"RISE’s mission is to make a difference in the world around us – and we do"
At RISE, around 3,000 problem-solvers are tackling some of society’s most pressing challenges. One of them is Gunnar Westin, Group Manager at Processum. The unit works on new processes to refine raw materials and side streams from forestry – and to ensure that they also make it to the market.
For Gunnar Westin, a dream assignment is not necessarily a specific assignment, but all the times he and his team generate ideas with huge potential and get to be part of the entire journey. And the best part is that it happens all the time.
“What drives me is getting the most out of the resources we have,” says Westin. “What I mean is being knowledgeable about the types of results that transform innovations into a reality. In early conversations with our customers, we are able to proactively propose initiatives that have a major impact on their development. Owing to the expertise we have in the department and within RISE as a whole, we have good opportunities to shorten the path from good idea to commercialisation, which everyone – society, the companies, and RISE – benefits from. RISE’s mission is to make a difference in the world around us – and we do.”
All the way from idea to product
An example of this is RISE’s collaboration with the company C-Green, which has developed a brand-new technology for converting wet biomass sludge into a carbon product that can be used for soil conditioning, biofuel, and other applications.
“What was really remarkable was how fast it went – it took just five years from idea to finished product,” explains Westin. “We were involved all the way and could make a difference for them thanks to the researchers and the environment we have. Among other things, we operated their test facility.”
Something I appreciate very much about RISE as an employer is the opportunity to transfer and try new things according to what drives you.
An employer who creates opportunities
For the past three months, Westin has served as the acting Group Manager for Processum’s biotechnology team at RISE in Örnsköldsvik. Prior to this, he was Group Manager for another part of the department that worked with process and system analysis.
“Something I appreciate very much about RISE as an employer is the opportunity to transfer and try new things according to what drives you,” says Westin. “It’s something I have taken good advantage of during my years at RISE, and it has allowed me to work with many different things that interest me.”
Westin’s journey at RISE began back in 2009 when he carried out his degree project at Processum while earning his Master of Science in Engineering degree. Since then, he has held roles as business developer, engineer, project manager and various managerial positions.
“In my current role as Group Manager, a lot of focus is on the issues that come with staff responsibility and the strategic questions for Processum,” says Westin. “But I enjoy being in contact with customers and working hands-on as well, and I’ve managed to maintain some of those elements.”
New investment raising the level
Since Westin joined Processum, a lot has happened on the personnel side of things as well. At that point, there were some ten employees. Now there are ten employees just in the biotechnology unit and close to 40 people in total.
“And soon there will be more of us,” says Westin. “Today we broke ground for the new pilot hall, which we will fill with new test and demo infrastructure, particularly geared towards biotechnology and chemistry. It’s a huge investment that will make a big difference for us and will allow us to raise the level further.”
Facts about Gunnar
Help us make the world a little better
Passionate problem solvers come together at RISE. We need more sharp minds who want to join us in solving some of the world’s most pressing, and perhaps most exciting, problems. Do you want to join us? Take a look at our open job positions.