Saeid Esmaeilzadeh, Monica von Schmalensee and Stefan Bengtsson among IVA’s new members

At the second Assembly of the Academy this year, ten new Swedish and international members were inducted into the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA). The new members have backgrounds in areas such as biotechnology, architecture and the built environment. They include Saeid Esmaeilzadeh, Monica von Schmalensee and Stefan Bengtsson.

Swedish members 

Karl Henrik Johansson (born 1967), Professor, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), was inducted into Division II Electrical Engineering. Karl Henrik Johansson’s research fields are the internet of things and the connected society. His research is highly relevant today and involves gaining a fundamental understanding of the ongoing developments in autonomy, digitalisation and safety-critical systems. Professor Johansson seeks to answer questions about which and how often information should be exchanged to achieve a certain level of performance or reliability in large interconnected systems, with a particular focus on applications in transportation, energy and the processing industry. He is active internationally and has been a guest researcher at universities in the US and Asia. In 2009 Professor Johansson was one of the ten first researchers to receive a grant as a Wallenberg Scholar from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.

“I’m honoured by this appointment and look forward to learning more about how the role of the engineer is rapidly changing and becoming increasingly important in many new areas in society,” says Karl Henrik Johansson. 

Maria Sunér Fleming (born 1971), Head of Unit, Energy, infrastructure and the Environment at the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise, was inducted into Division II Electrical Engineering. Since 2010 Maria Sunér Fleming has focused on energy and the climate in her work at the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise. This has involved analysing, coordinating and communicating an industry vision on these issues. She is also active in the international arena through her involvement in the World Energy Council. 

“I was delighted to hear that I had been elected as a member of IVA. I’ve worked with IVA on a number of projects in recent years and have seen the impact the Academy’s work has on the public debate,” says Maria Sunér Fleming. “I look forward to continuing to contribute as a member!”

Anna Bertilson (born 1959), Director of Urban Planning, Linköping Municipality, was inducted into Division III Building and Construction. Anna Bertilson has many years of experience in leadership positions working for Gothenburg City. Since 2012 she has been Director of Urban Planning in Linköping with responsibility for all of the administration offices handling urban planning, environmental and technical matters. She has developed the municipality’s planning processes with a focus on sustainability and strategic development planning in combination with practical implementation. She was appointed by the Government to serve as a member of the Geodatarådet (Geodata Council) and has participated in a work group for IVA’s project Good Cities of the Future

“IVA offers society an interesting and necessary platform for dialogue and new knowledge creation. I’m honoured to be able to serve as a member within and for IVA,” says Anna Bertilson.

Monica von Schmalensee (born 1956), CEO, White arkitekters, was inducted into Division III Building and Construction. While serving as CEO, Monica von Schmalensee has overseen the growth of White arkitekters into Scandinavia’s largest architecture firm. She has served as Chairman of Sweden Green Building Council and is a member of the boards of AMF Fastigheter and Swedish Research Council Formas, and has served on the City of Stockholm’s Advisory Board. Monica von Schmalensee has a degree in architecture from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) and has practical experience in management and strategic development of large knowledge organisations. This is critical in ensuring that sustainable building is successfully implemented in society.

“I’m honoured to be part of such a knowledge-intensive and influential academy as IVA. In my view IVA is a social institution. I look forward to adding my perspective on architecture and sustainable urban development, but even more to having access to the broad spectrum of experience among all of the other members in areas such as digitalisation and research,” says Monica von Schmalensee. 

Holger Wallbaum (born 1967), Professor, Chalmers University of Technology, was inducted into Division III Building and Construction. Professor Wallbaum has many years of experience from engineering and architecture projects, both in Sweden and internationally. He specialises in environmental and sustainable strategies and works on concepts, tools and strategies to improve the sustainability performance of building materials, buildings and entire cities. He has been a member of juries of architecture competitions, is a member of, among other organisations, the European climate initiative Climate-KIC and has served as scientific coordinator at HSV Living Lab.

“I’m very honoured to be elected as a member of IVA,” says Holger Wallbaum. “IVA is an important force in driving Sweden towards a more sustainable future. Having the ability to make a contribution to this process is a challenge that I’m delighted to take on.”

Stefan Jansson (born 1959), Professor, Umeå University, was inducted into Division X Biotechnology. How do trees know when it’s autumn? How come spruces have green needles? These are examples of questions Stefan Jansson wants to answer in his research. The two projects combine tree genetics, genome sequencing and transcriptome analysis with physiology, biophysics and biotechnology. Stefan Jansson is an internationally recognised researcher who has published more than 120 academic articles. He is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and was named Forest Biotechnologist of the Year in 2016 by the Institute of Forest Sciences in the United States.

