor, take place outside the university, in my case at Volvo Cars. This role means that I will be one of the key people in the field of safety at Chalmers," explains Lotta Jakobsson.
She feels the appointment is recognition of the excellent safety-related cooperation that Volvo Cars and the automotive industry have been enjoying with the Chalmers University of Technology for a number of years.
Started in the 1960s
This cooperation started back in the 1960s when Volvo sponsored Bertil Aldman's professorship at Chalmers. For several years, Hans Norin of Volvo Cars served as adjunct professor at the institution.
The creation of SAFER - the Vehicle and Traffic Safety Centre at Chalmers that brings together 22 partners from the automotive industry, academia and public authorities - is yet another example of this close cooperation.
"Bertil Aldman created the first rear-facing child seat and Hans Norin founded Volvo's accident research unit back in 1970. Today Volvo Cars has a handful of adjunct professors at Chalmers and other universities," estimates Lotta Jakobsson.
What exactly does the appointment mean?
"That I am to engage in ongoing dialogue with other researchers, I am able to lecture and supervise doctoral students - something that I am already doing to some extent. Dialogue with other researchers is extremely important. In cooperation with other researchers we can join forces to drive safety issues by focusing on the right things. We at Volvo Cars can then use the results in our product development so as to further enhance our position as the leader in the field of safety."
So what are the "right things"?
"That's all about making the right choices based on solid know-how. Research is largely about obtaining know-how. Volvo Cars' goal in the field of safety is to protect all people in all situations in the best possible way, in line with our vision 2020."
What does this appointment mean for you personally?
"It represents considerable recognition for the research work I have done so far. It is a facilitator both for me personally and for Volvo Cars. In this role, I have a responsibility for staying at the forefront."
At Volvo Cars since thesis
Lotta Jakobsson studied mechanical engineering at Chalmers from 1985 to 1989. She did her thesis on safety at Volvo Cars and has remained dedicated to that field of expertise, today in her capacity as safety specialist.
Lotta Jakobsson has conducted research into automotive safety and biomechanics for 20 years. She was part of Volvo's first batch of industrial post-graduates in 1999 and received her doctorate in 2004.