Honorary doctors at MDU
We are proud of our strong and successful research tradition. An important part of our relations with the surrounding community, both internationally and nationally, is to confer the degree of honorary doctor on people who are important to us. The conferment of honorary doctorates takes place in conjunction with our Academic Ceremony.
The title of honorary doctor is conferred on a person who has an important role for us and who has a clear link to our research or education, or who has in other ways made outstanding contributions within one of our areas of activities. Since 2002 our Faculty Board has awarded 28 honorary doctorates. The conferment of honorary doctorates takes place in conjunction with our Academic Ceremony.
The Honorary Doctors’ Day at MDU
To bring attention to our honorary doctors, we organise a special day once a year - the Honorary Doctors’ Day. During this day the general public, students and the private sector are welcomed to a lecture within the domain of the honorary doctors.
Rickard Sohlberg has been awarded an honorary doctorate in 2020.
Hilde Eide has been awarded an honorary doctorate in 2020.
Branislav Selic has been awarded an honorary doctorate in 2020.
Gisele Mwepu studied at Mälardalen University and has a Master’s degree in Computer Science and an M.Sc. Engineering degree in Computer and Information Science. Gisele Mwepu has started and is running two companies, partly Soft Solutions Partner, a software company that primarily develops language apps, and partly the Fintech company Okapi Finance International, which helps people who have no bank accounts with financial transactions, primarily in developing countries.
Since the start Gisele Mwepu has been awarded numerous distinctions and honorary awards, such as the Newcomer of the Year in Västmanland in 2007, Company of the Year in Västerås Science Park in 2009, the Green IT Award in 2012, on the list of 101 Supertalents (Veckans Affärer) in 2013, in 2014 nominated to the title of the Most Entrepreneurial Person in Västmanland, in 2015 the Alumna of the Year at Mälardalen University, and in 2017 awarded the title of Innovation Talent of the Year by Vinnova.
Ola Sellin is the Manager for the development of test systems at Bombardier, Senior Engineer TCMS (Train Control Management Systems) and an M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from KTH Royal Institute of Technology. He has been cooperating with Mälardalen University for ten years and during that time has been involved as a door-opener and contributed to the development of various cooperation projects.
Johan Fastbom took an MD degree at the Karolinska Institutet (KI) in 1984. Four years later he took a doctoral degree in Pharmacology, and since the 1990s Johan Fastbom has been researching within the area of elderly people and medicine.
Since 2011 he has been Professor of Geriatric Pharmacology at the Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society (NVS) at KI, where he works at the Aging Research Center (ARC). He has also been involved in a European project in which the researchers further develop decision-making documents for the use of medication among elderly people.
Gunilla Lööf, anaesthesia nurse at the Astrid Lindgren Children’s Hospital in Stockholm, has a strong commitment to Operation Smile, whose vision is that no child in the world should be violated or forced into reclusion on account of a treatable facial deformity. Moreover, Gunilla Lööf also works to spread information about the organisation, what they are doing and why it is important. She has also been involved in developing the Anaesthesia website that now exists in 120 countries. Here, children and adults can learn more about the body and how it works, what it is like being in hospital, and what happens before, during and after anaesthesia and operation. Gunillas Lööf’s work has connections with both Mälardalen University's courses and study programmes in health and welfare, and research on information to children in hospital. Gunilla can serve as a strong source of inspiration, primarily for this, but also for the whole of Mälardalen University through her humanitarian work.
Mats Forsgren, Professor Emeritus at Uppsala University, is an internationally recognised and well-known researcher within the field of international business and a strong source of inspiration for several researchers at Mälardalen University. With terms such as ”The Multicenter Firm”, ”Subsidiary Embeddedness” and ”Centres of Excellence” he and his research have left a strong mark on the formation of theories in international business. Together with the world-famous Uppsala School’s research into internationalisation, Mats Forsgren’s ideas and research into the importance of subsidiaries and their effect on the strategies and development of multinational companies is one of the research specialisations from Sweden that have won world renown. Today they constitute standard material in both research studies and in education at the Bachelor’s and Master’s levels in international business worldwide.
