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Lunch Pitches with Kavitha Shanmugam and Johan Tordsson

To encourage cross pollination of ideas between researchers from different disciplines, IceLab hosts interdisciplinary research lunches with the vision of allowing ideas to meet and mate. During the Lunch Pitch Season, the creative lunches take place at KBC every other Tuesday.

Place: KBCon Lilla Fokusrum  (KBC Focus Environment’s glass room), KBC
Time: Tuesday 26 November at 12:00.

Sign up to get a free sandwich at the lunch pitch

Pitch 1: Kavitha Shanmugam: Using life cycle assessment (LCA) to interpret sustainable performance of services provided by cities

PhD at Department of Environmental Chemistry, Umeå University

Kavitha Shanmugam is using life cycle assessment (LCA) on the services element.  The services element is about provision of services (i.e. district heating, treating wastewater and MSW management etc) offered to residents in the city of Umeå by coordinating with municipal stakeholder companies offering these services. LCA results can provide them with environmental footprint, which would aid them to take sustainably meaningful decisions along with economic and social outcomes.


Cities are hubs for ideas, commerce, social, human and economic development. Goal 11 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals is to make “cities and human settlement inclusive, resilient, safe and sustainable.”  For city municipalities who play a critical role in its implementation, have included sustainability on the top of their agenda with their ambitions aligned to sustainability goals of their respective nations. Sustainable city centric techno-entrepreneurial concepts, e.g. development of low cost and modular technologies for removal of micropollutants from treated wastewater, conversion of municipal solid waste to biofuels, recover phosphorus from sewage sludge, and implementation of decentralized treatment methods etc.  have gained significant traction in recent years. On the other hand, measuring the sustainable performance of essential services of a city in light of changes affecting its ecological footprint is equally important. LCA, Life Cycle Costing, and techno economics assessment are some tools used to measure the sustainable performances of process and products throughout their life cycle.

My pitch will give an overview on Introduction to LCA and a framework structure to measure the environmental footprint of an urban system (city).

Pitch 2: Johan Tordsson: Towards autonomous microservices

Johan Tordsson is an Associate Professor in Computer Science. His research interests lies in the intersection of large scale distributed systems and autonomic computing. The goal of his research is to make large scale computer systems manage (install, update, configure, optimize, heal, etc.) themselves without human intervention. A practical approach to this is the combination of cloud native computing, feedback control systems, and learning.


Recently, best-practice in software architecture has shifted from large monolithic applications to graphs of (up to) hundreds of loosely coupled microservices. This change, combined with the DevOps movement, has shortened the software development lifecycle and thus increased the velocity of software development teams. However, for IT operations teams, the new microservice paradigm results in a constantly evolving infrastructure landscape of software components that are ephemeral, may change location, and communicate with each other in non-intuitive manners.  To ensure performance, reliability, and cost efficient operations in such dynamic environments is too complex for human operators, but autonomic computing mechanisms are required to make the systems increasingly manage themselves. To date, research on autonomic cloud computing has focused exclusively on how to manage datacenter hardware, or on how to schedule and (auto)scale individual services. This proposal aims to go beyond that by not only managing datacenter hardware and individual microservices, but also understanding, modelling, and controlling how these microservices communicate among themselves. Particular attention will be given to fully autonomous detection and handling of system anomalies – abnormal states that potentially can affect e.g., performance or robustness.


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