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LiU honors five distinguished professionals in 2007

Åke Svensson, President and CEO of Saab, and science writer Henrik Ekman are awarded Honoris causa degrees by Linköping University. Honorary degrees are conferred also on three internationally prominent scholars, all of whom have made significant contributions to the development of scientific research and education at LiU: Professors Li-Chyong Chen, Ruth Campbell and Afaf Meleis.

Mr. Åke Svensson receives—from his alma mater—the title of honorary doctor of engineering. In the early seventies, President Svensson was educated in the field of applied physics and electrical engineering at LiU. After graduation in 1978, he entered employment at Saab Dynamics. For three decades he has served the Saab Group; since 2003, as President and CEO.

Åke Svensson has contributed to the engineering education at the Institute of Technology through well-received lectures before students, staff and alumni. He has served on the university board and several committees and promoted collaborative activities between LiU and his corporation, particularly within the framework of LinkLab. President Svensson has long been committed to issues concerning interest and education of young people in technological fields.

The Institute of Technology also recognizes the distinguished achievements of Professor Li-Chyong Chen, National Taiwan University, citing her significant research in advanced materials and condensed matter. Professor Chen has made significant strategic contributions that further develop LiU education and research in two major fields: nitrogen-based semiconductors and nanostructures.

Moreover, Professor Chen has participated in fruitful interaction with research teams at the Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology (IFM). The last years have been a period of one of intensive research cooperation—including geographical exchange of doctoral students, postdocs and more senior researchers—between IFM and Professor Chen's home research setting, the Center for Condensed Matter Sciences at National Taiwan University in Taipei. These activities have financial backing from the Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education (STINT).

The Faculty of Arts and Sciences acknowledges the distinguished merits of Professor Ruth Campbell by conferring on her an honorary doctoral degree. Professor Campbell is attached to the Deafness, Cognition and Language Research Centre (DCAL) at University College, London. She is an internationally renowned researcher whose work deals with ways the human brain processes visual forms of language: especially reading, lip reading and sign language.

Professor Campbell's findings have been an inspiration for LiU scientists who specialize in communication and disability research, in particular those active at the Swedish Institute for Disability Research (IHV). During recent years, the scientific focus of Professor Campbell has concerned the communicative circumstances of the hearing impaired and deaf, which she has investigated using brain imaging methods.

Professor Afaf Meleis has been selected to receive an honorary doctor's degree from the Faculty of Health Sciences. Professor Meleis, whose specialization is nursing and sociology, is Dean at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. She serves also as Director of the School’s WHO Collaborating Center for Nursing and Midwifery Leadership.

The research focus of Professor Meleis is global health, immigrant and international health, women’s health, and the theoretical development of the nursing discipline. Her substantial knowledge has made her an influential consultant on nursing theory in education.

For more than two decades, Professor Meleis has served an inspiring advisor in the continuing development of nursing research at the Faculty. She has encouraged and counseled, not least from her international perspective of nursing and the caring sciences.

The Faculty of Health Sciences also honors biologist and science writer Henrik Ekman with a Honoris causa degree. Mr. Ekman is the television presenter for Vetenskapens värld (The World of Science), a long-running science program produced by the Swedish Television Corporation.

In this role, he has created an educational, attention-getting forum to introduce the general public to modern scientific knowledge, and he has spotlighted the vital role science plays in societal progress. In particular he has illuminated and illustrated the importance of the natural sciences for our environment and our health.

The achievements of these five distinguished men and women will formally acknowledged on May 12 at a ceremony in Linköping.

Lennart Falklöf 2007-08-13

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Last updated: 2009-06-03