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Olga Lysenko works at IVL in Stockholm.

Olga Lysenko is an energy expert at IVL

Barely two years ago, Olga Lysenko was forced to flee war-torn Ukraine. Today, she has settled in Sweden and enjoys her job as an energy expert at IVL.

Shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine, Olga Lysenko received an email from some people she had met 10 years earlier at an international training in Sweden.

"It said 'If you need help or support, you are welcome to Karlstad'. It was so amazing that they did this. In the situation I was in it was unbelievable," says Olga.

A few weeks later, she left her occupied hometown of Melitopol and traveled with her son to Sweden and Karlstad. After some time, she saw a position at IVL that was about supporting Ukrainian researchers. She submitted an application and managed to get the job.

"I was so happy to start at IVL and I am still very happy and grateful to be part of IVL. It’s a great place to work, the people are supportive and very open and communicative and you can develop your skills and feel the importance of your work," says Olga.

Varied work

Today Olga works as an energy expert at IVL and is involved in many different projects. The tasks vary and can be, for example, project management, modeling of energy systems, economy matters, or creating content for e-learning courses.

"I try to use all my knowledge and skills," says Olga with a laugh. "For me, it is positive that the job is so varied, it is stimulating to be able to combine both research and project management. It is also very rewarding to be part of efforts that lead to a more sustainable future."

Before Olga came to Sweden, she had worked for twenty years at the Tavria State Agritechnological University in Melitopol, the last years as a professor at the Department of Electrical Power Engineering and Automation.

"In Melitopol, I worked a lot with grids and distribution lines. Alongside this I had an accounting firm that helped farmers and local businesses in the agricultural sector. However, many of these companies in the region no longer exist since the occupation," she says.

Thrives in Sweden

One of Olga's goals right now is to learn Swedish. She has learned a few words so far, but compared to her 17-year-old son who already speaks good Swedish, it’s not much.

"He usually teases me about my pronunciation of Swedish words," she laughs.

Aside from the language challenge, it has worked well for Olga to enter Swedish society. In November, she and her son moved to Stockholm. Thanks to helpful colleagues at IVL, she has found an apartment in Solna.

"I like Sweden, it is a good country to live in and I am grateful to everyone who helped me. I appreciate the calmness, the forest, nature and the beautiful seasons here. Hopefully I'll also get the chance to see the northern lights someday," says Olga.

Spread over the world

After Russias full scale invasion, Olga's family and friends have spread all over the world. Some live in Germany and the U.S., others live in different parts of Ukraine.

"I have a lot of contact with my family and friends in different places. My mother still lives in the occupied parts of Ukraine. Here in Stockholm, there are also many Ukrainians and we have a group on Messenger where we address, among other things, various problems and challenges you face in your new country. One such thing could be how to manage daily life here without a swedish personal number. It's not always the easiest," she says.

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