How long have you worked at Mycorena?
I joined in August 2019. I was the 6th employee.
What is your position and some of your responsibilities here at Mycorena?
I'm the Chief Technology Officer (CTO).
I'm part of a few different teams, I’m part of the senior management team but also the upscaling and the production side. My responsibilities include everything from overseeing the quality department and current production, to our future upscaling plans. I work closely with our Pilot Plant Manager Fredrik and the process engineers, also with Therese our Project Manager at our new factory in Falkenberg. So very broad.
What challenges do you face in your work?
I think one of the main challenges is time management. We have such an ambitious team, we have very ambitious goals both with the new factory and here at our Gothenburg site. We want to scale up and develop quickly so we must manage that in such a short amount of time. It’s about finding a balance between doing it quickly and doing it thoroughly in a time efficient way. There is a huge list of things we would like to do, but we must think carefully about what we have the time and resources to actually do.
Do you feel that you're innovative in your work? have you come up with any solutions that you use to problem solve?
Well, it's not as innovative as the R&D department of course, but we do have a lot of development going on. Everything from how we design the fermenters, to what kind of equipment we use during the down streaming process that can create different products. Also, when we prepare the substrate If we do it in a more concentrated solution, we don't have to heat up as much volume as we do for the whole solution. This means we can save time, money and resources. They are all very innovative processes, but it's a team effort, so I don't want to take all the credit!
What do you like most about working at Mycorena?
It's great to be part of a company that's open to giving you freedom to try to solve problems and not be scared to try new things. That is one of the benefits I see within my teams, we are generally very open to suggestions. I have worked at companies before with a very set structure on who should take initiative and who should make decisions. At Mycorena everyone’s opinion is considered, a new employee or interns can come with good input and be listened to. I think that's very good, and also very important.
Can you tell us a bit about what you did before you joined Mycorena?
During my studies I worked for three years with wastewater treatment analysis, where we did analysis of the wastewater for the municipality. During that time the company built a completely new wastewater treatment plant, so I was part of the planning for the new laboratory there. It was a fun experience. After that I worked for short time within the snus industry, specifically with quality analysis of the snus paper. I get to use a little bit of my knowledge of wastewater treatment now that we're building one at the Falkenberg site!
What inspires you to work within the food tech industry?
I was very lucky to come across the filamentous fungi field early because I think it's very interesting, especially in innovative food applications. When I started studying biotechnology it was very unclear to me what you could actually work with, many people do their PhD and then work with Microbiology or Medtech, food isn't really a typical thing. I stumbled upon it during my masters, I really found an interest in sustainability in food, I realised this is absolutely what I want to work with. I also think it's very fun to be part of a young innovative company, I prefer that over my previous jobs in bigger organisations, I think it fits me well, I like the challenge.
Let’s talk a little bit about you!
Firstly, where are you from?
I'm from Sweden, a small town in the countryside about 45 minutes outside of Gothenburg.
Where and what did you study?
I studied biotechnology for 5 years at the Chalmers University of Technology. During the end of my studies, I did my master thesis at RISE in Gothenburg within filamentous fungi as a protein source in fish feed. I would say that’s how I ended up with Mycorena, because that's how I first learned about the company!
What are your interests and hobbies outside of work?
I grew up in the countryside, so I was very interested in horses, I used to have my own horse. I still enjoy being out in nature taking long walks, cooking outdoors and camping. I really find it very calming and relaxing. I really like doing yoga and high-intensity interval training (HIIT). I also recently started pole dancing.
Can you tell us any fun or interesting facts about yourself?
One fun thing I’m not sure everyone knows is that I have an identical twin. We always work out together and the instructors usually laugh at us in classes because we do everything simultaneously, in sync.