Monthly Archives: December 2015

Working hard tom make the dead line for the last Faculty Council meeting of the year!

An intensive work was carried out at Dean’s office and the departments now at the end of this year to reach the last possibility to submit our positions to the KTH Faculty Council, at their last meeting for the year which was held on December 8. Some of these recruitments were part of the normal strategic faculty plans that are made at each department. In these plans we consider both how many faculty members that will retire within the coming years, the needs in research and education at the departments as well as the general needs in the industry and society. It should be mention that the role of The Faculty Council is to judge if the new position is part of the future strategic plan of the department to meet the demands in research and education. However, they also judge whether the financial body of the department is large enough to host another faculty position.

On December 8, four “normal” strategic faculty positions were put forward to the Faculty Council. Professor Pontus Braunerhjelm and his co-workers at the Department of Industrial Economy and Management submitted two positions: an Assistant Professorship in Industrial Economy with Focus on Entrepreneurship and an Associate Professor in Industrial Economy with a Focus on Supply Chains. Also, Professor Björn Palm and his co-workers at the Department of Energy submitted an Associate Professor position focusing on Energy and Sustainable Development and Professor Mauro Onori and his co-workers at the Department of Industrial Production submitted an Assistant Professor position in Cloud Based Manufacturing and Robot Technology. The first three positions passed the scrutiny of the Faculty Board and were sent to the next control mechanism at KTH, namely the Employment Council. Their job is to go through the employment profile in detail to make that it is clearly written.

We got some minor complaints regarding the title of the fourth position. It seems like Professor Onori has to modify his visionary “cloud” formulation to something that is more “earthy” (jordnära), so that “the rest of us” can follow his ideas! By the way, this is not the first time this department seems to come up with new ideas before anyone else does. As an example they did lots of research in 3D printing/additive manufacturing many years ago but it was stopped due to lack of interest from society and industry at that time. However, as many of you know they are back in business in this area again, now when the industry and society has caught up with their visions.

On December 8 a historical event also took place, namely that we started the process to build the research at the Department of Applied Mechanical Engineering. This is currently a department that is totally focused on education, but in the strategic plans they will grow in research up to a size of a typical ITM department. This is a huge transformation that will take place the coming years. Here, I would like to stress that Associate Professor Kristina Palm and her co-workers have worked hard for a long time to carefully study the needs of future research at this new research department. As I mentioned before, they have planned seven new faculty positions. Thus on December 8 the following first four positions were put forward to the Faculty Council (note, that at this stage the English names are not finalized):

  • Assistant Professor in Operational Production Management (Biträdande lektor i operativ industriell produktionsledning
  • Associate Professor in Production Systems Technology (Lektor i produktionssystemteknik)
  • Associate Professor in Sustainable Production (Lektor i hållbar produktion)
  • Professor in Industrial Production Management (Professor i industriell produktionsledning)

All four of these positions passed the needle’s eye set by the Faculty Council and will now be scrutinized with respect to the formulations of the employment profiles. Thereafter, the will be announced in Swedish and International media in order to attract talented co-workers. To be continued……

Finally, I would like to wish all people at ITM a happy holiday with their family and friends. I am aware of that we celebrate different occasions during this holiday and that we even celebrate the “New Year” at different times. Nevertheless, I hope that you will enjoy “this” particular holiday period.

Pär Jönsson, Vice Dean

Almost at the finish line!

The last part of the year places big pressure on the Dean’s Office (DO) Administration often deals with aiming for the finish – the cycle must be completed before the end of the year.

In the best case scenario, the salary reviews will be complete. The financial books will close and the 2016 budget will be entered into the system. Activity reports will be finalised. All grading reports for the year will be submitted, partly so as students will have their grades registered during the correct period, but also because registration is a financial transaction.

Furthermore, it is the case that all of us want to “tidy up” a little bit before the new year. This is usually evident from the marked increase in expenses, remunerations a travel invoices throughout December.

In the spring, KTH received its environmental certification. Revisions will be conducted on an ongoing basis to make sure that we continue with our improvement work and follow the established management plans for meeting the environmental goals in place. An internal audit was carried out in November, in which ITM performed well – we only had a few small deviations that will now be rectified.

The time frame for this year’s salary reviews has been tight. Many of us have worked to pull off the “impossible” feat of having the new salaries paid out in December. It is fun being able to say that good cooperation and communication within the school and between the parties made sure that ITM was finished on time. In the best case scenario – if all of KTH has done well – payments will be made on 23 December.