Tomas Lagerberg, Director of Automation Research at ABB Corporate Research in Västerås, has for several years been a strong representative for ABB in the development of industrial cooperation with Mälardalen University. He has a good knowledge of Mälardalen University and ABB and is regarded by many researchers as a good friend of Mälardalen University. In addition to this Tomas is well known within the whole of Swedish ABB as the director of automation research in the company, and his knowledge of the ”Internet of Things, Services and People” is well known. With Tomas Lagerberg as an honorary doctor, more people working in research and education at Mälardalen University can learn about his knowledge of what digitalisation in society can make possible. All research environments at Mälardalen University have points of contact with the ”Internet of Things, Services and People”, and digitalisation is extremely important for the University’s future development and competitiveness.
Gunnar Svedberg has been awarded an honorary doctorate in 2015 for his sterling experience and expertise in the world of higher education, and for his civil courage and his integrity as a teacher, researcher and leader. He has a background as a professor of Energy Engineering at KTH Royal Institute of Technology and has been Deputy Vice-Chancellor at KTH as well as Vice-Chancellor both at the University College of Mid Sweden (nowadays Mid Sweden University) and the University of Gothenburg. At KTH he was awarded the Students’ Prize as the best teacher three times. He was Vice Chair of Mälardalen University's University Board, between the years of 2006 and 2013, and CEO of Innventia, a research institute with a world-leading position within the forestry and packaging industry, between 2006 and 2011.
Gunnar Svedberg has published his scientific activity primarily within the areas of mathematical modelling, simulation of processes, and environmental- and energy engineering.
Bob Perry is Professor of Mathematics Didactics and Transitions in schools, whose career has taken him to universities all around Australia and also in the rest of the world. He researches into mathematics teaching in early years, transitions in schools, and the education of indigenous peoples. He is widely published and influential within areas such as research, education policy and placement. Bob has never lost his sin passion for teaching at all levels, not least in socially vulnerable groups, and sees education as something necessary to achieve social justice in society. He has published more than 200 scientific articles, books and chapters of books, and is often engaged as an expert reviewer and lecturer. He is one of the founders of the Pedagogies of Educational Transitions (POET), which provides possibilities of working with research colleagues, for example at Mälardalen University.
Birgitta Svendén is one of Sweden’s most successful opera singers. Mälardalen University values her expertise from the field of music and her outstanding leadership as former Vice-Chancellor of the University College of Opera, Stockholm (nowadays Stockholm University of the Arts) and now as Managing Director and Artistic Director of the Royal Opera. Her appointment as an honorary doctor at Mälardalen University will to an even higher degree clarify the University’s cultural activities and its value. Birgitta Svendén is a unique source of inspiration and role model.
Kurt-Lennart Lundbäck is the CEO of Arcticus Systems and since the start of Mälardalen University's biggest research specialisation, Mälardalen Real Time Research Centre (MRTC), he has been involved in research and education at the University. Through his big national and regional involvement, Kurt-Lennart Lundbäck has been working to spread computer technology know-how within the Swedish software industry. With his deep insight into the workings of both academia and the private sector, he has given Mälardalen University access to industrially relevant research issues. Furthermore, he has made a big contribution towards bringing Mälardalen University's research into the limelight.
Luciënne Blessing is Professor of Engineering Design and Methodology at the Université de Luxembourg. Her research is characterised by both theoretical and social goals, and often based on interdisciplinary perspectives which include subjects such as sociology and psychology. This research is, like a great part of the research at Mälardalen University, conducted in the first instance in co-production with the private sector. She already has contact today with researchers and doctoral students at Mälardalen University, and through her extensive international network of contacts she contributes, among other things, towards strengthening Mälardalen University's international contacts.
Björn Stigson was awarded the title of honorary doctor in 2011 for his efforts and continual endeavours to stimulate, explore and share knowledge, experience and “best practice” with companies and entrepreneurs who are striving towards positioning themselves regarding sustainable development.
In 1995 Björn Stigson was appointed President of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), a global and manager-driven organisation with around 200 member companies. Under his leadership the WBCSD has developed into one of the world’s leading and most influential organisations that bring together business activities and sustainable development, and initiate a new way of thinking in terms of business activities.
