“One foot in academia and one foot in the industry”
One of the best things about being an industrial doctoral student is to have one foot in academia and one foot in the industry. On one side it is great to work researching how to solve real problems that nowadays industry is facing. On the other side it is also great to be able to apply theoretical research into a real industrial environment and to see that one’s research can result in valuable facts and figures for industry.
One of the main challenges I have experienced was at the beginning of my PhD, starting to work both at the factory and at the university. Since I was the first industrial PhD student working at that factory, my role was not clearly defined and sometimes I had a role more of an engineering consultor than of an industrial researcher; hence it was difficult to find a common understanding between my academic supervisors and industrial mentors regarding my PhD research. Finally we overcame the challenge by planning continuous meetings including both my supervisors and my mentors in order to find a good balance between research, PhD courses, industrial case studies, and consultancy work that would benefit both my research at the university and the industrial partner.
Useful for the society
The research comes to use for society by promoting collaboration between industry and academia to find the mentioned common balance to benefit both parties, by increasing the knowledge of science and by improving industry. Furthermore, the extrapolation of the methodology outcome of this industrial PhD research to other sectors, such as other types of production systems or even for example healthcare systems, to significantly contribute to society in different aspects.