LUT’s Professor of Sector Coupling in Energy Systems Behnam ivatloo was named as one of the world’s Highly Cited Researchers in 2022. Together with his research group Professor ivatloo works to find ways to integrate different energy sectors for a more sustainable energy system.
1. Congratulations for being one of the Highly Cited Researchers in 2022. What do you think is the secret of your success?
Thank you for the kind words and recognition. I think there are several factors that have contributed to this.
The first and an important one is that I have been fortunate to have a strong research team and support from my colleagues and institutions throughout my career, which has provided me with the resources and opportunities to achieve my goals. I do not take this as an individual achievement as it is a result of years of teamwork.
Overall, I believe a combination of passion, hard work, and support has been the secret to my success as a researcher.
2. What do you do at LUT?
I joined LUT very recently to work on sector coupling of energy systems with the support of Finnish Energy Association (Sähköenergialiitto Sener). As the Professor of Sector Coupling in LUT School of Energy Systems, my work involves exploring the opportunities and challenges associated with integrating different energy sectors, such as electricity, heat, gas, and transportation, to create a more sustainable and efficient energy system.
3. When it comes to science, why do you think international cooperation is important?
I believe in collaboration and seek out opportunities to work with other researchers and experts in my field regularly. This not only enhances my own knowledge and understanding, but also leads to more impactful and innovative research outcomes.
The energy sector is a global issue, and addressing it requires a collective effort from different perspectives and from countries around the world. By working together, researchers and experts can pool their resources, knowledge, and expertise to tackle complex problems and find solutions that would be difficult to achieve on their own.
In addition, international cooperation enables researchers to exchange ideas and approaches, leading to a more diverse and comprehensive understanding of the energy sector.
4. What are the things you enjoy most about your job?
I have the privilege of working in a field that is both challenging and rewarding. There are several aspects in my job that I love like teaching and mentoring new students, conducting collaborative research, and sharing ideas.
I’m fortunate to be able to impact the world positively through my research and teaching. It also makes me enjoy my work and feel proud to see the success of my students in their career and in life.
5. What would you like to change at the university?
Universities are now more flexible than before and improving every day. I like this approach. However, I’d like to see even more engagement with our industry and community partners.
6. How did you end up leading an academic career?
I have always been passionate about education and research, and it is this passion that has led me to an academic career. My first experience of teaching was during the final year of my Bachelor’s degree studies. I found it very interesting and it led me to pursue higher education and complete the M.Sc and PhD degrees.
After taking my PhD, I pursued an academic career, and was fortunate to land a position as an Assistant professor at a University of Tabriz.
7. What is your greatest career accomplishment so far?
I have had many proud moments throughout my career, but if I had to choose one, I would say my greatest career accomplishment so far is the impact I have had on my students. I am very proud to see that my students, both former and current, can make a difference, grow, and succeed.
8. Who or what inspires you most?
The contribution of science in making human life easier is the most inspiring thing for me. For example, during the Covid19 pandemic researchers from different fields around the world collaborated this way developed and distributed new vaccines that provide hope for people.
9. What would you like to study if anything was possible?
10. How do you balance your work and personal life?
This is a challenge in different careers, but in academic career I think it is a lifestyle. For me there is no clear boundary between my work and personal life. They are integrated. I am fortunate to have strong support from my family, who understand the demands of my job and support me when I need it.
11. Tell us something about yourself that others may not know.
I am interested and involved in volunteer work for scientific societies and NGOs, which gives me an opportunity to give back to others and have a positive impact in the world.