Mats Fridlund

 Historian of science, technology & innovation;init:.jpegDr Mats Fridlund (b. 1965) studies the politics and culture of modern science, technology and innovation, with a focus on the technologies of terrorism. He is born in Sweden where he studied engineering physics and history of science and technology at Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), from which Department of History of Science and Technology he received his PhD in 1999.

Since 2013 he is Associate Professor of the History of Industrialization at Aalto University in Finland and Associate Researcher at the Centre for Advanced Security Theory (CAST) a part of the Programme of Excellence of the University of Copenhagen

His current research primarily concern various aspects of the science, technology and materiality of terrorisms. An ongoing study focus on the development of urban terrormindedness, how cities and citizens since the 19th century have used various technologies to cope with different forms of man-made terror and terrorism. A second study investigates the materiality of non-state terrorism by investigating the role appropriation of engineering expertise and industrial technologies such as dynamite revolvers have played in the rise of modern revolutionary terrorism during the long 19th century. His project Spreading Terror: Technology and Materiality in the Transnational Emergence of Terrorism, 1866-1898 has been awarded a multi-year grant from the Swedish Research Council (VR) within its research programme The Globalization of Society.

Previously he has held appointments in STS programs at the University of Gothenburg, Medical Museion, University of Aarhus, Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Northwestern University, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Imperial College London, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), University of Manchester, Swedish Institute for Studies of Education and Research (SISTER) and Linköping University. In 2006 he was appointed Associate Professor (lektor) of the History of Technology (at DTU), the first such tenured position in Denmark.

His first book Den gemensamma utvecklingen: Staten, storföretaget och samarbetet kring den svenska elkrafttekniken (1999), examined the relationship between Swedish nationalism, engineering culture and the development of electric power technology through the lens of the 'development pair' between the Swedish State Power Board and the Asea company. It won the Nils Eric Svenson Award from the Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation and received a grant for academic literature for "promoting quality and diversity in book publishing" from the Swedish National Council for Cultural Affairs.

The majority of past and present research is part of a wider research programme Enginering Ideologies: Mentalities and Materialities of the Technopolitics of Engineering from Industrialism to Postindustrialism characterized by a two-sided approach to study the connections between technological practice, knowledge and ideology. The first side consist of studying the internal cultures and ideologies of engineering through its connected professional practices, social networks and political and epistemological values, while the other side analyze the engineering of ideologies by designers and engineers who through technological activities un/knowingly worked to further or counter larger political agendas and cultural ideologies. An ongoing project continues the research on the ideologies and cultures of electrical engineering through a study of 'corporate luddism', i.e. resistance to technological innovation from managers, engineers, and industrial researchers in the electrical industry. 


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Department of Engineering Design & Production            Aalto University                          Otakaari 4                                FI-00076 Aalto, Finland                                                                                          



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