Furthermore, he has actively participated in advising boards and committees that support the Chinese Government, the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, the Clinton Global Initiative and GRI – the Global Reporting Initiative
Paola Inverardi is one of the internationally leading researchers in software engineering. In an evaluation by the ACM in 2007 she was named one of the 20 best researchers in the world in this field. Her list of publications is impressive: more than 150 publications, h-index 26. Paola is also very active in international research networks. She has been a general or programme chair at the leading conferences in software engineering and is moreover the editor or a member of the editorial board of many of the field’s most prestigious journals.
For several years Paola Inverardi has-been a member of the Swedish Research Council’s drafting committee for NT-S Computer Science. The School of Innovation, Design and Engineering has an extensive collaboration with Paola and she has an important role as advisor and partner. Through Paola Inverardi we have an extensive collaboration in education and research with the university in L’Aquila. She is the scientific advisor for our SSF-funded strategic research centre Progress.
Paola Inverardi was awarded an honorary doctorate in 2011.
Karin Ljungström is Director of Research at St Jude Medical. The implantable pacemaker, which is one of St Jude Medical’s products, is a Swedish medical-technological invention that recently turned 50 years and that has meant an enormous amount for the individual patient. Medical technology is developing faster than ever, and Karin Ljungström personifies this development. Under her leadership, the company has invested in research and product development, including new advanced techniques for pacemakers, detection of atrial fibrillation, heart rhythm disorders, as well as equipment for heart surgery, cardiology and neuromodulation. Mälardalen University cooperates within the field of medical technology with St Jude Medical. Karin Ljungström and St Jude Medical have established a research scholarship for young researchers. Karin Ljungström was awarded an honorary doctorate in 2010.
Sarah Wägnert is the originator of Lex Sarah, which is the everyday term for Chapter 14, Section 2 of the Social Services Act. This paragraph stipulates that a person employed in service and care of the elderly and people with disabilities is obliged to report abuse, neglect and similar abuses to the Social Welfare Board. Sarah Wägnert made a difference by taking a stance for the weak and vulnerable. She thereby highlighted the fact that quality in healthcare applies to everyone.
Mälardalen University has one of Sweden’s biggest nursing degree programmes. In our education and research, our point of departure is that all people have equal value and have the right to good healthcare. Sarah Wägnert is therefore a role model for our activities within the entire field of health and welfare. Sarah Wägnert was awarded an honorary doctorate in 2010.
Annika Helker Lundström
Annika Helker Lundström was awarded the title of honorary doctor in 2008 for her involvement with recycling over other alternatives, such as landfill and incineration. This has contributed to the development whereby numerous recycling companies have progressed from being for example waste disposal companies to becoming suppliers of raw materials. Recycled raw materials are resource-efficient and save energy, and will therefore become an increasingly important raw material when industries manufacture goods in a sustainable society.
Karl-Henrik Robèrt was awarded the title of honorary doctor in 2008 because he has, with a strategic awareness and an indefatigable commitment, worked to increase the skills and awareness of sustainable development among researchers, decision-makers in companies and public authorities, as well as teachers in higher education.
He founded Det Naturliga Steget (The Natural Step) in 1989 to speed up the sustainable development of society from a global perspective. This work has taken place through system research and by testing the results of his research in reality on companies, municipalities and authorities.
In 1999 Karl-Henrik Robèrt was honoured with the Green Cross Award for International Leadership, and in 2000 he was awarded the Blue Planet Prize, often described as the Environmental Nobel Prize, and awarded in cooperation between Tokyo University and the Asai Glass Foundation.
Karin Caldwell is Professor Emerita in Surface Biotechnology at Uppsala University, and for quite a long time has had close cooperation with Mälardalen University. Through this cooperation, outstanding research has come to Mälardalen University. This has led to several pioneering publications in well-renowned scientific journals in above all the USA, and has placed Mälardalen University on the world map. Karin Caldwell was awarded an honorary doctorate in 2007.
Bo-Göran Ulfberg has strongly contributed to the development of Mälardalen University as well as of Volvo and the private sector regionally, nationally and internationally.
Over the years Bo-Göran Ulfberg has initiated research, provided opportunities, support and funding to Mälardalen University and primarily to students and staff at the Institution of Innovation, Design and Product Development. He was awarded an honorary doctorate in 2007.
