Background and activities

Work area

I am a researcher at the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture at NTNU, working in the NTNU Energy Transition Initiative


I received my doctoral degree from Sociology at the University of Helsinki (Finland) in 2013. This research was published as a scientific monograph by Routledge in 2017, titled as Making Electricity Resilient: Risk and Security in a Liberalized Infrastructure. It develops a multi-sited analysis of the electricity infrastructure in Finland and Scandinavia, focusing on risk management and markets, and spanning from international energy exchanges and public regulations to energy control rooms and households. The work mainly draws upon interdisciplinary Science and Technology Studies (STS) perspectives.

After my defence, I held a postdoctoral position in Princeton University, in PIIRS Global Systemic Risk, a multidisciplinary research community dedicated to studying large-scale threats facing our globalized world.

I then received a 3-year fellowship at the University of Edinburgh (UK), Science, Technology and Innovation Studies, where I among others was a Co-Investigator in Checking Assumptions aND promoting responsibility in smart Development projects (CANDID), funded by the European Commission Horizon 2020, and working with Robin Williams, Charles Raab (Edinburgh), and Kjetil Rommetveit (Bergen University). 

I was also brought in to be a postdoctoral researcher at Durham University (UK), Department of Anthropology, to the National Centre for Energy Systems Integration (CESI), which integrates energy experts from various academic disciplines to understand future supply and demand. My collaboration there with Simone Abram (Durham) developed ethnographic methods to study energy systems modelling and scenarios, and integrated energy network management in control rooms. 

I serve as an editor of Science & Technology Studies, the official journal of the European Association for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST). I also am a member of the editorial team of the Nordic Journal of Science and Technology Studies, which is published at NTNU.  

Research interests

  • Interdisciplinary research
  • Science and Technology Studies (STS)
  • Innovation Studies
  • Energy social research
  • Methodology
  • Control rooms 
  • Digitalisation of energy infrastructures
  • Risk and resilience 
  • Energy markets
  • Households
  • Energy systems modelling and scenarios
  • Energy Systems Integration

Current research

Ongoing projects

Past projects

Manuscripts in preparation

"Flexibility of Real-Time Supply-Demand Relations: The Changing Politics of Energy Control Rooms." For the Journal of Energy History special issue on Histories of Flexibility.

"Energy Futures: Understanding Integrated Energy Systems Modelling." For the Research Handbook on Energy and Society.

"Producing the ‘User’ in Smart Technology Projects." For the Handbook of Smart Technologies.

Selected work

“Electricity Infrastructures, Risk and Resilience.” Invited speech at the European Commission Joint Research Centre Workshop on ‘Extreme Events and Energy Transition’, 24 September 2019.

Silvast, Antti & Virtanen, Mikko (forthcoming). An Assemblage of Framings and Tamings – Multi-sited Analysis of Infrastructures as a Methodology. Accepted for publication in the Journal of Cultural Economy.

Silvast, Antti (forthcoming). Energy Dimensions of Urban Resilience. Accepted for publication in Michael A. Burayidi, Adriana Allen, John Twigg, and Christine Wamsler (eds) The Routledge Handbook of Urban Resilience. London: Routledge.

Virtanen, Mikko & Silvast, Antti (forthcoming). Monipaikkainen kehystymistutkimus [Multi-sited Analysis of Framings]. Accepted for publication in Sosiologia (Finnish Journal for Sociology).

Silvast, Antti; Williams, Robin; Hyysalo, Sampsa; Rommetveit, Kjetil & Raab, Charles (2018). Who ‘Uses’ Smart Grids? The Evolving Nature of User Representations in Layered Infrastructures. Sustainability 10 (10): 3738.

Silvast, Antti (2018). Co-constituting Supply and Demand: Managing Electricity in Two Neighbouring Control Rooms. In Shove, Elizabeth & Trentmann, Frank (eds) Infrastructures in Practice: The Evolution of Demand in Networked Societies. New York-London: Routledge, 171-183.

Silvast, Antti; Bolton, Ronan; Lagendijk, Vincent & Szulecki, Kacper (2018). Crossing Borders: Social Sciences and Humanities Perspectives on European Energy Systems Integration. In Foulds, Chris & Robison, Rosie (eds) Advancing Energy Policy: Lessons on the Integration of Social Sciences and Humanities. London: Palgrave MacMillan, 97-110.

Bolton, Ronan; Lagendijk, Vincent & Silvast, Antti (2018). Grand Visions and Pragmatic Integration: Exploring the Evolution of Europe’s Electricity Regime. In press in Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions.

Silvast, Antti; Jalas, Mikko & Rinkinen, Jenny (2018). Energy Governance, Risk, and Temporality: The Construction of Energy Time through Law and Regulation. In Beynon-Jones, Siân & Grabham, Emily (eds) Law and Time. New York-London: Routledge, 212-228.

Suominen, Jaakko; Silvast, Antti & Harviainen, Tuomas J. (2018). Smelling Machine History: Olfactory Experiences of Information Technology. Technology & Culture 59 (2).

Silvast, Antti (2017). Making Electricity Resilient: Risk and Security in a Liberalized Infrastructure. New York-London: Routledge.

Silvast, Antti (2017). Energy, Economics, and Performativity: Reviewing Theoretical Advances in Social Studies of Markets and Energy. Energy Research & Social Science 34: 4–12.

Rommetveit, Kjetil, Dunajcsik, Maxigas; Silvast, Antti; Tanas, Alessia & Gunnarsdottír, Kristrún (2017). CANDID Primer: Including Social Sciences and Humanities scholarship in the making and use of smart ICT technologies. CANDID EU H2020 Project Paper. 

Jalas, Mikko; Rinkinen, Jenny & Silvast, Antti (2016). The Rhythms of InfrastructureAnthropology Today 32 (4): 17-20. 

Silvast, Antti (2015). An Oral History of Programming Practices: Gender and Age Dynamics and Digital (Dis)Engagement Among Computer Programmers in Finland. Human Technology 11 (1): 4-29.

Silvast, Antti & Virtanen, Mikko (2014). Keeping Systems at Work: Electricity Infrastructure from Control Rooms to Household Practices. Science & Technology Studies 27 (2): 93-114.

Silvast, Antti; Hänninen, Hannu & Hyysalo, Sampsa (2013, 2014). Energy in Society. A triple special issue of Science & Technology Studies, 26 (3), 27 (1), and 27 (2). 14 articles on energy in society by international researchers of energy transitions and energy social research.

Silvast, Antti & Kelman, Ilan (2013). Is the Normal Accidents Perspective Falsifiable? Disaster Prevention and Management 22 (1): 7-16.

Silvast, Antti (2011). Monitor Screens of Market Risks: Managing Electricity in a Finnish Control Room. STS Encounters 4 (2): 145-174.


Scientific, academic and artistic work