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25 million from ERC to Lennart Ljung

Lennart Ljung“It’s nice to get something of my own for once,” says Ljung, who has been LiU’s most reliable ‘cash cow’ for 30 years. Over the last few years he has brought three excellence centres and a strategic area of research home to the university, not to mention a number of project grants.

The project the ERC fell for is called simply LEARN and primarily deals with how system models are built based on measured signals – what is known as system identification. An interesting sub-area is how these methods relate to newer technology within ‘machine learning’, which has grown from a branch of computer science to involve modern mathematical statistics.

“This is a branch within my operations that is closely related to the problems we worked with in the MOVIII centre. I felt there were several questions left up in the air which needed solving.”
Ljung sees the ERC grant as an acknowledgement of the steps made in automatic control engineering and the departments cooperating between LiU and other institutions of learning. The fellow applicant in the LEARN project is his former student Håkan Hjalmarsson, now a professor at the KTH Royal University of Technology.

An Advanced Grant normally totals 2.5 million euro for five years’ research. The 2010 distribution of 590 million euro was divided among 266 leading researchers from 26 countries in three fields: natural science and technology, the life sciences, and social science and the humanities. Nine per cent of the recipients are women.

“We’ve noted an increasing number of very pre-eminent researchers among the applicants, among them several Nobel laureates and Fields Medal recipients,” said Helga Nowotny, President of the ERC, in a press release.

European Research Council


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Last updated: 2011-02-09