Jon Petter Gustafsson's Declaration of intent

Last changed: 06 October 2021

Jon Petter Gustafsson. Professor at the Department of Soil and Environment

What I would like to do in the NJ faculty board?

I am interested in returning to the Faculty board from 2022 and to work for the development of SLU after having discontinued my last part-time position at KTH. In the NJ Faculty board, I would like to:

Contribute to the development of our education programmes on the candidate and master levels. For me personally, the following will be in focus:

  • Continued development of the professional programmes. At KTH I worked with the CDIO concept, which was developed to improve the engineering programmes across the world. One example is to ensure the presence of ”red threads”, tools or concepts that bring together different courses in the programme structure. Another is the emphasis on the importance of practical and professional training, e.g. in the field or at the laboratory, or by working in teams. These aspects were considered in the development of the new engineering programme (c.f. below), which is now being assessed by UKÄ. A related concept is the design of so-called progression plans, which are now used in the development of the master level of the restructured (3+2) agronomy programmes.
  • Develop engineering programmes at SLU. The increased use of modern technology within the agricultural and forestry sectors (GIT, IoT etc.) will make it logical for SLU to get the right to issue engineering degrees and to develop new engineering programmes, as a complement to the already existing professional programs, e.g. the agronomy programmes. Such a development has been seen in some of our neighbouring countries. As for myself, I have been, and am, part of the work to develop a new engineering program within the area of digital agriculture and forestry.
  • Attractive general programmes. It is also vital that SLU offers more general high quality programmes, where SLU’s strengths in research and environmental assessment are utilized. Examples of subjects where SLU have a unique position are sustainable development, environmental sciences, food sciences, water, soil, sustainable development, and ecology. However, we also need to find new ways to reach prospective students to increase the number of applications to our programmes.

Accelerate the recruitment of associate senior lecturers and senior lecturers. We need new career positions so that SLU can attract a larger number of highly qualified researchers and pedagogic talents. For a number of years the NJ Faculty has had a strategy for the recruitment of new associate senior lecturers and senior lecturers, which is based on needs both within research and education. Due to economic limits this has slowed down in recent years, but it is a matter of high priority to reaccelerate recruitment as the faculty economy improves.

Reinstate the funding of the fourth year of PhD positions. PhD students constitute an important basis of research at the university, but it is difficult to get PhD positions fully funded by external grants. Earlier the funding of the fourth year was secured by the faculty (on certain conditions), but due to the current economic situation this is no longer the case.  This complementary funding should be reinstated as soon as the economic conditions permit.

Push for high quality infrastructure. Important infrastructure includes e.g. equipment, SLU’s own field experiments, and access to national research infrastructures. SLU is working actively with this, e.g. through securing funding to own infrastructure and participating in national infrastructures, such as SITES and the MAX IV synchrotron light source. As for myself I am active in the efforts to develop a new microfocus beamline at MAX IV. I hope that SLU will continue to be active in using such important infrastructures and also develop our own! As an example: our own research group has benefitted a lot from the long term soil fertility experiments, these are an important resource for us to understand how different fertilization regimes affect the cycling and availability of nutrients.

About me

  • Born and raised in Uppsala, since 1989 a resident of Stockholm (Kista)
  • Married with two grownup children
  • Background from KTH, where I defended my PhD 1994, professor 2009
  • Professor in soil chemistry at the Dep of Soil and Environment since 2015
  • Member of NJ Faculty Board 2016–2018
  • Member, Vice chairman, NJ Programme Board since 2017