Meet Jesper Axelsson: “I like being given a problem to solve”

Jesper Axelsson

“The best present my parents ever gave me was a children’s chemistry kit. One night, I snuck down to the basement with it – along with some additional supplies I’d picked up from the kitchen – and started to run some experiments. Let’s just say one thing led to another, and there was a bit of an explosion. From that moment on, I loved studying fire. Thankfully, my parents were very patient, they encouraged my interest, as long as I didn’t burn the house down. I studied natural science at high school and went on to do a degree in Physics and Chemistry at Chalmers. As part of my final dissertation, I went to work for the Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE), where I studied fire science. I couldn’t believe my luck – I was literally getting paid to set fire to things! These days, my interest in fire is more preventative. Working as a heat risk manager or “hot spot expert”, my job is to identify and fix the areas where heat could be problematic. What I like most is being given a problem to resolve and then setting off on my journey to ask questions and run whatever simulations or tests are necessary to find the answer. That feeling of being responsible for myself and my work is incredibly satisfying.”

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