Get to Know Stephan Pflugmacher Lima​, Smart Cities in Smart Regions 2018 Keynote

Professor Dr. Stephan Pflugmacher Lima is Professor for Aquatic Ecotoxicology in an Urban Environment at the University of Helsinki, Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences and head of the Joint Laboratory of Applied Ecotoxicology at the Korean Institute of Science & Technology Europe situated in Saarbruecken Germany. He has started teaching Ecotoxicology from 1996 on at the Humboldt University of Berlin, the Charite and as Chair of the Department Ecological Impact Research & Ecotoxicology at the Technical University of Berlin, as well as in Brasil, Argentina, South Africa and South Korea.

I see that Lahti is already doing lots of effort to become a smart and Green City and I wish to contribute to this efforts as best as possible.

How do you interpret (or describe) the concept of Smart City from your perspective?

"By 2050 more than 80% of human on our planet will live in cities or urban areas. The smart city concept integrates information and communication technology (ICT), which is from my point of view, as an ecotoxicologist also a helpful tool within my own work. As we developed the so-called Green Liver Systems for Water Purification, we monitor online water quality and health of the aquatic plants used for the purification process. Also I see, that we could include our system in the overall data collection e.g. from water supply networks and waste water managements. With ICT we could control and monitor our Green Liver Systems all over the world from Lahti in an easy way."


What habits you have in your everyday life that are especially “Smart”?

"I think moving to Finland and doing research here was very “smart” from me. The research opportunities at the University of Helsinki, the city of Lahti and all the wonderful colleagues here are making it a pleasure to work here and to be creative."


What aspects are missing from the discussion concerning smart city or smart region?

"The integration of water purification in our daily life, not hiding it somewhere. We have to show this systems more to people that they understand how important it is and that the also appreciate this purification more."


How does your research support developing smarter solutions?

"In my research we are just learning from nature and trying to use ecosystem services in a smart way. This leads to using e.g. aquatic plants to purify water in a simple but very efficient way."


How familiar are you with Lahti? Is there something special you wish to do in Lahti?

"I´m living in Lahti since October last year and feeling very well and welcome here. I see that Lahti is already doing lots of effort to become a smart and Green City and I wish to contribute to this efforts as best as possible. Especially in concern to microplastic pollution we have, from my point of view, some smart idea to filter stormwater that these plastic particles are not flushed into Lake Vesijärvi."


Would you like to share some funny story from your career?

"Born in 1965 in Augsburg, I had one of two career choices as suggested by the supervising nun in my (catholic) kindergarten. The first choice would have been to become a priest, because I was obviously a very well behaved child and the second to become a scientist, because my pockets were always filled with animals and plants collected in nature which I often visited together with my father. Obviously, I choose the second option and I´m very happy to be a scientist…"