We have recently seen the arrival of a new colleague, Anton Lagerbäck. Anton will mainly be working with academic appointments. There has been a huge need for support in this area. The process and working methods at KTH have been altered, which has meant a great deal of to-ing and fro-ing for completion. It is now the ambition that, with the help of Anton, we can get the ball rolling without disruptions and with shortened processing times. So a very warm welcome to Anton!

Throughout the year we have worked on creating routines for how to manage the School’s purchases of between SEK 100,000 and 500,000. The routines must follow those set by the state but also the KTH guidelines at the same time as we need smooth processing for everyone involved. But most of all we should be able to be happy with the product/service we buy, despite the bureaucracy that it entails.

Now we are heading towards the end of the year and with this, the financial books for 2015 will close. This time of year is the most intensive for our financial team. Whilst the rest of us go on Christmas vacation, the pressure is on in the “workshop”, with all systems go for finalising the year. Nevertheless, over recent years, this work has gone ahead without a hitch. Currently, our accounts maintain a high standard, which means that comprehensive work must be done, but it is managed without any surprises.

For many years there have been requests and demands from the organisation and the School’s financial team to create a project leader report – and now we’re there! Over the first quarter, each person responsible for a project will receive follow up reports each month, directly to their email. To be able to carry out this follow up, a budget is of course needed for the respective project. All new projects have one of these, as do the majority of older projects. It will be interesting to receive feedback on these reports from those of you who are project leaders.

Work to create the School’s Annual Report for 2015 is in full swing. It will be the seventh year in a row in which the School issues a report. This years’ report focuses upon “Impact –research’s cooperation/influence in society”.

During 2015, DO’s focus areas have been:

*                           Environmental certification
*                           Working environment measures
*                           Management course (returns on 16th March)
*                           Fine-tuned accounting with monthly follow ups
*                           Project leader reports (financial)
*                           Purchasing and procurement routines
*                           Information online, e.g., “information from management”
*                           Health and wellbeing initiatives
*                           Stress project (seminar for all the heads of school and lecture for all members of staff)

A big thank you to all of my colleagues for this past year! I am proud to be the Head of Administration at ITM and I am grateful to have you all as my colleagues. You always do your best, no matter what!

From everyone at DO, merry Christmas and a happy new year!


A reflection on the “job” as GA

My last input this week as a rookie blogger is more of a reflection on the “job” as GA at the ITM School. What most of you don’t know is that the assignment as GA at ITM should correspond to 40 %, i.e. two work days a week. It is thus not a full time job if anyone thinks so. I am also responsible for a number of PhD students, I teach several courses, handles a couple of international tasks and collaborations, attends board meetings, holds invited talks at conferences and so on, just like any other professor at ITM. Today, for example, I am on the evaluation board of a PhD at the school of Chemical engineering. This means that my calendar is permanently filled, every day, all the time. Sometimes it’s a mess. This will inevitably lead to double or even triple bookings and one has to prioritize one meeting over another, all the time, making some people disappointed or even irritated now and then. A lot of preparations for lectures and meeting have to be done in weekends or evenings. I would therefore like to take this opportunity to thank all supporting people in our organization that make my work life bearable. Without the great staff at our student office with Andreas in the lead it would be impossible and without our assistant GA, Catharina it would also be impossible. I would also like to thank our PA´s for the 5yr programs that takes on a big responsibility to maintain quality and relevance through constant change and development. I guess we all need a break for x-mas and right now I think I need it more than anyone else.

/ Per Lundqvist, GA

This weeks first Blog input:

Dear colleagues,

we have had some busy weeks preparing for new exiting projects improving our educational activities in the spring. One important project to be undertaken next year at school level is to map the progression of knowledge, skills and competences in Sustainability in our master programs. In a work-shop last week several of the master programs at ITM met and discussed the way forward. It is our common conclusion after the work-shop that a lot of good activities are there already but we need to find the appropriate language to highlight it enough. In other words – we need to make all our good efforts more visible. But there is also more work to be done of course. Other important activities have been the start of joint JML-projects with our student sections. Our Vice-GA Catharina Erlich is taking good care of that in collaboration with Sissi Rizko.

Our school is also a more safer work place now since your GA (and some other colleagues) have taken the Heart-and-Lung-Saving-Course. Now we can even operate the Heart-starter but we hope it will never be needed of course. If you have not taken the course,  and there is still a chance – do it! It is well worth the time.

/Per Lundqvist, GA