Eagle Student Invited to Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony


The civil engineering student will also spend next year working with other invited students from around the world addressing social challenges for the Nobel Peace Center.

For as long as Fanny Kristiansson can remember, she’s watched the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony and surrounding events on television and read about the winners in school.

Seeing who won and how that person was making an impact on the world was a family affair for the Swedish-born Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University sophomore.

Now, the Daytona Beach Campus civil engineering major will be attending the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony on Dec. 10, the most iconic and recognized humanitarian award in the world. She’ll also be working over the next year to make her own world impact after being named part of the Telenor Youth Forum, a collaboration between Telenor Group, a Norwegian telecommunications company, and the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo, Norway.

Kristiansson is one of 24 delegates from 12 countries selected out of more than 7,200 applicants to participate in the forum, which is a global platform built upon the idea of “digitalization for peace.” She is one of two representatives from Sweden.

During the week of the Nobel Peace Prize ceremonies and related events, the youth will be placed on teams dedicated to tackling global, social challenges. In addition to the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony, she will attend the Nobel Peace Prize laureate exhibition, the Nobel Peace Prize Concert and join the Torchlight Procession through the streets of Oslo.

This year’s Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) “for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons,” according to the Nobel Prize.  

“It’s going to be so cool to experience the ceremonies firsthand,” Kristiansson said. “It’s an honor to be a part of something so big and to see people create something from their ideas and dreams that will make a difference in the world. I always wanted to make the world a better place and this (youth forum) is one way to do it.”

Attending the Nobel Peace Prize ceremonies is a dream come true for Kristiansson, who has long admired Nobel Prize winners. The awards were first given out in 1901 in Stockholm, Sweden. The Nobel Prizes are named for Alfred Nobel, the Swedish inventor of dynamite and other high explosives who signed his last will and testament in 1895, giving the largest share of his fortune to a series of prizes in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature and Peace.

While in high school in Sweden, Kristiansson escorted around her school Tomas Lindahl, the Swedish-born Nobel Prize winner in chemistry in 2015 for mechanistic studies of DNA repair; he shared that award with American chemist Paul L. Modrich and Turkish chemist Aziz Sancar. 

“I was overwhelmed with the insight that he made a breakthrough that will affect millions by following his own dreams,” Kristiansson wrote in her application letter to the forum.

As part of the Telenor Youth Forum, she’ll spend the next year working virtually with other youth on her team creating a solution using digital technology. The teams will meet in May next year in Bangkok and work with the Nobel Peace Center and the Telenor Group to begin the process of creating digital exhibitions of their projects, which will be unveiled in December 2018.

“I’m very passionate about helping people and making a change especially with disaster relief. That’s when people need you the most,” said Kristiansson, who after obtaining her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Civil Engineering wants to work in disaster relief.

Kristiansson serves on several Embry-Riddle organizations, including public relations officer for the Embry-Riddle Chapter of Engineers Without Borders; a certified Emergency First Responder with Embry-Riddle’s Medical Emergency Disaster Relief Club responding to emergencies on campus; a Red Cross volunteer; and a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers student organization.

She’s also one of the goalkeepers on the Embry-Riddle Eagles Soccer Team.

Kristiansson, whose father is also a civil engineer, said the leadership roles she’s had at Embry-Riddle and working with students of various nationalities in classes and the soccer team will help her with the Telenor Youth Forum project as well. She’s also learning problem solving and analytical skills in her civil engineering classes.

“This tremendous honor reflects Fanny’s character and integrity,” said Scott Steman, Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering at Embry-Riddle. “She tirelessly works to improve herself while positively impacting her peers and professors. The entire department is so proud of her and we are very excited she chose civil engineering as her path."