In engineering purely empirical relationships are sometimes used for structural design, i.e. relationships that have been developed by fitting a mathematical expression to test results. Such approaches pose some dangers: How should you do in a situation that has not been tested before?
The main driving force in my research is to understand and be able to describe different phenomena with the help of theoretical models, models that can be used to predict how a structure will behave in new situations. Of course, tests are still necessary, but by using a theoretical model one can limit the scope of the often expensive tests. With a theoretical basis, it is often possible to develop design formulae that not only answer the question "Does it break?" but which also provide a deeper understanding, a story about the physical phenomena involved.
In my research I have used both experimental and theoretical methods. The experiments are used to describe how materials behave (input to theoretical models) and to verify the theoretical models when these, for example are used to calculate how a complex structure behaves.
In my research I have been involved in wood building technology where a great development has taken place in Sweden since the mid-1990s, when it was again allowed to build tall houses in wood. More knowledge about wood as an engineering material is crucial for our future opportunity to be able to produce high-quality products from forest raw materials in order to secure Sweden's future competitiveness. The fact that increased wood construction in combination with sustainable forestry also brings great climate benefits is of course also a strong driving force.
Currently, I am responsible and teach two courses: Integrated Design (VSMN15) and Mechanics (VSMA01). I also teach in the course Built Environment in a Transdisciplinary Perspective of Sustainability (VFTN70), a new course given for the first time during autumn 2020. In addition, I participate in teaching in other courses through guest lectures (about timber structures, for example), and as a supervisor for degree projects.