Meet the Researcher: Kari Kleine
In this interview, we speak with Kari Kleine, a researcher at the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Southern Denmark, about his motivations for pursuing a career in research and his current projects. Kari discusses his belief that sustainability is one of the major challenges of this century and that research and practice together will develop the solutions for a sustainable future.
Why did you become a researcher?
At some point during my bachelor's education, I began to understand that sustainability will be one of the significant challenges of this century. I believe that research and practice together will develop solutions to make a sustainable future possible. This conviction motivates much of my current work.
Which other career did you consider?
As a kid, I wanted to be an astronaut. During secondary education, I had planned to become a pilot. I still have a fascination for space and air travel, but I'm happy to focus in everyday life on things closer to Earth.
What occupies you at the moment?
I'm preparing a sustainable business model course and look forward to learning with my students in that context. I'm also busy managing an Erasmus+ project focusing on virtual labs and their contribution to engineering education. The work with project partners from Italy and Estonia is exciting!
Which question would you like to find an answer to?
How do we transition to a truly sustainable lifestyle? The solutions are available, but HOW do we implement them and make people, businesses, and governments understand and adopt them? Let's start with you and me.
What is the most significant breakthrough in your field ever?
Still trying to figure it out. Generic: maybe the invention of the printing press as it ultimately led to much better and eventually free access to knowledge, which "quickly assumed a life of its own", as American author George Dyson once put it.
How do you hope that others can benefit from your research?
I hope that businesses can benefit from my research to make the transition to sustainability happen. This includes decarbonization, circular solutions and practice, and so much more.
Which other research field fascinates you the most?
Astronomy. I suppose the answers to many secrets of existence could be found somewhere in the universe. Studies of stars, planets, galaxies, black holes, etc., have always intrigued me and triggered my imagination.
What do you have in your office that most other people don't?
I got a Tongan basket plate as a gift from a dear friend. I don't use it for its intended purpose but for decoration, as it gives me a feeling of sun, water, and good food every time I see it.
Who do you admire the most?
Great people surround me, and I admire many of them. I admire Albert Einstein and his insights into so many things. One example: "Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters."
What do you do when you need to research?
Enjoying time with my family, especially our little daughter Majvi. Playing football, volleyball, and tennis. Reading a good book in front of the fireplace. Living life!