The School of Education and Communication at Jönköping University.

About 50 researchers and company representatives from the materials manufacturing industry participated in the SAM Conference, which was held at the School of Education and Communication at Jönköping University.

"One of the best conferences so far"

On May 14-15, Jönköping University (JU) hosted the 18th edition of the international SAM conference on the connection between society and materials. It was a complete hit.

“This has been one of the best conferences to date,” says organiser Jean-Pierre Birat from France who was the founder of the SAM conferences in 2004.

JTH staff.

The School of Engineering (JTH) had three presentations during the SAM conference where Assistant Professor Lucia Lattanzi was involved in two of them and Professor Anders Jarfors (far right) in one. Next to them are JTH doctoral students Abdullah Harazeen (far left) and Anton Rolseth.

The SAM conference is a meeting place for researchers and industry representatives in the field of material manufacturing. They meet to discuss and take part in lectures about the challenges that material production and materials usage have in building a sustainable society. About 50 participants, mostly from Europe but also from other parts of the world, came to the event that was held at the School of Education and Communication at JU.

Jean-Pierre Birat, Senior Consultant at the consulting company IF Steelman, from France has attended all 18 gatherings since the conference was launched in 2004. He is involved in the planning work and has a unifying function for the conferences.

"Many good presentations"

“I still think it's fun to be at these conferences. The participants come up with exciting proposals and there were many good presentations here at JU. Among other things, Italian designers raised discussions and presented arguments about materials and society that more traditional material scientists may not have considered. That kind of sparks new ideas and leads to the creation of new methods,” says Jean-Pierre Birat.

In his opinion, this year's conference was well organized and coming to JU and Jönköping was nice, especially as sunshine and warm weather was also on offer.

“Jönköping is a calm and pleasant city and you have nice weather here! I think I'll move here and start a PhD at JTH,” he says, smiling.

Jean-Pierre Birat from France, the SAM Conference at JU.

Jean-Pierre Birat from France launched the SAM Conferences in 2004 and has attended all 18 gatherings since then.

"Putting Jönköping on the map"

Anders Jarfors, Professor Materials and Manufacturing - Casting, at the School of Engineering (JTH) at JU, was involved in organizing this year’s SAM conference together with Jean-Pierre Birat. He appreciates the praise from Jean-Pierre Birat and said that this was the easiest conference he had ever organized. This was largely thanks to the support of this year's sponsors: ArcelorMittal (the world's second largest steel producer), Kobolde & Partners and JU.

“This has been a very positive experience and something that puts Jönköping on the map in this field,” he says.

He is very proud of the materials and manufacturing department at JTH, which gave three presentations during the conference. Lucia Lattanzi, Assistant Professor Materials and Manufacturing - Casting at JTH participated in two of them.

"Received good response and several new ideas"

“It’s enjoyable and very rewarding to talk about your research results and discuss them with not only colleagues outside your research group but with companies too. I have received good feedback and several new ideas from other participants at the conference. Feedback is always good and it was nice to meet other researchers working in the same field. It is important to continue discussing societal issues within technical research such as materials science, and the SAM conferences serve as a reminder of that,” says Lucia Lattanzi.

JTH's research project CIRCUMET, which aims to spread research on sustainable materials, was also presented at the conference. It is JTH's largest education environment investment ever and includes ten industrial partners and has a funding of SEK 30 million.

"Valuable for me as an entrepreneur"

Rutger Gyllenram who teaches at KTH in Stockholm and is CEO of Kobolde & Partners, which develops services and software in sustainable steel and metal production, was one of the keynote speakers during the conference.

“It is very valuable for me as an entrepreneur to be here and meet both senior and young researchers who have different perspectives and ideas. Much of what we do at Kobolde & Partners is about implementing research results into the business world, and here we have contact with academia and hear about research that is relevant for us,” says Rutger Gyllenram.

“Father of the conference”

He says that Jean-Pierre Birat's importance to the SAM conference is crucial.

“He is the father of the conference and an absolutely wonderful person and a visionary. He attracts many speakers and inspires colleges and universities to send their PhD students to the SAM conference.”

Rutger Gyllenram thinks that the SAM conference at JU was excellent and says that he will be happy to return to JU on future occasions.


This year's conference was organized by:

Jönköping University, ArcelorMittal, IF Steelman, Institute de recherche technologique - Materiaux et procedes, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Institute for technology Assessment, NTNU, La Sapienza and Systems Analysis (itas).

Conference at JU.

Rutger Gyllenram, CEO of Kobole & Partners, which develops services and software in sustainable steel and metal manufacturing, was one of the keynote speakers during the conference.

Conference at JU.

Bismark Razak Haruna was awarded the Jean-Sébastien Thomas Prize for his presentation "Social Life Cycle Assessment of Soldium Ion Battery Raw Materials".