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Welcome to my thesis defense on June 15!

Dear readers, today my PhD thesis, entitled Escalation: Explorative studies of high-risk situations from the theoretical perspectives of complexity and joint cognitive systems, was sent to the printing shop! That means that it is about time to officially announce the date for the public defense:


Welcome to the public defense seminar which will be held on June 15, 2012, at 10:15 in lecture hall V:B at the V-building (address: John Ericssons väg 1) on the campus of the technical faculty at Lund University. The invited faculty opponent is Professor Erik Hollnagel.


The defense procedure here in Sweden is such that the student first get to present the thesis for about 20-30 minutes. Then the opponent takes charge of the discussion and asks the students difficult questions for about one hour. After that the word is handed over to the decision committee (three senior researchers and those who make the final decision whether to pass or fail the student) who also get to ask their questions. Fina…

We do have some really cool industries in this country

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At the beginning of this week I had a break in the thesis-writing process to go up to the very northern parts of Sweden (Gällivare) to teach Systems Safety for two days. The students were representing a number of industries dealing with explosives. After I had finished my session on the second day we went for a visit to Boliden's open-cast copper mine (well, they do extract some other metals from that ore deposit). The place is HUGE! I don't think that many people actually know the scale of some of our Swedish industries. In 2014 they will be taking out 36 Million tonnes of ore per year! I took some pictures, and I'll give some facts in connection to each and everyone of them. For more information about this crazy place, please visit Boliden's website. When they blast the ore into pieces (which they do once or twice per week, they use around 500 tonnes of explosives at the time... just to give you an idea about the scale of this place.

Media coverage of a master project that I supervised

Today I got a really nice surprise reading the newspaper. There was a report of suicidal prevention in the railway system. This report was based on the findings from a master thesis that I supervised. The thesis was written by Caspar Kindt and Carl Spennare at the Master Program of Risk Management Engineering. They conducted a really nice thesis work including a hotspot analysis (aiming at gaining an understanding for where the suicides take place), an inventory of possible safety efforts to make, an estimation of their effects and a pragmatic analysis of the societal payback time for implementing the suggested safety efforts.

The thesis conclusion is that investments to prevent suicides on railway tracks have a short payback time when considering the societal costs of completed suicides. The thesis should soon be published at this Lund University website, and the article written in the newspaper Sydsvenskan is found here.