Bo Kjellén was formerly Chief Negotiator at the Department of the Environment and whose duties included leading the Swedish delegation at the Rio Conference in 1992 and during the climate negotiations in 1991-2001. He chaired of one of the plenary working groups for the Rio Conference and also led the negotiations on the UN’s Convention against Desertification. Bo Kjellén is a Senior Research Fellow at the Stockholm Environment Institute. In 2008 his book, ”A New Diplomacy for Sustainable Development: The Challenge of Global Change”, was published. Bo Kjellén has shown an active interest in Mälardalen University's development by participating in several courses at the Bachelor’s and research studies levels. In 2005 he was awarded an honorary doctorate.
Mirka Mikes Lindbäck
Mirka Mikes Lindbäck has, through her great involvement in Mälardalen University, contributed to the development of research and education. She has also helped in strengthening the relations between the University and the private sector, in particular ABB. In her capacity as a woman, researcher, and representative for an internationally strong technical company concern, she is a good role model for many of the University’s female engineering students.
Salvatore Grimaldi was awarded an honorary doctorate in 2004 since he manages and with excellence applies the areas of knowledge that are bearing for Mälardalen University: renewal, innovation and entrepreneurship. In 1952 he immigrated with his parents and siblings to Sweden from Italy. He started his first company, Grimaldis Mekaniska Verkstad, in Köping in 1970. Today the Grimaldi Industrial Concern consists of for example Cycleurope with trademarks including Crescent, Monark, DBS, Bianchi, Karlsson Spools, Plockmatic International and Bianchi Café & Cycles. The Grimaldi Industrial Concern includes a total of some 30 companies and has over 1000 employees.
Margot Wallström is at present (2016) the Minister for Foreign Affairs. She has been the UN Secretary General’s representative in questions concerning sexual violence in conflicts and was previously EU Commissioner with responsibility for Institutional Relations and Communication Strategy. She has also been the EU Commission’s First Vice-Chair, EU’s Environmental Commissioner as well as Sweden’s EU Commissioner and prior to that the holder of several ministerial posts such as the Minister for Culture and Minister for Social Affairs.
For a long time Margot Wallström has also worked with purpose and success with the questions that are highly prioritised at Mälardalen University: the environment and sustainable development, and therefore was awarded an honorary doctorate at the University in 2004.
Marja Widell has, as an industrial researcher, been involved in producing an alternative to PCB and has been active in the development of fuel cells.
During the 1990s Marja Widell was ABB’s Environmental Manager, and carried out the first environmental audits within the Swedish ABB companies. She came to be a role model for environmental managers in Sweden and abroad, within ABB and externally. Today Marja Widell is a mentor for female doctoral students at Mälardalen University. She was awarded an honorary doctorate in 2003.
Lena Treschow Torell
Lena Torell was President of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences in 2001-2008 and has played a large part in the University’s research development. She has also been Programme Director at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre. Lena Torell was awarded an honorary doctorate in 2002.
For three years Hans Rausing held a visiting professorship in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the former Institution for Innovation, Design and Product Development (IDP) at Mälardalen University. During these three years he brought to the University very valuable knowledge about Sweden’s technological development in an international perspective and the importance of innovation to the country for the last 50 years. Hans Rausing was awarded an honorary doctorate in 2004. (Hans Rausing passed away in 2019.)
Ivan Öberg was the first Vice-Chancellor of Mälardalen University. He was instrumental in building up Mälardalen University from its beginnings and put his soul into this work.
The technological and natural science part of the organisation was developed under Ivan Öberg’s leadership, from nothing to an established engineering programme in cooperation with KTH Royal Institute of Technology, as well as an extensive contract education programme.
Ivan Öberg was awarded an honorary doctorate in 2003. (Ivan Öberg passed away in 2019.)
Bengt Asker was for a long time active in the software industry and was for example Chair of the ARTES Board, a strategic research initiative in the field of real-time systems. He has been of great importance to Mälardalen University’s real-time research. Bengt Asker was awarded an honorary doctorate at Mälardalen University in 2002. (Bengt Asker passed away in 2005.)