Appreciated dialogue and exchange of experiences at the well-attended autumn seminar

Well-attended autumn seminar at University West in Trollhättan. Photo: Sofia Brolin, University West.)

Last week, around 30 of the participants in the industrial graduate school Smart Industry Sweden met to network and discuss current issues. The autumn seminar was held this time at University West in Trollhättan and included a study visit to the aircraft and space engine manufacturer GKN Aerospace.

The turnout was good when doctoral students, supervisors and research leaders met at the research school’s autumn seminar to share experiences and address current issues. Since the industrial graduate school is run by five universities together with twelve industrial companies that are spread all over Sweden, the recurring spring and autumn seminars play an important role.

The autumn seminar was dominated by dialogue in different groups with a focus on the doctoral students’ assignments and challenges.

“There were open and fruitful discussions which I think everyone appreciated. We also highlighted the need to create clarity for all parties involved in the graduate school. Clarifying the forms of collaboration between doctoral students, companies and universities can, for example, involve developing practical guidelines for how collaboration can be carried out, says Lennart Malmsköld, University West.

The program also included an interesting lecture by Professor Evert Agneholm on challenges linked to the ongoing electrification in Sweden. The seminar ended with a study visit and presentations at GKN Aerospace. Here, Fredrik Wallin, Product Strategy & Business Innovation Manager, talked about the company’s sustainability strategy and Amanda Dalstam, Data & Analytics Project Leader, described how they work with digitization of production.

Three participants reflect on the day

“Meeting other doctoral students and exchanging experiences means more than I initially thought. Even though we work in completely different research areas, we have a lot of common questions. We can support each other in different ways, for example by finding solutions to challenges. It is also fun to follow everyone’s research journey from idea to concrete assignment.”

Viktor Döhlén, industrial PhD student in power electronics at Sollefteåforsen AB/Mid Sweden University

“It is valuable to learn about how other industrial companies conduct their development work and what they prioritize to research. We have many common challenges and can inspire each other in several ways”

Henrik Lingborg, industrial supervisor, Siemens Energy in Finspång

“The doctoral students balance between two worlds. Both the company and the university have high expectations for results. It can be difficult for the doctoral students to parry and know how to prioritize their working time. These meetings are good opportunities to talk about the challenges and to support each other in different ways.”

Jenny Bäckstrand, supervisor at University of Jönköping