Top image: The power plant in Longyearbyen is running on coal. With increased focus on renewable energy, the government hopes to find a reliable new energy source to replace the power plant. Photo: Eva Therese Jenssen/UNIS.
The Ministry of Education and Research has allocated funds for two new PhD positions within renewable energy at UNIS. – This allows us to build up a new scientific field in the Arctic Technology department, says UNIS director Harald Ellingsen.
29 November 2019
Press release from UNIS
It was the Minister of Higher education and research, Ms. Iselin Nybø, who conveyed the happy news to UNIS director Harald Ellingsen. UNIS has recently announced a new professor position within energy and environmental engineering, and the new positions will add to this new scientific field at UNIS.
– When the professor position is filled, it is very valuable for both that person and for us that there will be two PhD candidates to work along the new professor. It will also boost our Arctic Technology department and create further synergies with the rest of UNIS, says Ellingsen.
– This will allow us to develop this new field within renewable Arctic energy systems for UNIS, and there will be added value for the local community that we can offer scientific expertise within renewable energy, he continues.
The leader of the Longyearbyen Local Government, Mr. Arild Olsen, is also pleased. He is a UNIS board member and he, the rest of the board and the UNIS administration have worked hard to get these funds.
– This is very positive news and we are very happy that this will be anchored locally. This will strengthen both the local government and UNIS, and help us find a reliable new energy source that can allow us to eventually shut down the coal-fired power plant, says Arild Olsen.
Minister Nybø says that this is part of strengthening Norwegian polar research.
– The University Centre in Svalbard conducts high-quality education and research on climate and environmental change. We have a climate crisis and need more research, both to find solutions and answers. That is why we have strengthened polar research by NOK 15 million in the budget for 2020 and now we create two PhD positions at UNIS. This means more than NOK 2.6 million to be spent on research at UNIS, the minister says.
The positions will be announced in the beginning of 2020.