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Meet the NKT professor solving the puzzle of the power cable technology of the future

Jul 7, 2021

Mikael Unge, Principal Scientist in NKT Technology Consulting, has becomes the first Adjunct Professor in NKT, when he begins a research program focusing on the simulations of future material combinations to drive long-term power cable innovation.

Mikael Unge material simulation
The future power cable technology is closely linked to understanding and developing new and alternative materials, and NKT now takes an important step in doing the research needed to develop the next generation of power cables. From 1 July, Mikael Unge will add Adjunct Professor to his title as Principal Scientist at the NKT Technology Consulting in Västerås, to lead a research project at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, focusing on simulation of materials for insulation in high-voltage power cable systems.  
- If we want to maintain our strong market position, we need to innovate and prepare the technology of the future. Here, new materials can play a central role as they influence areas such the electrical resistance in power cables, how complex the production is and how flexible and resilient the technology is. The materials we use are all pieces in the puzzle of improving our power cable technology and be ready to meet the future demands, says the newly appointed professor, who has specialized in the simulation of materials on a molecular level.
As an adjunct professor he will be driving academic research in an industrial context to support innovation at NKT and contribute to the mission of Technology Consulting to take the lead in the long-term R&D.  The project is planned to run for the next six years, and with a Ph.D. and experience from a Postdoc and two guest researcher positions, Mikael is looking forward to revisiting the world of academia.
- I like the combination of the industrial and the academic world and are looking forward to starting my research at the university and give some lectures to hopefully inspire students to support the project by doing a master thesis, Ph.D, or postdoc. This is also a great opportunity for NKT to start a more focused collaboration with relevant universities and potentially to find future employees with relevant knowledge, he explains with a clear drive.
- The primary goal is to create a better understanding of new material combinations to support the development of improved power cable insulation. If you understand the materials in greater detail it can often lead to better performance. In our case, improved cable technology will drive our competitiveness and end the also help make the global power grids more efficient and ready to meet the challenges from the increasingly amount of renewable energy, says Mikael Unge.
The next step in the project is to plan it in greater details, start relevant lectures and prepare a publication of the results of the simulation model enabling more precise calculation of charge mobility in power cable insulation. A first piece of the puzzle to help NKT develop the power cable technology of the future.
Mikael Unge material simulation
Pelle Fischer-Nielsen
External Communications Officer
Pelle Fischer Nielsen