“It’s an extreme honour to be inducted into IVA. Hopefully my experience in plant biotechnology will be of some help in the Academy’s projects and activities,” says Stefan Jansson. 

Lotta Ljungqvist (born 1961), Chairman and CEO, GE Nordic, was inducted into Division X Biotechnology. Since 2008 Lotta Ljungqvist has been active in GE Healthcare Life Sciences. Among other things she has served as global head of Research & Development at BioProcess where she has led teams tasked with developing equipment, instruments and materials in biopharmaceutical development and production. Lotta Ljunqvist received her PhD in 1990 at the Department of Biochemistry and Bioprocess Technology at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH).

“IVA is contributing to our world by supporting the role of technology in the development of a better society. I am honoured to be able to play a part in this work and look forward to a deeper involvement in IVA,” says Lotta Ljungqvist.  

Stefan Bengtsson (born 1961), Professor, Chalmers University of Technology, was inducted into Division XI Education and Research Policy. Professor Bengtsson’s research field is silicon-based materials, components and circuits – the technology on which all consumer electronics, such as computer and mobile phones, are based. He has published more than a hundred articles in international journals and for conferences. In August 2011 Stefan was appointed as Malmö University’s Vice-Chancellor and since August 2015 he has served as President and CEO of Chalmers University of Technology.

“It’s an honour and a pleasure to become a member of IVA. I’ve worked with IVA on a number of projects and look forward to contributing further! I’m passionate about developing education and research, and about putting their results to good use to strengthen our society and the private sector,” says Stefan Bengtsson.

Saeid Esmaeilzadeh (born 1974), PhD in Chemistry and founder of Serendipity Group, was inducted into Division XI Education and Research Policy. Saeid Esmaeilzadeh and Ashtan Pouya together started Serendipity Group, a growing group of around ten research-based companies. Saeid embarked on his own academic journey at Stockholm University starting with research in materials chemistry at the age of 21. In 2000 he received his PhD and two years later, at 28, Saied became Sweden’s youngest associate professor at his alma mater. In the years 2012–2014 Saeid Esmaeilzadeh served on the Executive Body of IVA’s Business Executives Council.

Margaret McNamee (born 1965), PhD, CTO, RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, was inducted into Division XI Education and Research Policy. Margaret McNamee has held various senior positions within RISE since 1999. She has initiated and run several research projects and programmes in both Sweden and internationally in areas such as her own field, the environmental impact of fires. Throughout her career Margaret McNamee has focused on creating interdisciplinary connections to find new innovative solutions in partnerships between industry, academic and the public sector actors.

“I feel honoured and look forward to increased collaboration between RISE and other important players who feel strongly about education and research,” says Margaret McNamee.

International members

Bradley F. Chmelka (born 1962), Professor, University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB), was inducted as an international member of IVA. Bradley F. Chmelka’s research is focused on the area of materials chemistry where inorganic chemistry meets surface and colloid chemistry. This research field is crucial to the development of nanomaterial and is currently a rapidly growing discipline. For many years Professor Chmelka has had scientific connections in Gothenburg, Stockholm and Lund, and many of his postdocs have graduated from Chalmers University of Technology, the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm University and Lund University.

Hoda ElMaraghy (born 1945), Professor, University of Windsor, was inducted as an international member of IVA. Hoda ElMaraghy conducts research in manufacturing systems and has published more than 450 articles. Her research work has been recognised by the Canadian Government who appointed her as Canadian Research Chair in Manufacturing Systems in 2002. Professor ElMaraghy is very familiar with the research climate in Sweden. Since 2008 she served as Scientific Advisor to the Wingquist Laboratory VINN Excellence Centre, a national Swedish research centre for virtual product development.


IVA is an independent academy with around 1,300 Swedish and international members. The members are decision-makers, specialists and researchers from the private sector, academia and public administration. His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf is IVA’s patron and is an active participant in the Academy’s activities. The 1,000 or so Swedish members are divided into twelve divisions focusing on different sectors.

The Swedish inducted members are Swedish citizens or permanent residents who have made outstanding contributions in the fields the Academy focuses on and who are prepared to work to help IVA achieve its objectives.

International members are individuals who are permanent residents of another country who have made outstanding contributions in the Academy’s fields and who have shown a particular interest in forging contacts with Swedish research and Swedish industry.


Contact information

Helena Mehra
Communications Manager
Phone +46 8-791 29 39