Artem Kulachenko


Name, organization: Artem Kulachenko, KTH

Current position: Professor of Solid Mechanics

Areas of expertise: Micromechanics of fiber networks, paper physics, dynamics of axially traveling materials

Roles in FibreNet: WP leader, supervisor

Why is FibreNet an interesting project for you?

It is at the core of my scientific interest and is a unique collaboration platform with other leading European research organizations and industries.



Where were you born and where have you lived as a child?

I was born in Kharkiv, Ukraine and lived in Kramatorsk as a child. The name of the city literally means “hug a cod” in Swedish (krama torsk). In Ukraine, they are still disputing the origin of the city name.

What are your hobbies?

Basketball. I play every week with other people who hit a basket once per 10 attempts. It is a lot of fun. I also like listening to audiobooks. In this way, I read a lot of classical literature, which I missed in school and many more. This is the way to make commuting to and from work really enjoyable.

Tell something about yourself, which other FibreNet people might not know yet:

I wanted to become a programmer when I was a child and did not become one by a chance. Now I teach programming and math to kids on Sundays (image below: Learning the notion of volume with kids).

How did you become a researcher/scientist?

I was never satisfied with just knowing something. I wanted to know every detail, understand things completely and discover new.

What do you like most about your current work?

I like the fact it is very challenging. Working in science often means you cannot always predict if you can accomplish the tasks of fail. I like teaching as a way to affect the future.

What has been the biggest change in your working life, and how did you adapt to it?

Working as a professor in a university means you are responsible for people; you should be a role model for students and act as an administrator. I learned that one cannot apply the same standards to every person. I adapted my style of leading people according to their individual expectations and strengths.

What has been the hardest decision you have made during the last years?

Admitting you were wrong before your peers is always hard. I had to do it once and I think honesty is much more important in Science than the noble pride.

How do you organize your time at work, reveal some of your effective time management tricks?

These days, it is hard to predict what you end up doing when you come to the job. Your day can be fragmented by unexpected visits, troubleshooting, and urgent emails. When I need to focus, I stay at home and close my mail. Luckily, modern technology enables us such opportunities.

What are the three most important things in your current job?

Patience, honesty, and attention to detail.

Describe the best colleague or boss that you have worked with. What was it that especially impressed you?

The best colleague or boss is the one who has an enthusiasm for the work, who encourage you and can sincerely be happy for your success. I am lucky to be surrounded by such people at my work.

When was the last time you had to “sell” your idea to your team? How did you do it and what was the outcome?

To “sell” the idea, you need to make it relevant to people, support with the facts and resources.

The last time I tried to sell the idea of using AI/Machine learning for fiber recognition in 3D images. The idea was well taken but we could not achieve success. We learned a lot from this negative experience, however. Allowing the failure may help to sell the idea and engage people